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.

Issues in Economic Research ECON5108

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This is an advanced research-oriented reading course, aimed at students in the 2nd year of MRes in Economics planning to proceed to PhD, on a specific subfield of economics, chosen by students and their research advisers, and approved by the MRes program Director.

Students agree with the instructor on the content of reading material, and study it mostly independently, helped by a few clarification discussion meetings with the instructor during the semester.



Requirements of Entry

Completion of the 1st year MRes in Economics, or equivalent qualification as decided by the MRes program Director.

Excluded Courses





Each student submits an individual essay of approximately 3000-4000 words by the end of the semester. The essay is closely related to the reading material agreed upon with the instructor at the beginning and is specified by the instructor. Given that the areas of research are vastly different and evolve with time, the specific nature of the essay is left with the instructor to determine in each particular case.

Usually, it includes a critical survey of the read literature, as well as a discussion of potential extensions and developments in the area. It might also be a more technical in nature, consisting of solving a list of exercises/models, aimed to demonstrate that the student acquired the necessary knowledge and skills, and can successfully apply those to specific questions in the field.

Course Aims

The course allows students to acquire in-depth knowledge at the frontier of current research for the intended subfield of research specialization. This course is one of the 2nd year MRes in Economics Electives, intended as an important stepping stone toward the development of their own research agenda. It aims to fully prepare students to start independent research at PhD level in the chosen area.


This course is aimed at students whose research interests and the corresponding training necessary, cannot be fully satisfied by the current list of existing taught MRes electives. It requires substantial maturity.

To enrol, students need the agreement of an instructor and the approval of the MRes program Director.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Identify and select a promising subfield of potential research at the forefront of current research in economics

2. Critically engage and assess the chosen specific subfield of economics at the frontier of current research, sufficiently to engage in PhD level research in this field

3. Identify and critically apply quantitative techniques, specific for this subfield

4. Critically develop open research questions and topics for further research

5. Determine and evaluate technical aspects of the models and the extent of their substantive contribution.

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.