Image showing a compass sitting on an old map of the world

About this course

What are the causes of the vast differences in wealth between nations? Why have certain societies prospered whilst others still grapple with poverty? Will inequality between the developed and developing worlds be permanent? Addressing these questions and understanding today's global economy requires a historical perspective.

This course will begin with an introduction to Economic History as an interdisciplinary subject, and to the methods and sources economic historians use. You will then explore some of the key events of the past 500 years, including the Transatlantic slave-trade, colonialism, and the Industrial Revolution, examining their links to the phenomenon known as the 'Great Divergence', when levels of wealth in the Western world separated from everywhere else. We will then consider the more recent phenomenon of 'Convergence', and investigate why certain countries, including Japan and China, managed to catch up with their European counterparts, whilst others fell further behind. In the final part of the course you will reflect on the limits of 'Convergence', and assess whether inequality has become an immovable feature of global development. Throughout the course you will be introduced to frontline research and a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, with a particular focus on quantitative methods.

Please click below to download the formal Course Outline:

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Economic History as an interdisciplinary subject and its methodologies.
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of key historical events and their role in long-term economic development.
  • Be able to think critically about the sources and limits of economic growth.

Who is this course suitable for?

This course would suit students in a Humanities or Social Sciences field, especially History or Economics, but including Political Science and Sociology. This course would be especially beneficial to students aspiring to undertake graduate study in History or Economics.

Dates and availability

Available as a Residential or Online course on the following date:

Session 3: 5th August to 23rd August 2024

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Get in touch

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, please get in touch via the link below.