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Economics Dissertation

  • Module code: EC7011
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 60
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None


Each student completes a separate individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff. You may propose a title of their own or choose one in agreement with a member of staff. The main purpose of the project is to enable you to demonstrate knowledge of how economic ideas can be applied in greater length and depth than is feasible in the context of a taught course. Upon completion of the individual research project you will have designed and implemented a research project in applied or theoretical economics, normally including a critical literature survey and the evaluation of evidence (as appropriate to the project title). A workshop and supervisory meetings are provided to help you in their choice of title and to ensure progression of research.

EC 7011 provides opportunities for you to develop academic and professional working skills. The module contributes to key professional working and employability skills eg. working to deadlines; originality; writing coherently and analytically.


To provide the student with an opportunity to

  • develop and apply the research skills, independent thinking and scholarly ability promoted in the taught programme
  • research in depth and reflect with insight and rigour on a topic in the subject area of the course
  • demonstrate an ability to present the results of their research convincingly and with regard to appropriate academic protocols.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • evidence of self-directed learning
  • an ability to deal effectively with the complexities of analytical concepts and information resources relating to their dissertation topic
  • knowledge in appropriate breadth and depth of the literature pertaining to the topic of their dissertation
  • the capacity to manage a substantial programme of research and writing
  • an ability to communicate convincingly within the conventions of academic writing.

Curriculum content

  • agreeing an outline proposal: area and focus of investigation, information requirements and other resource requirements
  • project planning: time use and collaboration with supervisor
  • literature survey and review
  • data collection and analysis
  • writing up.

Teaching and learning strategy

A workshop meeting discusses approaches to the dissertation, including topic selection, identifying and accessing literature and data sources, project planning, effective writing. Each student then works under the supervision of a member of staff to produce an agreed outline and an agreed plan of work; to undertake the information search and retrieval, the analysis and writing up and the revision leading to a final draft for submission. Although supervised by a member of the academic staff, the student will be expected to work independently and to accept the prime responsibility for management of their dissertation project.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Introductory workshop 2
Scheduled learning and teaching Supervisory meetings 8
Scheduled learning and teaching Independent guided study 590
Total (number of credits x 10) 600

Assessment strategy

Assessment is on the basis of a dissertation written and submitted in accordance with the course guidelines. At the discretion of the supervisor, viva examination may also be used, particularly to clarify borderline grades or suspected plagiarism.

Assessment is by reference to the quality of a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words. Assessment criteria will include, indicatively and for example: presentation; structure/organisation; breadth and depth of research; quality of critique of existing literature; level of analysis; quality of writing and research; sustainability of argument; technical accuracy in referencing and bibliography. The choice of topic will be coordinated with the field team to prevent it from overlapping with topics of essays written by the student in taught modules of the course.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Dissertation 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Hart, C. (2004). Doing Your Masters Dissertation, SAGE.

Bibliography recommended reading

Bryman, A. and E. Bell (2007). Business Research Methods, Oxford U.P.

Fisher, C. (2004). Researching and Writing a Dissertation for Business Students, FT Prentice-Hall.

Hunt, A. (2005). Your Research Project : How to Manage it, Routledge.

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