To provide students with an academic education in history and training in the principles of economics.
To foster in students an appreciation of the appropriate level of abstraction and simplification needed to explore a range of economic issues.
To enable students to examine historical events and changes in cross-national, thematic, and comparative perspective, with an understanding of political, social, economic and cultural contexts.
To encourage in students the acquisition of autonomous study skills and the adoption of an investigative approach to tackle problems in history and in economics.
To develop in students the ability to construct logical arguments, to communicate arguments clearly in writing, and to appreciate, evaluate and respond to potentially conflicting interpretations of historical and economic phenomena.
To provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills constructively to one or more specialist areas of history and economics as well as policies associated with the latter discipline.
To allow students, through the study of history and economics, to acquire critical, analytical and research skills, and problem-solving skills that are valuable for a wide range of future careers, further study, and lifetime learning.
To provide students with a foundation for further studies in history and/or economics or economic history.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics.
A2: Understanding of the application of economic reasoning to the study of relevant problems and policies.
A3: Awareness of the sources of economic information and/or knowledge and understanding of sources available for historical research.
A4: Appreciation of one or more specialist areas of economics in depth.
A5: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of European history c.1500-1750 and/or European and world history c.1770-2000.
A6: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of thematic historical topics and/or specialised historical topics in greater depth.
A7: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of historical analysis, such as concepts of continuity, change and comparative analysis.
Lectures and classes are the principal methods of delivery for the economic principles, concepts and arguments in A1-A4.
Students are also assigned readings from textbooks, academic journal papers, unpublished research papers and on-line resources.
Lectures and classes in final year courses are particularly important in enabling students to achieve A4.
Individual supervision of a final year project provides additional support especially for outcomes A3 and A4 or A6.
If the project is in economics, it will reinforce A1 and A2.
If the project is in history it will reinforce A6 and A7.
If the project brings together the two disciplines, it will reinforce A1, A2, A6 and A7.
In the History part of the scheme, the structure of the degree is based on progression from outline topics in the first year (A5) to more specialised courses (A6) in the second and third year.
Knowledge of A3 and A5-A7 are acquired through lectures, seminars, independent reading and coursework.
A7 is developed in particular in the second-year course Approaches to History.
A3 is the focus of the third-year independent project, which the student may do in History.
In economics, achievement of knowledge and understanding is assessed through marked assignments (A1, A2), tests (A1, A2), term papers (A1, A2, A3, A4), project work (A1-A4) and unseen closed-book examinations (A1, A2, A3, A4).
Learning outcomes A1, A2 are assessed by tests and unseen closed-book examinations.
Learning outcome A4 is assessed by term papers and unseen closed-book examinations in final year, EC3xx, economics courses.
The final year project, when chosen in economics, is particularly relevant in assessing A4 and the economics component of A3.
Knowledge and understanding of the historical component of A3 and A5-A7 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.
Essays are the principal form of coursework assessment, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include document analyses, reviews, and other shorter assignments; assessed presentations and oral contributions; and in-class tests.
The independent project, if chosen in History, tests knowledge of the history element of A3 through a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
In History, examinations are principally unseen, essay based, and of two or three hours duration.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Ability to formulate and analyse a specified problem in economics and/or history and choose suitable methods for its investigation and/or solution.
B2: Ability to assess the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed to articulate arguments and policies in economics and/or the ability to evaluate and compare historical interpretations.
B3: Ability to synthesise and interpret information from a range of primary and/or secondary sources (lectures, classes, journals, books, documents, etc.) developing the capacity for a critical evaluation of the importance and relevance of the sources to an area of study.
B4: Ability to construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of historical and economic ideas and/or formulate and present ideas and effective arguments, using historical evidence.
B5: Students should be able to explain events, situations and changes with reference to key factors emphasised by the disciplines of economics and/or history.
Students' acquisition of intellectual and cognitive skills, B1-B5, is enabled primarily through lectures, collective class discussion, essays, theoretical/methodological exercises and project work.
Students receive feedback from both peers and teachers.
Achievement of intellectual/cognitive skills is assessed through a number of means, including assignments of various kinds, tests, term papers, project work and unseen closed-book examinations.
C: Practical skills
C1: Identify, select and gather information, using the relevant primary and/or secondary sources.
C2: Take notes and organise ideas in a systematic fashion
C3: Present economic and/or historical ideas and arguments coherently in writing.
C4: Use and apply economic terminology and concepts
C5: Production of a word-processed research project and/or make appropriate use of information technology to research and/or present materials.
Skill C1 is developed via teacher- and self-directed research into academic books and journal articles, primary data as well as searches for online materials.
Skill C2 is acquired during lectures and classes, as a consequence of studying course materials and researching for assignments.
Skill C3 is acquired through the preparation of assignments and term papers.
Skill C4 is developed in classes and in the preparation of assignments, term papers and projects.
Skill C5 is acquired in researching the project and in preparing it for submission.
Achievement of practical skills C1, C3 and C4 is assessed directly through marked assignments (including document analysis), tests, term papers, project work and unseen closed-book examinations.
Skill C2 is assessed indirectly via assignments, term papers, projects and final examinations.
Skill C5 is assessed particularly in the final year project, though the project is also relevant for skills C1-C4.
D: Key skills
D1: Communication in writing, using appropriate terminology and technical language, this to include:
(a) the articulation of economic theories and/or historical ideas,
(b) the use of economic and historical evidence,
(c) the critical assessment of historical material and/or economic arguments and policies.
D2: Production of a word-processed research project and/or make appropriate use of information technology to research and/or present materials.
D3: Awareness of elementary mathematical techniques used to construct simple economic models and the statistical methods used to analyse economic data.
D4: Ability to analyse and explain historical data, understand and produce answers to historical questions and/or understand how economic reasoning is used to address problems involving opportunity cost, incentives, households' and firms' decision-making, strategic thinking, expectations and market outcomes in equilibrium and disequilibrium.
D5: Not assessed in this programme.
D6: Capacity to:
(a) organise and implement a plan of independent study;
(b) reflect on his or her own learning experience and adapt in response to feedback; and
(c) recognise when he or she needs to learn more and appreciate the role of additional research
Students are guided by teachers in lectures, classes, individual consultations and commentary on work submitted in acquiring skills D1, D3, D4, D6.
Skill D2 is developed as students pursue the learning activities associated with their courses, in the preparation of assignments, term papers and the final year project.
Skill D3 and skill D4 as it pertains to economics are reinforced through the introductory quantitative methods course, EC114.
The acquisition and honing of skill D4 as it pertains to history is intrinsic to all history components taken.
D6 (a) is particularly developed through the compulsory project.
D6 (b) and (c) are enhanced as students reflect on the feedback they receive on their work and, indeed, on the response to their contributions to seminar discussion or in consultations.
Information technology is taught through independent learning supported by the university's online key skills package and the Computing Service.
Use of email and the internet is part of effective course participation and students are required to check their university email account at least once a week during term-time.
Students are strongly encouraged to produce coursework in word-processed form and it is a formal requirement that the final-year independent research project is typed or word-processed.
The use of electronic library catalogues and other relevant electronic bibliographic resources and the use and interpretation of relevant material via the internet is introduced in first year History courses.
Students build on these skills in subsequent years.
Where relevant, students are encouraged to use, present or evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form.
Problem-solving, communication, and improving own learning and performance are implicit throughout the degree.
Only minimal formally assessed requirements for the completion of the programme are listed here.
In reality, the overwhelming majority of students registered for a BA in History & Economics acquire a much broader range of key skills, and at greater depth.
Skills D1 and D4 are assessed through marked assignments, tests, term papers (including document analysis), projects and unseen closed-book examinations.
Skill D2 is assessed especially via the research project submitted by each student.
Skill D3 is assessed particularly through tests and unseen closed-book examinations for EC114, Introduction to Quantitative Economics.
Skill D6 is assessed indirectly through students' capacity to produce work for submission (assignments, term papers and projects, for which feedback is given) and through their preparation for unseen tests and examinations.