The full Economics course at Cambridge lasts three years. The first year provides a broad introduction to both pure and applied economics and to economic issues in history, and politics. The second year builds on the work of the first year courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, and provides a selection of optional courses – including mathematical economics, development and labour. The final year provides a much greater range of options chosen from areas such as economic theory, public economics, banking and finance, industrial organisation, development, advanced econometrics, sociology, and economic history.
Two recent Fellows of the College have been awarded Nobel Prizes in Economics: Professor Amartya Sen, former Master of the College, was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to the theory of social choice and his studies of the economics of poverty; and past fellow Sir James Mirrlees who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1996 for his work on optimal taxation and asymmetric information.
The teaching Fellows in the College are Professor Oliver Linton who works on econometric theory with particular application to financial markets; Professor Debo Bhattacharya, an econometrician specializing in micro-econometrics and empirical microeconomics, Professor Tiago Cavalcanti, a macroeconomist working particularly in areas of development and economic growth; Dr Rupert Gatti, a microeconomist who works on game theory, industrial organization and the economics of digital and online markets; and Dr Chris Rauh whose research interests are include labour economics and political economy.
Much of the teaching in the first and second years is done in College but for the specialised options in the final year we may arrange for you to be supervised elsewhere. With an annual intake of between 14 and 16 the total number of undergraduates reading Economics in Trinity is about 45 and the College usually has about a dozen research students in the subject. This supplies the varied and supportive peer group essential for lively and successful studies. The Trinity College Economics Society arranges meetings for visiting speakers.
Undergraduates in Economics at Trinity come from many countries and a range of school backgrounds. Candidates are expected to have studied Mathematics to A-level (or equivalent), but there are no other formal requirements. It is not necessary to have studied Economics previously and we realise that some schools do not offer the opportunity to study economics. Some experience writing essays would be helpful. However, the ability to think and to evaluate evidence is what counts and there are many combinations of both arts and science subjects that would be acceptable.
Candidates for Economics normally have one interview with two members of the Economics teaching staff. You should be aware that approximately half of your interview will be spent discussing an article that you will be asked to read in advance, and the remainder of the time will be spent discussing various problems assigned in the interview. You may be required to use standard mathematical techniques during the course of the interview, but this will not require knowledge beyond that covered in the first year of the A-level mathematics course (or equivalent). You should have a paper and pen with you, and should expect to have to work on that, while describing to the interviewer what you are doing, and be prepared to show the paper on the video camera when requested. There will also be a discussion of general economic issues though no specialised knowledge of the subject will be assumed. If you are not studying Economics at A level you will not be expected to have the same level of knowledge as those who are, but you will need to have the preparation that a regular reading of a good newspaper would provide. The typical conditional offer is A*A*A; comparable conditions are set for those taking the IB and other school-leaving examinations.
More information can be found in the course brochure, available from the Secretary at the Faculty of Economics & Politics, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DD, or by visiting the Faculty website at www.econ.cam.ac.uk.
All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for Economics at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).
- Multiple choice questions in mathematics (60 minutes)
- Essay (60 minutes)
You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is 15 October 2021. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment; you’re not able to register yourself. See the written assessments page for information about assessment centres and registration.
The pre-interview written assessment for Economics will be taken on 3 November 2021.
Further details about the format of the assessment and preparatory materials can be found on the written assessments page.
Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.
- Professor Debopam Bhattacharya
- Professor Tiago Cavalcanti
- Dr Rupert Gatti
- Professor Oliver Linton
- Dr Chris Rauh