HLTH695-21A (D) Any Time Start 2021 (Distance)

Health Sciences Dissertation

60 points

Start/End Date: The start and end dates are specific to each student. For further information please contact one of the following (as appropriate):
  • For Masters theses please contact the relevant College Office.
  • For Doctoral degrees (PhD) please contact the Postgraduate Office.
  • For other types of anytime start courses (i.e. generally courses worth 60 points or less) please contact the Course Coordinator.
Withdrawal Dates
The withdrawal dates for this course (both with and without fee refund) will be confirmed once a) the course start date and b) course length is confirmed. Students are advised to consult the department for further information.


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.

Learning Outcomes

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

Course Coordinator

Cathy Andrew


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Part A: The Research Question: location and justification 12.5%
Part A: Simulated Workshops: Presentations 15%
Part A: Research Proposal 22.5%
Part B: Dissertation 50%

Assignment 1: The Research Question: location and justification
Instructions: 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: Presentations
Instructions: 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, Interviewing

The 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 5pm

Assignment 3: The Research Proposal
Develop 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

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Creswell, John W; Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches ; 4th ed; SAGE Publications, 2014.

Gerrish, Kate,1955- , Gerrish, Kate, Lacey, Anne; The research process in nursing ; 6th ed. ; Blackwell Pub, 2010.

O'Leary, Zina; The essential guide to doing your research project ; [2nd ed.]; Sage, 2010.

Richardson-Tench, Marilyn et al; Research in nursing : evidence for best practice ; Edition five; Cengage Learning, 2014.

Tolich, Martin. , Davidson, Carl; Getting started : an introduction to research methods ; Pearson, 2011.

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.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $4,434.00

* 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 .

All HLTH695 Occurrences

  • HLTH695-21A (D) Any Time Start 2021 (Distance)