ECM200-Capstone Project

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr James Reade


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Working in small groups and overseen by a faculty member, the students complete a project on behalf of an external organisation, which can be business companies, government agencies, not-for-profits, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The program is designed to give our students hands-on experience, and to give external organisations an opportunity to benefit from an independent analysis of an existing or prospective initiative, policy or area of concern. Students will work in teams, with interdisciplinary backgrounds if appropriate to the nature of the project and external organisation’s requests, to deliveran agreed output on time and to high standard. An academic supervisor will provide guidance through-out the project. The project will require a significant amount of research and inquiry and help students to negotiate successfully the transition to the next stage of their career. 


This module aims to give students an opportunity to synthetize and apply their knowledge by completing a project for an external organisation.  It will represent an effective and practical way of building experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum. Working together on the Capstone, students will have the opportunity to:

  • develop project management, teamwork, and communication skills;

  • integrate and synthesize the lessons from prior coursework;

  • engage in a "real world" organizational experience;

  • further develop and consolidate communication skills. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module students should be able to:

  • integrate and synthesise prior knowledge and learning from multiple topic areas, including between core and optional modules, thus helping them to connect their learning;

  • to apply synthesised knowledge and skills to an initially partially structure authentic/real problem.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students work in team to deliver the external organisation’s output, a report and/or presentation that results from a comprehensive analysis of an issue facing the external organisation: a key decision, a critical policy, a new challenge, an emerging opportunity, or a new program or initiative. Working closely with the external organisation, the student will prepare a comprehensive analysis of the issue, combining economics with other political, institutional, managerial, legal, or other analyses, depending on the nature of the issue. Students will be assigned an academic supervisor who will support and provide advice to them in the preparation and delivery of the final output to the external organisation.

Depending on the nature of the project, student will make a formal presentation to the external organisation at the conclusion of the analysis, and prepare a professional quality analysis of the policy, management, or institutional issue. A non-proprietary version of the paper will also be prepared that the student may use as an example of his/her work for future employers.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Supervised time in studio/workshop 10
Guided independent study: 185
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will have to submit an individual written report on the project of 3,000- 4,000 words. This will have to be based on the report for the external organisation but have more economic related content and include a related literature review and, if appropriate, an economic methodology section. The precise content of the report, and the types of analysis included, will depend on the nature of the issue.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum overall mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Following a failure in (or a failure to submit) the project, the candidate has one year in which to re-submit (or submit). Reassessment is by submission of a revised version of the written project only.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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