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ECO2019 : British Economic History, 1780-1979

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Brian Varian
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To understand those factors determining Britain's economic performance from its Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century to its relative economic decline in the postwar era.

Outline Of Syllabus

Two centuries of growth and structural change
The Industrial Revolution
Trade and factor flows during the first era of globalization
British manufacturing in international perspective
Did late-Victorian Britain fail?
The classical and interwar gold standards
The interwar era: new industries, protection, and the retreat to empire
Postwar Britain: a 'golden age' or the 'sick man of Europe'?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading133:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study118:0018:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module includes both lectures and seminars. During the lectures, the relevant scholarly arguments and main supporting evidence will be presented. During the seminars, students will evaluate and critique the arguments, drawing upon both the lectures and the module readings.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module is assessed by a 2,000-word essay. The essay format is ideal for assessment in this module, given:
- the mixture of quantitative and qualitative evidence presented in the module (in lectures, seminars, and readings)
- the broad span of time covered in the module
- the emphasis within the module on the critique of scholarly arguments

Reading Lists