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Economics Dissertation

Module description

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 choice, which may not have been covered in depth during regular modules, or pursue in some depth a topic in which they have a specific interest. This Dissertation module is supported with research methods classes, and these will take place during term 1.


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
Module code:BEE3068
Module level:3
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Steve McCorriston -
Module credit:30
ECTS value:



BEE1038 or BEE2041 or BEE2032 (or one of the co-requisites: BEE3066 or BEE3071) (effective March 2024 for academic year 2024-2025).


BEE3066 or BEE3071 (or one of the pre-requisites: BEE1038 or BEE2041 or BEE2032) (effective March 2024 for academic year 2024-2025). Not to be taken with BUS3001.

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

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 ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities5Supervision. 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 activities5Lectures. 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 study150Reading and research
Guided independent study140Writing 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.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft chaptersAs appropriate to the project and position in the research and writing process1-7Verbal and/or written feedback
Project ProposalUp to 2 A4 pages1-7Verbal and/or written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation100Maximum of 10,000 words excluding any tables, charts and appendices, and equations1-7Verbal and/or written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationRevision of the dissertation based on the given feedback1-7August examination period

Syllabus plan


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; research 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


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

“A Guide to Writing in Economics” Prepared by Paul Dudenhefer, Writing Tutor, EcoTeach Center and Department of Economics, Duke University,

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

  • ELE based discussion forums
  • Various journal articles will be suggested

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Origin date


Last revision date