Theories and Evidence in Economic History

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Patrick Wallis SAR 5.11

Prof Eric Schneider SAR 5.18


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

Course content

This course teaches students how to conduct, evaluate and interpret research in economic history. Taking a practical, applied approach, students will design and conduct three research projects drawing heavily upon the archival material available in the LSE Archives and Library. The course also introduces students to critical interpretation and analysis of primary sources and research methodologies, and the nature of historical knowledge. By the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of research design, historical sources and methods, which will leave them well-prepared for their dissertation in their final year. In addition, they will have a non-technical understanding of more complex quantitative methods such as regression so that they can engage critically with current scholarship in economic history.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes, workshops and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. 

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write two formative essays and complete other shorter formative coursework for the course.

Indicative reading

J Tosh, The Pursuit of History (2002), L Jordanova, History in Practice (2000), CH Feinstein and M Thomas, Making History Count (2002), and P Hudson, History by Numbers (2000)


Project (25%, 4000 words) in the MT.
Project (50%, 3000 words) in the ST.
In-class assessment (15%) in the LT.
Class participation (10%) in the MT and LT.

Assessment comprises a group project (25%, 4000 words) in the MT; an individual project (50%, 3000 words) due in ST; a summative in-class exercise (15%) in the LT; and 10% for participation and submission of formative work.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: 88

Average class size 2021/22: 15

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

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

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