Research Paper in Quantitative Economic History

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Patrick Wallis


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in Quantitative Economic History. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The Research Paper builds on the research training provided through the core courses of the MSc Quantitative Economic History and the MRes Quantitative Economic History, augmented by the optional economic history courses taken by students during the MRes. The topic of the Research Paper is chosen by the students in close consultation with their MRes supervisors who, normally, will be their prospective PhD supervisors. The Research Paper will present the results of an original enquiry into a clearly defined historical problem and use appropriate methods of quantitative analysis. It must demonstrate the ability to employ relevant concepts from economics and/or the wider social sciences effectively, an understanding of and critical engagement with the relevant economic history literature, an appreciation of the nature of historical explanation and analysis, and the ability to identify, collect and critically examine relevant quantitative information. Apart from it being an integral core component of the MRes programme, the Research Paper also serves as a first step towards the production of one of the three publishable papers envisaged for the students’ prospective paper-based PhD thesis.


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 must submit a one page summary and a substantial draft for comment by the end of the Summer Term. Supervisors will not normally provide comments on drafts submitted after that date.


Research project (100%).

The Research Paper should be no longer than 10,000 words, excluding tables, references and bibliography. Marks will be deducted for late submission or excessive length. The Research Paper counts for one full unit in the four-unit MRes programme. The relevant marking criteria are set out in the Notes for Students.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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: Economic History

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: 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