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University of Exeter Business School

Economics Dissertation

Module titleEconomics Dissertation
Module codeBEE3068
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Steve McCorriston (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


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.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of writing a dissertation is to give you the opportunity to research a topic related to your programme of study, which is not covered in depth by any taught module being offered that year. It is also designed to give you the opportunity to plan and manage your own research and to produce an extended written dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

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



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 with support from your nominated supervisor.
Scheduled learning & teaching activities5Lectures
Guided independent study150Reading and research
Guided independent study140Writing up a dissertation

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 exam period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Suggested readings:

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


Other reading materials to be provided on ELE, including a web-based open-textbook/handbook (Reinstein)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

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


Key words search

Dissertation, Research, Project

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BEE1038 or BEE2041 or BEE2032 (or one of the co-requisites: BEE3066 or BEE3071). 

Module co-requisites

BEE3066 or BEE3071 (or one of the pre-requisites: BEE1038 or BEE2041 or BEE2032). Not to be taken with BUS3001.

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date