The aim of this dissertation module is to enable students to undertake a significant and original piece of independent research that demonstrates an advanced level of theoretical and empirical understanding and analytical skills within the field of Economics and Finance. The student is expected to conduct research in an approved topic related to the modules offered by the MSc Economics and Finance degree. Depending on the focus, the dissertation will combine both theory and empirical work in varying proportions.
This module provides students with opportunities to: (i) apply their learning from MSc Economics and Finance to analyse contemporary and ‘cutting edge’ problems and issues of relevance to scholars or practitioners (or both); (ii) deepen their knowledge and understanding of a particular programme- or module-related topic of interest to them; (iii) produce a complete piece of scholarly work from conception through to a final thesis; (iv) build their independent research, analysis, time management, writing and presenting skills; (v) enhance their intellectual, transferable and employability skills and, it follows, their career prospects; and (iv) make an original contribution to knowledge that could potentially serve as a basis for more advanced study.
Students should identify, define and explore one or more problems or issues at the forefront of knowledge in Economics and Finance. The final thesis should demonstrate: (i) an analytical and critical approach to problem definition; (ii) the derivation of appropriate research questions and/or hypotheses; (iii) skills in designing and implementing a suitable methodology for gathering, analyzing, modelling and interpreting data and information that address the research problem, questions and/or hypotheses; (iv) knowledge and understanding of literature and theory relevant to the area of inquiry, and the ability to apply it appropriately, and (v) the ability to write up and present the research as a dissertation in a way that combines academic depth and good scholarship, and that demonstrates an appreciation of the economic, financial, and/or policy-related issues (as appropriate) that are associated with the research topic.
A Demonstrate a substantial and systematic understanding of current and recent research and advanced scholarship in the areas of Economics and Finance that are of relevance to the research topic.
B Demonstrate a critical understanding of theories in finance and investment, and their applications to real world settings.
C Critically evaluate and apply knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme of study to the identification and framing of specific research questions at the forefront of the Economics and Finance disciplines.
D Apply in a rigorous manner the models and theoretical and practical tools and techniques in Financial Economics to analyse relevant data, and to evaluate and interpret results.
E Investigate questions and problems through the design and implementation of a research strategy and methodology appropriate to advanced study in the field of Economics and Finance.
F Demonstrate appropriate academic rigour in the acquisition, organisation, critical analysis and presentation of conceptual and empirical materials and data.
G Successfully produce a well-written, coherent and well-presented dissertation that makes an original and reflective contribution to knowledge whilst demonstrating good scholarship and conforming fully to standard academic conventions in the fields of Economics and Finance.
H Think, learn and work independently whilst demonstrating initiative, responsibility, self-discipline, self-motivation, self-direction and originality in tackling and solving research problems in Economics and Finance.
At the beginning of the semester a workshop will take place where the Module Leader provides guidance to students about the whole process, methods and possible topics required for successful completion of the module. Aside from this, there are several elements to the method of teaching and learning on this module.
First, private and independent research is undertaken by the student with the support and advice of a supervisor from IBSS faculty (allocated by the Programme Director or Module Leader) during regular meetings and consultations. In Semester 1 of Year 2, students are expected to devote at least 30 hours of unsupervised time to private study on this module in a typical week.
Second, students are required to deliver Interim Presentation On Progress at the beginning of Semester 1 (Year 2) which is summatively assessed and on which feedback is given by the Programme Director or Module Leader, the supervisor, and the marker(s).
Third, students are expected to meet with the Programme Director or Module Leader during the Semester 1 to discuss the status of the research project.