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Health Services Management Centre School of Social Policy

“Once you have experienced the library you won't want to be without it” Chris Ham, Professor of Health Policy, HSMC & Chief Executive of the King’s Fund

Access a Goldmine of Information HSMC Library & Information Services Park House 40 Edgbaston Park Road Edgbaston Birmingham, B15 2RT

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Presenting Your Dissertation

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The Library Staff Rachel Posaner (Manager) Ann Evans (Librarian) Lucy Kelly (Library Assistant)

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Health Services Management Centre School of Social Policy

“Once you have experienced the library you won't want to be without it” Chris Ham, Professor of Health Policy, HSMC & Chief Executive of the King’s Fund

Access a Goldmine of Information HSMC Library & Information Services Park House 40 Edgbaston Park Road Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2RT

Tel

Presenting Your Dissertation

0121 414 3672/7060

Fax 0121 414 7051

Email hsmc-library@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Web site www.hsmc.bham.ac.uk/library

RSS alert Subscribe to the Library’s RSS feed

Facebook Be the Library’s friend

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Meebo us www.hsmc.bham.ac.uk/library

Opening hours Monday-Thursday 9am-7pm Friday 9am-4pm (During August from Monday to Thursday, the Library closes at 5pm)

Library Training Materials: If you require this information in an alternative format (i.e. large print), please contact the Library staff who will make the necessary arrangements


Table of Contents Dissertation Structure .................................................................................................... 1 Suggested Structure for Dissertation ............................................................................ 1 The Title Page ............................................................................................................ 1 The Synopsis or Abstract ............................................................................................. 1 The Preface or Acknowledgements ............................................................................... 2 The Main Body .............................................................................................................. 2 Introduction .............................................................................................................. 2 Background/Literature Review ..................................................................................... 2 Method and Methodology ............................................................................................ 2 Presentation, Discussion and Analysis and Results .......................................................... 2 Conclusion and Recommendations ................................................................................ 3 Reference Materials ....................................................................................................... 3 Appendices ................................................................................................................ 3 Referencing ............................................................................................................... 3 Assessment Hints .......................................................................................................... 3 Theoretical Perspectives (concepts, frameworks, theories and models) ............................. 3 Evidence (use of published sources and other materials to substantiate arguments) ........... 3 Analysis and Originality (freshness of information/perspective and creativity) .................... 4 Structure and Presentation (organisation, overall readability, referencing etc)....................... 4 Rules and Guidance on the Submission of MSc Dissertations ............................................... 4 Dissertation Structure Suggested Structure for Dissertation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Title Synopsis Preface or Acknowledgements Table of Contents List of Tables List of Illustrations (e.g. pictures, charts, diagrams, graphs, maps etc) Introduction Background/Literature Review (these can be treated separately or combined) Method and Methodology Presentation, Discussion and Analysis of Results Conclusions and Recommendations Appendix Footnotes Glossary Bibliography or References cited

The Title Page The first page of the dissertation must carry the following information: Title of dissertation Author’s name Degree for which dissertation is submitted (e.g. HCPM) Year of submission Department in which dissertation is being presented (e.g. HSMC) The Synopsis or Abstract A synopsis, which should not exceed 200 words, should inform the reader about: The subject of the research The methods used


The findings and conclusions The Preface or Acknowledgements The preface is a personnel statement telling, for example, what interest and reasons brought you to the subject, problems you had with the material sources and techniques; and acknowledgments of people, institutions and organisations who helped you. If you only wish to provide information on acknowledgements then simply refer to this section as ‘Acknowledgments’. The Main Body Introduction The introduction provides an overview of the organisation and the research issue and why it is worth exploring, it may also explain the theoretical background or experiences, which prompted the study. It does need to explain what the study is about. The introduction is often best written after you have completed the other sections. Background/Literature Review This section should report contextual information relating to the organisation understudy (see pointers raised above). The literature review provides the context for the study it should; be a synthesis of existing knowledge be a critical and analytical, not just descriptive relate to the area of study under investigation provide a theoretical framework which will be used to inform the research methodology and analysis Method and Methodology This section should describe what methods you have used in your investigation. Acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses and limitations of the approach(es) you have adopted, and comment on how these issues affect your findings and conclusions. You must demonstrate awareness of methodological literature and other relevant research. This section will also include a discussion of any ethical issues encountered in the research. This section should: identify methods used and justify why they were chosen acknowledge strengths, weakness and limitations outline revisions to methods to result of problems of access to materials or subjects discuss whether there is enough data to achieve the purpose discuss ethical issues appropriately Presentation, Discussion and Analysis and Results In this section you should include your findings and discuss any analysis you have made. You can organise this in a number of ways, giving careful consideration to the order and logic of what you are presenting, and what tables, graphs etc might best assist you in this. This section should ensure: results are clearly reported material is logically set out data analysis has been carried out in a competent manner data is interpretated and not just described findings are compared with other studies alternative interpretations of the data are discussed in a systematic way findings are analysed with a conceptual/theoretical framework


Conclusion and Recommendations This section needs to summarise your conclusions and draw inferences. You should give an overview of significant findings and emphasise what you have found out (or not been able to find out); and what the main outcomes of the arguments and evidence you have been discussing are. Discuss your findings in the light of existing research, and consider their implications for the organisation. Make recommendations and possible suggestions for future research. This section should: relate to title/purpose of study follow logically from the literature review and research analysis identify the implications for policy and practice and make appropriate recommendations which are feasible and based on the evidence you provide. Reference Materials Appendices An appendix is the place where you put any relevant material that is either too long, detailed or is in some form which would interrupt the flow of the text. Other items which might appear in an appendix include detailed case examples or case histories, excerpts from historical documents, testimonies and extensive tables and charts. In studies that rely on accurate reflexive self-awareness of the researcher, a personal research journal may be usefully included as an appendix. The appendix is not meant to be a catch-all for everything you have collected but could not find a place for in your dissertation. Referencing Quotations should be properly differentiated from the main body of the text. Indented singlespaced italic text is usually the approach used to clearly differentiate longish passages. For single sentences, quotation marks are adequate and they can be kept in the flow of the main text. Direct quotations should be referenced by author, date and page number. Ideas from authors, rather than direct quotations, should also be acknowledged and referenced, (page number not necessary here). The Harvard method is the required method of referencing (see handbook). Finally, any queries concerning the preparation and submission of dissertations should be discussed, at the earliest opportunity, with your tutor/supervisor. Assessment Hints Theoretical Perspectives (concepts, frameworks, theories and models) The Dissertation should draw on relevant theory, concepts and models as discussed in the literature. It should demonstrate a critical understanding of strengths and weaknesses of this material and of its value in enhancing understanding of the issues under consideration. It should also demonstrate that candidates themselves are able to conceptualise and develop appropriate frameworks and models to assist thinking and understanding. Evidence (use of published sources and other materials to substantiate arguments) The Dissertation should have a sound evidence base to it. Such evidence should support arguments and conclusions. All sources of material should be properly referenced and, limitations in evidence collection should be made clear.


Analysis and Originality (freshness of information/perspective and creativity) The Dissertation should be analytical in its approach (not just describing the circumstances under consideration) Structure and Presentation (organisation, overall readability, referencing etc) The Dissertation should read in a coherent and logical manner with a clear and purposeful line of argument throughout. The script should be carefully proof read for quality of English phraseology and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. All quoted sources should be properly referenced, using the Harvard system. The sources of any reproduced diagrams and tables should also be cited. Your dissertation should have a cover page (and be bound). Supporting materials may be presented as appendices but these should be limited to only what is absolutely relevant for the readership. Rules and Guidance on the Submission of MSc Dissertations 6.2.1 Number of Copies Two copies of your dissertation must be submitted; an electronic copy must also be emailed to Kate Vos c.j.vos@bham.ac.uk . 6.2.2 Binders Each copy must be bound securely or enclosed in a card or plastic binder which holds the pages securely. (Loose pages in pocket folders are not acceptable). 6.2.3 Length Dissertations must not exceed 10,000 words, excluding the synopsis, title pages, bibliography and any appendices. 6.2.4 Layout of Script All copies must be typewritten or word-processed, with doublespacing on one side only of A4-size paper. The left-hand margin should be 4 cms, other margins should be at least 2.5 cms. 6.2.5 Title Page Your dissertation must include a title page giving: the title of the dissertation; your name; student number; the name of the degree and programme; and the name of the Department (i.e. Health Services Management Centre) and the Date (Month) of Submission. 6.2.6 Synopsis All dissertations must include a synopsis of about 200 words, which summarises the dissertation. Please note that the Synopsis is not an Introduction to the Dissertation, it is a summary. It should summarise the objectives, methodology, findings and conclusions of the Dissertation. The Synopsis must be placed immediately after the title page. 6.2.7 Acknowledgements If you wish to include acknowledgements they should be placed after the synopsis. 6.2.8 Contents Page It is advisable to include a contents page, which lists any appendices as well as the sections or chapters of your dissertation. 6.2.9 Chapters You will probably find it helpful to divide your dissertation into Chapters. Each chapter should start on a new page. 6.2.10 Citations and References All quotations must be acknowledged and sources cited. Guidance can be found in the Library leaflet Preparing and Quoting References. You must use the Harvard System as a consistent system of citing and listing references, this is described in that leaflet. 6.2.11 Appendices Appendices may be used for: a) texts of documents, regulations, circulars etc illustrating the text b) detailed tables and charts c) text of questionnaires etc used in research


6.2.12 Guidance on Presenting Theses: You might find it worth consulting the guidance on presenting research theses, obtainable from the University Library. However, keep in mind that some aspects of the guidance appropriate for an 80,000-word PhD thesis might not be relevant to a 10,000-word MSc dissertation. 6.2.13 Submission You should submit the copies of your dissertation, together with a yellow submission form, to the Health Services Management Centre (Graduate Office) on or before the submission deadline.

Presenting Your Dissertation  

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