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Economics at Cambridge might sounds appealing – and very employable! But do you know what it’s really like to be an Economics student?

What will you cover?

An Economics degree incorporates maths and social sciences, so the content you cover and the style of teaching is very diverse. In your first year at Cambridge you will study five modules, preparing for five papers: 


This module aims to give you an introduction in microeconomics. Microeconomics is about firms, individuals, markets and market failures (think supply and demand graphs,monopolies, competitive markets, consumer choice, game theory etc). In your first year, microeconomics involves a lot more maths and calculations than macroeconomics does.


Macroeconomics is about the country’s economy as a whole – so economic growth, trade, unemployment, inflation, money and currency. You learn about economic shocks, the Euro crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, models of what drives economic growth. Macroeconomics can be quite political, studying the structure of society as a whole. 

Quantitative Methods in Economics

This module comprises of two sections: Mathematics and Statistics. It includes a recap of A-Level mathematics techniques, and also an introduction to Linear Algebra, as the use of matrices is incredibly important in economic theory. In the statistics course you will cover probability theory and distributions, and also analysis of regression and correlation. The aim of this module is to equip you with all the techniques you need to understand economic theory. 

Political and Social Aspects of Economics

This is an applied economics module, which examines the way in which politics and economics interact. It starts at a theoretical level, studying how they are intertwined, and an understanding of one is crucial to an understanding of the other. It also approaches economics from a historical slant: you will study the politics of British governments since 1945, and how Britain became integrated into the European Union. 

British Economic History 

This focuses on the British economy from 1750 to 1939. You will learn how to apply economic theory and quantitative methods to historical data, and study the way in which economics and history feed off one another. You will study the British Industrial Revolution, the late Victorian period, and also the interwar economic scene in great depth. 

What’s it like to study Economics at Cambridge?

In your first year studying Economics at Cambridge you will have between 10 and 15 lectures a week, and also supervision and classes. You will have a mixture of problem sheets, for the more quantitative parts of economics, and essays, for the historical and political side. A supervision will only be held with a couple of students and the tutor, whereas a class will be larger: around 6 or 7 people. You will usually go through problem sheets in classes and essays in supervisions. 


Economics at Cambridge is a challenging but fascinating degree. You’ll understand the way the modern world and economy functions, as well as how it’s got that point. If you’re interested in an Economics degree, and want to explore the subject further, why not take a look at our Economics reading list? If you like the sound of Oxford more than Cambridge, we’ve got guides to the three degrees they offer that incorporate Economics: Economics & Management, Politics, Philosophy & Economics, and History and Economics.