British Economic Policy 1945-51: The Labour Governments ESH4013

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The period 1945-51 is a key one in the development of economic policy because the consequences of the Second World War were immense and they were faced by the first Labour government to be elected with an overall majority. The course starts with consideration of the 1945 election, followed by reconstruction. The remainder of the course deals with different aspects of both domestic and external economic policy, such as employment policy, rationing, wage restraint and balance of payments policy.


Lecture: one hour per week, Seminar: one hour per week. Please note this course does not run every session. For the current course list please see:

Requirements of Entry

Enrolment in an MA (SocSci) or MA (Arts) Honours Programme


One essay = 20%

One source report = 20%

One two-hour exam = 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the nature and objectives of economic policy in Britain under the Labour governments in the period 1945 to 1951.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Describe the principal elements of economic policy in this period and the economic
and political context in which this policy was formulated.

2. Develop a critical awareness of the historical debates relating to the nature
and objectives of economic policy in this period.

3. Discuss the nature and dev
elopment of particular economic policies in this period.

4. Make use of key documents to explore a particular historical issue.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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