SSST Subjects

EC 455 History of Economic Thought


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BSc in Economics with International Business
  • BSc in Economics with Finance
  • BA in Political Science and International Relations with Economics
  • BSc in Computer Science with Economics
  • BSc in Information Systems with Economics

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code

EC 455


Module coordinator

Goran Ridjic


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module surveys the history of economic thought, focusing on pivotal people and ideas that have had wide-spread subsequent impact on economic theory and on the world.
  • This module traces the history of Western economic thought from ancient to modern times, with an emphasis on developments since Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations in 1776.
  • Students will learn to understand the interactions of scholars in building a discipline called "economics," the influence of technological change and the social, business, and political environments on economics; and the influence of economists in society. In addition, we examine the progress of the principles of economics from their formative stages to modern times.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • The Mercantilist School

  • The Physiocratic School

  • The Classical School: Forerunners, Adam Smith, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, Bentham, Say, Senior, and Mill

  • The Rise of Socialist Thought

  • Marxian Socialism

  • German Historical School

  • The Marginalist School: Forerunners, Jevons, Menger, von Wieser, von Böhm-Bawerk, Edgeworth and Clark

  • The Neoclassical School: Alfred Marshall

  • Monetary Economics

  • The Departure from Pure Competition

  • Mathematical Economics

  • The Institutionalist School

  • Welfare Economics

  • The Keynesian School: John Maynard Keynes, Developments since Keynes

  • Theories of Economic Growth and Development

  • The Chicago School: The New Classicism


Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time


15 1.5 22.5


5 1.5



Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 105
Total Contact Hours 45
Total Engagement Hours 150

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline



3 hours


Week 17

Mid-term Exam


2 hours


Week 8

Individual project assignment: Essay


2000 words


Week 14

Group project assignment: Debate


30 minutes debate per topic


Week 12


Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Analyse the evolution of economic thinking over time and its relationship to historic context

  • Explain and critically analyze the development of economics as a discipline in various ancient cultures;

  • Describe the development of European economic thought, and analyze concepts in historical context;

  • Analyze and discuss classical economic theories; and synthesize the elements of neoclassical and Keynesian approaches in the modern era.

  • Demonstrate ability to used pre-defined methods to critically analyze importance, reliability and validity of results.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Lectures: Ideas and theories from the field of History of Economic Thought will be explained using the primary literature as well as considering secondary literature. (ILO: 1-3)

  • Tutorials will emphasise practical critical analyses and discussion of economic theories and their results. (ILO: 1-5)

  • Individual project assignment will ensure in-depth understanding and critical analyses of information related to History of Economic Thought. (ILO: 1-5)

  • Group project assignment (Debate) is designed to encourage students to integrate theoretical concepts with practical skills. The debate will include groups of students with opposite views, the group and individual who demonstrate the best arguments will be awarded the highest grade. (ILO: 5)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Midterm exam (and Final exam (ILO: 1-5)

  • Course projects (ILO:1-5)

  • Continuous assessment (ILO: 1-5)

Practical Skills:

  • Prepare written reports on important topics from the field of History of Economic Thought.

  • To be able to evaluate the development of economic thought from a historical perspective and understand contribution of economic thought of one historical period to the development of economic thought in a subsequent period.

  • Ability to comprehend the way in which economic theory developed, as a consequence of the evolution of economic thought.



Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Tutorials (PS: 1-3)

  • Individual project assignment (PS: 1)

  • Use of quizzes to test student subject knowledge (PS: 1-3)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Written Exam (PS: 2-3)

  • Individual project (PS: 1)

Transferable Skills:

  • Communication Skill: written and oral

  • Critical Thinking

  • Problem Solving

  • Research Skills

  • Meet deadlines

  • Ability to work independently

  • Ability to work in the group

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Tutorials (TS: 1-3)

  • Individual and group projects (TS: 1-7)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Project assignments (TS: 1-7)

  • Written examination (TS: 1-4)


Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Brue, S., Grant, R., (2013), The Evolution of Economic Thought, 8th Edition, Cengage

Supplementary Materials

  • Sandmo, A., (2011), Economics Evolving: A History of Economic Thought, Princeton University Press

  • Bain, K., Howells, P., (2009), Monetary Economics: Policy and its Theoretical Basis, 2 Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

  • Takayama, A., (2010), Mathematical Economics, Cambridge University Press

  • Barr, N., (2012), Economics of the Welfare State, 5 Edition, Oxford University Press, USA

  • Johansson, P., (2008), An Introduction to Modern Welfare Economics, 2 Edition, Cambridge University Press

  • Goldin, I., (2016), The Pursuit of Development: Economic Growth, Social Change and Ideas, Oxford University Press

  • Hein, E., Stockhammer, E., (Eds), (2012), A Modern Guide to Keynesian Macroeconomics and Economic Policies, Edward Elgar

  • Hunt, E., Lautzenheiser, M., (2011), History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective, 3 Edition, Routledge

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : April 2017

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee

Date approved by School Board of Study

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee

Date of Annual Review


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Bosna i Hercegovina

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