Economic and social history is the study of the way societies change in their economic activities and social organisation. It is concerned with how people in the past lived and worked, and how this has affected the development of today’s world.
It is possible to do this degree together with a language, including a year abroad.
Economic & Social History at Glasgow
Economic and Social History at Glasgow offers an accessible and stimulating approach to understanding economic and social change.
We are concerned with explaining how people in the past have lived and worked, and how this past experience has shaped the development of the 21st century world. We represent the historical branch of the social sciences, using the methods and expertise of a wide range of disciplines, including history, economics and sociology.
Themes we explore with our students include:
- How economies grow and change over time;
- How people influence economic change and are affected by it;
- How social structures, including class and gender identities and relations, change over time.
In our Level 1 and Level 2 courses we examine these themes in a variety of national and international contexts, mainly in the period from 1750 to the present. Topics covered include:
- Globalisation and Migration
- Industrialisation and economic growth
- Welfare State and Public Health
- Economic and Social Dimensions of First and Second World Wars
- Gender Politics and Women’s Rights
- Social Class and Inequalities
- Employers and Trade Unions
- Deindustrialisation and its social consequences.
In Honours (years 3 and 4) students choose from a variety of courses that are linked to the research expertise of staff, with particular strengths in the areas of gender history, medical history, business history, and labour history. In the Junior Honours (year 3) core course students work in small groups on research projects, supervised by staff, and have the opportunity to explore their own specialist interests with the Senior Honours (year 4) dissertation. There is an emphasis on critical thinking and the development of a variety of personal and intellectual skills.
“The course is diverse and opens up new avenues of research. Loved it all.”
ESH student testimonial, NSS
“My course has given me a much better way of approaching problems, not just related to my course, but problems which I meet with from day-to-day. I feel that I have been able to hone valuable skills in writing and reading, which have greatly increased the efficiency with which I work, and also the accuracy and relevance.”
ESH student testimonial, NSS
Our approach of small group teaching: at all levels and especially in the Honours programme; helps to create a strong sense of community, and we work hard to ensure that our students feel valued and supported:
“In ESH the staff are always available and willing to help the students. The courses offered provide a good variety from which to choose. During my dissertation, my supervisor was extremely helpful and supportive throughout. This sort of dedication is seen throughout ESH.”
ESH student testimonial, NSS
“With ESH there is a friendly and familiar atmosphere... I feel like if I had ever had any major problems there were people I could have contacted who would have helped me.”
ESH student testimonial, NSS
You will study economic and social trends from 1750 to the present day, in Britain and internationally, and with an emphasis on the development of a wide range of transferable skills.
You will take two courses around the themes of:
- changes in working lives
- social order and conflict
- gender and the family
- migration and the community
- international economic relations.
You will be introduced to major themes in history, including sources of economic growth and social change, and the international transmission of social and economic trends.
You will study economic and social changes in the UK since 1750, in two courses, exploring the themes of:
- industrialisation and its social dimensions
- global trade and competition
- work, living standards and consumerism
- gender, sexuality and the family
- labour organisation and protest
- welfare and social policy
- changes in economic and industrial structures
- wars and economic and social change.
You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will select courses on a variety of themes, in a range of national and international contexts, and mainly in the period from 1750 to the present.
These courses are taught by staff with rich expertise extending to modern Scotland, Germany, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and the USA, with particular strengths in the areas of gender history, medical history, business history, and labour history.
In Junior Honours (year 3), core course students work in small groups on research projects, supervised by staff, and have the opportunity to explore their own specialist interests with the Senior Honours (year 4) dissertation. There is an emphasis on critical thinking and the development of a variety of personal and intellectual skills.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.
Special Glasgow feature
Glasgow Q-Step Degrees
The University of Glasgow's Q-Step Centre offers programmes which develop your quantitative skills, or in other words, your ability to handle data and use numerical evidence.
Developing quantitative skills and your confidence in using them, will really enhance your insight and understanding of the key issues you encounter in your chosen field of study.
The University of Glasgow Q-Step Centre offers five degree programmes that integrate quantitative skills training within the School of Social and Political Sciences. All of these programmes aim to engage you with meaningful ways of understanding the social world.
We will teach you how to understand and analyse quantitative results, as well as how to present your own, and how to discuss their substantive implications. These are essential skills for understanding quantitative evidence presented in academic literature, but also for interrogating data in public media and government reports.
Around one quarter of your study time will be devoted to quantitative methods. And our degrees also offer you the possibility to gain valuable experience by participating in internships with selected high-profile employers.
MA (SocSci) Economic & Social History with Quantitative Methods
Economic and Social History is the study of the way societies change in their economic activities and social organisation. You will study how people in the past lived and worked, and how this has affected the development of today’s world.
- For more information visit: Q-Step Centre
Our international links
You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities as part of your degree. This won’t add any extra time to your studies. See Study abroad.
for entry in 2021
Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.
Summary of entry requirements for Economic & Social History
SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)
- AAAAB (AABB S5 minimum for consideration)
- Additional requirements: Higher English or Higher Humanities subject and National 5 Mathematics Grade B.
SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)
- AABBB – BBBBB
- Additional requirements: Higher English or Higher Humanities subject and National 5 Mathematics Grade B. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.
A-level Standard Entry Requirements
- AAB – BBB
- Additional requirements: A-level English or Humanities subject and GCSE Mathematics Grade B/5.
IB Standard Entry Requirements
- 38 (6,6,6 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
- Additional requirements: HL English or Humanities subject and SL Mathematics Grade 5.
Glasgow International College
International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
English language requirements
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact External Relations
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
- UK Border Agency Tier 4 English Language requirements
- UKBA list of approved English language tests [pdf]
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.
Our graduates are trained to express themselves logically and to speak confidently. They have learned how to handle and analyse information, to make independent judgements, and organise their time effectively. They have found employment in a very wide range of careers, including:
- management in industry, retailing, marketing and financial services
- central and local government
- the media and information technology
- teaching at all levels
- libraries, museums and archives
- social work and other personnel services.
Degrees and UCAS codes
When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.
The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.
Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.
RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry
The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.
RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020
The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent).
James McCune Smith Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to both current and new applicants to the University.
The Ronald and Rita McAulay Scholarship
Mr Ronald McAulay, alumnus of the University (MA 1965), and his wife Rita wish to establish a Scholarship to support students who are Hong Kong nationals wishing to take up an undergraduate course of study at the University of Glasgow.
The McAulays would like to establish a scholarship which encourages Hong Kong residents to achieve an international education, therefore the award will cover course tuition fees and a living cost stipend.
The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Science and Engineering)
The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.
All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.
The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000
The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2020. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Residential Services section on the website.
We are also offering four scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
How to apply
Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
- 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
- 30 June: international (non-EU) students
We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.
It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.
- Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college
- Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468
- Apply at commonapp.org (international students)
More information about this programme