Not available in 2013/14
EH466      Half Unit
Labour and Work in Preindustrial Europe

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Patrick Wallis C414


This course is available on the MA Global Studies: A European Perspective, MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Global History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course explores the experiences and organisation of work in Europe before industrialisation, and explores some of the initial impact of industrialisation on the organisation and experiences of the labour force. An introductory session introduces the key themes and context. Over the next nine weeks we examine the major subjects in the economic and social history of labour in the early modern period and how they developed up to the early 19th century. Issues covered will include (but not be limited to): how was work organised? How were skills acquired? What kinds of work did women and children do? How did work differ in town and countryside? Did the intensity of work change? What political identity and impact did workers have? The course discusses the range of European experiences, but has a particular focus on developments in Britain, where labour first faced industrialisation.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.
Twenty hours of seminars. One seminar in the ST

Formative coursework

One essay of 2,500 words, one presentation and short weekly assignments.

Indicative reading

J. De Vries, The Industrious Revolution (2008); P. Wallis, 'Training and Apprenticeship', Journal of Economic History (2008); J. Farr, Hands of Honour (1998); S. Ogilvie, A Bitter Living (2003); Epstein & Prak, Guilds, innovation and the European Economy (2008); Kussmaul, Servants in husbandry (1981); A. Wood, Politics of Social Conflict (1999); Sonenscher, Work and Wages (1991); Allen, Enclosure and the Yeoman (1992); Hay and Craven, Masters, servants and magistrates (2004).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Teachers' comment

This course was not taught last year.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information