Programme Specification: MSc Economic History (Research) 1. Awarding Body

Programme Specification: MSc Economic History (Research)
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
This is an approved programme of the ESRC
1+3 PhD competition scheme (UK/EU only).
8. Application Code
9. First written/last amended
V3U1 and V3U2
September 2003 / November 2012
Economic History (Research)
12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
Economic History
10. The programme aims to:
Provide a broad training in social science research methods in their application to
historical study.
* Provide essential training for students working towards the MPhil/PhD degrees and
for those who wish to develop professional research expertise in economic history.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
Subject knowledge:
 knowledge of economic history (general and specialist) and how to apply such
knowledge to new problems in context;
 understand the use of theory, analysis and evidence in the construction of economic
history arguments.
Transferable understanding and skills:
 understand the complexity of the past and how to frame complex problems by
presenting them in ways which simplify while still retaining relevance;
 ability to undertake advanced-level independent research on their own formulated
 skills to gather, deploy, combine, assess and analyse evidence of different kinds;
 skills to critically examine both the arguments and evidence presented by others;
 skills to make arguments consistent with inferences from such evidence and to
communicate these arguments and conclusions in clear, concise and persuasive
General skills:
 skills in IT for general and academic purposes
 library, internet and information search skills
 research report writing
 oral presentations
 collaborative research and presentation
Please follow the link for information relating to careers.
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated
Teaching and learning strategies
The degree programme consists of 2 obligatory half-unit taught courses and optional courses
to the value of two units and a two-module research dissertation.
Teaching on the core course covers the role of theory; the nature of historical analysis;
explanation in economic history; research design; and sources and methods of data collection
and analysis. This research training course is also designed to assist and inform dissertation
work and includes a written assignment that must relate these core materials to their to the
dissertation topic. Optional courses are substantive economic history courses, defined by a
combination of theme, geographical area and historical period. All full-unit courses last 20
weeks and are taught in combinations of lectures and seminars depending on the material.
Core course and overview material is delivered by means of lectures. For all courses,
students learn how to work with the materials and develop both their knowledge and skills in
seminars groups through an apprenticeship “learning-by-doing” process. All courses have
written work requirements during the course and students are given feedback on their work.
All courses in economic history are supported by Moodle, which is the virtual learning
environment system (VLE) used by LSE.
An important component in students’ learning is provided by their undertaking an independent,
but closely supervised, research project on an economic history topic in a structured way
according to a timetable, beginning with four scheduled sessions in the Michaelmas Term. At
the end of the Summer term, all students take part in an all-day “thesis workshop” in which all
students present their draft theses, they comment on each others’ drafts, and faculty are also
present to provide further critical feedback. These workshops provide an invaluable learning
opportunity, and, along with the supervisor’s comments on their written drafts, provide
students with the basis for further revisions before the dissertation submission date at the
beginning of September. The structure and timetable are designed so that students get the
supervision and feedback during the period to acquire the subject knowledge and
understanding required for the thesis.
All courses and components are taught by LSE faculty or visiting teachers and post-doctoral
researchers. 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 MSc Programme Director provides
support to all students in respect of course choice and any other programme issues.
Assessment strategies
The courses are assessed by written examination or assessed work and the research project
by a 15,000 word dissertation.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See the MSc Economic History (Research) programme regulations
Additional information
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
Applicants should have at least an upper second class honours degree, or its equivalent, in
the social sciences.
15. Indicators of quality
ESRC 1+3 recognition and success in gaining such awards.
Consistent positive External Examiners’ reports on the degree programme and performance
of students.
Between 10 and 20 students, from all over the world, take this course each year. The MSc
Economic History (Research) offers unique, specialised training for those students wishing to
go on to do a PhD.
Members of the department serve on the boards and executive committees of major
economic history societies/associations, as editors and editorial board members of leading
journals in the field.
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 the Undergraduate and MSc Programme Directors.
b) Review by Department Meeting; and
c) Review by course teachers.
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 office holders to the department; major changes are decided by the
department as a whole (often following a small 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 student opinion surveys; our staff-student 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;
 induction programme and mentoring scheme for new members of staff;
 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.