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Health Sciences Dissertation
The course requires students to demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding in relation to a specific health issue or opportunity, and to take an active role in developing an investigation for the benefit of a wider audience. The course will require students to plan a small-scale project / dissertation / thesis and present the findings to a community of interest for critique. In doing this, students are demonstrating a critical awareness of current and emerging issues in an area of health practice; their leadership in planning a research project and communicating design decisions back to the community; and the opportunity to demonstrate the application of highly specialised knowledge. In essence this course provides students with an opportunity to draw on their particular backgrounds, knowledge and expertise in order to identify, plan and eventually implement a research project of relevance to a particular health community.
1. Critique important philosophical perspectives on research and justify the implications of these for the research design.2. Critically analyse different research traditions and design strategies that affect knowledge development for health research and practice.3. Utilise experiential learning from workshops for research design decisions.4. Evaluate the ethical and cultural considerations related to research in New Zealand.5. Plan a research project that is philosophically, methodologically and ethically congruent for a specialised health context or issue.
Subject to approval of the Head of School
Assignment 1: The Research Question: location and justificationInstructions: Identify the research area of interest. From the literature review, demonstrate the refinement process and the justification for the research question. i.e. what gap in the literature will it address? Locate the research question against an appropriate research methodology, with the rationale for this choice (1-2 paragraphs) You are required to:• Use the APA 6th Edition referencing • Attach your literature search strategy as an appendix• Submit your work, as a WORD document, to ‘Turn-it-in’ via the HLTH695 UCLearn Site on or before the due date.Assignment 2: Simulated Workshops: PresentationsInstructions: For the Quantitative workshop on 27th April students will be in small groups. The students in each group will work together to design a questionnaire, which each group will present in the afternoon. Each student will be responsible for presenting at least 1 of the points in the rubric below. The presentations will be assessed against this rubric:• What is the research question?• Why use a questionnaire?• How will participants be selected? • How will the questionnaire be administered? (Mail, face-to-face, telephone, online) and justify this choice• What methods will be used to encourage a high response proportion?• Justify the design of the questionnaire (types of questions eg: open/closed/Likert scales/demographic data) • How will the results be analysed?Qualitative Workshop Powerpoint Presentation (40 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions)For the qualitative workshop on 28th April the students will be in small groups which will be allocated in Block 1. Each group has responsibility to deliver a presentation which will be graded. The three topic areas to be covered are:• Focus Group methodology and methods. Include all design issues and compare / contrast with 2 other qualitative approaches. • Qualitative Data Analysis including data withdrawal process. Utilise at least 3 qualitative methodologies. • Rigor (trustworthiness, credibility), reflexivity, researcher location, ethical issues including negotiating access to the field, InterviewingThe powerpoint presentation will include notes and cover in-depth the key aspects of the group’s allocated topic. After the presentation the group will lead a simulated workshop, demonstrating the application of the group’s allocated topic to a research situation. After the presentation, the group is required to make any changes to the presentation in response to feedback and email to academic staff for loading on the HLTH695 UCLearn site. The group is required to:• Use the APA 6th Edition referencing • Submit the powerpoint to academic staff by Friday 15 May 5pmAssignment 3: The Research ProposalDevelop the research question from assignment one into a research proposal. The marking template for this assessment provides a structure that is consistent with what information is expected in a research proposal. It should be succinct with sufficient information to assess the research aim and design. If you plan to complete a small project / thesis this should reflect your future intent. Filling out a draft ethics application identifies any weaknesses in your design so this is a useful process to undertake, see http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/humanethics/hec/index.shtml
Creswell, John W;
Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches
SAGE Publications, 2014.
Gerrish, Kate,1955- , Gerrish, Kate, Lacey, Anne;
The research process in nursing
6th ed. ;
Blackwell Pub, 2010.
The essential guide to doing your research project
Richardson-Tench, Marilyn et al;
Research in nursing : evidence for best practice
Cengage Learning, 2014.
Tolich, Martin. , Davidson, Carl;
Getting started : an introduction to research methods
There is no set text for this course. Rather, students are expected to access appropriate resources to develop their knowledge of research methodologies. Besides the library, the universities (Otago; Canterbury; Victoria; Auckland; AUT) and polytechnics (EIT; WINTEC) with postgraduate Masters Health programmes usually have their theses collections on line. The design chapters will illustrate the application of various methodologies to the research process. These are excellent sources for research application.SAGE Research Methods database, University of Canterbury Library.
Domestic fee $4,434.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Health Sciences