Economics at Cambridge U

Which colleges have a strong reputation for Eco? Is it better to apply directly to one of these ( which would have a higher application rate), or apply directly to The Pool

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Several considerations:

  • is econs that different from college to college to you, from your research?
  • are other factors like the state of the rooms, food, environment, etc, also important to you beyond the academics?
  • the downside of having an Open Application (no preference for any college) is that you might be pooled into a college which might be hyper competitive? Has fewer spots for your major? One the you like the least?
  • if all these factors do not matter to you and you are only focused on getting admitted to Cambridge, maybe you could look at colleges with better admit rates for econs
  • in looking at the colleges in Cambridge, if you consider the various factors beyond just the academics, applicants normally can identify several colleges they like for personal and often arbitrary reasons; colleges are different enough from each other to seriously warrant some time spent understanding them

Hope this helps?

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King’s College (the college John Maynard Keynes attended) and Trinity College both have some of the strongest economics programs. Which other colleges are particularly strong in Economics from your perspective @kk1608 ?

I’m a recent Economics graduate from the University of Cambridge.

Definitely apply to a college rather than the pool. If you’re truly indifferent pick a college at random - the colleges that tend to take applicants from the pool are those which tend to lack the facilities that some of the older, more central colleges do as well as receiving applicants who are on average less prepared. Worst case scenario is that if your preferred college rejects you, you end up in the pool so there’s really no loss to applying to somewhere you’re keen for.

In all honesty the general experience and feel of the college is the most important thing to look for rather than how it fares in a particular subject. That being said, Peterhouse is very highly regarded for Economics at the moment. It has tended to take quite a small cohort but they have achieved very high results and have a really dedicated Director of Studies. Christ’s have also tended to do very well, although the intake has varied significantly year-on-year due to staffing constraints and it is unclear whether this will hold up in the future. Gonville and Caius has a high number of econ students relative to the size of the college, a fairly active Economics society and a higher number of econ fellows for the number of students (meaning greater quality control as more of the teaching can be done in house). Other good picks are the other large, central colleges like King’s and Trinity which will be well resourced but where economics may not be as much of a focus as some of the specific examples above.

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So, just for public disclosure, I send the most number of kids to Oxbridge in a given year in the world as a counselor, not tough to guess who I am and where I work at. So my views of this might be very pointed.

Economics is a very popular option. Ask yourself these questions:

  • if Keynes attended a college does it make a difference to how you learn economics besides the romantic attachments? Eg. Wandering around the gardens that Jane Austen used to have tea and cucumber sandiwches at will not make your blog diary viral; you get the point yah?
  • given that it is the tutors that make a difference, rather than the college, I would suggest you look up some of the Director of Studies, Profs that you might come in contact with at some colleges and see which ones you find interesting, not ‘good’. Find people you love working with, rather than people you feel in awe with, Cambridge runs 1 to 1 tutorial, you wanna love who you see at that kind of proximity
  • if I were to say X college had the best economics, that would almost surely mean that program would be toughest to get into; part of your job is also to gauge how you might fair in that college pool
  • I do not feel there are significant differences in Economics in Cambridge between the colleges, unless you wanna quibble
  • there are SO MANY more things to the college experience beyond your major, I know it is important, but it should not consume you and make you oblivious to the fact that 90% of your month is spent on things other than Economics; don’t forget the proverbial English cucumber sandwiches and some scones.

I hope you find a college you will be happy living in and an experience you will come to value; yes, be rest assured you will get good Economics education anywhere in Cambridge.



Thank you so much for your responses
Anonymous may I ask where does Trinity Hall, St Cats or Copis Christi fit in with your estimations.
As we will be applying from Australia the opportunity to go and visit and get a " feel" for the individual colleges will not be an option so we will be applying basically on admission rates , international students intakes and the academic staff.