EC3DSI-Dissertation (for Joint degrees)

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer / Autumn / Spring module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Ken Dark


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The dissertation module involves a 12,000 word independent piece of research work which students carry out on a topic of their choice. While mostly working independently, students will receive one-on-one supervision with an academic in the Department.


The aim of the module is to enable students to explore a particular topic relevant to their degree programme in greater depth.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  • identify and motivate their research question(s);

  • identify and critically evaluate  the relevant literature;

  • understand and apply relevant theoretical frameworks for analysing their research question(s);

  • motivate and apply appropriate research methods to address their chosen research question(s);

  • analyse and synthesise their research find ings.

Additional outcomes:

Student will also have the opportunity to develop the following skills: time management and working independently; research skills; academic writing and referencing; presentation skills.

Outline content:

Dissertations may cover any area of economics. They may be theoretically, empirically or policy oriented: they may take a variety of forms, e.g. a critical review of the literature, the construction of economic models, the testing of hypotheses from published data, or a field investigation (providing that this is problem and/or policy oriented); and they may be positive or normative in their approach.

For Joint Language-Economics degrees, the subject matter should rel ate to the country concerned. For example, for French/Economics students the dissertation should be on "a specified aspect of French economics". Analogous requirements apply to German/Economics and Italian/Economics students.

For other Joint degrees, the normal requirement is that the dissertation is on a topic of interest to both the disciplines concerned. For example, Politics/Economics students should write a dissertation which combines insights from both ec onomics and politics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students wishing to do a dissertation in Economics must submit their topic to the Department of Economics by the end of the spring term of their second year. Each student will be allocated a supervisor at the start of the Summer term in Part 2 and they should arrange to meet their supervisor at the start of the summer term, before their exams, to discuss their topic. There will be two workshops at the start of the summer term which students must attend. Students should then arrange a fol low-up meeting with their supervisor after their exams in the summer term in order to agree on a plan for the dissertation. Subsequent meetings and the provision of feedback on drafts of the dissertation work should then be agreed between the student and their supervisor.

A workshop will be held in the autumn term of their final year, which will provide students the opportunity to present their proposal and receive feedback from their supervisor and peers.

The Guided Independent Study hours expressed in the table below are for the Autumn and Spring terms of the FINAL year, whilst the hours expressed for the Summer term are for the last term of the SECOND year and include hours to be spent on the Dissertation during the Summer vacation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 2 2 2
Practicals classes and workshops 6 3
Guided independent study: 152 158 75
Total hours by term 160 160 80
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Dissertation 80

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will be required to submit the following:

-          One 2,000 word extended proposal at the beginning of Week 9 of the autumn term of their final year, which will count for 20% of the final mark. This assignment is expected to be incorporated into the final dissertation.

-          The full dissertation should be submitted by Monday Week 11 of the spring term of their final year, which will count for 80% of the final module mark. Two copies should be submitted electronically via Blackboard.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be required to submit a 1,000 word proposal by Monday Week 2 of the autumn Term of their final year. This proposal should include details of their research question and motivation, a brief literature review and an overview of data to be used (if applicable) and methodology.

A workshop held in the autumn term of their final year will provide students the opportunity to present their proposal and receive feedback from their supervisor and peers.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination for Finals takes place in August/September of the same year. If a student is required to resubmit the Dissertation, this must be submitted by the last working day of August of the same year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 4 September 2020


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