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MPhil in Economics - Entry Requirments

Academic Performance

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 first class undergraduate (or country equivalent) qualification in Economics. 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). 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 First class.
  • Applicants from North American institutions: an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.7 out of 4 or the equivalent.
  • Applicants from other educational systems: an undergraduate degree (or country equivalent) where the applicant is within the top five to ten per cent of their reference group.

In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to include supporting information of their ranking within each academic year.


MPhil in Economics - Prerequisites

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree (or country equivalent) in Economics 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. Applicants should have completed a mathematics course with content equivalent to the undergraduate course offered at Cambridge.

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.

MPhil in Economics - 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

MPhil in Economics - 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.