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History of Economic Thought

Module description

This module is an introduction to some of the great economists and their work including:

· Adam Smith
· Karl Marx
· John Maynard Keynes

The module will also provide students with an understanding of classical and neoclassical economics as well as the economics of today

Additional information:


The focus is necessarily international, given that it is the history of global, not British or European, economic thought.


The transferable skills listed below are chosen with regard to employability: there is a particularly strong focus on good use of English.

Research in Teaching

The module draws on my own research in the subject

Full module specification

Module title:History of Economic Thought
Module code:BEE1032
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Professor John Maloney - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:





BEE1029 or BEE1036  or BEE1037  or BEE1034

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

To introduce students to the great economists of the past.  Students to understand how economics evolved into what it is today. Students to understand that the questions raised by contemporary economics are not the only important ones.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. understand where modern economics came from
  • 2. understand the forces governing the development of economic theory and policy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. know about and evaluate the different questions asked by economists
  • 4. supplement the economic analysis learnt on BEE 1029, BEE 1030/1031 or BEE 1034

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. think more logically
  • 6. write better English
  • 7. work in groups

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity11Lectures, recorded, asynchonous
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity11Tutorials, face to face
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity11Q&A Session, whole class, online
Guided Independent Study117Reading, research, reflection; Preparation for lectures and tutorials; Preparation for assessments.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Presentation slides1 hour1-7Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay201500 words1-7Written comments
Exam801.5 hours1-7Verbal feedback if requested

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (20%) Essay, 1500 words (20%)1-7August/September Reassessment Period
Exam (80%)Exam, 1.5 hours (80%)1-7August/September Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

Students who have an overall mark below 40 must retake whichever element(s) they failed unless the module can be condoned

Syllabus plan

• Adam Smith (1 week)
• Classical Economics (1 week)
• Karl Marx (2 weeks)
• Neoclassical economics (1 week)
• Keynes (1.5 weeks)
• Revival of Economic Liberalism (1.5 weeks)
• Post-Keynesian and Austrian Economics (2 weeks)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Agar Sandmo, Economics Evolving

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The main indicative learning resource is the ELE page, which will include but not be limited to,  discussion forums, all recorded lecture content, slides, handouts, slides from group presentations and examples of good answers from last year


Indicative learning resources - Other resources


Zoom or teams chat

Origin date


Last revision date