Characteristics of good supervision: A multi-perspective qualitative exploration of the Masters in Public Health dissertation

Katikireddi, S. and Reilly, J. (2017) Characteristics of good supervision: A multi-perspective qualitative exploration of the Masters in Public Health dissertation. Journal of Public Health, 39(3), pp. 625-632. (doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdw107) (PMID:27698268)

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Abstract

Background: A dissertation is often a core component of the Masters in Public Health (MPH) qualification. This study aims to explore its purpose, from the perspective of both students and supervisors, and identify practices viewed as constituting good supervision. Methods: A multi-perspective qualitative study drawing on in-depth one-to-one interviews with MPH supervisors (n = 8) and students (n = 10), with data thematically analysed. Results: The MPH dissertation was viewed as providing generic as well as discipline-specific knowledge and skills. It provided an opportunity for in-depth study on a chosen topic but different perspectives were evident as to whether the project should be grounded in public health practice rather than academia. Good supervision practice was thought to require topic knowledge, generic supervision skills (including clear communication of expectations and timely feedback) and adaptation of supervision to meet student needs. Conclusions: Two ideal types of the MPH dissertation process were identified. Supervisor-led projects focus on achieving a clearly defined output based on a supervisor-identified research question and aspire to harmonize research and teaching practice, but often have a narrower focus. Student-led projects may facilitate greater learning opportunities and better develop skills for public health practice but could be at greater risk of course failure.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Katikireddi, Dr Vittal and Reilly, Ms Jacqueline
Authors: Katikireddi, S., and Reilly, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Journal of Public Health
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1741-3842
ISSN (Online):1741-3850
Published Online:03 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Public Health 39(3):325-632
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
699162Understanding the impacts of welfare policy on health: A novel data linkage studySrinivasa KatikireddiScottish Executive Health Department (SEHHD-CSO)SCAF/15/02IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU