Programme Specification: BSc Economic History 1. Awarding Body

Programme Specification: BSc Economic History
1. Awarding Body
2. Details of accreditation by a
professional/statutory body, e.g. ESRC;
BPS etc
3. Name of final award
4. Programme Title
5. Duration of the course
6. Based in the Department/Institute:
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark
8. UCAS Code
9. First written/last amended
V300 BSc/EcHist
September 2003 / November 2012
Economic History
36 months
Economic History
History (2007)
10. The programme aims to:
Provide students with the resources and experience to understand and evaluate
claims about how and why the economic world changes;
Provide training in economic history to the level where students can marshal
arguments and evidence in making such claims.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
Subject knowledge:
 a substantial body of economic history knowledge involving both breadth and depth;
 an appreciation of the complexity of reconstructing the past and the problematic
nature of evidence.
Transferable understanding and skills:
 understand complex problems by framing them in ways which simplify while still
retaining relevance;
 ability to undertake independent research on their own formulated question;
 gather, deploy and assess evidence;
 make logical arguments consistent with inferences from evidence;
 examine critically the arguments and evidence presented by others;
 communicate these arguments and conclusions in clear, concise and persuasive
General skills:
 skills in IT for general use;
 library and information search skills;
 research report writing;
 oral presentations.
Information relating to careers can be accessed here
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated
Teaching and learning strategies:
The teaching programme is based on a progression from 1st to 3rd year courses in terms of the
sophistication of the treatment of concepts, theories, evidence, topics, and questions. This is
primarily a learning-by-doing progression which engages the student in developing
understanding and skills through taking courses covering different times, places and themes.
This progression is reflected in the teaching, learning and assessment arrangements. All
courses consist of 20-24 weeks of formal teaching, 2 hours per week per course. First and
second year courses are delivered by means of a combination of lectures and classes
(maximum 15 students in a class). Third year teaching is predominantly conducted by 2-hour
Students first learn how to apply economic thinking to historical problems in our first year
compulsory course. Lectures are used to deliver knowledge of the substantive topic alongside
the methods of approach. In complementary accompanying classes, students learn from
discussing the professional journal and book literature and answering specific questions
designed to help them understand the difficulties and possibilities of applying a social science
to historical problems. Concurrently, students are required to be studying economics and
either other social science courses or quantitative techniques.
In their second year, students take a compulsory course (EH237) which examines theories
and concepts used in economic history and provides an introduction to the methods used by
economic historians. Students also take a specialist course designed to broaden their subject
coverage through comparative economic history and deepen their understanding. ). (Two
other selected optional courses are also taken.) Again, students learn from a combination of
lectures and classes with the specialist “in depth” course providing the opportunity for students
to meet with primary source evidence. In their third year, students take three specialist
courses and primarily learn through seminars in which students work on open-ended, but preassigned, course questions.
All class and seminar teaching is based on the active participation by students, and so this is
where learning-by-doing takes place. Progression through the years requires an increasing
level of student self-motivation and self-direction as well as more difficult and conceptually
advanced materials and questions. All courses in economic history are supported by Moodle,
which is the virtual learning environment system (VLE) used by LSE.
A very important component of students’ learning is that they undertake an independent
research project on an economic history topic of their own choosing in their 3rd year. This is
done following general guidelines and according to a structured timetable. During this
process, students discuss their topics and research questions together and with faculty
members, providing several feedback opportunities. In addition, each student is allowed two
formal supervisors, their tutor and another relevant faculty member. The general and
individual supervision sessions are designed to help them to develop their work according to
the requirements for the thesis, namely independent research work with primary source
materials. Each student may have a draft of their thesis read once before submission and has
the opportunity to revise it following feedback from the faculty member.
All lectures are taught by LSE faculty or visiting teachers and post-doctoral researchers and all
3rd year seminars are led by such faculty. First and second year classes are taught by parttime teachers, mainly the department’s current or completed PhD students. Such teachers
are supported by the course lecturer and by the department’s Mentor for Graduate Teaching
assistants (as well as the School’s support and training systems for such teachers). All
students are allocated to a member of the teaching faculty for individual supervision and
dissertation supervision. Visitors and research faculty are also available to provide further
expertise for dissertation research. The Undergraduate Departmental Tutor provides support
to all students in respect of course choice, and any other programme issues.
Assessment Strategies
All courses have written work requirements appropriate to their levels and all students are
given feedback on written work during each course. All courses, with the exception of EH237,
are formally assessed by 3 hour written examination. EH237 is examined by a 3,000 word
project as well as a 3 hour written examination. 3rd year students produce a 10,000 word
research dissertation according to criteria related to the programme aims and outcomes
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See further information on BSc Economic History
Additional information
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
Course requirement: GCSE pass at grade C or better in Mathematics is expected.
Usual standard offer: A level: grades A A B.
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level.
Other qualifications are considered.
15. Indicators of quality
Consistent positive External Examiners’ reports on the degree programme and performance
of students.
Members of the department serve on the council and executive committee of the Economic
History Society and many editorial boards in the field; we currently have editors of two such
journals in the department.
Demand for places (2012): applications . Expected intake .
The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE graduates.
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and
The programme is subject to the School’s overall mechanisms for quality evaluation and
improvement. In addition, we have departmental mechanisms as follows:
We use three mechanisms to review quality and initiate improvement:
a) Review by the departmental Teaching Committee, which includes the Head of Department
and Departmental Tutor;
b) Review by Department Meeting; and
c) Review by course teachers.
d) student review through Staff-Student Liaison Committees and other formal and informal
The first two mechanisms (a) and (b) are used to evaluate and improve the quality of
teaching; programme offerings; programme design; and assessment. Minor changes are
initiated by advice from officer holders to the department; major changes are decided by the
department as a whole (often following Teaching Committee review). The third mechanism
(c) is used by individual teachers to improve course quality and design.
Our mechanisms make use of information and advice given by External Examiners reports,
TQARO teaching surveys surveys, the teaching assessment and training office, our staffstudent committee meetings, individual student feedback, and our own course and
programme level reviews.
School mechanisms (*operate at departmental level):
 regular staff appraisal*;
 induction and mentoring* system;
 improvements in teaching technique are effected by the Teaching and Learning
Centre (TLC) through observations, advice and further training;
 Staff/student liaison committee;
 centrally administered student satisfaction questionnaires by the Teaching Quality
Assurance and Review Office;
 an improved system for ensuring that External Examiner’s
comments/recommendations are fed through to Departments and acted upon;
the School’s Teaching, Learning and Assessment Committee (TLAC) which regulates
all aspects of teaching quality;
annual monitoring of courses and periodic reviews every 3-5 years. The outcomes of
the annual reviews are presented to TLAC;
the School’s Undergraduate Studies Sub Committee and Graduate Studies Sub
Committee which oversee all taught programmes and ensure that significant changes
to programmes and courses pass through a sequence of formal stages to ensure that
curricular changes are appropriate and compatible with other developments.