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OCCH590 Dissertation

Supervised research of up to 15,000 words presenting an original hypothesis and using previously developed research methodology, reflecting the student’s area of interest in occupational health or practice.

OCCH 590 is the 60-point dissertation for the Master of Health Sciences endorsed in Occupational Health. It is one of two possible research pathways for the Occupational Health endorsement, with the other being the 120-point thesis pathway. The dissertation involves an original research project in the area of occupational health, usually applied to the student's area of practice. The research is characterised by the critical analysis of primary or secondary data. The research is planned, conducted and reported by the student under the supervision of at least two supervisors (academic staff with expertise in the relevant field or methodology). The final dissertation is submitted for examination by two independent examiners. The dissertation is completed in one semester of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.

A 'Guide to Master of Health Sciences Research Options' is available from the Occupational Health Programme Administrator.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code OCCH590
Subject Occupational Health
EFTS 0.5
Points 60 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $6,037.50
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
Teaching staff
Teaching staff consist solely of the student's supervisors. A minimum of two supervisors are required. In some instances, a third co-supervisor may be appropriate. Students are responsible for seeking out potential supervisors and reaching initial agreement. Supervisory arrangements are then formally approved by the Research Advisory Committee through the 'research proposal approval' process.
Paper Structure

OCCH 590 begins with the student identifying the topic they want to research and finding qualified and available supervisors. A research proposal is prepared (in consultation with the supervisors) and submitted for approval. Where relevant, ethical approval may also be required before data collection can begin.

Once the proposal is approved, the student undertakes the project as outlined in the proposal. Regular meetings with the supervisors are expected. 'Milestones' are usually established and discussed with supervisors to monitor the progress of the research and draft manuscripts.

The final dissertation is submitted for examination by two independent examiners. Examiners are nominated by the supervisor and approved by the Convenor and the Division. Examiners submit their recommendations to the Convenor; the Convenor determines the final result.

Teaching Arrangements

A Supervision Memorandum of Understanding (establishing responsibilities, expectations, timelines, etc., for both student and supervisor) is to be prepared at the beginning of the dissertation project.

Research resources will vary depending on the research involved and should be discussed with the supervisors.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of the dissertation will demonstrate the student's ability to:

  • Master a high level of understanding of the content and theoretical basis of their field of study in occupational health
  • Develop a research proposal to address a research question
  • Carry out independent research with supervisory support
  • Critically analyse relevant literature, data and theoretical concepts
  • Build a coherent argument by synthesising existing knowledge, theory and original reflection
  • Communicate research outcomes effectively in writing

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system