Not available in 2021/22
The Origins of Growth

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Neil Cummins SAR.5.13


This course is available on the BA in History, BSc in Economic History, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Economic History with Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History and BSc in Economics with Economic History. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course explores the origins of modern economic growth through major themes such as life, love, death, place and inheritance. The focus is on the world's first breakthrough in Britain during the Industrial Revolution. Students will be exposed to frontier debates in economic history. Widespread use is made of intuitive econometrics, interdisciplinary insights and historical context.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will 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 MT and LT.

Formative coursework

During the course students are expected to write four essays or equivalent pieces of written work.

Indicative reading

Mokyr, The British Industrial Revolution; Floud and Johnson, Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain, vol I; Berg, Age of Manufactures; Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective; Crafts, British Economic Growth.


Exam (90%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Class participation (10%) in the MT, LT and ST.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2020/21: 13

Average class size 2020/21: 11

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: One 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