EH498      Half Unit

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Patrick Wallis SAR.5.11


This course is available on the MSc in Economic History and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is the default dissertation option for students following the MSc Economic History and the MSc Political Economy of Late Development.  Students wishing to write a full-unit (10,000 word) dissertation may, with the approval of their academic adviser, request to take EH499 and fewer optional courses.

Course content

The subject of the dissertation should relate broadly to one of the economic history taught courses taken by the student. It should be either a critical survey of a well-defined problem in the literature, or a small self-contained research project using primary evidence. It must demonstrate adequate knowledge of appropriate literature in Economic History and an ability to handle problems of evidence and explanation.

Students on the MSc in Political Economy of Late Development are encouraged to consider topics that relate to themes in development, but are still required to develop a clear historical perspective within their analysis.



Starting in the first term, students will receive advice on choosing a topic and how to tackle it, both from the Department and, individually, from their supervisors. There will be several taught sessions in Michaelmas Term for all students on the programme in addition to meetings with supervisors during the course of the year.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to complete a sequence of preparatory stages during the year. (1) The title must be approved by the student's supervisor; (2) an outline of the Essay must be submitted in Lent Term (3) a one-page project summary and an extended draft by the end of the Summer Term. Supervisors will not normally provide comments on drafts submitted after that date.


Dissertation (100%, 6000 words) post-summer term.

The dissertation should be no longer than 6,000 words, excluding tables, references and bibliography. Marks will be deducted for late submission or excessive length.

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: 55

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills