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Dissertation (Journal Article)

Module titleDissertation (Journal Article)
Module codeSHSM025
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Gavin Buckingham (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Writing a dissertation at MSc level will provide you with the opportunity to pursue, in depth, your interests within the field of sport and health sciences. You will develop your research idea that can involve a particular  area of the course, or be interdisciplinary. Your will develop your ability to find, interpret and present different materials for investigation as well as your independence of thought. The journal article will involve writing to the style of a particular  journal that you will agree with your supervisor. You will also be required to make an oral presentation as part of the assessment for this module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue systematically, and in depth, a personal interest in a particular topic, utilising the concepts,  techniques, and skills developed within module SHSM024 or SSIM901 on quantitative research methods. The dissertation may be based within a particular  area of the course or may be interdisciplinary in nature, and will encourage the synthesis of appropriate knowledge from different field s. It will cultivate independence of thought and develop your ability to find, and present material, according to selected approaches to understanding and prescribed methods of investigation.

Graduate attributes. As part of this module you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in designing your data collection.
  • Application of knowledge in interpreting findings of your research.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in discussing your research with peers and your supervisor
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics covered in the module.
  • Data management skills in collecting and recording data and analysing findings
  • Ethical awareness when planning your research

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an increased depth of knowledge regarding the specific topic of research interest
  • 2. Select an appropriate form of investigation
  • 3. Use appropriate techniques of data collection and analysis
  • 4. Present work using specified journal guidelines

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Identify a problem or issue
  • 6. Review relevant literature or documentation
  • 7. Interpret data and draw meaningful conclusions
  • 8. Organise and present material in a clear, well-structured form
  • 9. Critically assess and evaluate evidence

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Manage time effectively and prioritise tasks by working to strict deadlines
  • 11. Take responsibility for your learning by planning tasks with limited guidance, identifying your resources and seeking and making use of feedback
  • 12. Evaluate and assess your abilities, performance and understanding and reflect on your learning

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • January: Dissertation proposal form.
  • January – June: Ethics application, iterature review, data collection and fieldwork
  • May: Dissertation progress report.
  • June: MSc Dissertation Conference
  • September: Dissertation hand-in date

NOTE: All students will be required to obtain ethical approval by the SHS Ethics Committee. Any dissertation submitted without prior ethical approval will receive a mark of zero. Please ensure that you are aware of the ethics committee deadlines.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Dissertation supervision meetings
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4Dissertation conference
Guided Independent Study150Complete ethics application, research and produce review of the literature and methodologies
Guided Independent Study340Carry-out research project and analyse data
Guided Independent Study101Write up final version of dissertation and prepare oral presentation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Commenting on one draft of the dissertation (not to include the discussion section of the dissertation)up to 8000 words1-12Written
Commenting on the design and content of the oral presentation 15 minute tutorial1-12Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written dissertation (in journal format)70The length required for a particular journal or where not specified a maximum of 10,000 words (a 200 word abstract and references list in included in the word limit; tables, figures, appendices, and table/figure captions are not included in the word limit)1-12Written
Oral presentation3015 minute oral presentation and 10 minutes for questions1-12Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written dissertation (in journal format)Written dissertation (in journal format)1-12August/September assessment period
Oral presentationOral presentation1-12August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to resubmit the dissertation or redo the presentation as required. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: APA.
  • Barrass, R. (2002). Scientists must write: A guide to better writing for scientists, engineers, and students (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed.). London, UK: Sage.
  • Huck, S. W. (2008). Reading statistics and research (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Nevill, A. M., Atkinson, G., & Scott, M. A. (2009) Statistical methods in kinanthropometry and exercise physiology. In Eston, R.G. and Reilly, T. (Eds.) Kinanthropometry and exercise physiology laboratory manual: Tests, procedures and data (3rd ed., Vol 1, pp. 250-299).
  • Vincent, W. J. (2005). Statistics in kinesiology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Winter, E. M., Eston, R. G., & Lamb, K. L. (2001). Statistical analyses in the physiology of exercise and kinanthropometry. Journal of Sport Sciences, 19, 761-775.
  • Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (5th ed.) New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). New York, NY: Longman.
  • Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013).Using multivariate statistics ( 6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K., & Silverman, S. J. (2011). Research methods in physical activity (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Williams, C., & Wragg, C. (2004). Data analysis and research for sport and exercise science: A student guide. London, UK: Routledge.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • You should also take the opportunity to read exercise and sport science journals. The special issue of Journal of Sports Sciences (Volume 19, Number 10, October 2001) on research methods will be of particular interest.

Key words search

Research, literature review, data collection, data analysis, statistics, research methodologies, critical evaluation

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

SHSM024 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures or SSIM901 Interdisciplinary Research Design

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date