Not available in 2020/21
GV4J6      Half Unit
Game Theory for Research

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Stephane Wolton


This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Political Science and MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Tuesday 1 October 2019. You will be informed of the outcome by 17:00 on Wednesday 2 October 2019.


Knowledge of game theory at the level of GV4C8 is required.

Course content

This course will help students think about the way game theory is applied to research in political science and political economy. Each week, students will study one working paper using game theory. Each lecture will have a substantive and a technical part. There will be an in-depth discussion of the paper (substantive part) and the lecturer will cover the main proofs of the paper on the board (technical part).


21 hours of lectures and 1 hour of lectures in the MT.

There will be 1 introductory 1 hour lecture in Week 1, and then 6 lectures of three hours, each covering a different paper, in weeks 2-5 and weeks 7 and 8. In week 11, there will be a three-hour lecture where students will present a research project using game theory.

Formative coursework

Students will meet with the instructor to discuss their research project twice during the MT.

Indicative reading

Two useful (but advanced) game theory textbooks are:

- Game Theory. Drew Fudenberg and Jean Tirole. MIT Press (1991).

- Game Theory. Michael Maschler, Eilon Solan, and Shmuel Zamir. Cambridge University Press (2013).

A reading list of the papers reviewed in the first six lectures will be provided at the beginning of the term.


Presentation (50%) and essay (50%) in the MT Week 11.

Students will be assessed on a class presentation on a research project of their choosing which involves game theory (weight 50%) and on writing a referee report on one of the papers covered in the lectures (weight 50%).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2019/20: 3

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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