Programmes

MSc Economic History

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Economic History
  • Application code V3U1
  • Starting 2018

The MSc Economic History offers a flexible programme to those who have already studied economic history at first-degree level, or for those who have studied a related discipline and whose interests have moved towards economic history.

You will be able to choose from a wide range of elective courses in economic history, allowing you to compile a programme according to your interests and career goals. You will also complete a dissertation on an approved topic of your choice. The programme provides a broad training in social science research methods and their application to historical study, including the role of theory, evaluation, analysis and explanation, quantitative techniques and computing, the use of sources and presentational skills.

Economic history combines the skills of the economist, the statistician and the sociologist, as well as those of the historian. You will therefore leave the programme with a portfolio of highly transferable skills that can be applied across a wide variety of employment sectors.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Economic History
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2016 275 (includes MSc Economic History Research)
Intake 2016 61 (includes MSc Economic History Research)
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £13,536
Overseas £20,904
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 26 April 2018)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in a social science
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

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

Programme structure and courses

The degree consists of one compulsory half unit, a compulsory half-unit dissertation and optional courses to the value of two and a half units selected from the prescribed list, which must include at least one of our advanced survey courses on modern or pre-modern economic history over the last millennium.

With the approval of your academic adviser, instead of taking the half-unit dissertation course, you may request to take the full-unit, 10,000 word dissertation and courses to the value of one and a half units from a range of options.

(* denotes a half unit)

Historical Analysis of Economic Change*
Covers the central themes and key methodological and theoretical issues in economic history.

Essay/Dissertation*
An independent research project of 6,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

And either:
The Development and Integration of the World Economy in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Provides and overview of the development and integration of the world economy since the First Industrial Revolution.
Or
Pre-modern Paths of Growth: East and West Compared, c1000-1800

Surveys long-term processes of growth and development in pre-modern Europe, China and Japan.

Courses to the value of two units from a range of options

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 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 graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Teaching is usually spread over the Michaelmas and Lent terms, with the Summer term generally reserved for one week of teaching and revision sessions, followed by preparation for exams or other assessment, and/or the writing of your dissertation.

The average taught course contact hours per half unit is 20-30 hours and a full unit is 40-60 hours. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each 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.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

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. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

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.

Preliminary reading

The following is a list of general Economic History books that you might want to take a look at before you arrive at LSE. Please note, these books are listed as a general introduction to Economic History and may not appear on the reading lists of the courses that you actually take - they are presented as a starting point.

Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, London: Profile.

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

Austin, Gareth M. Markets, Slaves and States in West African History, c.1450 to the present (Cambridge: CUP 2013)

Austin, Gareth M. & Kaoru Sugihara (eds.) Labour-intensive industrialisation in Global History (London: Routledge 2013).

Baten, Joerg (2016), A History of the Global Economy. Cambridge.

Broadberry, S. and O’Rourke, K. (eds.) (2010), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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

Darwin, J. (2007), After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000, London: Allen Lane.

Engerman, Stanley L. & Kenneth L. Sokoloff Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: endowments and institutions (Cambridge: CUP/NBER 2012).

Findlay, R. and O’Rourke, K. (2009), Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton Economic History of the Western World), Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Floud, Roderick, Fogel, Robert, Harris, Bernard, and Hong, Sok Chul (2011), The Changing Body: health, nutrition, and human development in the western world since 1700. Cambridge.

Greif, A. (2006) Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hatcher, J. and Bailey, M (2001), Modelling the Middle Ages: The History and Theory of England’s Economic Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Herschman, Albert O. (2013), The Passions and the Interests: political arguments for capitalism before its triumph. Princeton.

King, Mervyn (2016), The End of Alchemy: money, banking and the future.  Little, Brown.

Livi-Bacci, Massimo (2012), A Concise History of Worl Population.  Wiley Blackwell.

Mackenzie, D (2006), An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Morgan, Mary S. (2012), The World in the Model: How Economists Work and Think, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

North, D.C., Wallis, J.J. and Weingast, B. (2009), Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History, Cambridge; Cambridge University Press.

Parthasarathi, P. (2011), Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Divergence, 1600-1850, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pomeranz, K. (2000), The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Reinhart, C.M. and Rogoff, K.S. (2009), This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rosenthal, J-L and Wong, R. Bin (2011), Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe, Harvard University Press.

Roy, T. (2012), India in the World Economy: From Antiquity to the Present (New Approaches to Asian History), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Von Glahn, Richard (2016), The Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century (CUP)

Yun-Casalilla, B. and O’Brien, P. (2011), The Rise of Fiscal States: A Global History, 1500-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Careers

Economic history graduates can be found in management and administration in the public and private sectors; banking; journalism; economic consultancy; and library and museum services, to mention just a few.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Jacob Hipps

MSc Economic History
Senior Manager Global Supply Chain Strategy, Walmart

JacobHipps170x230

I worked in corporate finance from 2008-10 and witnessed the fall-out from the financial crisis. The experience prompted me to explore the economic theories supporting US policies. I became interested in the history of economic thought and LSE had the only dedicated program in this area.

I look back on my experience at LSE as a great watering of intellectual seeds. LSE was a year of tremendous intellectual growth. It is rare to be surrounded by folks who think deeply and instinctively and jump into well-reasoned debates. The greatest thing I took from the LSE, which applies to my career, is comfort in forming, defending, and reforming my views.

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 Careers.

Student stories

Jake Dedoyard

MSc Economic History
Seattle, USA

Jake-Dedoyard-170x230

My favourite aspects of LSE are definitely the people and the location. The work is intense and all of my peers are talented, but there is a real esprit de corps that makes it a rewarding experience. The professors express a genuine interest in the students' learning, and I have probably learned as much by assimilation into the London environment as I have from the programme.

LSE provides you with opportunities to challenge yourself in as many ways as you can dream up. I have had time to interact with accomplished peers and faculty who have challenged me to refine my thinking, to expand the scope of my knowledge and experience, and to understand the limits of what we can assess in the scope of social sciences.

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.

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

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

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.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Economic History

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in social science.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for 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 2018/19 for MSc Economic History

UK/EU students: £13,536
Overseas students: £20,904

Fee status

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

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

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