MA Economic History
UCAS code: V300
Duration: 4 years
School: History, Classics and Archaeology
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Economic History
Economic history has been part of the curriculum at Edinburgh since 1884, and the University is now one of the few institutions in the United Kingdom in which economic history exists as a programme in its own right.
Economic history is the study of the way in which economies develop, why that development differs between countries and over time, and how individuals, households and communities contribute to, and are affected by, economic change.
The research interests of Edinburgh’s economic historians are wide ranging and include the study of economic development, slavery, industrialisation, energy policy, historical demography, urban history and consumption.
Our courses range from the early modern period to the present day and cover wide geographical areas including Britain, Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and China. Many of our options examine themes in international economic history and analyse the causes and consequences of globalisation.
History courses that you take in Year 1 are broad survey courses that are designed to prepare you for more specialised study in Years 3 and 4. You will take either one year-long course or two semester-long courses related to your specialisation in economics, and two courses in economic and social history.
You will also choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subject.
Year 2 history courses will give you the opportunity to broaden your geographical focus beyond Britain and Europe and will introduce you to more advanced conceptual and theoretical approaches.
As in Year 1, history courses offer broad surveys that are designed to prepare you for more specialised study in Years 3 and 4. You will take two courses related to your specialisation in economic and social history.
You will also take an economics theory course, if not taken in Year 1, or outside course(s) and choose one course from options in economic and social history, history and social science and one further outside course.
There will be a compulsory element of study which will allow you to reflect on history as a discipline and introduce you to the practice of historical research.
You will also study courses from a wide range of specialist option courses in economic history and one further specialist option course in economic and social history or economics.
(Revised 10 September 2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
You will study economic history and have the opportunity to take a course or courses in economic and social history or economics.
You will also engage in independent research to produce an honours dissertation in economic history on a topic substantially of your own devising.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
The School of History, Classics & Archaeology is located in the heart of the city, within the University's Central Area.
Here you’ll have access to a range of study spaces, our Student Research Room, research collections and an undergraduate common room.
You’ll also have access to the University’s libraries and computing facilities.
You’ll be taught in a range of lecture theatres and seminar rooms within the School and across the University’s Central Area.
There are plenty of opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 by applying for the School’s Erasmus exchange agreements with prestigious universities across Europe, or for one of the University’s many international exchanges beyond Europe. These cover practically every continent on the globe, from North and South America to Australia, New Zealand and all of Asia.
These are unique opportunities to immerse yourself in different university systems and cultures.
How will I learn?
In Years 1 and 2 formal teaching involves lectures and tutorials. Lectures are delivered by experts in the field, and provide an overview of key themes, concepts and questions relating to the week’s topic.
In tutorials the emphasis is on student discussion in small groups. Some courses also incorporate small student study groups, which help you learn from each other in preparation for tutorials.
You will also study independently, with a focus on reading in preparation for lectures and tutorials. Years 3 and 4 involve more seminars and independent study, with individual supervision of the final year dissertation.
How will I be assessed?
Our courses use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop transferable skills and improve your performance. You will be assessed by exams, coursework (which may include essays, primary source analyses, oral presentations, podcasts and online discussion forums) and, in some courses, your participation in tutorials and seminars.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
You will gain key transferable skills that employers are looking for. In particular you will learn to develop intellectually rigorous arguments, based on sound independent research and analysis.
You will also learn to compile and critically evaluate large amounts of complex and conflicting evidence, and to formulate and present your views coherently and cogently, both orally and in writing.
The research and analytical skills history students develop can be used in any research-based career. They can also be applied to careers including journalism, museum and heritage work, public relations, the diplomatic service or teaching.
Previous graduates have gone on to pursue a wide variety of careers, in the media, politics, civil service, heritage, law, business, and finance, to name just a few.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AABB - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AABB'.)
- A Levels: AAB - ABB.
- IB: 36 points (grades 665 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
SQA National 5 Grade C
SQA Standard Grade 3
SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
GCSE Grade C or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
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