Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Dissertation in Health Professions Education MED5399P

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Full Year
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

In this course, students will identify an issue and (a) research question(s) in health professions education; and will systematically review, synthesise and critique relevant literature. Students will develop their intellectual and transferable skills whilst producing a tangible outcome, such as a policy document or guidelines for practitioners in their professional context.


tbc (distance-learning)

Requirements of Entry

Applicants should normally possess a medical, dental, or nursing degree from an institution recognised by the University Court; or a recognised degree from another appropriate health profession; they should ideally be employed in a relevant professional context. Applications will also be considered from individuals with other relevant degree qualifications (such as a BSc in a biomedical science), who are, or aspire to be, employed in the education of health professionals


Applicants would normally be expected to have completed successfully Years 1 and 2 of the MSc HPE or MSc HPER programmes.

Excluded Courses

■ Research Dissertation in Health Professions Education

■ MED5158P





Dissertation of 10,000 words, excluding appendices (100%)

Course Aims

This course aims to give students the opportunity to:

1. Address a question of importance in a specific context in health professions education, by systematically reviewing, synthesising and critiquing relevant literature; 

2. Present their response in the form of, for example, a policy document, a new theoretical model, or a set of guidelines for practitioners.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Identify issues of importance in health professions education and formulate research questions to guide a systematic review and critique of the literature on this topic;

2. Design and implement a search strategy to identify relevant literature, exercising an understanding of the full range of available resources;

3. Systematically review literature pertaining to specific issues in health professions education, exercising judgement and rationalising decisions about which literature to include and exclude from subsequent critical analysis;

4. Critically analyse primary research on specific issues in health professions education, in a manner cognisant of alternative methodological approaches;

5. Critically evaluate published arguments, ideas and conclusions pertaining to a specific issue in health professions education;

6. Critically analyse, synthesise, interpret, and draw conclusions from the literature on a specific issue in health professions education;

7. Prepare and present a dissertation that addresses the research question(s) and incorporates a formal response in the form of, for example, a policy document, a new theoretical model, or a set of guidelines for practitioners.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.