Making Economic History Count

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jordan Claridge SAR 5.05


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Economic History. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

This course provides students a brief, non-technical introduction to the quantitative methods that economic historians use to understand the past. It assumes no prior statistical knowledge or experience. It will teach students basic statistics (descriptive statistics and inferential statistics) and how to implement and visualise these statistics with Excel. These skills will be essential for the independent research projects conducted in the second and third year and are highly desired skills on the job market.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 11 hours across Michaelmas Term. Teaching may be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and flipped-lectures delivered as short online videos. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.’

Formative coursework

The formative coursework will consist of weekly exercises to give students practise with Excel and the methods being taught in the lecture. There will be a formative take home exam over the reading week in Michaelmas Term, to test students' knowledge of the material.

Indicative reading

Hudson, Pat and Mina Ishizu, History by Numbers (London, 2016).

Feinstein, Charles and Mark Thomas, Making History Count: A Primer in Quantitative Methods for Historians (Cambridge, 2002).


There is no summative assessment for this course.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2019/20: 35

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills