Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit provides an in-depth study of the history of economic thought. Particular emphasis is placed on classical political economy including the ideas of Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Mill and Marx; and neo-classical economics such as the ideas of Jevons, Walras, Pareto and Marshall.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) identify and discuss the major themes of European economic thought prior to Adam Smith, with particular reference to work undertaken within the Mercantilist tradition; (2) distinguish between the surplus and the exchange interpretations of the history of classical economic thought; (3) critically appraise the distinction between Classical and Neo-classical economic thought; (4) compare and contrast major works of the leading scholars of the Lausanne and/or the Cambridge Schools; (5) explain the meaning of the term 'historiography' as it applies to studies in the history of economic thought; and (6) demonstrate the capability to communicate important ideas in the history of economics.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar activities; (2) report on a scholarly article; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Michael McLure
Unit rules
Enrolment in
the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (BH002)
or completion of 144 points in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) (BH005)
or enrolment in
the Master of Economics (42620)
or Master of Public Policy (42580).
ECON3310 History of Economic Ideas offered in the Economics major
Contact hours
lectures/tutorials/seminars/workshops: up to 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.