Economics is taken by approximately 160 undergraduates each year; although this means that you're always meeting new people, it also means that it's not a particularly close-knit cohort. Economics is known as a degree that is 'one of the more difficult to get into, but one of the easiest once you're in', and I definitely think that is true - the workload is a lot lighter than many other subjects, which is really nice as you can go more in depth into things you don't understand, take it slower, and/or spend more time on other extracurriculars and enjoying the 'uni life'.

Introducing your Academic Reps

Lucas Mordue

Hi I'm Lucas, I'm a third-year economist at St Catharine's (Catz) from Brussels. I am also President of the Marshall Society, which is the University's Economics Society, having been the Speakers' Officer last year.

Key Facts

Average offer: A*A*A

3 years

Available at all colleges except Newnham and Wolfson

Key subjects for admission: Maths

Admissions tests: TMUA, pre-registration required

No info on inclusive prayer space in department :(


Why did you want to study Economics?


I wanted to study economics for two main reasons.  Firstly, I really enjoyed learning about it in school, and the emphasis on real world applications really showed me how integral economics was to having a good understanding of our governments, societies, institutions and everyday phenomenon.  Secondly, perhaps something other students can relate to, it was the A-Level I actually liked? Studying nearly 20 hours of maths a week at school meant I was glad to see the back of it, and economics for me just seemed more interesting than my other A-Level choice (history).  It also played into my academic strengths and interests, as I was more of a 'jack of all trades', ok at maths and at essay writing, both of which are demanded by economics, rather than being a specialist at one, and students who were in this position often struggled with the other half of the course.

How is the Economics course structured?


You do five papers in your first year - all of them compulsory - which are: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Maths and Stats, Politics, and Economic History. You have two or three lectures per week and a supervision every two weeks for each paper.

What is the faculty building like?


When I first went to see it I was pretty disappointed - it's tucked away inside almost an alley of the Sidgwick Site, appearing dark and dingy.  As an economics student, though, you rarely frequent the faculty building; even if you watch the lectures, there is a seperate lecture hall by the name of 'Lady Mitchell', which is a bit nicer.  Inside the two buildings, though, the faculty is actually quite pleasant. The building on the left, with the staff offices, has high and large glass windows allowing for a lot of natural light, and is a very tall building; the one on the right less so, only really containing the library - you'll find that for some reason students of other subjects seem to like it, but I can't figure out why - it's not particularly nice and I much prefer other libraries like the law library.


The faculty building is on the edge of Sidgwick site and is quite a long thin building. It looks quite gloomy to be honest, it's very stereotypically brutalist. That being said, the Marshall Library which is the faculty library is one of my favourites. It's really comfy and cosy.

What is the workload like?


The economics workload compared to other subjects is relatively light; it's around 10 hours of lectures per week, and then around 2 supervisions per week (may be a bit less). Each supervision, if you do the work thoroughly, INCLUDING THE TIME IT TAKES TO WATCH LECTURES, probably takes about 10 hours. So that's about 20 hours a week if you're doing the work properly. So if you managed to work 4 hours a day Mon-Fri you'd really be fine, and anything on the weekend is really putting youself in a great position academically.


I have about 10-12 hours of lectures and about 2 supervisions per week. I tend to structure the rest of my work around that. The best way to approach your work is to treat your degree like a job and work 9AM-6PM Monday to Friday (+ a little bit on the weekend). Unfortunately, that's a bit of a fantasy for me so I do a lot of work at night.  Each supervision takes me about 8-10 hours of work depending on how hard it is. I also do about an hour of reading and brushing up on notes for each lecture so the total workload comes out to about 40-45 hours a week for me.

What about your course would you change?


I would make the course far more personal. The lectures are extremely unpersonal in person with the huge lecture halls, and if you watch them online they're mind-numbingly boring. It's a huge leap from school classes of maybe 20 at A-Level, with lots of bantering and a connection with the teacher throughout. Sure we have supervisions, but those tend to be sit down and be talked-at for an hour. Admittedly I'm not sure how this change could be enacted, but another change that I think would help is providing more opportunity in the first term for students to get to know each other, such as maybe an economics social, chances to meet groups, cafe meets and things like that. Once people know each other, they may then decide to go to lectures together, form friend groups etc.


The one thing that annoys me about the course is how theoretical it is sometimes. You can often spend ages on models that have no resemblance to real life, even if they can be interesting and provide a few good insights. The course does become more empirical as you progress and there are empirical papers, like the Politics and History papers in first year. I have also picked more empirical papers in my later years to give myself a bit more balance.

A typical timetable

Abhay's first year timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9am Lecture (Macroeconomics) Lecture (Microeconomics) Lecture (Methods) Lecture (Macroeconomics) Lecture (Macroeconomics)
11am   Lecture (Methods) Lecture (Microeconomics) Lecture (History & Philosophy) Lecture (History & Philosophy)
12pm     Supervision  
5pm Supervision        


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Academic Reps are the voice of students in faculties, departments and schools. Reps have the power to enact changes to education, individually based on their priorities and collectively, working with other representatives across the University. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community.