Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: ECM103 Research Methodology and ECM104 Quantitative Research Methods
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Nigel Wadeson


Summary module description:
The students are required to produce a significant, in-depth analysis of a relevant topic in modern economics. Students will be required to demonstrate that they have mastered the various abilities needed to do original research and to communicate their ideas in a standard format required of the economics community.

The primary focus of this module is to learn how to apply the concepts taught in the other master’s modules in this programme in a coherent and informative fashion as it relates to investigating an economic problem. Students must demonstrate the ability to clearly define a research issue, develop an appropriate research design, properly structure a coherent research proposal, provide thorough and succinct analysis of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature, collect appropriate data if needed, provide a systematic, objective and carefully structured analysis of the information collected, draw relevant conclusions from the analysis and relating these to the existing literature, and demonstrate the originality of their research.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should become familiar with, and master the skills required to conduct modern original research in an appropriate area of economics. This process will require students to produce coherent proposals, in-depth literature reviews, and concise descriptions of the methodologies needed to complete the economic investigation into their chosen topic. In addition, students will have to demonstrate an ability to acquire relevant data, undertake modern economic analysis of any data or mathematical models, draw conclusions from their analysis and convey this information in a coherent written form which conforms to current economic standards.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be required to complete a coherent piece of original research which explores a relevant economic issue. In the process of completing these tasks, they must learn skills required to do relevant research, write reports, produce concise relevant presentations, understand technical articles, and apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations.

Outline content:
Students will be required, in consultation with and the approval of their supervisor, to produce an original dissertation that conforms to current economic standards. This will require students to produce an acceptable proposal of their ideas and subsequently to produce written work of sufficient quality to demonstrate their ability to apply their economic knowledge in a new and original manner to an appropriate economic topic or question.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students will be required to work with their dissertation supervisor over the course of the academic year. Through interaction with their supervisors students are expected to learn those skills which are necessary and constitute best practices in the students' chosen field of economics. Students will be required to read a significant amount of journal articles, and to undertake research using the library, internet, etc., to produce high quality written drafts and final documents.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 2 2
Guided independent study 48 148 200
Total hours by term 50.00 150.00 200.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 10
Dissertation 90

Other information on summative assessment:

Assessment is comprised of a dissertation proposal (10%) and the final dissertation (90%). Proposal: Students will be required to submit a dissertation proposal written with the approval and guidance of their supervisor detailing: • The dissertation title • An introduction to the topic, providing a justification and preamble of why this subject is interesting, background to the topic, i.e., historical/causative events that have combined to form the nature of the issue being researched; the expected value of the research in terms of possible outcomes; • A research question stating precisely what the primary (and if necessary, secondary) areas of enquiry are; • The relevant theoretical framework/s within which the research question will be studied. Appropriate academic references should be included at the end of the proposal; • The proposed methods of research, models, and techniques of analysis that you will utilise in answering your research question; • An outline plan of the dissertation in terms of chapter headings and a brief outline of the proposed contents. Although there is no official length requirement for the proposal, a guideline of between 1500-2000 words is suggested. The dissertation proposal - once accepted - will account for 10% of the final mark. The proposal should be submitted by the last Friday of the Spring term for the approval of the Dissertation supervisor. Final Dissertation: The completed dissertation is expected to be approximately 10,000 – 12,000 words in length: excluding references and appendices. The dissertation has a weight of 90% of the final mark. Two bound copies of the dissertation, with an electronic version (properly labelled) or on-line submission, together with the completed plagiarism declaration form must be submitted by the first working day of the first week in September of the academic year. Students may request an extension (by submitting a completed extenuating circmstances form) in advance from the Senior Tutor and are advised to do so in good time. If an extension is granted and the dissertation submitted by the revised deadline no penalty will be applied. Extensions will only be granted for good reason. The dissertation must be submitted to and signed for by an authorised person.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalty for late submission of dissertation proposal
Late work will be treated as non-submitted work and a mark of zero will be recorded, unless an extension has been agreed to prior to the deadline. A request for an extension must be made by the student to the Senior Tutor on the Extenuating Circumstances Form at least 3 working days before the deadline.

Penalty for late submission of dissertation
The penalty for late submission of the dissertation will be in accordance with current University policy. It is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state (whether by the deadline or before the expiry of the week’s period of grace) rather than to fail to submit any work.

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
There is no examination.
In exceptional cases students might be asked to attend an oral examination following the submission of their dissertation.

Requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Candidates whose results from the taught component of the programme (including second attempts where they have been permitted) are such that they are unable to fulfil the criteria for the award of the degree of Master will not be permitted reassessment in the dissertation.
Candidates who fail the dissertation at the first attempt and whose other results are such that a second attempt at the dissertation might lead to the award of the degree of Master will be permitted to resubmit the dissertation within twelve months from the original submission date, as determined by the Faculty Examiners’ Meeting.
Reassessment is by submission of a revised version of the written dissertation only.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding: 2 bound copies including printing from Mailbox in the Student Union is approximately £30. A less expensive option is home printing then securely bound in a soft PVC clear fronted punched pocket or clip presentation file which are available from stationery shops for approximately £5 for two.
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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