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NURS591 Dissertation

A single-semester paper representing half of NURS 590 (normally taken by approved students in the second semester and again in the first semester of the following year).

A dissertation is a coursework programme. The research undertaken must be related to the Registered Nurse's areas of advanced nursing practice and must be discussed with the Director, Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code NURS591
Subject Nursing
EFTS 0.2500
Points 60 points 60 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester (1 January 2019 - 30 June 2019), Second Semester (8 July 2019 - 31 December 2019)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,693.75
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $9,869.50

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Limited to
As the dissertation comprises study towards an endorsement in an area of specialisation, the programme of study must conform to the requirements specified in the Schedule published in the University of Otago Calendar.
Teaching staff
The Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies.
Paper Structure
The dissertation represents 6 months' full-time enrolment or 12 months' part-time enrolment. It should demonstrate that the candidate has the ability to carry out research, to carry out constructive criticism and to report the results of such work clearly, accurately, succinctly and critically. It is not required that the results represent a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field. The scope of a dissertation is usually descriptive or explanatory. It can be a re-working/reinterpretation of existing material. For example:
  • A systematic review of moderate scope/size
  • A narrative review with critique/appraisal based on an understanding of a theoretical/conceptual framework
  • An empirical study involving a simple research design, with human participants
  • A case study
  • Programme evaluation
  • Replication study/secondary analysis of existing data
  • Policy analysis
Teaching Arrangements

This is a self-directed programme of study with supervisory support. A candidate shall have two supervisors, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for supervision should be completed before the project begins. Negotiating the MOU includes agreeing on the responsibilities of supervisor and student, timelines, deadlines, methods of communication and frequency of meetings, etc.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The dissertation will demonstrate the student's ability to work independently to:
  • Master a high level of understanding of the content and theoretical/conceptual basis of their field of study
  • Critically evaluate the production of knowledge and core theoretical/conceptual elements in their field
  • Formulate a research question and design and carry out an appropriate investigation to answer it (on the basis of empirical inquiry or evaluation and critique of existing literature)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the complexity of the production of knowledge generation of theory by evaluating strengths and limitation of their own research project
  • Demonstrate ability to identify, define, analyse and solve problems in a flexible manner
  • Synthesise findings of the research with the extant knowledge/conceptual base in the field in order to discuss the implication of the findings
  • Build a coherent argument on the basis of existing knowledge theory and reflection and of their own research findings
  • Access, organise and communicate knowledge effectively in writing

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First Semester (1 January 2019 - 30 June 2019)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Second Semester (8 July 2019 - 31 December 2019)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system