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EC319 Extended Essay in Economic History


Yes, subject to the various conditions set out below.

Module leader

By individual arrangement. Please refer to Stephen Broadberry or Mark Harrison in the first instance.


This module is only available to final year undergraduates in Economics & Economic History. This option is intended for those students who, by pursuing a topic of their choice in depth, will gain benefits over and above those available from a normal taught module. While such a project is stimulating and exciting, it is not to be entered into lightly. Its successful completion will require a degree of commitment and application greater than that indicated by its 30 CATS credits. For this reason students will be required to meet the quite rigorous prerequisites detailed below before being allowed to proceed.

  1. You must normally have achieved an average of at least 60% in your second-year modules, including a comparable level of achievement in economic history.
  2. You must find a member of staff who is prepared to supervise your research and discuss your proposal with him or her.
  3. You must prepare a formal topic proposal. In this you should outline the proposed research, give your reasons for selecting the topic, comment on the benefits you expect to obtain over and above those to be gained from a normal taught module, briefly summarise the discussions you have already had and present an initial bibliography. When selecting your topic and preparing your proposal, you should bear in mind that there should be no significant overlap between your topic and an existing module and that your essay should normally pose and answer a question, not simply survey an area of literature.
  4. Note that in the standard Economics scheme one assessed essay of 2,000 words normally represents 3 CATS credits (i.e. 10% of the 30 CATS credits available from a normal taught module). Therefore the substance, if not the length, of your extended essay must be worth the equivalent of ten standard essays.
  5. By an agreed date before the start of the academic year you should submit your proposal to your intended supervisor. Your proposal will then be evaluated by the Department in terms of academic merit, the availability of the supervisor, and the evidence of your ability to pursue independent study derived from your academic record to date. You will be informed of the Department's decision in writing at the beginning of the academic year.

On receiving an acceptance you should contact your supervisor at the start of the academic year and immediately commence work in consultation.

Teaching format

Guided reading and research.

Assessment methods

One essay of approximately 12,000 words to be submitted in the fourth week of the summer term.

Academic aims

The aim of the module is to enable students to engage in substantive research, involving the application of economic analysis to a significant problem in a field of economic history to be agreed between the prospective student and tutor.

Learning objectives

By the end of the module students will have learnt to carry out independent research in a field of economic history by defining a significant problem in terms of economic theory or analysis, developing research hypotheses, collecting qualitative or quantitative data, and applying appropriate techniques of data analysis.

Learning methods

The teaching process centres on informal tutorial discussion and guidance of students' independent research.


By individual agreement.

Illustrative reading

There is no set reading. Recent topics have included:

  • measuring human development in the industrial revolution
  • the causes of historical cycles of rules versus discretion in macroeconomic policy
  • how science resources were allocated in a command economy
Access restricted to Warwick

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