Postgraduate taught 

Public Health MPH/PgDip/PgCert

MPH research project MED5334P

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Full Year
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The research project is an independent piece of work which students undertake under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. Projects may comprise: empirical research, secondary data analysis, evaluation or audit, a systematic approach to literature review or case study.


The research project is piece of independent research which will incorporate a series of 11 weekly lectures delivered over semester one when the project topic will also be identified. Project studies will begin in semester two and the majority of the work will be conducted over the summer period. Over the academic year, normally 12 supervision sessions will be scheduled and most of these will take place over semester two and the summer period. Additional sessions maybe timetabled according to the needs of students although students will be mainly working unsupervised.

Excluded Courses

MED 5315P


The Research Project is first and foremost an independent learning exercise and creates an opportunity for the postgraduate student to carry out an original piece of work of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. This may consist of one of the following:


■ A piece of empirical research using qualitative or quantitative methods.

■ Secondary analysis of routine data or datasets collected as part of a study or a larger study.

■ Evaluation or audit around a public health initiative.

■ A detailed near systematic review around an intervention or issue in Public Health.

■ A Case Study (an empirical inquiry investigating of a contemporary phenomenon situated in its real-life context using many sources of evidence including qualitative and quantitative data collected in the field. The case study will typically answer 'how' or 'why' questions and will focus on a defined number of events and their interrelationships). 

Course Aims

On successful completion of the MPH project students will be able to:

■ Apply knowledge of research methods to design, develop and autonomously carry out a research project relevant to public health.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On successful completion of the MPH project students will be able to:

■ Formulate and critically evaluate public health research questions and develop relevant research designs to answer these.

■ Identify relevant literature using computerised information systems including electronic bibliographic databases and synthesise extracted data.

■ Critically analyse public health research data.

■ Critically select an appropriate research design and explain the variety of research designs appropriate for use within public health research.

■ Present research progress, defend methods chosen and respond to suggestions for improvement from colleagues.

■ Work independently to reach research milestones and satisfactorily complete the research project.

■ Write a concise scientific account of their project work using a scientific style appropriate to the project topic.

■ Design a strategy for dissemination of research findings to appropriate audiences.

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.