Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Economics and Finance)


Type Open Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To prepare students for, and assess their capability for, conducting a complex individual research project in the field of economics and/or finance or management.


  • By this stage in the programme, students should be in a position to formulate a concise and clear research proposal. This module is therefore designed to help students build on the taught modules and lay the basis for the doctoral thesis itself.
  • The module addresses issues in project planning and design, including the selection of appropriate research techniques; research project management; the requirements of a doctoral thesis; ethical aspects of research; and relevant issues regarding intellectual property rights.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students should have:
  • a detailed knowledge of a specific area within economics and/or finance or management, based on a wide-ranging, critical study of the relevant literature;
  • a critical appreciation of the nature and significance of intellectual property rights in relation to scientific research, publication and exploitation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to conceptualise, design and plan a research project at an advanced level;
  • enhanced their skills in communicating complex topics orally to a specialist audience;.
  • further enhanced their acquisition of the advanced skills needed to plan a comprehensive, complex programme of research including: the ability to work autonomously and to take responsibility for their own learning; an understanding of appropriate specialised techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry; the ability to decide on appropriate techniques for the investigation of particular issues within their specialist area; the ability to accept personal responsibility in relation to academic and professional codes of conduct, including an ability to evaluate and resolve any ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research.
Key Skills:

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered by individual supervisions to enable both the generic and the subject-specific aspects of the learning outcomes to be addressed, and to enable monitoring of student progress towards achieving the learning outcomes.
  • The summative assessment is by a 6,000-word research proposal and a 30-minute oral presentation on that proposal. This combined mode of assessment will allow direct testing that the learning outcomes have been met.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual supervisions Fortnightly 12
Private study and research 588
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Research Proposal Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Research Proposal 6,000 words (maximum) 100%
Component: Oral Presentation Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Presentation 30 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

No formal formative assessment. Students’ progress will be monitored at fortnightly meetings with supervisors, and a record kept via the Research Student Diary.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University