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History of Economic Thought - ECON0008

ECON0008 > undergraduate module > 2019/20.


Taught by: Hugh Goodacre.
Intended teaching term: Term 1.
Credits: 15 (FHEQ Level 4).

Syllabus: History of Econ Thought.
Moodle:
ECON0008.
Year: 1.

UCL Module Catalogue: history-of-economic-thought/ECON0008.


Aims

This module provides students with an exciting opportunity to participate in the revival of interest in the history of economic thought which is now occurring in response to the current financial and economic crisis.

  • The module will accordingly relate the study of economic ideas of the past with current debates and discussions on the unfolding events of the present.
  • The module will show how reassessing the ideas of the past provides a unique opportunity to think ‘outside the box’ and address economic issues which had become unfamiliar within economic theory as it has existed in recent times.
  • The module will show how the history of economic thought not only provides the best possible introduction to the study of economics, but is also a fundamental aspect of the formulation of economic ideas which can adequately address the issues of the present.
  • The module will acquaint students with carefully chosen selections from some classic texts of economic thought which they will be able to cite throughout their student career and beyond.
  • The module will have strong career relevance, in providing students with the ability to engage in informed discussion with specialists and non-specialists alike on issues currently reviving widespread attention in the media and public debate generally.

Objectives

On completing this module, students will have gained:

  • an understanding of the context of the original formulation of some fundamental analytical methods and theoretical concepts in use by economists today.
  • an understanding of the changing context of the application of these methods and concepts in subsequent periods up to the present.
  • an understanding of the applicability or otherwise of these methods and ideas in relation to the specific characteristics of the world economy today.
  • an acquaintance with some classic texts of economic thought and an ability to cite them in their application of economic analysis;
  • an ability to think critically about the limits of economic analysis in a broader socio-economic context;
  • an awareness of the relation of economics to other social science disciplines.
  • an ability to bring their awareness of the history of economic ideas to bear on their assessment of wider economic discussions and debates on economic affairs of topical interest today. 
  • an ability to engage in informed discussion with specialists and non-specialists alike on issues currently reviving widespread attention in the media and public debate generally, which will be particularly relevant in job interviews, etc.

Suitable for

1st year students in Economics and related subjects.

Also open to students in other departments.

Prerequisites

No previous knowledge of economics is necessary.

Assumed knowledge

This is an interdisciplinary module, and minimal previous knowledge of economics or history is required, so students are welcome whatever their academic background. The module makes no technical or mathematical demands on students, though they are encouraged to learn the use of diagrams. Since the module is directed at students of many different academic backgrounds, they are encouraged to make full use of whatever academic interest or background they bring to it, from economics to history, and from philosophy to geography. 

Teaching and assessment

  • 20 hours of lectures and 4 tutorial classes, in which two pieces of written work are to be submitted during the course of the module.
  • Assessment is a 2-hour unseen written examination in Term 3.
  • Affiliate students leaving in December will take a 2-hour written examination set up by the department in the last week of Term 1. Affiliate students leaving in June will take the two-hour written examination in Term 3.