EC348-Business History

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: EC201 and EC202 or Part 1 and Part 2 of an undergraduate programme in HBS’
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Scott

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The course reviews the history of business from the earliest times to the present day. It provides a wide-ranging introduction to the history of businesses at different times and in different countries. It focuses on the growth of major businesses that have had a significant impact on technological innovation and social structures. It analyses the growth of business through the lens of entrepreneurship, emphasising the role of individual personality and social institutions in the growth of business enterprises.

To provide a rigorous introduction to a scholarly subject of considerable economic, social and political significance. The course will introduce students to issues in business growth and success which are very much the same today as they were in the past. It will increase the employability of students by exposing them to practical issues involved in achieving success in a business career.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Understanding of the basic chronology of the emergence of modern global business. Awareness of the crucial interactions between the firm and the industry which govern business success. The ability to write about business issues and to discuss them in a knowledgeable and historically-informed manner.

Additional outcomes:
Enhanced employability

Outline content:

Topics may include: mediaeval finance, property and credit markets; entrepreneurship and property; specific business topics such as the British motor industry and Victorian publishing; the entertainment industry; multinational firms and the evolution of international business; recent quantitative approaches in economic and business history.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching is by a series of lectures given by researchers in their field.  Much of the material presented will focus on original work of those presenting. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 180
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
There is no final examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment is by two 3,000 word essays.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination for all modules takes place in August of the same year.

Reassessment is by coursework only; this will not be a re-submission of earlier coursework, new coursework will be set.

New coursework must be submitted in August of the same year. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  • Required text books: None

  • Specialist equipment or materials: None

  • Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: None

  • Printing and binding: None

  • Computers and devices with a particular specification: None

  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence: None

Last updated: 29 April 2021


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