Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Chancellors and the Treasury: Managing the British Economy

Key information

Subject area:

Stackable Microcredentials

Course type:

Assessed Module

Credit level:


Credit value:



10 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 23 September 2024 To: 13 December 2024
Application deadline: 12 August 2024

Course overview

This module is the result of a unique collaboration between His Majesty's Treasury, King’s College London and the Strand Group. It studies the role and actions of the Treasury and its Chancellors since the Second World War up to the present day, through the context of the British economy. It is led by Professor Jon Davis and co-taught weekly by former Shadow Chancellor and Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury, Ed Balls, and former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court. A wider teaching panel includes serving senior Treasury officials Mario Pisani and Catherine MacLeod, former special adviser to Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Prominent guest speakers further increase the stellar teaching panel. In previous years these have included former Chancellors George Osborne, Lord Lawson, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Ken Clarke, Lord Hammond, Sajid Javid, Lord Lamont and former Chief Secretaries of the Treasury, Sir Danny Alexander and David Gauke. The class may on occasion take place in HM Treasury. Students will gain unprecedented insight into the theory and practice of British economic history since the Second World War from those who have dealt with it first-hand.

'Economic policy is more like foreign policy than it is like science, consisting as it does in seeking a rational course of action in a world of endemic uncertainty. Perhaps that is why I increasingly found economic history, which is scarcely taught at our universities, and then inadequately, to be a more useful guide to economic policy decisions than economic theory, which is taught to excess.' - Lord Lawson, The View from No.11.

What does this course cover?

The module will cover the following:

  • Themes and History to 1970
  • Prime Ministers and Chancellors
  • The 1970's and the IMF Crisis
  • Thatcher
  • Exchange Rate Mechanism
  • Bank of England Independence
  • Financial Crisis
  • 2010-2016
  • Brexit and COVID
  • Being Chancellor.

What will I achieve?

You will learn alongside HM Treasury officials and take part in debates regarding economic policy making. By the end of the module, you will have achieved the following:

  • A deep knowledge of the history of British economic policy and HM Treasury
  • An understanding of the key themes and crises in British economic history
  • An institutional knowledge of HM Treasury and Whitehall from practitioners
  • A deep understanding via assessed coursework of a particular aspect of HM Treasury history.

Who will I learn with?

Jon Davis

Jon Davis

Director of the Strand Group

Who is this for?

The standard entry requirements comprise:

  • A 2:2 honours degree or international equivalent,
  • A CV and personal statement outlining your reasons for study,
  • English language band B (for example, IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each skill).

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via coursework.

What is the teaching schedule?

This is an on-campus module so you will be expected to attend in-person. Exact days and times will be provided upon enrolment.

Further information

This module is offered as part of our flexible master’s awards in Professional Development. The awards are one of the most flexible currently offered in the UK, providing the opportunity to study a range of modules from across King’s, both on-campus and online. Whether you are looking for a promotion or to retrain, you have come to the right place.

Designed for mature professionals juggling life and work commitments, our postgraduate awards will enable you to study at your own pace. In challenging financial times, you are also able to fund your studies module-by-module. We will support you to select the right module diet that meets your objectives while ensuring that you are well prepared for success. We will also help you to build your professional network of peers from across our suite of CPD modules.

We can’t wait for you to continue your lifelong learning journey here at King’s.

Course status:


Full fee £5000



Offered by