Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Technology Transfer in the Global Economy SPS5015

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course examines the notion of technology transfer, how it has taken place over the past two centuries, and how it has been shaped by the emergence of big business.


Lectures & seminars to be arranged

Requirements of Entry

2.1 Honours degree or equivalent. Please note this course is offered subject to staff availability.


One essay of 4,000 words

Course Aims

■ Review the historiographical debate about technology transfer in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

■ Assess how technological advance and market power affect technology transfer

■ Assess the impact of the international patent system on inter-firm co-operation and on technology transfer

■ Offer an opportunity of developing broader analytical and inter-disciplinary skills through the use and interpretation of statistical data sets and other primary material

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically assess the role of technology transfer in the international spread of industry

■ Broadly evaluate how market structure affects the costs and successful adoption of borrowed technology

■ Critically assess how the international patent system may influence the transfer and adoption of technology

■ Critically evaluate primary material, notably statistical data sets and official publications

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components of the course's summative assessment.