Module code: ECO2059

Module Overview

This module teaches the basic content and methods of economic history. It provides an overview of key events and periods in global economic development, from the industrial revolution onwards. It also teaches the disciplines of reading and writing in academic style, how to conduct research based on literature review, and how to build an argument using both theory and evidence. We will cover institutional, monetary, demographic and technological explanations for development through examining a variety of different historical contexts from across the globe and throughout history.

Module provider


Module Leader

SIMS Peter (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 33

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Content will include, but is not limited to, global economic development, industrialization, globalization, the emergence of modern economic growth, demographics, financial crises, catch-up development, and modern economic institutions.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 1 30
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 70

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the theories and themes of economic history, to assess their validity and application to a variety of historical cases and circumstances, and to critically evaluate arguments made in the economic history literature. This foundation is extended to a consideration of the relevance of various economic concepts in the understanding long-run change, technological and institutional change, and the sustainability of economic growth. 

One of the key skills students will develop in this module is academic writing, building on skills developed at level 4, and towards the level of mastery needed at level 6, 7, and for employability. Therefore, the summative assessment for this module consists of two writing assignments:

  • a midterm essay

  • a final essay.  

The assessment strategy is intended to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge, synthesis and critical thinking skills honed during seminar discussions, with sufficient time for additional independent reading, writing, editing and referencing. The essays test understanding of the module content, as well as their ability to write well-reasoned arguments using evidence and ideas from a variety of sources. Detailed feedback for the midterm essay will help students focus on areas for improvement for the final essay.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback during lectures and tutorials through direct questioning. After the class tests, the test questions, solutions, and main feedback will be discussed in class. All this feedback will help students to judge their own performance and prepare for the final exam. Practice exams will provide the students with guided learning so they can identify issues they may be having with the content by comparing their answers to the provided solutions before the tests. Readings from the textbook will also be assigned so the students can see the material presented in a different way since breadth of perspective is typically helpful. Feedback on the writing assignment will also help the students to identify any misconceptions. In addition, students will be encouraged to attend student consultation hours of the teaching staff to receive further individual verbal feedback.

Module aims

  • To familiarise students with the ways in which macroeconomic and other analytical tools can illuminate our understanding of economic development.
  • To provide an overview of economic history from a macroeconomic perspective
  • To teach students to express that understanding in written arguments..

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Display knowledge of the chronology and facts of economic development from the First Industrial Revolution onwards KCPT
002 Explain how different economic theories can be used to explain historical events KC
003 Write a coherent argument in answer to an open-ended question using both theory and evidence to defend an original thesis KCPT
004 Critically evaluate arguments drawn from the literature based on evidence, context and economic reasoning KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include: 

Students will attend Lectures . The purposes of these lectures are to introduce students to the context of economic history, its main governing theories, and to examine historical cases and events from those perspectives. Connections will be drawn between economic theories that students will have encountered at levels 4 and 5, including monetarist and Keynesian concepts of the causes of inflation, income and national output, and unemployment. Students will also make use of the contextual economic reasoning developed in Contemporary Issues in Economics. Students will also attend on weekly seminars. These interactive seminars will build an appreciation of the usefulness of economic concepts in historical analysis further reinforcing what has been learned in lectures and independent reading. They will allow students to communicate their knowledge of relevant economic concepts in (group) discussions effectively.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ECO2059

Other information

The School of Economics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities particularly in the following areas:

Sustainability: This module covers the patterns of long-term economic growth, which is the fundamental basis of modern standards of living. We also examine periods of economic crisis and attempt to explain why economies are vulnerable to crisis, how recovery occurs (or not), and what lessons can be drawn for sustaining our own economic system into the future.

Global and cultural awareness: The examples in this module are drawn from around the world, including topics discussing not only Europe and North America, but East Asia, Latin America and Africa. Sensitivity to historical and cultural context is key to successfully applying economic ideas to different times and places.

Employability: This module emphasizes key skills for the workplace, including clear and focused writing, information search, and synthesizing multiple information sources to answer questions in context.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Finance BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.