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My end aim is to perform a buffer without end caps (-c) and straight corners (-s) based on a distance field. Neither of these options are available within the module options in the GUI within QGIS, is there any way to add these anywhere within the GUI?

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I have also tried running GRASS within the regular processing toolbox but keep getting this error

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I suggest reinstalling QGIS using the OSGeo4W Network Installer and selecting the Advanced Install option. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the Select Packages page. Select Desktop and make sure the GRASS releases are/will be installed:

Select packages

Once the installation is complete, load QGIS, make sure the Processing plugin is enabled (it should be), then from the menubar go to:

Processing > Options... > Providers

Find the two GRASS providers, make sure they're activated and insert the path of their associated folder:

GRASS folder

Click OK and hopefully now you should not have the "dependency" error. I just tested this myself and the v.buffer.distance tool from GRASS7 works for me (first time I ever used a working tool from GRASS7!)

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    Thank you Joseph, a really clear answer. My GRASS GIS 7 commands folder is blank and I cannot define it, however my regular GRASS folder is populated and I can now run the tools. – Alan Carr Aug 1 '16 at 10:38
  • @AlanCarr - Most welcome! You need to double-click the command folder in order to define it but glad the regular GRASS tools work :) – Joseph Aug 1 '16 at 10:43
  • Quick question, what is the proper width/unit to use for the distance column? I'm currently using "1 metres" "3/4 metres" etc. as it works in ArcGIS. I cannot find any example of acceptable units within any of the documentation. – Alan Carr Aug 1 '16 at 10:46
  • If the units of your CRS is in metres then you can just type 1 or 0.75. – Joseph Aug 1 '16 at 10:49
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    @MarkThompson - Thanks for your feedback. I think I used an earlier version of QGIS so perhaps there is an issue with the recent version? Regardless, I think you are correct in that using the latest QGIS version is the best solution ^^ – Joseph Nov 6 '18 at 10:42

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