Skip to main content


NBS8330 : Research Methods in Economics and Finance

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Xueqi Dong
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the range of research topics, research methods and sources available in modern economics and finance.
To train students with skills in the analysis, interpretation and presentation of material from research sources.
To enable students to apply these concepts and skills to the development of their own dissertation.

This module provides support for the undertaking of research projects, in particular the MSc Dissertation. This is done by exposing the students to practical issues regarding research projects, such as the nature of a MSc dissertation, the use of bibliographical and statistical databases, and relevant methodological issues. In addition, students are given talks by academic staff which introduce them to several research topics of relevance to them, and which are of current interest in the research community.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Lectures


Lecture 2 & 3
•       Guide on writing a Literature Review and a Dissertation
•       Related issues: Academic Writing and Plagiarism and Ethical Issues

TOPIC 2 - READING THEORETICAL LITERATURE (A reading list will be provided for all sub-sections)

Lecture 3, 4 and 5
i) Theoretical concepts
- What is model?
- Assumptions
- Endogenous and exogenous variables
- Assumption vs. Results
- Decision Theory vs. Equilibrium models
- Equilibrium and Equilibrium Concepts
o Reaction Functions and Equilibrium
o Backwards induction
o Rational Expectations
o Self-fulfilling beliefs
- Multiple Equilibrium

ii) Mathematics concepts
- The meaning of an integral
- Shift of a line vs. movement along the line
- What is graphed in the vertical axis?

iii) Exercise in reading a theory paper
- Different sections in a paper
o Abstract, Introduction, Set-up/Model, Definition of Equilibrium, etc.
o Definitions, Lemmas, Propositions, Theorems, Proofs
•       How to read them?
•       What to find in each?
•       How do they relate to the main result on the paper?
- Graphs and their relationship to Propositions and Theorems
- Identifying the main equations in a model
- Proofs: Algebraic proofs, Induction, Contradiction

TOPIC 3 - POTENTIAL RESEARCH TOPICS (A reading list will be provided for all sub-sections)

Lectures 5 and 6
- 10 Topics. 20 minutes overview on each , from the list of topics usually proposed by lecturers.

2. Seminars and PC Tutorials
- PC Tutorial (2 hour seminar): Bibliographical and Statistical Databases
- Seminar 1: (2 hour seminar): Reading and assessing samples of Literature Reviews and Dissertations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion131:0031:00time for students to complete assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00PiP lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00Online Live Lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading133:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00pip Pre-assessment support ( will take place in S2 before the submission of the Dissertation plan
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00pip seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures provide the basic academic and practical guide to writing a dissertation
2. Seminars provide an opportunity to enhance the practical aspects of the module

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M100Dissertation Plan (2,000 words); the deadline is mid semester 2 and most if not all other assessment is May/June.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MSeminar questions provided
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essentially 8330 is to prepare the students for the MSc dissertation. The timing of the assessment allows students to have time to prepare themselves with the literature review.

It also makes strong pedagogical sense to delay submitting a research proposal until the students have worked up their ideas more fully with their supervisors early in semester 2.

It reduces the burden of assessment in Semester 1 (which is especially important this year).
All other modules in Semester 2 are assessed in the formal Semester 2 assessment period in May/June.

Reading Lists