School of Economics

Opportunities for collaboration

The School of Economics at Edinburgh University works with private and public sector organisations to help them find solutions to any challenges they face by producing bespoke, in-depth research.

Econ opportunities header

Sponsored dissertations

The Sponsored dissertations scheme provides an opportunity for your organisation to get free, high-quality, specialised research and to engage with individual economics students.

All of our students have to write research dissertations at the end of their degrees, and many of them are eager to work on something which is useful in the outside world. We invite organisations to put forward proposals, which will be matched to some of the top-performing undergraduate (MA) and postgraduate (MSc) students in Economics. The final product will be a substantial report taking a rigorous approach to the topic, along with an executive summary and (where possible) an in-person presentation for the client covering the methods used as well as the conclusions and practical implications for the company.

 

What are the benefits of the Sponsored Dissertations scheme?

  • It’s free (apart from the fact that it takes time).
  • You get access to cutting edge methods of economic analysis to tackle questions your company might not have the time or resources to answer internally.
  • Economics students are highly numerate and statistically savvy, and have the maturity and sophistication to deal with real-world problems.
  • You get the best of both worlds – a presentation which explains the methods, motivations and results in easily accessible language and, if you want more detail, you also get the student’s dissertation, which typically contains more rigorous, detailed analysis.
  • The scheme is a great way to screen potential employees.
  • You can choose whether you want an undergraduate or postgraduate student to work on your project.
  • It’s an opportunity to have continuous research support over the year (an MA project in winter followed up by an MSc project in summer).
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What kind of questions can a Sponsored Dissertation answer?

Basically, anything within the remit of economics –from micro/macro/behavioural economic analysis, to statistics, or developing and testing a model for a specific industry.

We will do our best to accommodate your topic or even help to formulate a more specific question in case you have only a general idea of what could be interesting and in what area.

 

What are the key differences between the MA and MSc projects?

  • The timelines
 
MA (undergraduate) projects
MSc (postgraduate) projects
Project proposal August February
Meeting with the student and their university supervisor September May
Results presentation April August
  • Research phase of our MA projects spans over 6 months compared to only 3 months for MSc projects. This makes undergraduate projects better suited for in-depth literature reviews and critical analysis of existing work.
  • MSc students are better equipped to analyse complex models and have knowledge of cutting edge statistical methods. This makes postgraduate projects better suited for more focused and technically challenging questions.

 

 

Access Academic Expertise

Our faculty have a wide range of academic interests and are passionate about doing research with real-life applications. The School has a large portfolio of successful impact cases. We are keen to develop collaborative links between the industry and academia.

Get in touch with us

If you are interested please send an e-mail to econ.dissertations@ed.ac.uk