Traditional Master’s degree dissertations are dead! Service Improvement Units

Traditional Master’s degree dissertations are dead!

WService-Improvement-Guide-212x300ell, for us they are! Over the years we (as lecturers) have struggled with the purpose of Master’s dissertations for service based improvements. Often this type of extended research lacked focus and had little or no impact on services or the practice of health and social care professionals.

Yet, improving services for the benefit of the people we serve is central to the work of every committed practitioner. Why couldn’t this emphasis on service improvement be the focus of the final 60 credits of a master’s degree? – is the question we began to ask about 2 years ago. A few universities provide an opportunity to gain academic credit for the achievement of a Service Improvement Project. For example, Wolverhampton offer it at an undergraduate level for nurses; Hertfordshire offer a course for mental health practitioners at Master’s level.

At Bournemouth University, we have recently introduced two innovative units into our highly acclaimed portfolio;

PSIP (Preparing for your Service Improvement Project) and SIP (Service Improvement Project).

PSIP and SIP take the best from service improvement methodology and research methods to design a focused but robust package to bring about measurable benefits to a service. Importantly, they allow employers to be involved in discussing and ‘signing off’ the project with the student. These units can be taken at any time on a professional development journey – as standalone units or as part of a wider Master’s degree programme. So, the birth of these two units provides a dynamic, productive and academically robust route for impacting services.

For more information please get in touch with one of our unit leaders.



Dr Steve Keen

(SIP unit leader – direct line 01202 962028) 


Dr Lynne Rutter

(PSIP unit leader – direct line 01202 962019)