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MPhil in Economics - Entry Requirments

The Faculty of Economics has high academic requirements and a large number of applicants that meet them. Applicants should have attained or expect to attain a very good undergraduate qualification. If you do not meet the criteria listed below, it is unlikely you will be offered a place.

The general requirements are:

  • Applicants from UK universities: an undergraduate degree in economics, with at least a good 2.1 (average grade over 68%). The degree should include standard courses in intermediate level microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics (a business studies, accountancy or management degree or qualification does not provide an adequate background).
  • Applicants from North American institutions: a GPA of at least 3.6 out of 4 or the equivalent.
  • Applicants from other countries: within the top ten per cent of their reference group. In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to include supporting information of their ranking within each academic year.

Moreover, the following criteria apply:

  • The Board of Graduate Studies requires applicants from some countries to have completed a Master's degree before they can be considered for the MPhil at Cambridge. Please check your qualifications on the Graduate Admissions website.
  • Applicants whose Bachelor's degree does not meet the entry requirements for the MPhil may be considered for the Advanced Diploma in Economics. The Diploma in Economics can be taken as the first year of a two-year Master's Programme, which means that providing your performance is satisfactory in the Diploma examinations you would be allowed to continue to the MPhil in your second year.
  • Candidates with a Bachelor's degree in Economics (3-year degree) from an Indian University are required to apply for the Diploma in Economics before continuing onto the MPhil in their second year.
  • All applicants whose previous university training is from countries outside the UK must submit the results of a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (applicants taking a degree via the University of London International Programme are required to take a GRE test). For more details, see below.


MPhil in Economics - Prerequisites

Applicants should have majored in economics at the undergraduate level and have taken standard courses in intermediate microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

The econometrics topics that applicants are expected to have studied, showing both an understanding of the theory behind the techniques and their empirical application, are as follows:

  • Statistical inference: sampling theory, interval estimation, hypothesis testing
  • Regression: simple properties of OLS estimators and sampling distributions of regression coefficients, elementary analysis of variance, estimation and interpretation of multiple regression coefficients, multicollinearity, elementary analysis of misspecification (serial correlation, heteroscedasticity and structural change)
  • Forecasting: conditional and unconditional forecasts and confidence intervals
  • Elementary representation of economic time series: first-order AR and MA representations, random walks.


In addition, applicants must have competence in the following areas of mathematics:


  • Calculus: functions of several variables, partial and total derivatives, the chain rule, constrained optimisation using Lagrange multipliers, integration
  • Matrix algebra: matrices, determinants, inverses, solutions to simple simultaneous equation systems

Competence in this context means that the applicant should have studied these topics in a mathematical methods in economics course, usually within an economics degree. Many applicants will have completed a mathematics course with content equivalent to the undergraduate course offered at Cambridge.

Please note:  Applicants must provide details (course syllabus and text books used) of the microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematics courses that they have taken/will be taking to show that they meet our entry requirements.  We only require the syllabus and textbooks used - please do not send course handbooks.

GRE Requirements

All applicants whose previous university training is from countries outside the UK must submit the results of a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (applicants taking a degree via the University of London International Programme are required to take a GRE test).  The Faculty will not normally consider admitting a student whose score registers below the 90th percentile in the quantitative section and below the 50th percentile in the analytical writing section of the test.  The Faculty must receive the results of the GRE General Test to meet application deadlines (see How and When to Apply).

MPhil in Economics - GRE Requirements
Note:  The Faculty may request candidates from UK universities to take the GRE General Test.


Details of registration deadlines for this test, and of opportunities to take the computer-based test can be sought from ETS, which administers the test. The GRE website can be accessed to order publications, try out sample questions and for information regarding test dates and locations.

GRE Customer Service number: +1-609-771-7670
GRE Fax number: +1-609-771-7906.

Specific questions about the GRE can be emailed directly to

The University of Cambridge Faculty of Economics institution code for GRE is 2433

Details of entry for the GRE test are often available within the candidate’s home country, or can be obtained from:

Applications from Europe

P O Box 1109
6801 BC Arnhem

Other Applications

Educational Testing Service
P O Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

English Language Qualifications

MPhil in Economics - English Language Qualifications

Please refer to the University Graduate Admissions website for further details of language conditions.