Programmes

MSc Economic History (Research)

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Economic History
  • Application code V3U2
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • UK/EU part-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Overseas part-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Economic History (Research) provides the essential training and skills needed to pursue research in any aspect of economic history.

You will be able to choose from a wide range of elective courses in economic history, allowing you to compile a programme according to your interests and career goals. You will also choose one or more research training courses and a compulsory economic history course, as well as taking a core course focussed on major theories and approaches in the field.  An important component of the programme consists in the completion of a major research dissertation in an approved topic of your choice.

Economic history combines the skills of the economist and statistician with those of the historian, political scientist and sociologist.  The programme provides a broad training in social science research methods and their application to historical study, including the role of theory, evaluation, analysis and explanation, quantitative techniques and computing, the use of sources and presentational skills.

This research track can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as the first year of a research degree, followed by 3–4 years of MPhil/PhD, which would then make it eligible for ESRC funding. You should indicate in your personal statement if you wish to be considered for the 1+3 programme and submit an outline research proposal.

Teaching and learning in 2021
We hope that programmes beginning in September 2021 will be unaffected by Coronavirus. If there are going to be any changes to the delivery of the programme we will update this page to reflect the amendments and all offer holders will be notified. For more information about LSE's teaching plans for 2020 please visit: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/Prospective-students/Teaching-Methods and to view our Coronavirus FAQ's for prospective students please see: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/meet-visit-and-discover-LSE/COVID-19/Coronavirus-FAQs-for-prospective-applicants

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Economic History (Research)
Start date 27 September 2021
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time 
Applications 2019 345 (includes MSc Economic History)
Intake 2019 64 (includes MSc Economic History)
Tuition fee Home: £15,216
Overseas £23,520
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 29 April 2021)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in a social science
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Economic History (Research)

Upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in social science.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- 1,000 word outline research proposal, stating your area of research interest
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Other programmes of interest

Candidates who are not aiming to pursue doctoral study in economic history or a related field may prefer the general MSc Economic History programme.  Candidates with a first degree in economics and a strong interest in quantitative approaches may wish to consider applying to the MSc Quantititative Economic History.  Candidates interested in combining the study of contemporary development processes with economic history may wish to consider the MSc Political Economy of Late Development.  The department also participates in the two-year MA Global Studies: A European Perspective, which focuses on global history more generally.

 

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2021/22 for MSc Economic History (Research)

Home students: £15,216
Overseas students: £23,520

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline.

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 29 April 2021.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

£22,608

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page. 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page 

Programme structure and courses

The programme comprises two compulsory half units, a dissertation and optional courses selected from a prescribed list.

This research track can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as the first year of a research degree, followed by 3–4 years of MPhil/PhD, which would then make it eligible for ESRC funding. You should indicate in your personal statement if you wish to be considered for the 1+3 programme and submit an outline research proposal.

(* denotes a half unit)

Historical Analysis of Economic Change*
Covers the central themes and key methodological and theoretical issues in economic history.

Research Dissertation A: Contextualisation, Theory and Research Design
Research Dissertation B: Implementation: Evidence, Analysis and Contribution

One from:
Research Design and Quantitative Methods in Economic History*
Focuses on how economic historians have used quantitative methods and with how researchers design and structure a research project.
Quantitative Topics in Economic History I: Cross-Section and Panel Data* 
Provides an overview of quantitative approaches in economic history, using primarily cross-section and panel data.
Quantitative Topics in Economic History II: Time Series and Economic Dynamics*
Provides an overview of quantitative approaches in economic history, using primarily time series and dynamic techniques.

Optional courses to the value of two full units from a range of options.


For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. The average taught course contact hours per half unit is 20-30 hours and a full unit is 40-60 hours. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

Teaching is usually spread over the Michaelmas and Lent terms, with the Summer term generally reserved for one week of teaching and revision sessions, followed by preparation for exams or other assessment, and/or the writing of your dissertation.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. The teacher responsible for each course can be found in the relevant course guide

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

 

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.  

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who meets with you during the course of the year to discuss your academic progress and who can help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment)

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries. 

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops. 

IT help– support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in 9 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy - is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients. 

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters. 

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Preliminary reading

The following is a list of general Economic History books that you might want to take a look at before you arrive at LSE. Please note, these books are listed as a general introduction to Economic History and may not appear on the reading lists of the courses that you actually take - they are presented as a starting point.

Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, London: Profile.

Allen, R.C. (2009), The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Austin, Gareth M. Markets, Slaves and States in West African History, c.1450 to the present (Cambridge: CUP 2013)

Austin, Gareth M. & Kaoru Sugihara (eds.) Labour-intensive industrialisation in Global History (London: Routledge 2013).

Baten, Joerg (2016), A History of the Global Economy. Cambridge.

Broadberry, S. and O’Rourke, K. (eds.) (2010), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crafts, N.F.R. and Fearon, P. (2013), The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Darwin, J. (2007), After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000, London: Allen Lane.

Engerman, Stanley L. & Kenneth L. Sokoloff Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: endowments and institutions (Cambridge: CUP/NBER 2012).

Findlay, R. and O’Rourke, K. (2009), Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton Economic History of the Western World), Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Floud, Roderick, Fogel, Robert, Harris, Bernard, and Hong, Sok Chul (2011), The Changing Body: health, nutrition, and human development in the western world since 1700. Cambridge.

Greif, A. (2006) Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hatcher, J. and Bailey, M (2001), Modelling the Middle Ages: The History and Theory of England’s Economic Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Herschman, Albert O. (2013), The Passions and the Interests: political arguments for capitalism before its triumph. Princeton.

King, Mervyn (2016), The End of Alchemy: money, banking and the future.  Little, Brown.

Livi-Bacci, Massimo (2012), A Concise History of Worl Population.  Wiley Blackwell.

Mackenzie, D (2006), An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Morgan, Mary S. (2012), The World in the Model: How Economists Work and Think, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

North, D.C., Wallis, J.J. and Weingast, B. (2009), Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History, Cambridge; Cambridge University Press.

Parthasarathi, P. (2011), Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Divergence, 1600-1850, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pomeranz, K. (2000), The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Reinhart, C.M. and Rogoff, K.S. (2009), This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rosenthal, J-L and Wong, R. Bin (2011), Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe, Harvard University Press.

Roy, T. (2012), India in the World Economy: From Antiquity to the Present (New Approaches to Asian History), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Von Glahn, Richard (2016), The Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century (CUP)

Yun-Casalilla, B. and O’Brien, P. (2011), The Rise of Fiscal States: A Global History, 1500-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Careers

Economic history graduates can be found in management and administration in the public and private sectors, banking, journalism, economic consultancy, and library and museum services, to mention just a few.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

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