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Land Economy – Environment, Law & Economics

Land Economy – Environment, Law & Economics, as a subject, considers the role and use of land, property, and the environment within an economy.  It applies particularly the disciplines of Economics and law for the analysis of the governance of the environment and land use.  It also incorporates elements from finance, geography, and planning.

The Department of Land Economy addresses contemporary problems as well as more fundamental analysis.  This includes both the role of governments in establishing regulatory frameworks within which land and related markets operate, and the role of private organisations in owning, managing and developing physical and financial assets within those markets.  The Department centres this analysis primarily around law and economics, using fundamental tools from both disciplines and develops core skills in these areas.  This combination gives the Department of Land Economy a unique and valuable perspective in analysing public and private decisions over land, property and the environment.

The teaching has been certified by an Independent Panel from the Government’s Quality Agency as being of the highest quality.  The undergraduate teaching programme is a full three-year Tripos.

The first year of the Tripos provides an introduction to economics, business and administrative law, accounting and data evaluation, and a course on land, environment, and structural change within the UK. The second and third years build on these foundations and also allow students to specialise in areas which best suit their interests, skills, and planned careers. Options available in the second and third year include landlord and tenant law, land use, real estate finance, environmental economics and law, planning and agriculture, regional, urban and development economics, and forestry and rural development, among others.  Third year students also write a 10,000 word dissertation on any aspect of the Department’s work.

The degree is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and allows graduates to progress directly to the Assessment of Professional Competence to become a full member of the RICS.  Similar opportunities exist for anyone who wishes to become a professional member of the incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers.  The degree also gives partial exemption from the academic requirements of the Bar Council and Law Society for those intending to be lawyers.  An appropriate combination of papers is required in each case.

The Department has a particularly strong research base, with 88% of its research classified as world leading or internationally excellent at the last national research excellence evaluation.  That research is brought to the classroom, with many papers drawing on cutting edge research on contemporary problems in the natural and built environment.  Students have the opportunity to undertake their own research through their third year dissertation, supervised by one of the Department’s subject experts.

The Department of Land Economy has one of the strongest records for graduate employment across the University; a reflection of its focus on topics relevant to real-world problems, and its emphasis on the development of a broad range of skills.

Our graduates go on to become lawyers, economists, civil servants, and to work for national and international agencies.  Many go into financial or business careers and others enter public service with local or national organisations, or proceed to further study and research.

Land Economy is a small subject at Cambridge: the annual intake is only about 50, spread more or less uniformly over the colleges. Hence in any given year there are usually no more than two undergraduates reading the subject at Trinity. Because of this, and because the range of material taught is so wide, supervisions are organised in close cooperation with the Department of Land Economy, and students from different colleges are often supervised together.

Trinity’s Director of Studies in Land Economy is Professor Andreas Kontoleon whose specialist interests are in environmental economics, micro-econometrics, behavioural economics, valuation, welfare economics, economic methodology.

Applicants for Land Economy may expect to have a subject-based interview with Professor Kontoleon and a more general academic interview with a member of the Trinity Economics staff. While candidates taking A-levels in Economics or other quantitative subjects may be at some advantage, there are no school subjects that are prerequisites. The typical conditional offer is A*AA; comparable conditions are set for those taking the IB and other school-leaving examinations.

To learn more, please request a course brochure from the Undergraduate Secretary, Department of Land Economy, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EP. You can also visit the Departmental website.

Course Details

Course length: 3 Years
Typical offer: A*AA
Preferred A-Level subjects: No


Teaching Staff

  • Professor Andreas Kontoleon

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