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DTC3002 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Bernard Corfe
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Andrea Fairley
  • Lecturer: Dr Oliver Shannon
  • Other Staff: Dr Louise Tanner, Dr Fiona Pearson, Dr Ryan Kenny, Dr Aalya Al-Assaf, Ms Aimee Watson-Cook, Miss Akvile Stoniute, Dr Nick Meader, Ms Sheila Wallace, Dr Katie Thomson, Miss Patience Kunonga
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 15.0


This module will focus on developing students as researchers. The aim of this module is to provide all students with a grounding in systematic review methods with the application through undertaking their own first systematic review.

Combining lectures, workshops and self-directed learning, this module seeks to provide the first time systematic reviewer with a sound grounding in the principles of systematic reviewing, including framing the question, identifying and critically appraising relevant studies, synthesising results, and interpreting and disseminating conclusions. This module will equip all students with an understanding and skills to actively participate in the planning and conduct of a systematic review.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover the following topics:

• An introduction to systematic reviewing and epistemology
• How to design a research question
• Data management
• Developing a search strategy databases and data sifting, including a practical session
• Critical appraisal
• Quantitative review methods – including introduction to meta-analysis
• Qualitative review methods

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials72:0014:00Non-sync online - To impart theoretical knowledge.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials14:004:00Non-sync online - To impart theoretical knowledge
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Non-sync online - Module Overview
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion153:0053:00Preparation of systematic literature review
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Preparation and delivery of oral presentation of protocol
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading121:0012:00Additional reading around the subject
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Sync Online – Small group meetings with supervisor
Guided Independent StudyProject work121:0012:00Carrying out independent research
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Sync Online - Interactive workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00PIP - Interactive workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Sync Online - Interactive workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Conference attendance
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity121:0012:00Opportunities for students to reflect on their knowledge and skills of the module
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity81:008:00Developing skills to conduct a systematic review
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery52:0010:00PIP – Group work / Q&A surgery in PC clusters
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision15:005:00PIP or Sync Online - Individual and group feedback from supervisor
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1135:00135:00Self-directed study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module aims to provide students with the confidence and skills to undertake their own systematic review.

In order to ensure that all students are at a similar level of comprehension, students will be asked to read and prepare prior to the face to face lectures and practical sessions.

The face to face teaching is designed to introduce systematic reviewing and critical appraisal and will equip students with the skills to carry out a systematic review. There will be a mixture of lectures and workshops during which students will be encouraged to interact with one another and develop their skills in the different elements of conducting a systematic review.

Students will be allocated a topic to conduct a systematic review, which may be as part of a research team with other students. The work will, however, be completed individually with a unique research question. Students will discuss their project with their assigned supervisor and other team members. The summation of learning will be expressed in the form of a systematic literature review.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation151A40Oral presentation of research protocol (15 mins) - PIP
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M60Dissertation systematic literature review (max 3500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The methods of assessment have been chosen purposefully to extend the students important transferable (oral and written communication) skills which they will require when pursuing research further in higher education or in a professional capacity in other fields of employment.

MDiet candidates must obtain an overall mark of 40 or above to pass the module, however, if the module has more than one assessment students must also achieve a mark of at least 35 in each component of the assessment to pass the module.

Reading Lists