Faculty of Economics

Course Description

The Economics Tripos is a three-year undergraduate degree programme in Economics and consists of three parts, known as Part I, Part IIA and Part IIB. The examinations for each part take place at the end of the first, second and third year, respectively, and are classed Tripos examinations (the classes being First, Upper Second (2.1), Lower Second (2.2) and Third). The exams are stand-alone examinations, and marks are not carried forward to later years. Economics candidates will, however, be required to pass the relevant examinations (i.e. to obtain at least a Third) if they are to continue from Part I to Part IIA and from Part IIA to Part IIB.

Candidates for Part I of the Tripos are required to study for, and be examined in, five 'papers' (the terminology used for a course), all of which are compulsory. These comprise papers in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods (Mathematics and Statistics), Political and Social Aspects of Economics, and British Economic History.

Candidates for Part IIA normally study for, and are examined in, four papers. Three of the papers - Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Theory and Practice of Econometrics I - are compulsory. The fourth paper is chosen from a list of seven optional papers - International Trade & Development; Labour; Mathematics; History & Philosophy of Economics; Analysis of Politics; Modern Societies; or International Relations I (the latter three provided by the Faculty of Human Social and Political Sciences). Students may, if they wish, choose two optional papers, although few take advantage of this opportunity.

Candidates for Part IIB of the Economics Tripos normally take:

two compulsory papers - Microeconomic Principles and Problems, and Macroeconomic Principles and Problems;
two optional papers, which are chosen from the following list of papers: Economic Theory and Analysis; Banking and Finance; Public Economics; The Economics of Developing Countries; Industry; Theory and Practice of Econometrics II; World Depression in the Inter-War Years; or one paper out of range of options offered by the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Sciences.
a compulsory dissertation, which counts as a single paper. The dissertation is on a topic in Economics chosen by the candidate (subject to approval by the Faculty).

Again, students have the opportunity to take an additional optional paper.

More information about the contents of the papers in Part I, Part IIA and Part IIB is available in the paper outlines. Also useful is the University’s undergraduate prospectus for Economics.

The Tripos system in Cambridge allows students to combine Economics with another subject, but only by switching Tripos. For instance, it is possible to switch from Part IA Mathematics to Part IIA Economics; from Part I or Part IIA Economics to Human, Social and Political Sciences; or from Part IIA or Part IIB Economics to Management Studies. In all cases, this is subject to approval by your College.

Students who would like to switch Tripos or take an additional optional paper in Part IIA or Part IIB should consult their Director of Studies regarding the precise University regulations for the Economics Tripos.

Graduates from another university who are considering becoming an affiliated student (to come to Cambridge to take a second undergraduate degree in two years) should contact a College and note that it may be more attractive to take the nine-month postgraduate Diploma in Economics.