HAR673: Dissertation

The Dissertation (60 credits) module is led by Chloe Thomas (Internal Coordinator) and Aline Navega Biz (Placement Coordinator). It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 60 credits.


The Dissertation (60 credits) module is led by Chloe Thomas (Internal Coordinator) and Aline Navega Biz (Placement Coordinator). It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 60 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

This module is not available as a DDP module

This module is expected to be completed by September. When studying part-time this module is taken in year 2.


Full-time and part-time students will complete a research-based project with an external organisation (eg academic unit, consultancy or pharma industries or the NHS), or in an internal setting (internal placement within the Health Economics and Decision Science (HEDS) section, self- or funder-developed projects) within SCHARR for three months (mid-late June to September inclusive).

The project will culminate in a written dissertation that will generally involve adapting or developing a new cost-effectiveness model or addressing a health economic problem that makes use of any of the programme's quantitative modules.

The dissertation module provides students with an opportunity to practice and develop the skills acquired on the programme and to prepare them for future employment.


This module aims to:

  • provide an opportunity to apply the skills that you have learnt in the taught modules to a piece of real research in health economics and decision modelling.
  • provide an opportunity to work independently on a 3-month placement with an external organisation or internally within HEDS.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, a student will be able to:

  1. Develop and answer a research question in order to solve a real-world decision-making problem
  2. Work independently utilising time management and project planning
  3. Undertake a literature review
  4. Rationalise and justify the selection of modelling methodology
  5. Apply modelling skills learnt in the Health Economics and Decision Modelling taught modules
  6. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of their research
  7. Describe the findings of their research in a written report

Teaching methods

Three 1 hour tutorial sessions will be provided throughout the year at appropriate times. These tutorials will cover what is meant by a dissertation, what is expected of the student, a discussion and appraisal of previous dissertations, how to plan the work and develop a research proposal, and how to write a dissertation.

Students will attend one session (1 x 3-4 hours) where they will be asked to present their proposed research and the methods they plan to use. All students will be expected to give a brief (10-15 minute) presentation of their research proposal and answer questions from staff and other students about their work. Students will also be expected to ask pertinent questions on other students' work during the presentation session.

Students will undertake their dissertation in a setting external to HEDS where possible, or internally, thereby enabling them to gain experience in a different working environment and to provide a practical and real piece of applied analytical research (600 hours in total). Students can also develop their own topics if preferred or expected by their funders (self-developed or funder-developed projects). This will include 3 months of full-time work on the dissertation, in addition to time spent developing their proposal and attending taught and presentation sessions.

Students will be supervised by a mentor at their placement organisation (if undertaking an external placement) and allocated an academic supervisor from HEDS.


Students are expected to spend 60 days (averaging 8 hours per day) on the dissertation over three months (6 for part-time students). Students will attend supervision meetings which will provide general academic support and guidance to allow the dissertation research to progress.

In addition, approximately 115 hours are required in addition to the time spent actually on the placement. This is to allow for background reading, preparing the proposal, discussions with supervisor and delivering proposal presentation (all before the placement) and 1 week at the end of placement for finishing writing up.


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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