Dissertation in Applied Behaviour Analysis/Positive Behaviour Support - TZ889

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Yearlong
View Timetable
7 40 (20)


The programmes of study to which the module contributes:

MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disability)
MSc in Positive Behaviour Support





During the first term of the course students will develop ideas for their dissertation and will be given the opportunity to choose an empirical or non-empirical research project proposed and supervised by members of the course team or other Tizard staff. Subject to staff agreement, students may choose to design their own project and will be allocated a project supervisor. Students may complete either an empirical or a non-empirical (e.g. policy or research review) project. Students are expected to complete a dissertation on a topic relevant to their degree title.

Students develop a proposal for their dissertation with advice from their supervisor and, where applicable, apply for ethical approval either to the Tizard Ethics Committee (Ethical Review Checklist available on web-based resources) or to another ethics committee such as those in the NHS.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 380
Total study hours: 400


Autumn, Spring and Summer

Method of assessment

Dissertation (8000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

There is no specific required reading for this module, apart from readings included in the research methods module (TZRDxxxx)
All students will be required to complete their own project-specific literature searches and read relevant literature for their research project. They will provide an account of this in the literature review section of the dissertation.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Set up a testable hypothesis or research question relating to applied behaviour analysis or positive behaviour support, having conducted a review, at an advanced level, of the literature.
2. Design a research study or detailed review process to test the hypothesis/answer the question
3. Drawing on a critical understanding of a range of possible methodologies, select an appropriate methodology to test the hypothesis/answer the question
4. From an advanced understanding of professional and research ethics, consider any ethical issues involved in the proposed research and obtain necessary approvals
5. Where applicable, demonstrate the use of a comprehensive range of research techniques to negotiate service access, seek consent and conduct the data collection
6. Analyse findings using appropriate visual and statistical methods as would be employed in published research in the discipline
7. Demonstrate a systematic and critical understanding of the relevant literature and, where applicable, the policy context in writing up the dissertation

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Effectively integrate complex knowledge from different sources, including published work and personal experience.
2. Demonstrate the ability to understand, and communicate in writing, complex, abstract concepts.
3. Show a capacity to effectively prioritise the demands of work and study.

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