NBS8330 : Research Methods in Economics and Finance

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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion132:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00N/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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A80N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
LBS8330Research Methods in Economics and Finance1London equivalent module
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Dissertation Plan (2,000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MSeminar questions provided
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module prepares the student for their dissertation work and future research activities, by covering practical and theoretical issues. The unseen examination is the standard tool to test theoretical issues, and this is complemented by the Dissertation Plan, where student must put in practice both the theoretical and practical issues covered in the module. It is expected that students use the dissertation plan, and the feedback received by their marker, to support their dissertation work.

Reading Lists