Economics

Economics has a strong tradition in the College, associated in particular with the name of the former Fellow Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), who first formulated many of the concepts still used by economists today. Marshall believed that the purpose of Economics is to improve human welfare based on analytical understanding, and this philosophy still guides our teaching of the subject today. We aim to teach our Economics students how to use the analytical framework of the subject to think about issues such as why some countries are rich and others poor. The ability to reason as an economist and to assess economic evidence is valuable to a student in later life even if they do not become a professional economist.

St John’s admits about eleven undergraduates each year. All supervisions in micro and macro are done by Fellows of the College, usually in small groups of about three but also in larger classes or seminars, depending on the subject. The College makes generous book grants available and has a well-stocked Economics section in the library. There is also an active College Economics Society, run by the undergraduates.

Entry Details

UCAS Code: L100

Typical Minimum Entry Requirements

A Level: A*A*A, with A* in Mathematics. A or A* in Further Mathematics and Economics (if applicable)

International Baccalaureate: 42 points with 776 at Higher Level including 7 in Higher Level Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches)

Essential Subjects: A Level/IB Higher Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. If your school does not offer Further Mathematics then you can instead follow the Advanced Maths Support Programme.

Desirable Subjects: 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.

Submitted Work: None

Admissions Assessment (pre-registration required): Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). More information is available here.

 

Admissions Interviews

There is one admissions interview for Economics, which is held by two Economics Fellows on Zoom and lasts around 35 minutes. The purpose of this interview is to assess your aptitude for studying Economics at Cambridge. At the interview we usually ask a broad question that gives you the opportunity to show your interest in and general understanding of Economics. Of course, we take into account whether you have studied it at school. In addition, we will ask you questions about an article that we will send you some days prior to the interview. We will assess your understanding of this article, which will be on some economic issue(s). You should study this article carefully in advance, because you will not be allowed access to it during the interview. Furthermore, we will assess your mathematical proficiency at the interview. For instance, you may be asked to sketch the graph of a particular function and analyse other properties of it. You must use a tablet and stylus for this (St John's will help if you don't have access to these). In addition, we may show you a paragraph during the interview and ask you to assess the strength of its argument(s). You may also be asked questions about your personal statement if we would like to know more about some aspect(s) of it.