Age and Ideas of Adam Smith POLITIC4180

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

Short Description

Adam Smith (1723-1790) is world famous as the father of economics, but there is much more to him than this. He is one of a handful of thinkers whose ideas can be said to shape the world we live in. Age and Ideas of Adam Smith gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in Smith's thought at the University where he studied and taught. As a student and then Professor at the University of Glasgow Smith made a major contribution to the flourishing of the ground-breaking movement that has become known as the Scottish Enlightenment.


The Summer School aims to introduce students to the whole of Smith's impressive body of work ranging from moral philosophy and literary criticism to economics and political science. Students will have the opportunity to read and discuss Smith's work with some of the leading world experts on his thinking. The intensive series of lectures and discussions is complemented by trips to locations in Scotland with strong associations with Smith including his birthplace Kirkcaldy and his final resting place in Edinburgh.


The Course is in person and takes place over three weeks. It includes a programme of lectures, seminars, guided reading and field trips.

Requirements of Entry

As an entry requirement for the International Summer School all applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 and IELTS level 6.0 with a score of no lower than a 5.5 in any subtest.

Excluded Courses

SPS4001 The Scottish Enlightenment




Group Pesentation 60%

Essay 1500 words 40%


Course Aims

To provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the work of Adam Smith

To explore the context in which Smith's ideas developed in the philosophy and political economy of the Enlightenment period

To introduce students to the history and culture of Glasgow and Scotland

To demonstrate the continued relevance of Smithian ideas

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


To identify the key ideas in Adam Smith's work

To analyse Smith's ideas in their historical context

To evaluate Smith's legacy for political economy and philosophy

To apply Smithian ideas to contemporary social and political issues



The course is designed to develop analytical skills, theoretical and philosophical argumentation, and communication and written skills through oral presentation, group discussion, and essay composition.

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.