Making Economic History Count

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Eric Schneider SAR 5.18


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.


10 hours of workshops in the MT.

This course is delivered through a 5 2-hour workshops in Michaelmas Term.

This year, while we are planning for most classes and seminars to be delivered in person, it is possible that some or all of this teaching may have to be delivered virtually. Lectures will either be recorded or given in the form of live webinars

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.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: 35

Average class size 2021/22: 36

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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