Students with at least 60 credits of BEExxx modules by the end of their second year can undertake their own in-depth research study into a subject of interest related to Economics. They will benefit from having the opportunity to plan and manage their individual piece of research on a topic of their interest, which may not have been covered in depth during regular modules. This Dissertation module is supported with research methods classes, and these will take place during term 1.
With guidance from supervisors and the module lead, students may choose one of two assessment formats. These are:
1) Research Dissertation: using a typical thesis structure and research method(s) associated with academic scholarship.
2) Literature Review Dissertation: undertaking a systematic and detailed review of academic (and, where appropriate or necessary, practitioner) literature on a focused topic. Examples of Economics literature reviews can be found in the Journal of Economic Literature and Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Students are expected to be pro-active and seek and apply advice from the module leads and their supervisors.
This module offers the potential of enhanced employability through demonstrating a deep understanding the process of economics research, the statistical analysis of data to address economic questions, the application of academic literature to real-world issues and the potential to develop expertise in a particular area of economics. Furthermore, the module offers students the opportunity to develop a sample of their own research and writing which they can showcase to potential employers.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Economics Dissertation|
|Duration of module:|
The aim of writing a dissertation is to give students the opportunity to research a topic related to their programme of study, which is not covered in depth by any taught module being offered that year. It is also designed to give students the opportunity to plan and manage their own research and to produce an extended written dissertation.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. plan and execute an original research project
- 2. research extensively and critically on a chosen academic topic and demonstrate application of the underlying Economics concepts and/or research processes
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. use appropriate information, research and data resources and apply broader discipline knowledge to the specific research project
- 4. present and assess findings in a manner consistent with the norms of the discipline of Economics.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. work independently, and seek and apply advice from the supervisor
- 6. take responsibility for the direction and management of a research project through to completion and submission
- 7. present research in a clear and academic format
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities||5||Supervision. The students appointed supervisor will advise and comment on their emerging work and will also take responsibility for advising students on how to manage the research process, with the support of online material.|
|Scheduled learning & teaching activities||5||Lectures. This is both a supervised and a taught module. As such there are five lectures on research methods and skills throughout term 1, alongside support from the students nominated supervisor.|
|Guided independent study||150||Reading and research|
|Guided independent study||140||Writing up a dissertation.The module culminates in the submission of the final dissertation, a document that usually runs to somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 words (not including figures, tables, or equations). Students are advised to write concisely and clearly: a higher word count will not lead to a higher mark.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Draft chapters||As appropriate to the project and position in the research and writing process||1-7||Verbal and/or written feedback|
|Project Proposal||Up to 2 A4 pages||1-7||Verbal and/or written feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Dissertation||100||Maximum of 10,000 words excluding any tables, charts and appendices, and equations||1-7||Verbal and/or written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Dissertation||Revision of the dissertation based on the given feedback||1-7||August examination period|
This is an independent research module. However, it does include a series of lectures covering research methods that will facilitate students in undertaking a traditional research dissertation or literature review dissertation.
Taught sessions will cover:
- How to identify and scope-out a topic; ‘Economics questions’, approaches, and methods
- Research fields in economics
- Academic writing in Economics: structure, tone, and logic
- Accessing and integrating previous relevant academic literature
- Finding and using data
- Developing a statistical/econometric approach; producing, reporting, and interpreting results
- Avoiding common mistakes, misunderstandings and pitfalls
- Helpful software and tools for research and writing
- Methodological issues in Macroeconomics and Finance
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Bryman, A & Bell, E. (2018). Business research methods. (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
“A Guide to Writing in Economics” Prepared by Paul Dudenhefer, Writing Tutor, EcoTeach Center and Department of Economics, Duke University, http://lupus.econ.duke.edu/ecoteach/undergrad/manual.pdf
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Last revision date