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Why study Economics at Christ's?

Julia Shvets teaching Economics taster session at the Women in Mathematics residential
  Dr Julia Shvets teaching a taster class at the
  Women in Mathematics Residential


As well as top-class teaching, you’ll find a friendly student community of around 20 undergraduates and 10 graduates in Economics each year. This makes it easy to get to know everyone, especially as we host regular lunches, dinners and drinks during the year. Our students tend to work together – a key factor in their exam success and satisfaction with Cambridge – so many keep in touch after graduation and return for social events.

Christ's has been an intellectual home to many successful Economics scholars, including Nobel Prize laureate James Meade (1907-1995). Amongst other events, our bi-annual Meade Lectures in Economics bring world-leading economists to Christ's, and students often have the opportunity to enjoy an informal lunch with the speakers.

Oriana Bandiera giving a masterclass in College
Guest speaker Prof Oriana Bandiera, FBA giving a masterclass in College for Women at Christ's celebrations

We are lucky to have students from all over the world: alongside British nationals our current group of Economists includes students from China, Denmark, Hungary, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore and Spain. Our students' performance in economics has been consistently outstanding. Over the last ten years Christ's students have achieved on average the highest scores for economics across the University.

Some of our graduates move on to further study at top universities across the globe, including, most recently, the LSE, Stanford and Yale. Many join management consultancies (Goldman Sachs, UBS, KPMG Strategy&, Bane) investment banks (Deutsche bank, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie) and economics consultancies (RBB, Frontier Economics). A number of students go on to work in governments, central banks and international organisations.


Course content and structure

The Economics course (or ‘tripos’) is a three-year degree. From second year on you can study particular areas in greater depth, and in the final year you write a dissertation on your chosen topic.

Please visit the University website for full details of the Economics course content and structure. including the course film. You will also find information on the Faculty of Economics page for prospective applicants. If you have any further questions about the course content, please contact


Teaching in Economics at Christ's is traditionally very strong and maintained by our academic economists:

As well as lectures organised by the University, you have weekly ‘supervisions’ at the College arranged by Director of Studies Dr Julia Shvets. These small-group tutorial sessions give you the advantage of personally-tailored tuition and guidance. 

What do our students think?

Student Q&A film
  Watch the Christ's student Q&A film

Read about the experiences of MartinSanchit and Luke who recently studied Economics at Christ’s.

If you’d like to hear from other Christ's students, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.

How to apply

Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.

  • Update: for candidates applying to Christ's in October 2024 who are taking or have taken A-levels, note that A level Further Mathematics is now a required subject (it was previously a strongly recommended subject). 
  • Update: all Oct 2024 applicants for Economics at Cambridge must take the TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission). The provider has changed since last year and there are some changes to the logistics for this test. Please see the TMUA section below for details and ensure that you are registered by the deadline.

Subject Requirements

Economists have found that mathematical modelling provides a useful tool in analysing trade-offs faced by individuals and societies. It allows us to precisely articulate the assumptions we make about people's behaviour, and to test our hypotheses on data. Hence, the central requirement for admission to Cambridge's Economics programme is fluency in basic mathematical and statistical methods. At Christ's we will require an A* in A-level Mathematics, a Grade 7 in IB Higher Level Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches), or an equivalent performance in other Mathematics qualifications.

In addition, if you are taking A-levels, we require you to take Further Mathematics. If your school doesn't offer Further Mathematics, you may be able to get support from the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme to take this. A number of our international candidates (from countries where you study a wide range of subjects at school in the final two years) take part in Mathematics competitions as a way to focus on extending mathematical knowledge and ability, IB students are welcome with Higher Level Mathematics Analysis and Approaches (see the maths note on our IB page) and applicants from Scotland should see this page.

We do not require candidates to have studied Economics at school. However, applicants should have a vivid interest in Economics as a discipline and the questions it poses about individuals, organizations and societies.

Alongside A-level and International Baccalaureate students, we welcome applications from students enrolled in other programmes. In recent years, we have admitted a number of people who studied for the German Abitur, Singapore A levels, and other international qualifications, and we have a dedicated section for applicants from Scotland and international applicants.

If you have any concerns about the subject requirements for Economics in relation to your school subjects, it would also be a good idea to read Exploring courses: Economics.

TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission)

All students applying to the University of Cambridge for Economics sit an assessment called the Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA). This is the same at all Cambridge Colleges. The test provider has changed since last year so note that the logistics for sitting the TMUA will be different for Oct 2024 applicants to previous arrangements for this test.

DateWhat happens
May 2024Free practice materials and further detail about the TMUA will be published (initial information is on the TMUA page here)
3 June 2024UK applicants only: if you are in financial need you may be eligible to apply for a voucher from 3 June - a code which will enable you to book the test free of charge. Details available later in Spring. 
1 August - 16 September 2024

You create an account, register and pay the entry fee for the TMUA
(details will be available later this Spring) by the 16 Sept deadline. 

Important: 16 Sept is an absolute deadline. You cannot register late and therefore it will not be possible to apply to Cambridge if you miss this deadline.

29 August 2024Application deadline for any adjustments needed for a disability
16 or 17 October 2024You take the TMUA at a Pearson VUE test centre (you must use this sitting)
Approx 6 weeks after
you take the test
You receive your results via the Pearson VUE booking portal
(results are automatically shared with us as well - you do not need to send them to us)

You will need to sit the TMUA at a Pearson VUE test centre. There are tests centres in over 180 countries - you will be able to find your nearest test centre nearer the time on the Pearson VUE website. The entry fee is £75 to sit the TMUA in the UK or Republic of Ireland, or £130 to sit the test in another country. Note that UK students in financial need can apply for a bursary voucher (a unique code which can be used instead of payment when registering - further detail will be available later in the Spring).

To help with preparation, free practice materials will be available in May 2024. There will also be more information about the test format, specification and other support materials.

There is no set score that we are looking for and we don't expect you to get every question right. The TMUA forms part of our holistic admissions process, which means that we will look at your scores in the context of your whole application.


If we select you for interview, these take place in early December. At Christ's we do all of our interviews online. You can have your interviews either at home (most applicants do this) or at school (if easier).

Those selected for interview are interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ's we normally divide this time into two interviews. The aim of the interviews is to try to determine each applicant's potential to benefit from the Economics Tripos. The interviews have no fixed format but typically include working through some mathematics problems and a discussion of economic issues. Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section, and it's worth also having a look at supervisions (short film here), as interviews are similar to what you do every week as a Cambridge student.


Staircase 4 room

You need to be academically ambitious. We define the terms of each offer individually, but a typical offer for Economics is below, and the majority of Christ’s students arrive with higher grades.

If you're taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range i.e.

You can look up other qualifications in the offer levels for other exam systems and international entry requirements, and if you are applying from outside the UK please read the Christ's international students section for further information and check the country pages.

If you will have finished school when you apply, please also read about post-qualification applications, taking a gap year, and, if relevant, applying from a university.


Helpful Resources

When we assess your application, it will be impressive if, as well as doing well at school, you are developing your relevant skills (e.g. maths) and interest in Economics further by going beyond your school curriculum. Here are a few resources and suggestions which may be helpful, and we recommend that you explain how you have developed your skills and interest in the subject in your UCAS personal statement. 

Christ's Economics Taster sessionA filmed session on using Maths to understand human beings, given by Dr Julia Shvets.
Advanced Mathematics Support ProgrammeA programme that offers advice about choosing A level Further Mathematics, revision events, enrichment materials and activities, and tuition, when it is not available through your school or college. See in particular A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics, as well as Resources for self-study, the Further Maths Fact Sheet, and there are also free Further Maths videos.
Imperial College London A level Further Maths skills courseThis is to support students taking Further Maths A level (so you can use the free version) - it does not replace the A level Further Maths qualification.
NRICH Maths for Economics Mathematics problems with an economic flavour or application.  
FreakonomicsEconomic analysis website in which economic theory is used to explore a very wide range of topics! It includes this episode on barriers to changing your mind in which Dr Julia Shvets is interviewed on her research into overconfidence.
Plus MagazineArticles and podcasts on any aspect of mathematics, showing the wide range of uses maths gets put to in the real world. See, for example,  Adam Smith and the invisible hand.
Economics preliminary reading listCambridge Faculty of Economics reading list to help potential candidates who are thinking of applying to read Economics at Cambridge. 
StatisticsMore or less (Radio 4 programme available as podcasts)
How to make the world add up (filmed talk)
Spiegelhalter, D (2019) The Art of Statistics, Pelican books
Covid-19Cambridge Covid-19 Economic Research
VoxEU - Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) policy blog
Economics and Buisness Studies research in times of Corona
3Blue1Brown YoutubeSee for example Exponential growth and epidemics and Simulating an Epidemic
There's also a website.
What Economists really doA helpful Royal Economics Society talk with Prof Oriana Bandiera
The EconomistWeekly publication on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them. History and further information.
VMACSVirtual Macro Seminar Series
HE+ EconomicsWebsite for secondary school students who want to explore Economics.
Economics blogsBlog introduction lists such as this one will help you find interesting material (e.g. Greg Mankiw, Tim Harford)
Discover EconomicsWebsite for 15-17 year olds
EconomyWebsite aiming to make economic discussion accesible for all.
Essay competitionsEntering an essay competition is a good way to find out more about a relevant topic and get some extra practice in writing a convincing and well-structured essay.
Examples: Cambridge University Marshall Society Competition; Young Economist of the Year
CamGuidesIntroducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working
The Economics dissertationInformation and example of the final year dissertation


Open Days and Online Events

Do explore our facilities - we have lots of details and picture pages!

Online events: Our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events in Cambridge, and includes College Open Days where you can talk to staff and current students about the course, our regular webinars and Student-led College tours. As part of our outreach programme, we also run an annual Women in Economics Taster Series for prospective Economics students who attend a state school (eligibility criteria apply).

Subject-specific opportunities you might wish to consider include Economics events in the Cambridge Festival, Subject Masterclasses organised by Cambridge Admissions Office, and Economics-specific talks in the July Cambridge Open Days.

If you are a UK student from a background where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education, you can apply to attend a Sutton Trust Summer School in Economics or to shadow a current Economics undergraduate via the Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme (do be aware that there's a high proportion of applicants to places for both of these last two opportunities, so please don't be discouraged if you are not given a place).

Want to know more?

For a fuller picture of what the course involves, take a look at Undergraduate Economics admissions on the University website and read the Faculty of Economics information for prospective students too.

If you have any queries, please send them to and we’ll help however we can.


Undergraduate Admissions / Subject list / How to apply / Why Christ's? / Women in Economics Taster Series