Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Research Methods and Research Design ECON5082

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course is devoted to essential quantitative and qualitative research methods and principles of research design for MRes and Ph.D. level research in Economics. It also acquaints students with the usage of these methods and design in the practice of economics research. It covers Quantitative Methods (Mathematical and Statistical), Qualitative Methods, and Research Design.


80 hours of lectures; 60 in Semester 1 and 20 in semester 2, plus 15 hrs of tutorials.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





In-course test (15%)

Final Exams In December - Mathematics (2 hours) (35%) and Statistics (90 minutes) (25%).

Written take-home Essay on Qualitative Methods and Research Design part, about 1000-1500 words (12.5%).

Oral presentation of a research paper chosen from the reading lists offered by instructor (12.5%)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

This course aims to train students in the principles of research design and different methods of and approaches to both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The course provides students with mathematical, statistical, and qualitative methods skills, as well as research design knowledge, necessary to successfully complete core and advanced courses and Dissertation in MRes in Economics. The course introduces techniques used at the current forefront of Economic research to prepare students for independent graduate research in Economics at MRes and PhD levels. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Define and critically evaluate a wide range of fundamental concepts and techniques in mathematics and statistics, informed by forefront developments and relevant to the other core courses

■ Creatively and appropriately select and apply these concepts and techniques in economics research, by solving advanced specialized mathematical and statistical models, akin to those developed on the forefront

■ Evaluate different methods of and approaches to data collection and analysis

■ Critically discuss qualitative methods, appropriate to Economics

■ Design and implement valid Research Designs that follow from the connection between research questions and the tools required to address them

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.