Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Applied Economic Research

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit provides an overview of the conceptual, philosophical but particularly practical basis of research methodology in economics as well on how to plan, design, conduct, evaluate and critique actual research - as applied to the particular dissertations that the students themselves will be working on. The course integrates the various components of economics to accomplish a defined, goal-directed research under the supervision of 1 advisor which enables comparability of standards. It therefore pulls together various aspects of economic theories, methods, and analysis to present in a coherent, logical, reliable and useful manner with emphasis on ‘real world’ problems and the application of economic research to them. Particular emphasis is laid on communication skills, especially writing, and the ability to relate economic knowledge to the public.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim is to teach students how to "do" economics, as distinct from "knowing" economics. Beyond the understanding of theories or techniques, what students will glean from this study-unit is an understanding of real economic issues, an ability to source and synthesize the right literature, to finance and conduct ethical research, to communicate results to academic audiences and stakeholders and to participate as a a member of the economics community in the review and critical analysis of research by others.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Understand the difference between field of enquiry and precise objectives of their research;
- Critically evaluate prior research on the subject, synthesize it and identify gaps;
- Conceptualise the research theoretically, selecting the right analytical structural model for investigation;
- Deploy the right tools for empirical investigation, with due consideration to developments in the field, beyond econometrics to include also experiments;
- Present and defend conclusions;
- Critically participate in the evaluation of research presented by others.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Justify and seek finance for economic research;
- Plan, design and Conduct economic research;
- Communicate economic research;
- Participate actively in critical discussions on economic research.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- William Thomson: A guide for the Young Economist. 2011. Second Edition. ISBN-10: 026251589X. ISBN-13: 978-0262515894.
This book is an invaluable handbook for young economists working on their dissertations, preparing their first articles for submission to professional journals, getting ready for their first presentations at conferences and job seminars, or undertaking their first refereeing assignments.

- Deirdre McCloskey: Economical Writing. 1999. Second Edition. ISBN-10: 1577660633. ISBN-13: 978-1577660637.
Anyone who cares about direct, clear expression should read this lucid, delightful gem by an author who practices what she advises.

- Don Ethridge: Research Methodology in Applied Economics. 2004. Second Edition. ISBN-10: 0813829941. ISBN-13: 978-0813829944.
Emphasizing research methodology as it applies to economics, Ethridge provides (1) an overview of the conceptual and philosophical basis of research methodology and (2) procedural guidelines on designing, coordinating, and conducting research projects. This textbook integrates philosophies, concepts, and procedures in research methodology, adding practical tips such as how to write a research proposal, how to apply for funding, and how to write reports that effectively present research. This edition updates and increases the use of relevant examples for today’s students, faculty, and researchers.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Oral and Written Exercises Yes 50%
Seminar Paper Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Marie Briguglio (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.