In 2020, the admissions process is not operating as set out in the text below. The interviews in 2020 will be conducted remotely, and as a result the structure of the interviews and some of the assessments will be changing for this year. All applicants in the 2020-21 round should instead consult the ‘Pre-interview and interview notes’ document for 2020, which they will have been sent separately.
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 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; Dr Debo Bhattacharya, an econometrician specializing in micro-econometrics and empirical microeconomics, Dr 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. The interview will involve discussion of an article that you will collect before the interview. 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.