Global Economic History (L1093)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

In this module, you address the big questions in history.

The fundamental question most famously addressed by Adam Smith, is central to this module - why are some countries rich while others are poor?

You examine this central question via sub-questions like:

  • what caused the British Industrial Revolution? 
  • when and why did China fall behind?
  • what is the role of India and what challenges arise from being a late developer?
  • has Africa always been poor and will it stay so?

In this module, you discuss and assess some of the most important economic growth models.

You examine the fundamental causes that drove the differences in economic performance: geography, trade, institutions, and culture.

Or has chance played a pivotal role in the divergence?


69%: Lecture
31%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Group presentation)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 32 hours of contact time and 118 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: