Research Methods II

Module description

This module will introduce the students to a broad set of computational methods used by economists to solve economic models. The first part of the course covers the basic computational methods while the second part focuses on heterogeneous agent models and machine learning.

Full module specification

Module title:Research Methods II
Module code:BEEM143
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Szabolcs Deak - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The module goal is to equip students with a set of tools that allows them to solve economic models in an appropriate way.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. identify and explain the main approaches to solving economic models;
  • 2. use different approaches to solve economic models;
  • 3. use visualisation techniques for presenting computational findings.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. use different software to analyse economic data;
  • 5. master numerical methods for economic analysis.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. command the basics of scientific computing;
  • 7. identify the relevant method to solve a problem;
  • 8. work independently.

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 and Teaching Activity33Lectures (3hr per week)
Guided Independent Study117Background reading, preparation for classes and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practice ProblemsVaries1-8Oral/Written

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
Practical Exam55An extended examination to be taken over a week to solve a practical problem1-8Oral/Written
4 Problem Sets451-4 Problems each1-8Oral/Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Practical Exam (55%)Examination 55% (3 hours)1-8August Examination Period
Problem Sets (45%)Problem set 45% (1-4 problems)1-8August Examination Period

Syllabus plan

  • Numerical methods: solving nonlinear equations, optimisation, approximation methods, numerical differentiation and integration, projection methods, numerical dynamic programming
  • Heterogeneous Agent models
  • Machine learning

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Judd, K.L. (1998). Numerical methods in economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Miao, J. (2014). Economic dynamics in discrete time. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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