Skip to main content

University of Exeter Business School

History of Economic Thought

Module titleHistory of Economic Thought
Module codeBEE1032
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor John Maloney (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


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 you 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

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • Introduce you to the great economists of the past
  • Understand how economics evolved into what it is today
  • Understand that the questions raised by contemporary economics are not the only important ones

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

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

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Think more logically
  • 6. Write better English
  • 7. Work in groups

Syllabus plan

  • Adam Smith
  • Classical Economics
  • Karl Marx
  • Neoclassical economics
  • Keynes
  • Revival of Economic Liberalism
  • Post-Keynesian and Austrian Economics

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 22Lectures, recorded, asynchonous
Scheduled learning and teaching 11Tutorials, face to face
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
Essay10Max. 1500 words1-7Written comments
Examination901.5 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 (10%)Essay (10%, 1500 words)1-7Referral/deferral period
Exam (90%)Exam (90%, 1.5 hours)1-7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e., a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to redo the assessment(s) as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic Reading: 

  • Todd Buchholz, New Ideas from Dead Economists
  • 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 - Web based and electronic resources



Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources:

  • Kahoot


Key words search

Economic, Thought, Keynes, Marx, Smith

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

BEE1030 or BEE1031 or BEE1029 or BEE1034

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date