module specification

ST7P35 - Sports Therapy and Exercise Science Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Sports Therapy and Exercise Science Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 400
400 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 5%   Proposal - 800 words
Coursework 65%   Dissertation - 7000 words
Coursework 20%   Presentation and Viva - 35 mins
Coursework 10%   Supervisors mark for process
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Not applicable Not applicable
Spring semester North Not applicable To be arranged
Summer studies North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides an opportunity for the student to undertake a substantial piece of research in one area of Sports Therapy& Exercise Science.  The intention is to allow a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to sports or exercise science. The research will require either the empirical collection of data or an original secondary analysis of existing data.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

1. To provide an opportunity for the student to undertake a substantial piece of research in one area of their subject field.
2. To integrate knowledge and skills developed throughout the course and previously at undergraduate level.
3. To allow a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to sports therapy or exercise science. The research will require either the empirical collection of data or an original secondary analysis of existing data.
4.    To provide an opportunity for critical reflection of the research topic and self-reflection of learning, studying and research skills and knowledge


The required length of the dissertation is 7,000 words exclusive of title page, contents, figures, tables, bibliography and appendices. The content should be of sufficient depth to be appropriate for a Masters level award, but broad enough to demonstrate an informed overview of the subject area. The structure of the dissertation will depend upon the nature of the research. Details will be included in the dissertation Module booklet.

Learning and teaching

This Module will require the student to self-direct and manage his/her own independent learning experience. The area of research will be matched, as far as is possible with the research interest, expertise and existing research projects of the supervisor.  Research topics will be identified during the earlier part of the course through formal discussions in tutorials between the students, the Module convenor and a supervisor who has suitable research interests.  The supervisor may be a member of academic teaching or research staff within the University, or from outside in appropriate organisations where the supervisor is of sufficient academic standing.

Topics will be chosen that give the opportunity for high-level research that advances the boundaries of current knowledge but gives the student a realistic opportunity of completion. A total of 400 hours self-directed study would be typical for this Module.

Upon arrangement by the student, the project supervisor will initially assist in the following processes:
1. clarifying the terms of the research project
2. establishing a timetable for the research and dates for subsequent student/supervisor meetings
3. directed background reading
4. study design, methodology, ethical approval (where necessary) and statistical analysis

Supervisory support will form a key part of the teaching method, but ultimately, most of the learning will be student-centred. Supervisor meetings will continue periodically through the Project. A typical amount of contact time the student can expect is between eight and ten hours with the supervisor. Each meeting will be logged and a summary of the outcome should be signed by both parties using the appropriate proforma. Comments on the draft of the dissertation can be expected. Records of the meetings will be used as a basis for the Supervisor's mark for process accounting for 20% of the total.

Where a student carries out the majority of their research in an institution other than the University, the Module Convenor will ensure that supervision arrangements are in place that give appropriate support to the student equivalent to that for students working within the University. In such cases, an additional external supervisor will be appointed to oversee the research project at the student's place of work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. plan and execute a piece of original research relevant to an area in sports therapy or exercise science
2. demonstrate innovation and originality of thought with respect to basic or applied research
3. select, execute and interpret appropriate statistical tests at an advanced level of capability using statistical software at a high level of competency
4. demonstrate an ability for self-managed time in the area of research
5. place the research appropriately within the existing context of knowledge
6. present a report that is written clearly in the prescribed style with correct use of English
7. demonstrate knowledge of the role of research in the academic and professional development of the discipline, the philosophy of research and the function of process of scientific writing and publication.

Assessment strategy

Assessment instruments consist of a project proposal (LO 1, 2), a supervisor's mark for process (LO 1, 2, 3, 4), a dissertation (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and a viva examination (LO 1, 2, 3, 5, 7). To pass the module an aggregate mark of at least 50% must be obtained.


Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 3rd ed. London: Sage

Arnold, B., Gansneder, B and Perrin, D. (2005) Research Methods in Athletic Training, F.A. Davis Company

Higgins, R. (1996) Approaches to Research: A Handbook for Those Writing a Dissertation. London: Taylor & Francis.

Walliman, N. (2000) Your Research Project: a Step by Step Guide for the First-time Researcher. London: SAGE.

Berry, R. (2000) The Research Project: How to Write it, 4th ed. London: Routledge.

Thomas, J.R.& Nelson, J.K. (2005) Research Methods in Physical Activity, 5th ed., Human Kinetics

Atkinson, M. (2012) Key Concepts in Sport and Exercise Research Methods, London: SAGE