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Essay, Health sciences and medicine

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Project description
As part of this module you are required to submit a research plan and an ethics form, 20% weighting.

Please note that the project plan you submit does not bind you to doing your dissertation on this topic, however, if you choose to, you can develop it into a dissertation.

When writing your project plan, you need to keep in mind the marking criteria:

• Title
• A literature Review
• Hypothesis
• Justification of a chosen methodology
• An awareness of ethical issues that might be involved – fill in the ethics form
• An estimated timetable or Gantt chart
• Style – correct referencing, grammar, academic style

It is anticipated that you should be able to cover the required criteria within 1000 words.

What is a literature review?
A literature review requires you to conduct a literature search for relevant material which should include research-based evidence. As well as showing that you can identify and understand the key points, you should compare key themes and arguments on specific content. Your search for the relevant literature should lead you to a greater understanding of what has been written on a specific topic and where the gaps are. You may find that there are different viewpoints that your review must reflect.

Writing a literature review
Producing a literature review is best thought of as a three-stage process:
a) The literature search
Finding the relevant data.

b) The literature review
Critically read and draw conclusions from the literature.

c) Write up
Present the discussion and analysis of your conclusions.
The literature search
Find the relevant data from the following sources:
• Journal articles (from online databases or written articles)
• Official web-sites [e.g. The Department of Health, The World Health Organisation ]
• Up-to-date books or chapters in edited books
• Newspaper reports – not tabloid

Searching for relevant literature takes time;
• Try to refer to the original source if possible (avoid citations);
• Avoid non-academic internet sources – non-peer reviewed material from the World Wide Web is not always an appropriate resource for an academic assignment.

When reading and drawing conclusions from the literature, keep a record of literature reviewed. Actively read the material, asking questions such as:
• What are the key/recurring themes?
• Are there any gaps in the literature?
• Does the literature identify areas for future research?

More detail
1. Introduction
• What is your aim?
• Why is this topic a contemporary issue?
• What are the key theory/concepts you are going to discuss?
2. Literature Search Results
• Discuss key themes/topics/articles;
• Compare and contrast the literature (does the literature make similar points or are there differences?)
• Does the literature make theoretically and methodologically sound points?
• Identify limitations in the literature. NB: Remember! Adopt a critical perspective.
3. Hypothesis – must be clear. State direction and null hypothesis.
4. Complete the ethics form – as covered in Merryn’s lecture
5. Conclusions
• Summarise the key findings within the literature
• Summarise the main points you have made
• Draw your final conclusions
• Make suggestions for research questions/hypotheses

Specific guidelines
• Paginate (number the pages)
• Use Verdana (Minimum font size 12)
• Justify the text
• Use 1.5 spacing
• Submit through Turnitin – online, in the correct folder.


Title of project (maximum 20 words): Click here to enter text.
Proposed start date:
Please note that the review process usually takes up to 4 weeks. Click here to enter text.


Duration of study:
Click here to enter text.
Summary of proposed project:
Summarise purpose and outline of project in a style which is accessible to the non-expert.
Maximum 200 words.
Click here to enter text.


Background and purpose of the proposed project:
This section should include the material which outlines the rationale for the project, i.e. why this study needs to be done. This should be done in a way that is both accessible and scholarly, i.e. have proper cited sources.
Length: not more than 500 words
Click here to enter text.

Outline of the project:
This section should include the details of methodology i.e. what will be done and how. Use of standard subheadings is recommended for more complex projects (design, participants, materials, procedures, ethics, data analysis).
Length: not more than 500 words (for complex, larger studies up to 1,000 words)

Click here to enter text.
Ethical issues raised by the project and how these will be addressed:
If no ethical issues are raised by this study, it is important to explain why.
Length: not more than 500 words.

Click here to enter text.



• Full details of recruitment of participants, consent procedures and debriefing (if applicable) are required here.
• Ensure that you attach letters and forms used in connection with recruitment, consenting and debriefing. This may include letters of invitation, recruitment posters, information sheet, consent form, thank you and debrief note.
• You should consider carefully what information you provide to participants, e.g. scope of study, number of participants, duration of study, risks/benefits of the project. It is recommended that the participant has two copies of the consent form so they can retain one for information.
• Describe potential benefits to participants (e.g. report of health status).

Click here to enter text.


Will you be using vulnerable or at risk participants (e.g. under 18s, older adults, people with learning disabilities)?

YES 0 NO 0

Will you be using participants who might be considered to be vulnerable (please give details if not addressed elsewhere on this form)?

YES 0 NO 0

If you have answered Yes please refer to the Ethics Guidelines and highlight the particular issues raised by working with these participants and how these issues have been addressed.

Click here to enter text.

Details of DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check: Has DBS check been carried out?

YES 0 NO 0 Not applicable 0


YES 0 NO 0 Pending 0

Further comments (optional): Click here to enter text.



• You must download and complete the Risk Assessment Form and attach this to your application ( )
• You should be able to demonstrate that appropriate mechanisms are in place for the research to be carried out safely.
• If necessary the Dissertation Module Leader should be consulted before the application is submitted.
Will ‘human tissue’ samples need to be stored?

YES 0 NO 0

What action will be taken to ensure these samples are stored ethically?



Research data must normally be retained intact for a period of at least ten years from the date of any publication which is based upon it. Researchers should be aware that specific professional bodies and research councils may require a longer period of data retention.’
It is important to distinguish between retention of electronic, anonymised data and personal details allowing identification and tracking of individuals.

Describe how and where the following data will be stored and how they will be kept secure:
Raw and processed data
Click here to enter text.
Documents containing personal details of any participants
Click here to enter text.

This section provides an opportunity to add any other relevant information which you consider to be important. Max 200 words.

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