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Advanced Diploma in Economics - Entry Requirements

Academic Performance

Applicants who have not previously studied economics, or who have studied only a limited amount of economics, should apply for the Advanced Diploma in Economics. Subject to performance in the Diploma, they may then proceed if they wish to one of the MPhil degrees, thus achieving a Master's qualification after two years of study.

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 high 2:1 undergraduate (or country equivalent) qualification. If you do not meet the criteria listed below, it is unlikely you will be offered a place.

  • Applicants from UK universities: an undergraduate degree with a minimum of a high 2.1 (average grade over 68%).
  • Applicants from North American institutions: an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.6 out of 4 or its equivalent.
  • Applicants from other educational systems: an undergraduate degree (or country equivalent) where the applicant is 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.

Mathematics Requirements

Course Requirements

A good mathematical background is essential for applicants to the Diploma and under no circumstances would we consider applicants who do not have a minimum of A'level Mathematics grade A or the equivalent. You must already be familiar with all the following mathematical and statistical concepts, before starting the course.


Real numbers, sets and basic algebra. The use of graphs, the meaning of continuity and limits. Rates of change. Differentiation, gradients, extrema and approximations. Differentiation of functions of more than one variable, partial and total derivatives. Unconstrained and equality constrained optimisation (Lagrange's Method). Integrals as areas, rules of integration (including "substitution" and "by parts"). Simple difference and differential equations.

Dinwiddy, Elementary Mathematics for Economists (Oxford University Press) or Bradley and Patton Essential Mathematics for Economics and Business (Wiley) both cover these topics well.

Diploma - Entry Requirements - Mathematics

Probability & Statistics

Course Requirements

Elementary probability. The notion of a probability distribution. Location and dispersion measures (mean and variance). Random samples and the sampling distribution of means and variances. Confidence intervals. Simple hypothesis testing. Correlation. Simple linear regression.

The probability and statistics you need to know is covered in great detail in the first twelve chapters of Mason, Lind and Marchal Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics 10th Edition (McGraw Hill).

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.

The Faculty of Economics will not normally consider admitting a student whose score registers below the 90th percentile in the Quantitative Reasoning 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 the course deadline OR the funding deadline, should you wish to be considered for funding (see How and When to Apply). Please note that your application will be automatically withdrawn should the test results are not received in time.

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

GRE Requirements

You MUST provide a GRE Test result if:

  • Your degree level study is from any country other than the UK
  • Your degree level study has been taken via the University of London International Programme
  • Your degree level study is from any country other than the UK, but you have taken one or more exchange programme in the UK

You are NOT required to provide a GRE Test result if:

  • Your degree level study (undergraduate and/or postgraduate) is from the UK (except University of London International Programme)

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

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

English Language Qualifications

Please refer to the University Postgraduate Admissions website for further details on language conditions.

The Faculty of Economics will not normally ask you to have a valid English Test in order to submit an application, however, this might be a requirement at a later stage, should you receive a conditional offer.