Module code: ECOM068

Module Overview

This module provides individual student support, feedback and supervision as the foundation for the dissertation and preparing the students for independent research in Economics.

The dissertation is an extended report of an independent study that identifies and investigates a particular research question in Economics and explores it systematically and over a sustained period of time. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to read extensively and apply research skills acquired in taught units to a chosen area of study in Economics. This module builds, in particular, on Research Methods 2, where students develop independent research skills, and prepare a research proposal for the dissertation.

For those students who subsequently progress onto the PhD Economics programme the MRes dissertation may also provide a first step towards their subsequent doctoral research.

Module provider


Module Leader

BLANDEN Jo (Economics)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 595

Guided Learning: 5

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • How to identify a suitable research questions in economics

  • Choice of suitable methodology to answer the identified research question

  • Data collection and analysis (if contribution is an empirical analysis), theory development (if the contribution is a theoretical analysis)

  • Writing up of the dissertation


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Research project proposal 15
Coursework Dissertation 85

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • their ability to undertake a literature survey

  • their ability to develop a suitable methodology for their research questions

  • their ability to collect relevant data (if contribution is an empirical analysis)

  • their ability to develop theoretical aspects of a substantive topic (if the contribution is a theoretical analysis)

  • their ability to apply a specific analytical technique

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Dissertation: Writing an MRes dissertation.

  • Research project proposal: For this assessment, students develop a research proposal for a potential PhD dissertation topic. This allows students to develop corresponding skills related to developing a research proposal. For students who progress to PhD studies following the MRes, this also supports the transition towards PhD studies.

Formative assessment and Feedback

Supervisors will read and provide feedback on one full draft of the dissertation (either complete or by chapter). Feedback will provide detail on the requirements for improvement.


Module aims

  • Give the experience of independent research in economics
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a specific area of economics.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Frame a suitable research question, and develop a suitable methodology for addressing it KC
002 Identify and critically review literature relevant to the topic and the research question T
003 Collect and analyse relevant data (if contribution is an empirical analysis); Develop theoretical aspects of a substantive topic (if the contribution is a theoretical analysis) KP
004 Produce a dissertation in a clear, well-written style, that conforms to the conventions of academic writing PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Guide students to produce an independent and original study that identifies and investigates a particular research question in Economics.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Readings using supervisor guidance

  • Up to 16 hours contact with supervisor (majority of which is face to face) throughout the summer.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ECOM068

Other information

This module incorporates some of the University’s five pillars of learning as follows:

  • Employability: Students develop transferable skills throughout the research process and the write-up, such as working independently, and managing their time effectively.
  • Resourcefulness and resilience: Students overcome many challenges (e.g. conceptual and/or methodological) by undertaking independent research.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics MRes(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.