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General House Style for Assignments
It is strongly recommended that you use a Disability Discrimination Act: part 4 (DDA
2001) compliant font such as Arial, size 12, left justified and without underlining.
Please leave a 1.5 inch/4 cm left hand margin for marking. It is suggested that the
other margins should be 2.5 cm wide. Line spacing should be set to 1.5 and used
throughout except for indented quotes, which should be single spaced. All pages
must be numbered
Please write in the first or third person past tense using UK English spellings. Try to
avoid very long sentences. Use abbreviations minimally because they are hard
to read and often the same abbreviation means different things in different
specialties and contexts. All abbreviations should be defined in full the first time they
are used.
Only use hyphens for words with non-, -like, -type, and for adjectival phrases that
include a preposition (one-off event, run-in trial). Please use double, not single,
quotations marks for reported speech or for a verbatim quote from a source. Full
stops and commas go inside quotation marks. Use capitals only for names and
proper nouns.
Full bibliographical references must be given for all works cited in the text. The
reference list should be included before any appendices.
The published source of any factual information, opinions or direct quotations used
should always be cited. References in the body of your text should relate to a
complete list at the end. The referencing style should conform to that requested for
each assessment. This will usually be Harvard or Vancouver referencing system, or
when no particular preference is specified when the assignment is set, students are
free to choose whether to present references in Harvard or Vancouver styling.
For guidance on all the referencing styles currently in use at the University, including
examples and where to get further help, please see – information is built around
undergraduate programmes, but you can follow links to Referencing Styles then
Harvard or Vancouver to download detailed guidance and examples of the different
Tables & figures
If you use charts, tables or diagrams within the assignment they must be clearly
titled, referenced and linked to their accompanying text. All tables and figures should
be numbered in order of use by type, and should be accompanied by an appropriate
legend including the reference citation if appropriate. All figures and tables should be
referred to in the main body of text. Figure legends should accurately describe the
figure. Please note that legends and any words contained in figures or tables are not
included in the final word count.
Technical terms
Numbers under 10 are spelt out, except for measurements with a unit (8 mmol/l) or
age (6 weeks old), or when in a list with other numbers (14 dogs, 12 cats, and 9
gerbils). A gap should be inserted between all figures and units.
HPDM000 Assessment Brief 2020-21: Dissertation in Environment
and Human Health
In this module, you will complete the dissertation for your MSc in Environment
and Human Health, to be submitted by 2pm on 5th September 2022. This
assessment brief shares guidance on the dissertation length, format, structure
and content.
The dissertation is acknowledged to be a substantial piece of work. The word
length may vary according to the methodology used but should be within 1218,000 words in length, excluding tables, figures, reference list and appendices.
Large amounts of verbatim quotes are to be avoided but when required as part
of the findings (as in a qualitative research study), the maximum permitted
length is 20,000 words. It should be noted, however, that quotations should not
form more than 10% of the entire dissertation.
The format will resemble that of a journal article, although the length is
substantially longer and sections are presented as chapters. This additional
length permits students to provide a fuller, more critical literature and
methodological review than would be possible in a journal article. Additional
length also permits a fuller presentation of results and analysis than would
typically be found in a journal article, and a more detailed final discussion.
The page margins should be set up with 40mm on the left-hand side, 20mm on
the right-hand side. Double or 1.5 line spacing should be used throughout,
except for indented quotations or footnotes, for which single spacing may be
used. All pages, including abstract, appendices, indices, drawings, maps, pages
of photographs, etc. should be numbered consecutively in one sequence, (i.e.,
the title page, with declaration, is Page 1).
Time should be spent planning the overall report in terms of chapter headings
and content, and also how the different chapters will be structured and what
material will be included. Each chapter should be clearly signposted and wellstructured using sections and subsections as appropriate. Remember, however,
that the purpose of using sections and subsections is to aid communication;
care should be taken, therefore, to avoid overuse of sections that might result in
a disjointed report.
The dissertation should be structured as follows:
Title Page (should include the student registration number – NOT name, the
title of programme, title of dissertation, word count).
Acknowledgement Page (thanks for support and to those who participated).
Contents Page
List of Tables and Figures (if used) giving their location
This should be a summary of the project, outlining the main aims, project
design and methods and summarising the key findings and conclusions. The
abstract should be between 400-500 words.
Chapter 1: Introduction, Literature Review & Aims of Project
Students may want to combine the introduction with the literature review
or keep them as two separate chapters. The introduction should provide a
clear focus to the area of study, highlighting why the chosen topic is
important. The introduction should lead logically to the literature review
outlining the rationale for the selected literature and providing a critical
review of the selected material. It is important to develop themes within the
literature review to avoid presenting the review in a list-like manner.
The end of the introduction and literature review should state clearly and
logically the aims and objectives of the study.
Chapter 2: Project Design and Methods
This chapter will start by presenting the rationale for the chosen project
design, and detailing the selected approach. It is also important to describe
and justify the data collection methods, sample, and data analysis methods.
In this chapter students should also include discussion of relevant
professional, methodological or theoretical issues and where relevant,
ethical issues. It is essential to consider carefully how the information is to
be presented in this chapter; for example, subheadings may be helpful.
Students should discuss this with their supervisor.
Chapter 3: Presentation and Analysis of Findings/Results
The format of this chapter may vary according to the project/research
approach used and advice should be taken from the supervisor. Whatever
the approach, the results should be clearly presented and explained, and
relate clearly to the aims of the study.
Chapter 4: Discussion and Conclusions or Conclusions
This chapter will usually start with a statement about the aims of the study
and a reiteration of the main findings. It is important to discuss the findings
in the context of the work discussed in the introduction, and other relevant
evidence; and in the context of contemporary policy/practice or theory.
Students should discuss any methodological limitations of the design utilised
and how this impacted upon the study. Any recommendations for future
work should also be discussed in this chapter as well as recommendations
for policy or practice.
References: please ensure you check the College Codes of Practice for the
correct referencing style [Note: Harvard or Vancouver are acceptable –
guidelines for both styles will be included on the module ELE pages].
Whatever you use, ensure to be scrupulous and consistent throughout.
Appendices (material relevant to the project but which is not necessary to
contain within the main body of the report)
For those undertaking qualitative projects it is important to include an
extract of an interview transcript to illustrate how the coding has been
carried out. Any transcript included should therefore include this
information. If interviews have been undertaken in a language other than
English, the English translation only should be included. Care must be taken
not to include any material that could result in a breach of confidentiality or
anonymity. If you are reporting projects and need to use a lot of technical
jargon, it would be useful to discuss with your supervisor whether a glossary
of terms is required.
A copy of the mark scheme that will be used to assess your dissertations is
included for your information under the ‘Module Assessment’ ELE section.
Online submission system
Please submit your assignment here: https://bart.exeter.ac.uk/
Your assignment must be submitted through BART using the link above. Please
ensure you check the time and date of your deadline. BART will then guide you
through the steps you need to complete for your submission. Failure to do so
will result in your mark being capped for late submission.
For all assessment queries please contact: info.stlukes@exeter.ac.uk or 01392
724837. Full eBART Submission instructions will be included on ELE.
On academic conduct and practice
It is your responsibility to read and follow the University’s policies on academic
conduct and practice (in particular ‘Responsibilities of Students’). You are
expected to adopt the University’s culture of academic honesty, familiarise
yourself with academic misconduct procedures, and complete the College of
Medicine and Health’s ELE module ‘Academic Honesty and Plagiarism’ prior to
submitting your first piece of written work. Referencing guidance can be found
on the library website.
• Academic Conduct and Practice: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policystandards/tqa-manual/aph/managingacademicmisconduct/
• Responsibilities of Students: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policystandards/tqa-manual/aph/managingacademicmisconduct/#students
• Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Module:
• Library Referencing
Guide: https://libguides.exeter.ac.uk/referencing/CMH
MSc Environment & Human Health 2021
Version for Postgraduate Students
Dissertation Marking Schedule
Student Registration number:
Clearly and accurately presented the aim of the study, the
methods used including design, population sample and
analysis method, main findings and conclusion drawn.
Mark for section (Maximum 5)
Introduction and Literature Review and Aims
➢ Clear rationale for selected topic and discussion within
local/national context
➢ Selected topic well described in context of contemporary
policy/practice or theory
➢ Clear indication of selection of literature and organisation
of review
➢ Clear evidence of critical analysis of selected literature
➢ Evidence that sufficient range of material reviewed to
justify aims of study
➢ Clearly statement of overall aim and more detailed
objectives set within context of literature and
policy/practice or theory
➢ Well-structured and presented
Mark for section (Max 20)
Research Approach & Research Methods
➢ Research approach clearly described and reflects sound
➢ Research approach appropriate and justified
➢ Data collection methods justified and appropriate
➢ Where appropriate, discussion about reliability, validity
or rigour
➢ Justification and discussion of the sample selected and
size of sample (where appropriate)
➢ Clear rationale for selected methods of data analysis
➢ Debate about relevant professional and ethical issues
➢ Material is well-structured and presented using subheadings as appropriate
Mark for section (Maximum 20)
Presentation and Analysis of Findings/Results
➢ Clear and precise presentation of results
➢ Presentation of results relates to the aims of the study
➢ Tables and figures are used appropriately to clarify
findings and are cross-referenced to the main body of
the text
➢ Data are clearly presented and explained
➢ Evidence of systematic data analysis of the data
➢ Discussion of how the data presented are inter-related in
order to arrive at the main findings
Mark for section (Maximum 25)
Discussion and Conclusions
➢ Discussion of the main findings within the context of the
➢ Discussion of main findings within broader context of
implications outlined in introduction and literature review
& other relevant research
➢ Interpretation of results logical and justified
➢ Critical analysis of strengths and limitations of the study
➢ Recommendations for policy, practice or theory clearly
articulated and appropriate
➢ Discussion of where further research is required
➢ Evidence that conclusions drawn are sound and based
on discussion of main findings
Mark for section: (Maximum 20)
Overall Presentation and Organisation of the
Dissertation (10):
➢ Each chapter well-structured and presented using subheadings as appropriate
➢ All areas from Abstract to Conclusion provide a coherent
synthesis of the work carried out within the study
➢ Dissertation follows recommended guidelines
➢ Word length within required limit, and editing and proof
reading have been undertaken
➢ Anonymity is addressed where appropriate
Mark (Maximum 10)
How mark was agreed between markers
Add brief text here on process of mark agreement
e.g. markers met and discussed etc.
Provisional Overall Mark (total all sections)
Final Mark
(Ratified by the College Assessment & Progression Panels)
Signature of 1st Assessor ………………………………………………
Date: ………………
Signature of 2nd Assessor ……………………………….…….
Date: …………

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