Research Dissertation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jordan Claridge SAR 505


This course is available on the MSc in Economic History and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

Students following MSc Economic History may, with the permission of their academic adviser, request to take this full-unit dissertation course in place of EH498.  Requests must be received, and approved, by the Friday of Week 5 of Michaelmas Term. 

Course content

The dissertation should be an empirical study using primary source material to write on a topic of economic history. The topic should relate broadly to one of the economic history courses taken.

Students on the MSc in Political Economy of Late Development are encouraged to consider topics that relate to themes in development, but are still required to develop a clear historical perspective within their analysis.



Starting in the first term, students will receive advice on choosing a topic and how to tackle it, both from the Department (in the form of a document) and, individually, from their supervisors. There will be several taught sessions in Michaelmas Term for all students on the programme in addition to meetings with supervisors during the course of the year.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to complete a sequence of preparatory stages during the year. (1) The title must be approved by the student's supervisor; (2) an outline of the Essay must be submitted in Lent Term (3) a one-page project summary and an extended draft by the end of the Summer Term. Supervisors will not normally provide comments on drafts submitted after that date.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) post-summer term.

The dissertation should not exceed 10,000 words, excluding tables, references, and bibliography. The title must be approved in advance by the student's supervisor. Marks will be deducted for late submission or excessive length. 

Teachers' comment

Survey questions on feedback to students may be non-informative because assessed work comes later in the term than the survey.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2018/19: 16

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills