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EC959 Research Methods: Further Details

So let us start by reminding you that the clock is ticking: the dissertation deadline is Wednesday 12th September 2018 and it's never too soon to start thinking about what you might work on. Do not leave this until after the June exams!

The aim of the Research Methods module is to help to prepare you for your dissertation research. The module is not DIRECTLY examined or assessed - but your dissertation is. Your dissertation constitutes 20% of the MSc course as a whole. Attending these lectures is highly recommended. They aim to help you build research skills.

Of course, we hope that the material covered in the Research Methods module will also be of use to you after the MSc - whether you plan to undertake a PhD and become an academic, or become a professional economist, or take up some other occupation.

There is no advance reading - but each lecture will make some suggestions for further reading and have lots of links to useful resources.

A broad outline of the course is the following:

  1. Jennifer Smith will present a session on the dissertation process, including issues such as the selection of a topic, allocation of the supervisor, when the proposal is due and how you will be supervised.
  2. We will continue to build your skills in econometrics packages for economists: Matlab techniques will be taught for simulation, forecasting and solving non-linear equations and online Latex classes will also be provided.
  3. Past dissertations and projects will be reviewed, explaining why they received high marks and where there might be weaknesses.
  4. We will have a lecture on formulating a research question, using Faculty or external topic suggestions and research areas, and identifying literature.
  5. Guidance will be provided on how to develop a research project and present empirical results.
  6. Academic Writing Programme sessions will be held on writing a dissertation.
  7. Library dissertation training sessions will explain available resources and how to access databases.

Lecture Schedule:

  1. Wed 7th February 2018 (week 19), 17.00-18.30, MS0.1: MSc Dissertation Process [Jennifer Smith]
  2. Wed 14th February 2018 (week 20), 17.00-18.00, MS.01: Matlab Techniques 1 [Piotr Jelonek]

  3. Wed 21st February 2018 (week 21), 17.00-19.00, MS0.1
    (a) 17.00-18.00: Formulating a research question and identifying literature [Luciano Rispoli]
    (b) 18.00-19.00: Matlab Techniques 2 [Piotr Jelonek]

  4. Wed 28th February 2018 (week 22), 17.00-19.00, MS0.1
    (a) Topics, techniques and methods: macro and monetary dissertations [Luciano Rispoli]
    (b) How to present, evaluate and discuss empirical results [Luciano Rispoli]

  5. Wed 7th March 2018 (week 23), 17.00-18.00 MS0.1
    (a) Developing a research project [Carlo Perroni]
    (b) Topics, techniques and methods: international trade, international economics, micro and other areas [Carlo Perroni]

  6. Wed 14th March 2018 (week 24), 17.00-19.00, MS0.1
    (a) Introduction to Dynare [Bingsong Wang]
    (b) Topics, techniques and methods: macro and macro-labour dissertations [Bingsong Wang]

  7. Academic Writing Programme:
    MSc Dissertation Lectures (students attend both lectures)
    Lecture 1 - Tues 22nd May 2018 (week 34), 3.00-4.30pm – Room MS.02
    Lecture 2: Wed 23rd May 2018 (week 34), 10.00-11.30am – Room L3 (Sci Con)
    MSc Dissertation Workshops (students sign up for one workshop only)

    Workshop 1: Wed 23rd May 2018 (week 34), 2.00-4.00pm – Room B2.04/5 (Sci Con)
    Workshop 2: Thurs 24th May 2018 (week 34), 10.00-12.00pm – Room S0.18 (Soc Sci)
    Workshop 3: Fri 25th May 2017 (week 34), 10.00-12.00pm – Room S0.18 (Soc Sci)
    Workshop 4: Fri 25th May 2018 (week 34), 2.00-4.00pm – Room S0.11 (Soc Sci)

  8. Fri 25th May 2018 (week 34), Library Training Room: Library dissertation training [Helen Riley]

2016-17 Lecture Material

[MATLAB materials by Piotr Z. Jelonek]

Instructions (to be completed prior the first lecture)

Pre-lecture material: Programming in MATLAB (handout), codes and data (in . zip)

Lecture 1: Econometrics in MATLAB (handout), codes and data (in . zip) [this is still work in progress]

Lecture 2: Nonlinear dynamics in MATLAB (handout), codes (in . zip)

Steven Keen papers: 2013a, 2013b

2014-15 Lecture Material

Lecture 1: Introduction lecture

Slides (Handout version)

Dissertation examples used: Document A ; Document B ; Document C ; Document D ; Document E ; Document F

Lecture 2: Theoretical Research

Slides (Handout version)

Matlab guide (courtesy of Jas Ellis)

Lecture 3: Research Design in Applied Research, Part I. 

Project examples: Example1 (North Korea); Example 2 (Problem Behaviour), Example3 (Saudi Arms Bribery).

Lecture 6: Getting going on your dissertation