MSc Political Economy of Late Development

Programme Specification - MSc Political Economy of Late Development
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
Political Economy of Late Development
12 months
Economic History (and International
Nov 2007 / November 2012
10. The programme aims to:
to provide advanced postgraduate training that encourages students to draw on
qualitative and quantitative techniques in order to evaluate processes of economic and
social change from a long-run, comparative international perspective
to provide students with the skills necessary to appraise historical and contemporary
evidence, and to ensure sensitivity in the application of social science theories to the
study of development and political economy
to deliver an understanding of the dynamics of institutional and organisational change in
late developing economies and the global contexts in which they have occurred
to provide students with the career skills required to engage in academic research and
policy analysis relating to developing economies and the historical dimension of the
‘internationalisation of growth’
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
At the end of the programme, students will:
 be aware of the diversity – and complexity – of processes of development through the
study of concrete historical cases
 understand the principal interpretations and explanations of late development, and
methodological debates relating to the definition and evaluation of growth and
 be aware of the deep-seated nature of challenges confronting developing economies
 have an understanding of the tools, techniques and concepts employed by social
scientists to analyse the political economy of comparative historical development
 have the research skills required to organise and interpret qualitative and quantitative
 be capable of pursuing careers in fields that draw on research and writing skills
relating to policy analysis, not least with regard to societies experiencing profound
economic and political transitions.
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 programme uses techniques of long-run growth analysis to inform modern approaches to
development policy and practice. It provides a comparative assessment of current
development debates, and locates them in appropriate historical and theoretical contexts.
Courses consider the origin and outcomes of patterns of growth in various parts of the world,
policy responses to differing growth outcomes, and assumptions underpinning policy
interventions. The programme also seeks to explain how and when some developing
economies ‘converged’ with industrialised countries, while the growth performance of others
was more erratic, and why problems of poverty, inequality, instability and violence still
characterise large parts of the world. The degree is a twelve-month programme, consisting of
two core units, a dissertation, and optional courses to the value of two full units selected from
the prescribed list. The core elements are Development: Theory, History and Policy and
Theories, Paths and Patterns of Late Development, to which the dissertation is linked. In
choosing options, students must select an equivalent of one full International Development
unit and one full Economic History unit.
The combination of lectures and seminars are designed so that students learn via two different
media. From lectures, they learn shared material essential for all, seminar work encourages
students to specialise and to work through course materials on their own or with their peers.
Seminar presentations and discussions provide the means for students to learn the process of
constructing and delivering concise accounts and defending their analysis. All courses also
have written work requirements 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 student’s learning is provided by their undertaking an independent,
but closely supervised, project in comparative historical political economy. The supervision
process provides a structured timetable for their work and for feedback during the process,
beginning with four timetabled dissertation sessions in the Michaelmas Term. There is an
additional session in the Lent Term. By the end of the Summer Term, with the help of their
supervisors, students produce a draft thesis. On the basis of supervisors’ feedback, students
then extend and revise their dissertation for the beginning of September.
All courses and components are taught by Economic History and International Development
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
Courses are assessed by written a examination or assessed work, and the project by a 10,000
word dissertation.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See the MSc Political Economy of Late Development 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 a
social science or humanities subject.
15. Indicators of quality
Positive External Examiners’ reports on the Economic History degree programme and
performance of students.
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 Departmental Meeting;
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 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 student opinion surveys, our staff-student committees 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.