Search our site
Search our site

Working as an Economist

  • Module code: EC6001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: one of AP6002 Applied Economic Policy and Principles 2, BE6002 Economics of Organizations and Strategy, EC6002 Advanced Economic Policy and Principles, or FE6002 Finance, Risk Management and Instability may be required, depending on topic.


The capstone module is designed to further students' skills in writing and presenting economic analysis, together with achieving a higher level of understanding in a chosen economic subject area. Students will refine their ability to communicate economic subjects to a broad audience in an academically sound fashion.


  • to develop students' in-depth knowledge on specialist economics topics;
  • to further extend students' ability to locate a broad range of information sources to support research;
  • to develop students' ability to communicate and apply their economics knowledge.

Learning outcomes

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

  • present succinctly and clearly to a group;
  • respond effectively to questions from the audience;
  • write academically sound reports and essays;
  • source data, theoretical and applied material relevant to the specific topic;
  • communicate and appreciate an in-depth knowledge of a specialist economic topic.
  • to work independently and to manage time effectively.

Curriculum content

Students are offered a variety of broad themes derived from the various Economics fields. Each theme will comprise a number of topics, such that any theme may be addressed from the perspective of any of the fields. Possible themes (with parent field in brackets) are:

  • The European Union: present state and future challenges (Field: EC)
  • Unemployment (EC)
  • Financial crises (Field: FE)
  • Currency crises: causes and effects (FE)
  • Behavioural economics: a new paradigm for economics? (EC/FE)
  • Central banks and their policies (FE)
  • Emerging markets: issues and prospects (EC/FE)
  • Firm size and profit rates (Field: BE)

Teaching and learning strategy

The focus of the module is on the practice of communication skills with respect to the writing and presentation of economics, and the development of knowledge in chosen specialist areas.  Practice is an important component in the development of clarity and unity of composition, and effective presentation. 

The module is organised into lectures and workshop meetings; the format and extent of the classes varies over the course of the year. The module is primarily self-directed learning.

After having chosen a theme, at the beginning of the module the student is given a list of essay titles to choose from. The individual essay titles are part of a broader topic within the theme.

Weeks 1-5 normally consists of lectures to introduce and provide an overview of the chosen theme(s) to the students. The theme(s) are further subdivided into several broader topics. Students who have chosen their essay titles from a particular topic are divided into groups to prepare a literature review of the topic. 

Weeks 6-10 members of a topic group prepare and make their group presentation.

During the second term, students work on their chosen essay. A number of workshops are given to provide guidance and feedback on their essay. 

At the end of the second term, for each theme a 2 day conference takes place where students present a poster and give a PowerPoint presentation on their essay to an audience consisting of the students of the same theme group.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lecture (sem 1) 10
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops (sem 1) 10
Guided independent study Preparation for essay, presentations and background reading. 264
Scheduled learning and teaching Conference Presentation (sem 2) 16
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The learning outcomes of the module will be assessed through a 5000 word essay and a presentation portfolio. The presentation portfolio consists of:

  • a group presentation (20% of the overall mark), based of summarising selected papers/relevant date to the group. Formative feedback from peers and tutor.
  • a conference poster (10% of the overall mark) and a concomitant PowerPoint presentation of the individual essay (10% of the overall mark). This will test the student's ability to understand and communicate specialist economic concepts. Summative feedback from tutor.

Formative assessment and feedback is a critical part of the learning strategy.  Major elements of assessment include:

  • Presentation portfolio. Formative feedback from peers and tutor. Summative feedback tutor.
  • Essay.  Formative and summative feedback from tutor.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Communicate an appreciation and in-depth knowledge of a specialist economic topic; Essay, Presentation and Poster. (F/S)
Write an academically sound essay, source data and, theoretical and applied material relevant to the specific topic. 5000 word essay. (S)
Present succinctly and clearly to a group. Presentation and Poster. (F/S)
Respond effectively to questions from an audience. Presentation and Poster. (F/S)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
PRC Presentation portfolio 40
CWK Essay 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Theme dependent.

Bibliography recommended reading

Bell, J., (2005). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science 4th ed., Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press.

Coyle, D (2007), The Soulful Science.  What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Edinburgh Napier University, (2009), Get ready for university/Academic Posters, (ONLINE) Edinburgh Napier University.  Available from:

 Neugeboren, R. and M. Jacobson (2005). Writing Economics, Available at:

Strunk and White, (1999), The elements of style, 4th ed, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Thomson, W (2001), A Guide for the Young Economist.  Writing and Speaking Effectively about Economics, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

University of Exeter (2007) A guide to writing-up theses, dissertations and projects [Online]  School of Business and Economics.  Available from: [Accessed 31st March 2008]

Find a course

Course finder

Undergraduate study
Site menu