School of Economics

School of Economics 10th Anniversary

On August 1st 2019, the School of Economics celebrates its 10th Anniversary as the ‘School of Economics’. To celebrate this, the school is planning a year-long project called EconCelebrate, which focuses on celebrating Economics as a subject and the people who make the school what it is today. Economics as a subject is really about people. We want to make these celebrations about people too.

econ celebration

EconCelebrate is planning a series of activities to run throughout 2019, which combines a healthy mixture of knowledge exchange, social gatherings, and community engagement, and most importantly, bringing our staff and students together outside of the classroom.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the organising or planning of the activities, all staff and students in the school are warmly invited to join the working group who are coordinating the project. By joining the group you’ll be able to get involved and hear all the news and updates. You’ll be able to contribute and share your ideas and get together with others to plan and run some of the activities if you want to. You’ll also be invited to join in the working group meetings (held monthly). The participation level is completely flexible, we want to work around your schedule. You might only want to be involved for one event, you might want to be a part of everything – it’s up to you!

You are a big part of what makes the School of Economics what it is and we want you to be a big part of this project.

EconCelebrate's goals

  • Building a greater sense of community between staff and students
  • Celebrate the deep history of economics in Edinburgh and at the University; from Hume to now
  • Bring an understanding of what ‘Economics’ really is and what we do, with a focus on ‘real world contributions’
  • Launchpad for new traditions and activities, taking the department forward in a new positive direction
  • Creating a flexible collaborative experience for everyone

A little history lesson

 On 1st August 2019, the School of Economics celebrates its tenth anniversary of becoming a school within the University of Edinburgh. This anniversary, although significant to the school’s continued growth and development, is but a drop in the ocean of the deep and rich history of Economics in Edinburgh.

In 1752, during the height of the Scottish Enlightenment, the eminent Edinburgh scholar, David Hume, published Political Discourses, in which he made the empirical argument against British Mercantilism and formed the building blocks for classical economics. From here a strong connection between Edinburgh and the study of Economics was born.

In 1776, Adam Smith published A Wealth of Nations whilst living and working in Edinburgh. Smith’s work influenced Dugald Stewart, a lecturer, to teach political economy as an independent subject at the University of Edinburgh, for the first time in 1800, through a popular private lecture series. In 1871, the subject of Economics was officially recognised by the University, by the appointment of the first Chair in Political Economy, William Ballantyne Hodgson. This chair has been held by illustrious and eminent Professors of Economics for a century and a half, many of whom have made significant contributions to the research and teaching of economics.

The first degree programme was introduced in 1898 with the first graduates receiving their degrees in 1902. The SGPE programme was established in 1989, followed nine years later by the Economics Student Society in 1998. In 2009, the School of Economics was formed.

In the past ten years, the school has seen incredible growth and has made significant contributions to the University and the subject of Economics. From the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics to MacCaLM, to important health studies, to studies on children and parental behaviour, to the Scottish Economy and Productivity. We support our student societies, help to provide a platform for students to provide Insight into economics, and try to provide a great learning experience to all who cross our doors. 

If you're interested in getting involved, please get in touch.