MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Skills for Economic Development 2 (Applied Quantitative Skills)

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI60302
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit aims to equip students with knowledge of and experience with conducting empirical research in which they apply data analysis to a research topic related to their programme(s). It also helps prepare students for their dissertations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:


Lecture 1: Assumptions and properties of OLS estimation.

Lecture 2: Internal and external validity of a statistical study. Identification problems. Lecture 3: Natural experiments and IV estimation.

Lecture 4: Panel methods and identification.

Lecture 5: Natural experiments and panel methods.

Lecture 6: Applied quantitative research: research question(s) and research hypothesis Lecture

7: model specification

Lecture 8, 9 and 10: issues in the execution of data analysis

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught via a mix of lectures, computer lab sessions and independent learning.

Knowledge and understanding

  • develop an understanding of the steps and issues in conducting an applied quantitative research examining causal relationships, and have a hand-on experience with undertaking an empirical research using real-world data on a topic related to economic development.
  • obtain a basic understanding of conducting quantitative research for their dissertation

Intellectual skills

  • demonstrate they have developed the ability to identify an empirical research question based on the existing literature.
  • demonstrate they have developed the ability to design an empirical strategy which is appropriate to address the research question(s).
  • show they have acquired familiarity with regression analysis (identification, execution and interpretation).

Practical skills

  • demonstrate they have acquired skills to use econometric software.
  • demonstrate they have acquired skills to write up a research report for an empirical project.

Employability skills

The experience of doing independent research.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 100%

Feedback methods

Written feedback on the research project report through Turnitin.

Recommended reading

There are no textbooks that cover all aspects of the module, and specific readings may be given at each lecture. However, students may find the following books useful.

  • Stock J. and M. Watson (2015), Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson.
  • Wooldridge J. (2017), Introductory Econometrics, 7th ed., Cengage.
  • Måns Söderbom, Francis Teal, Markus Eberhardt, Simon Quinn, Andrew Zeitlin (2014), Empirical Development Economics, Routledge
  • Mukherjee, C., While, H. and Wuyts, M. (1998) Econometrics and Data Analysis for Developing Countries, Routledge, London and New York.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yin-Fang Zhang Unit coordinator

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