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The University of Southampton

ECON3036 Dissertation: Literature Review

Module Overview

This module forms the first part of a dissertation in Economics. You will undertake a substantive piece of independent work in composing a literature review on your chosen research topic. You will motivate the research topic, survey and review the relevant academic literature and identify gaps in our knowledge by proposing a research question and appropriate methodology for future research. This is designed to demonstrate your ability to manage your own learning, to draw together information from a variety of sources and to demonstrate your ability to understand and convey the current state of academic research on an economic topic.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • State of art analytical methods in economics and the mathematical or statistical tools for economic analysis.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Retrieve, organise, and present economic results in an informative manner.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicate logical arguments and quantitative reasoning in economic contexts as part of an essay reviewing scientific literature;
  • Work independently to a deadline, demonstrating initiative through identifying possibl sources, and self-management by structuring the workload over one semester.
  • Identify, select and access a range of sources as a means to the development and presentation of arguments and evidence;


The module starts with a series of lectures that focus on how to search for, identify and efficiently read scientific economic literature, and how to summarise, synthesise and critically evaluate this literature. This is complemented by a library skills session. Thus, prepared students work independently on their review under the guidance of their dissertation supervisor.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, staff consultations, library skills workshop.

Guided independent study140
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Library skills online exercise at the beginning and the literature review (4000 words essay) at the end of the semester. This is the same for an internal repeat. Referral assessment and external repeat assessment is through 100% literature review (4000 words).


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review  (4000 words) 90%
Online test 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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