Course Title: Dissertation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Dissertation

Credit Points: 60

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Dr Heather R Pisani

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257448

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: Building 201.7.03

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of course work component of Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) program (36credit points), including the successful completion of an Honours level research course

Course Description

The Dissertation is a  research-based activity that offers candidates who have successfully completed the coursework component of the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) program an opportunity to complete a research investigation under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The candidate, in consultation with an appointed supervisor, will choose the topic and the mode of study. The program chosen should develop the candidate’s understanding of a select research process and enhance his or her knowledge and understanding of an area relevant to nursing, mental health and/or midwifery. In undertaking minor thesis/dissertation work the candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the research process including the identification of a significant research problem or issue, the development of appropriate research questions, the selection and implementation of an appropriate research method, a critical review of the relevant literature and writing the final report (thesis/dissertation).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

  • Ability to examine critically the contextual nature of health care research
  • Ability to manage research processes
  • Ability to uphold agreed research ethics standards
  • Ability to take promote and protect the rights and interest of research participants
  • Ability to undertake research under supervision
  • Ability to continually develop and transform practice through the process of critical evaluation and reflection

With self-directed learning and research activities, in consultation with an approved supervisor, students will be expected to produce a credible research study that provides evidence that the student has:

(a) Identified a significant research problem relevant to the fields of nursing, midwifery and/or mental health
(b) Developed appropriate research questions
(c) Reviewed, evaluated and critiqued the relevant literature
(d) Chosen an appropriate methodology and method to advance the study
(e) Implemented and managed the study
(f) Analysed and interpreted the findings of the study in accordance with academics standards expected of minor thesis research
(g) Presented the findings of the study in a form consistent with the Division and University regulations.

Overview of Learning Activities

Candidates are expected to meet with their appointed supervisor(s) normally once a fortnight and at least once per month at a time negotiated with the supervisor. Supervisor meetings should normally take place face-to-face on the RMIT University Campus. Student learning will also be substantially informed by self-directed literature relevant to the research study being conducted.

In consultation with an approved supervisor, candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify a significant research problem relevant to the fields of nursing, midwifery and/or mental health
  • Develop appropriate research questions
  • Choose an appropriate methodology and method to address the research questions identified
  • Prepare a research application for approval by the Division Research and Development Committee
  • Prepare an ethics application for approval by the Portfolio Human Research Ethics Committee (and other external ethics committees as required)
  • Commence and complete the research program (once all approvals have been received)
  • Presented the findings of the study in a form consistent with the Division and University regulations.

Overview of Learning Resources

  • Appointed supervisor
  • Library and electronic data base access to journals and relevant literature
  • Attendance to relevent research seminars
  • Presentation of research

Overview of Assessment


  • Six (6) monthly progress reports attesting to timely achievement of program milestones (received and endorsed by the Division Research & Development Committee)
  • At least one presentation of thesis research (either in progress or completed) at a research or professional development seminar
  • Annual and final reporting to the Portfolio’s Human Research Ethics (Sub)Committee (HREC)

Dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words being the final report of the research project completed under supervision and submitted for examination in accordance with the Division’s Guidelines for Minor Theses/Dissertations and Projects.