Programmes

BSc Economic History and Geography

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Economic History
  • UCAS code V3L7
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open from September
  • Overseas full-time: Open from September
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Economic history analyses how past economies have changed and the factors that have influenced economic development. It focuses on practical questions about real economies. For instance, why are some countries rich and others poor, what forces shape inequality and what does historical experience reveal about current global economic developments and crises? Meanwhile, geography focuses on improving understanding of the social, economic and environmental aspects of geography and informing policy processes worldwide.

This programme combines the two complementary fields of economic history and geography in a joint honours programme, with around half of the programme in each field. You will consider important global questions such as how economic change in the past and up to the present has been shaped by geography and how processes reaching well back in the past affect the economic and social geography of modern societies.

As part of your programme, you will complete a series of research projects based on primary historical sources. These culminate with a year-long dissertation in your third year where you undertake an original piece of research in historical economic geography on a topic of your choice. These projects will help you develop a range of research skills which are highly valued by employers across a variety of careers. These include the ability to evaluate, analyse and visualise data and to present your findings persuasively in written and oral form.

Listen to our podcast on studying economic history t at LSE, recorded at one of our Undergraduate Open Days.

Programme details

Key facts


Academic year (2021/22) September 2021 - June 2021
Application deadline 15 January 2021
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2019 53/16/4

For information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the sections below.

Entry requirements

Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.

GCSEs
Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 6).
We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile.

A-levels
AAB 
We also consider your AS grades, if available.

IB Diploma
37 points overall. 666 in higher level subjects.

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 and Geography, 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, History or Geography, 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 Mathematics, 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.

Find out more about subject combinations.

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 (See 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- subjects and subject combinations (See 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- personal statement (See below for programme specific information)
- 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 page.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

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

- an interest in history and geography and awareness of the links between history, geography and economic and social change
- an ability to be flexible in approaching problems
- an ability to think independently
- an 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 above in the preliminary reading section, 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

UK/EU* students:

The 2021 tuition fee for new UK/EU students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for UK and EU students* is £9,250 per year. The UK/EU undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

*Please note that the EU tuition fee level for 2021 entry cannot be confirmed until later in 2020.

Overseas students:

The 2021 tuition fee for international students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for international students* is £21,570 per year. Once announced, the overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants starting their studies from 2020 onwards.

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.

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, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body in 2019. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do. 

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page.

2) Go to the International Students section of our website.

3) Select your country.

4) Select ‘Undergraduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review.

First year

In your first year you will take four compulsory courses, on geography, economic history, and economics. You will also take LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review. 

(* denotes a half unit)

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.

Introduction to Geography 
Examines the key concepts of human geography.

Introduction to Geographical Research
Introduces students to the production of geographical and environmental knowledge and to prepare them to become producers of such knowledge themselves. 

Microeconomics I*
There are two versions of this course: EC1A3 and EC1A5. Students will be advised about the most option to take depending of the course to take depending on academic background or future course choices.

Macroeconomics I* 
There are two versions of this course: EC1B3 and EC1B5. Students will be advised about the most appropriate option to take depending of the course to take depending on academic background or future course choices.

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. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review. 

Second year

In your second year you will take compulsory courses in each geography and economic history, and choose further options from each. You will also continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review. 

The Economic Geography of Trade, Production and Development*

The Economics of Cities*

Theories and Evidence in Economic History
This course combines practical and theoretical approaches to conducting, evaluating and interpreting research in economic history.  Students will learn to use primary sources and design their own research project. It also introduces students to critical interpretation and analysis of primary sources and research methodologies, and the nature of historical knowledge. 

Economic history options to the value of one unit

Geography options 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. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review. 

Third year

In your third year you will take two compulsory half-unit geography courses, a historical economic geography course, and complete a dissertation. You will also choose further geography options. 

Firms and Economic Geography: Location Technology and Innovation*

The Economics of Housing Markets and Migration*

Historical Economic Geography: Cities, Markets and Regions in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Explores how and why the location of economic activities changes across time and space from industrialisation up to the present. 

Geography options to the value of one unit

Dissertation in Historical Economic Geography

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page

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 undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Format and contact hours: 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

Independent study: 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.

Academic support

Academic mentor: You will have an academic mentor who will advise on course choices, offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns and help with your research project. 

Other academic support: 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.

Disability and Wellbeing service: 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 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.
  • 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.

Assessment

Formative unassessed coursework: 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.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). 

Summative assessment (assessment that counts towards your final course mark and degree award):  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. 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.

Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who you will meet with at least once a term and help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment)

Academic support librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies.

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking.

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops.

IT help– they support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.

LSE Faith centre – a place for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a quiet cave for individual meditation. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and a centre for transformational leadership programmes promoting interreligious understanding across the diverse student body.

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern foreign language courses in 10 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning support. lse.ac.uk/language

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights.

LSE Library - Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide.

LSE LIFE – this is where you should goto develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment).

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.

Nursery it offers places for 63 children (aged three months to five years) which are discounted for children of students and staff.

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective.

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community.

Life in London

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more.

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget.

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 Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011)

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

J Diamond Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Past 13,000 Years (Vintage, 1998)

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

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

E Glaeser Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011)

S Chant and C McIlwaine Geographies of Development in the 21st Century: an introduction to the Global South (Edward Elgar 2009)

P Dicken Global Shift: mapping the changing contours of the world economy (Sage Publications, 2015)

M Storper Keys to the City: how economics, institutions, social interaction and politics shape development (Princeton University Press, 2013)

E Moretti The new geography of jobs (Mariner, 2013)

A O'Sullivan, Urban Economics (Irwin/MacGraw-Hill, 2012)



Careers

Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Economic History

Median salary of our UG students six months after graduating: £32,000

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Investment banking 
  • Auditing
  • Consultancy
  • Retail and commercial banking
  • Education and teaching

The data was collected through an annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, aggregated over five years (2011-2016). The survey was completed by graduates approximately six months after their graduation ceremony. The median salary is calculated for those whose main activity is working full-time and includes those working outside the UK.

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.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

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.

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Every undergraduate programme of more than one year duration will have UNISTATS data. The data allows you to compare 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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