Programmes

BSc Economic History

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Economic History
  • UCAS code V300
  • Starting 2017

Economic history is concerned with economic change in the past, looking at topics such as why some societies thrive while others don’t. It uses concepts and theories from across the social sciences to study the development of real economies and understand them in their social, political and cultural contexts. It combines the skills of the economist and the historian, the statistician and the sociologist.

LSE is one of few institutions with a department dedicated to the study of economic history. During the programme you will examine important global issues such as the economic and social effects of wars, the importance of education and human capital in economic change, and the history of economic development in the third world.

You will complete a research project in your third year where you undertake an original piece of research on a topic of your choice. The programme will enable you to develop a range of research skills which are highly valued by employers across a variety of careers, including numeracy, the ability to evaluate and analyse data, and to present an argument orally or on paper.

Programme details

Key facts

BSc Economic History
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 214
First year students 2016 28
Availability Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas fee: £18,408 for the first year
Usual standard offer A level: grades A A B
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100.

First year

In your first year you will take two introductory courses in economic history, LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only, and will choose one option offered by other departments. You will take either Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background. Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent.

(* denotes a half-unit course)

The Internationalisation of Economic Growth, 1870 to the Present Day
Focuses on the inter-relationships between the development of the international economy and the growth of national economies since the late nineteenth century.

Either
Economics A
Provides a foundation in economics, primarily to those without significant background in the subject.
Or
Economics B
An introductory course in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Pre-industrial Economic History
Surveys long-term processes of growth and development in late medieval and early modern Europe (fourteenth to eighteenth centuries).

One outside option

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Second year

In your second year you will take one compulsory economic history course, and will continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. You will also choose three courses in the second year, at least two of which should be in economic history, and the third of which could be either another economic history option or an option from another department.

Theories and Evidence in Economic History
This course examines theories and concepts used in economic history and introduces the methods used to collect evidence and generate inference on relevant historical questions.

Two economic history options 

Either
Economic history courses to the value of one unit
Or
One outside option to the value of one unit

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year

In your third year you will choose three courses in economic history and submit a 10,000 word research project. 

Two advanced economic history options

One economic history option

10,000 word project


You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will have 8 to 10 hours of timetabled classes per week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide. As well as lectures, all courses are taught in small weekly classes led by a Graduate Teaching Assistant. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

You will have an academic adviser who will advise on course choices, offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns and help with your research project. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. You will usually have to present up to four essays for each Economic History course, as well as delivering class presentations. The 10,000 word research project is counted as one course out of four in the third year. The compulsory second year course also has a 3,000 word project as part of the final assessment, worth 30 per cent of the final mark. The majority of other Economic History courses are assessed by means of formal three-hour examinations; some also include summative essays and presentations. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject, we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books:

R C Allen The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

G Clark A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world (Princeton University Press, 2007)

N F R Crafts and P Fearon The Great Depression of the 1930s: lessons for today(Oxford University Press, 2013)

S L Engerman and K L Sokoloff Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: endowments and institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

C Goldin and L Katz The Race between Education and Technology (Harvard University Press, 2008)

J Humphries Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution(Cambridge University Press, 2010)

D C North, J J Wallis and B Weingast Violence and Social Orders: a conceptual framework for interpreting recorded human history (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

S Ogilvie Institutions and European Trade: merchant guilds, 1000–1800(Cambridge University Press, 2011)

K H O’Rourke and J G Williamson Globalization and History: the evolution of a nineteenth century Atlantic economy (MIT Press, 1999)

K Pomeranz The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy (Princeton University Press, 2000)

C M Reinhart and K S Rogoff This Time Is Different: eight centuries of financial folly (Princeton University Press, 2009)

B Yun-Casalilla and P K O’Brien The Rise of Fiscal States: a global history, 1500–1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Careers

Economic history combines the skills of the economist, the statistician and the sociologist, as well as those of the historian, therefore graduates leave with a portfolio of highly transferable skills that can be applied across a wide variety of employment sectors. Our graduates can be found in senior positions throughout many professions, in the City, financial and market consultancy, NGOs and the charity sector, the civil service, sales and marketing, teaching, government and academia.

Kate Flocken

BSc Economic History, 2010
Legislative Aide, U.S. Senate

Kate-Flocken170x230

Working for Congress has provided a tremendous learning experience in many different policy portfolios. It has been exceptional for me in terms of learning and professional development, and I love being at the centre of policy making.

At LSE I learned how to analyse vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently. This ability to master a wide variety of issues while applying them to constantly changing circumstances has been crucial to my work in the US Senate.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE.

Student stories

Abby Tinuola Kalejaye

BSc Economic History
Lagos, Nigeria 

Abby-Tinuola-Kalejaye170x230

I like that the BSc Economic History at LSE emphasises independent study and research. Despite this, the tutors are always approachable and helpful, and the classes are small, well-structured and relaxed. In addition, the main Library is very well stocked and I have never been short of resources.

Mohammed Mehdi

BSc Economic History
Boston, USA

Mohammed-Mehdi170x230

LSE has one of the largest economic history departments in the world and provides a unique opportunity to learn from leading scholars and researchers. The breadth of courses offered by the department allows you to explore just about any area in this field. What’s more, the final year dissertation provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge which is both challenging and rewarding.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Economic History

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A B in their A levels (or 37 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, with 6 6 6 in Higher level subjects).

Applicants should also have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A and A*, or equivalent. Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B. We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and, where applicable, programme requirements, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

For the BSc Economic History, we are looking for academic students with a flair for social sciences, and many applicants will be studying subjects such as History, Economics, Government and/or Geography. There is no one ideal subject combination, but one essay-based subject is essential. Economics and modern foreign languages are considered to be essay writing subjects in addition to the preferred humanities and social science subjects. The majority of applicants for this programme will have studied either Economics or History, in some form, as part of their sixth-form curriculum, although, these are not required subjects. Other subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Further Maths, Physics, and Chemistry.

If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following skills:

- interest in history and awareness of the links between history, economics and social change
- ability to be flexible in approaching problems
- ability to think independently
- ability to apply logic and draw reasoned and balanced conclusions
- good communication skills
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2017/18

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year (provisional pending final approval by Parliament)
Overseas students £18,408 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in October 2016 that the fee level listed for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2017/18 will be the same as Home UK for the subsequent years of their undergraduate degree programme.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. 

Further information about fee status classification
Further information about tuition fees

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students.

Find out more about tuition fee loans.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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