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Capitalism: Ideas, Systems, Practices


There are no classes currently available for registration.


This is a credit bearing course but can also be taken as a non-credit bearing course.

Discover the difference between our credit bearing and non-credit bearing courses.

Our Capitalism: Ideas, Systems, Practices short course is ideal if you are interested in understanding capitalism and its history, politics and theories.

The 2008/09 world financial crisis and the Covid crisis have seen growing interest in debates about capitalism and its past, present and future. New historical literature on the role of slavery in the evolution of capitalism has also added fresh perspectives to the discussion. This short course introduces you to major themes in the history of capitalism. We combine sessions on classic texts and theories with recent revisionist debates, including on the role of slavery, growth and crises.

By the end of this short course, you will:

  • have good knowledge of the major approaches to capitalism, key concepts and methods
  • be able to compare and contrast modern scholars’ approaches on the subject
  • be able to handle primary sources with confidence and use them as a means of critiquing current paradigms.

This postgraduate-level short course is assessed via a 5000-word essay.

30 credits at level 7

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    You will need to have an interest in history and politics and an ability to read and digest classic as well as contemporary texts on the subject. 

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.