ECN305 Research Methods in Economics

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Kine Josefine Aurland-Bredesen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours

Teaching and exam period:The course starts in the Autumn paraallel. The course has teaching/assessment in the Autumn parallel.

About this course

The course will cover the following topics: How to find good research questions? How to write a literature review? How to write a thesis and research proposal? In addition, the course will cover: General writing rules; Field research methods; Social science surveys, including sampling, questionnaire design and analysis; Secondary data; Experimental methods; Impact studies; and an Introduction to Stata.

Learning outcome

In this course, students should be able to find and present a researchable topic within economics and to write a research proposal for their thesis. They need to be able to:

  • Demonstrate command of existing knowledge within their research topic and write an integrated literature review of this;
  • Use existing knowledge to explore the issue of interest, formulate researchable research questions and construct hypotheses;
  • Identify relevant data sources, either accessing existing data sources or through a plan to collect their own data and understand the methods used to compile and analyse the data; and
  • Identify appropriate methods to analyse the data to answer the research questions and/or test their hypotheses.
  • Lectures and short videos that students must watch beforehand to then solve group tasks. Presentations with discussion, and responding to comments provided by peers. Individual supervision while writing the research proposal for the master thesis.
  • Students will be allocated a supervisor for their MSc thesis at the beginning of this course. The supervisors will discuss research topics and give close supervision during the writing of the research proposals. Please note that the project proposal the students conduct in this course might not end up as the problem statement for their master thesis. Hence, the supervisor might be changed in accordance with the changed problem statement.
  • Basic knowledge of economic theory and method, e.g. ECN211 Intermediate Microeconomics - Institutions, Games and Market Failures or ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics- Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare and ECN222 Macroeconomics II - Models and Policy, ECN201 Econometrics.

    Only for master students in Applied Economics and Sustainability.

  • A semester assignment (research proposal) is given before the end of the semester and makes up 100% of the final grade (pass/fail). No re-examination.

    Term paper Grading: Passed / Not Passed Permitted aids: C3 All types of calculators, all other aids – including digital aids
  • Internal examiners will be used to assess the semester assignment.
  • There will be mandatory group assignments throughout the course. In addition, there will be two individual mandatory activities: (1) a preliminary research proposal; and (2) a Stata exercise. Mandatory activities are valid until the next time the course is offered. All mandatory activities must be approved to pass the final examination.
  • The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course.

    The course gives an introduction to research methods that are relevant for the Master thesis. It is particularly useful for students planning to collect own data, but it also covers research methods more generally. The project description is the first step in the work on the master thesis.

  • 2x2 hours per week the first half of the term and 1x2 hours the second half of the term.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).