• Class Number 2378
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof David Stern
    • Prof David Stern
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course provides the student with an opportunity to pursue independent research on a topic of their choice in economics, under the guidance of an academic economist at ANU. Normally the Master's Research Essay will have a strong quantitative component, but analytical and qualitative essays are also allowed. The student must develop a clear and interesting research question, bring evidence to bear on this question, and provide detail on the research methodology, all results and implications in a well-articulated and analytical manner. The essay should not exceed 10,000 words.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Critically analyse the existing literature on the policy question
  2. Conduct original research and analysis on the policy question
  3. Prepare an effective oral presentation of your analysis
  4. Write a paper on your analysis in the style used for academic journal publications
  5. Make an original contribution to the public policy debate on an economic issue
  6. Develope practical research skills applicable to a wide range of policy questions

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Course Introduction Lecturer: Professor David Stern
2 Week 2: Research Design Lecturer: Professor David Stern
3 Week 3: Special Topic Guest Lecturer
4 Week 4: Special Topic Guest Lecturer
5 Week 5: Special Topic Guest lecturer
6 Week 6: Proposal Presentations
7 Week 7: Research Week This week time is set aside for individual research work.
8 Week 8: Research Week This week time is set aside for individual research work.
9 Week 9: Research Week This week time is set aside for individual research work.
10 Week 10: Research Week This week time is set aside for individual research work.
11 Week 11: Practice Presentations There will be a session for students who would like feedback on their presentation.
12 Week 12: Final Presentations

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Proposal 5 % 01/04/2021 21/04/2021 1,2
Proposal Presentation 5 % 31/03/2021 01/04/2021 3
Final Presentation 5 % 26/05/2021 27/05/2021 3
Data and Code/Programs or other workings 5 % 06/06/2021 02/07/2021 4
Research essay 80 % 06/06/2021 02/07/2021 1,2,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 01/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 21/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Research Proposal

Describe the public policy issue or economic issue that your Masters Research Essay will address.

Critique the existing literature on the topic of your essay with a focus on how the literature relates specifically to your question.

Outline your research plan, and explain and justify the approach that you intend to use to address your Masters Research Essay question.

Length: Up to 6 A4 pages, 1.5 spacing.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 31/03/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3

Proposal Presentation

Oral presentation of your research question, how the current literature relates to your question, and your research plan.

Duration 5 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 26/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3

Final Presentation

Oral presentation of your research question, research method and results. This assessment is compulsory. Failing to make a final presentation will result in failing the course. The final presentation can be rescheduled due to illness and other legitimate reasons.

Duration: 10 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 06/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 4

Data and Code/Programs or other workings

All students will need to submit a copy of their data and any computer code or programs that they have written or compiled to generate their results. If a student chooses not to undertake a project that has an empirical component they should discuss this component of assessment with the lecturer during the semester to determine the appropriate evidence required for their particular project.

This assessment is compulsory. Failure to submit data/code will result in failing the course.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 06/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Research essay

Conduct original research and analysis on the policy question; Write a research paper in the style used in scientific journal publications in the field of economics; Make an original contribution on an economic issue. The contribution may be to the public policy debate or to developing and extending economic knowledge; Develop a wide range of practical research skills, such as critical writing, econometrics, and economic analysis.

Length: Max. 10,000 words, excluding supplementary materials. This is a maximum. Shorter papers are strongly encouraged!

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof David Stern
02 6125 0176

Research Interests

Energy economics, environmental economics, economic growth, research assessment

Prof David Stern

By Appointment
By Appointment
Prof David Stern
02 6125 0176

Research Interests

Prof David Stern

By Appointment
By Appointment

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