Programmes

MSc Political Economy of Late Development

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Economic History
  • Application code V3UC
  • Starting 2019
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: London

Drawing on the research expertise and practical experience of the Department of Economic History and the Department of International Development, this integrated programme uses techniques of long-run growth analysis to inform modern approaches to development policy and practice.

The programme combines in-depth analyses of historical patterns of growth, explorations of concrete development problems – and policy responses to them – and regional courses that draw on theory and empirical evidence to appraise development processes and outcomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It provides an integrated, comparative assessment of current development debates, and locates them in appropriate historical and theoretical contexts.

You will consider questions such as how and when some developing economies 'converged' with industrialised countries, while the growth performance of others was more erratic, and why problems of poverty, inequality, poor governance, and violence still characterise large parts of the world.

This will be an ideal programme if you are planning a career in development work. It will also provide a good foundation for social science research in the development field.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Political Economy of Late Development
Start date 30 September 2019
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time only
Applications 2017 119
Intake 2017 17
Availability UK/EU: Open from October
Overseas: Open from October
Tuition fee UK/EU: £14,088
Overseas: £21,744
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 26 April 2019)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in social science or humanities
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (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

This programme consists of two compulsory units, a dissertation, and optional courses to the value of two full units selected from the prescribed list. The compulsory elements are Development: Theory, History and Policy and Theories, Paths and Patterns of Late Development, to which the dissertation is linked. In choosing options, you must select an equivalent of one full Department of International Development unit and one full Department of Economic History unit.

Please note that some options have prerequisites and some have a restricted intake.

(* denotes a half unit)

Theories, Paths and Patterns of Late Development*
Examines the central themes and key methodological and theoretical issues in economic history.

Development: History, Theory and Policy
Integrates the concepts and perspectives of a range of disciplines to consider: major trends of development and change in modern history and interpretations of them in the social sciences; and contemporary economic and social theory and their bearing on the policy and practice of development.

Dissertation*

Courses to the value of two full 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

This course comprises lectures, seminars, essays and examinations. Depending on the options selected it may vary in respect of hours and word count.

The average taught course contact hours per half unit is 20-30 hours and a full unit is 40-60 hours. This programme comprises lectures, seminars, essays and examinations. 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 mentor 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

The programme is primarily intended for students planning a career in development work, and provides a good foundation for social science research in development.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Andre Rainho das Neves

MSc Political Economy of Late Development

Brazil 

AndreRainhodasNeves. 170x230jpg

After graduating from Law School in Brazil, I went to LSE to further my knowledge in development economics. My main academic interest has long been the interaction between institutions and economics, and I thought the MSc in Political Economy of Late Development would help me broaden my analytic skills and my knowledge in economics. It did just that.

My career path has developed as planned so far. In the future, I would like to pursue an academic career and leave the practice of law. In my current job, my day-to-day responsibilities involve substantial team work, analytical skills and paying attention for detail. All these skills were significantly improved during my time at LSE.

The reasons that I chose LSE and my degree were: the field of study, the amazing international and cosmopolitan environment of LSE; and the wonders of living in London. I would encourage current LSE students to make the most of all the facilities which it has to offer.

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

Balder Vestad

MSc Political Economy of Late Development

BalderVestad170x230

My advice from my career so far would be: If you don’t know what you would like to do, go for a broad position that gives you complementary skills to those you already have. Don’t be afraid to apply for positions you might think you won’t get – you never know what they’re looking for, and LSE has a very strong name.

An interest in economics, politics and development made me choose my LSE programme. LSE’s reputation as a great school with good teachers and motivated and smart students was attractive. A lot of employers seem to be impressed when they see that you have a master’s degree from LSE. Perhaps the network might come in handy later. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at LSE – the school, the teachers, the city, my fellow students helped make the year a great experience! I learned a lot that I have benefitted from since. 

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 Political Economy of Late Development

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

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the 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 2019/20 for MSc Political Economy of Late Development

UK/EU students: £14,088
Overseas students: £21,744

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.

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.

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 2019.

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.

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

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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