skip to content

Faculty of Economics

 

Students


 

 

What advice would you give a student thinking of applying to study Economics?

 


The course requirements for Economics at Cambridge stipulate that A-level or IB Higher Level Mathematics (or an equivalent qualification) is essential. This reflects the fact that the Cambridge Economics course is rigorous and uses mathematical models to analyse economic problems. It is therefore important that you are very proficient in Mathematics. Offers to Cambridge Economics candidates are typically conditional on achieving an A* for A-level Maths or 7 for IB Higher Level Maths (or an equivalent requirement).

Considering the mathematical and statistical contents of the Cambridge Economics course, taking Further Mathematics at AS/A level or IB Higher Level is very useful. For AS/A-level Further Maths, you will benefit from choosing Pure Maths and Statistics modules (rather than Mechanics or Decision Maths). If your school does not offer Further Maths (or the desired modules), you still have the opportunity to take it using the Further Mathematics Support Programme. In previous years most successful applicants for the Economics course at Cambridge did A-level Further Maths.

Although A-level or IB Higher Level Economics is not required, it is useful because it familiarises you with some of the basic principles and terminology of Economics. If your school does not offer Economics, you could take Geography or Business Studies, although the latter should only be considered if Economics is not available. The typical successful applicant has taken Economics at A-level or IB Higher Level.

In previous years, A-level applicants who received an offer were usually doing (at least) 4 subjects. The ability to cope with a high workload is important since studying at Cambridge is intensive. The broad nature of the Economics course makes both sciences (e.g. Physics) and essay-based subjects (e.g. History) useful.

The typical offer to Economics candidates is conditional on A*A*A for A-level or 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level for IB (or similarly high grades for comparable qualifications), although this varies by College. Most Colleges have a strong preference for academic subjects and may not count more vocational subjects (e.g. Accounting) in this respect (although Business Studies is accepted if Economics is not available). If you are in any doubt as to whether your combination of A-levels (or other qualification) will be regarded as acceptable, you should discuss this with the Admissions Tutor or Director of Studies in Economics of your preferred College, before applying.