UCL Department of Economics


ECON0042 - Economics Independent Research Project (Term 1)

Term 1

Writing an undergraduate thesis requires participating in two terms of bi-weekly thesis seminars and at least one term of 3 meetings with the thesis supervisor. The thesis module is in 2013-2014 only available for about 15 students who will be selected on the basis of
•    their year 2 results as well
•    a proposal they have to submit on-line on Moodle before the August 1st prior to their third year.
In future years this number will depend on the number of available supervisors. Students will receive notification of their admission for the module before registration week of their third year. The Undergraduate thesis module will start with an information meeting for admitted students in registration week!

To get access to the Undergraduate Thesis Moodle page (necessary for submitting the proposal) contact Frank Witte (f.witte@ucl.ac.uk)

Aims: You will experience what it means to undertake an independent research project, from finding and formulating a proper research question, searching and identifying useful, academic, literature and properly summarizing the current state of your subject area before attempting to answer your research question on te basis of literature and your own analysis. Projects can be empirical, theoretical, data-driven, literature-driven and interdisciplinary.


  • To undertake a significant piece of independent research work;
  • To gain experience in reading, processing and summarizing a significant amount of literature on a specialised aspect of Economics;
  • To gain practical experience in formulating research questions and refining these on the basis of relevant literature, data and discussions with fellow students and supervisor(s); 
  • To gain experience in finding and analysing data and/or using, developing and validating and estimating models;
  • To report about individual work in “work-in-progress” presentations in the bi-weekly Thesis Seminar;
  • To report about the research work in writing in a thesis of around 5000-7000 words;

2013/14 Submissions:

Best UG Dissertation

Runners up

Taught by:Frank Witte
Assessment:One 10 minute presentation (worth 10% of the overall mark) and and a final assignment worth 90% of the total mark submitted in the first week of the following term. Further details can be found in the module syllabus on the relevant Moodle page.
Suitable for:Year 3 L100 and Year 4 L101  and L102 single-honours Economics students only.  Open to Joint-Degree students only with explicit permission of their home department. Not open to Affiliate students. 

Students must have completed the first two years of their single- or joint-honours undergraduate degrees.

Maximum module enrolments:Around 15 per term. If the interest exceeds that number students will be offered places on the basis of potential and merit.

Module Evaluation (Previous year):




A change from ECON0042 into the 30-credit Dissertation ECON0117 is only possible during for those who (1) started ECON0042 in Term 1, (2) have decided to request this before December 1st and (3) whose work during term 1 indicates a 30 credit dissertation would be completed with excellent results.

Moodle page:Economics Independent Research Project