Oxford Vs Cambridge Economics

Economics is a course which is rewarding and demanding. An Oxbridge degree in Economics is even more desirable. But the question still stands, which is better for Economics?

Author: Rob Needleman

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Oxford and Cambridge universities are both magnets for world-renowned economists, but which one should you choose?

With Oxbridge ranking in second and third for Economics in the entirety of Europe on Economics and Econometrics World University Rankings, the desire to be accepted is formidable for both students and parents. Although formidable, the decision to choose one out of the two becomes clouded for applicants each year.

So Which Oxbridge University Should I Choose For Economics?

This comprehensive guide is going to alleviate the distress that comes with making such a life changing decision. It will pit both universities against each other aswell as their Economics degrees. Follow the article down to compare course content, teaching and assessment styles, employability and much more.

Oxford Vs Cambridge Economics Course Content

Oxford Economics Course Content

Degree: Economics and Management (BA)

Duration: 3 Years

90% of students who studied Economics & Management at Oxford were in work or doing further study 15 months after the course. Students will receive a BA upon completion and a credible degree on their CV. This is all due to the course content that they provide. Which is as follows:

1st Year

 

The first year consists of three modules, all of which are compulsory.

Introductory Economics / This module will give the students a wider understanding of economic methods and concepts. It will also include mathematical tools used in the economic environment along with fundamental algebra and calculus. It also includes both macro and microeconomics.

Financial Management / This module encompasses financial reporting and financial analysis of company accounts and management accounting.

General Management / The module will allow students to dwell deeper into functional areas of management. Which will also be available as options papers in year 2 and 3. The course begins with an overview of large business’s origins as well as how to think about technology, work organisation and context.

First year comes to an end with Preliminary Examinations (prelims), once successfully completed, students can move into Final Honours School (FHS).

 

FHS  (Final Honors Students)

Before advancing to FHS, students are required to take courses for 8 final papers, or 7 paper as well as a thesis. A minimum of 2 options has to be from the Economics List and at least 2 of the options have to be from the management list. The left over 4 options can be selected from either department lists of options.

 

As mentioned, you are required to offer a minimum 2 optional papers in Management in your final examinations. Economics and Management lists are published each trinity term. Usually in Week 4 Trinity Term a survey is distributed amongst the 1st and 2nd year students to pick their management options.

 

Here is a brief list of subjects which are offered to 2nd and 3-year students. (This list may be added to or items may be deleted.)

 

Accounting, Technology and Operations Management, Strategic Management, Marketing, Finance, Organisational Behaviour Analysis, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Global Business History, Thesis in Management.

2nd Year

Second Year Papers

You are required to choose a minimum of 2 papers in each:

 

Microeconomics

Macroeconomics

Quantitative Economics

Development of the World Economy since 1800

3rd Year

Third Year Papers

 

Econometrics

Economics of Developing Countries

Game Theory

Money and Banking

Thesis in Economics

 

You are also able to offer a 15,000 words thesis instead of the optional finals papers.

 

The first year consists of three modules, all of which are compulsory.

Introductory Economics / This module will give the students a wider understanding of economic methods and concepts. It will also include mathematical tools used in the economic environment along with fundamental algebra and calculus. It also includes both macro and microeconomics.

Financial Management / This module encompasses financial reporting and financial analysis of company accounts and management accounting.

General Management / The module will allow students to dwell deeper into functional areas of management. Which will also be available as options papers in year 2 and 3. The course begins with an overview of large business’s origins as well as how to think about technology, work organisation and context.

First year comes to an end with Preliminary Examinations (prelims), once successfully completed, students can move into Final Honours School (FHS).

 

1st Year (Oxford)

Before advancing to FHS, students are required to take courses for 8 final papers, or 7 paper as well as a thesis. A minimum of 2 options has to be from the Economics List and at least 2 of the options have to be from the management list. The left over 4 options can be selected from either department lists of options.

As mentioned, you are required to offer a minimum 2 optional papers in Management in your final examinations. Economics and Management lists are published each trinity term. Usually in Week 4 Trinity Term a survey is distributed amongst the 1st and 2nd year students to pick their management options.

Here is a brief list of subjects which are offered to 2nd and 3-year students. (This list may be added to or items may be deleted.)

Accounting, Technology and Operations Management, Strategic Management, Marketing, Finance, Organisational Behaviour Analysis, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Global Business History, Thesis in Management.

FHS
(Final Honours Students - Oxford)

Second Year Papers

You are required to choose a minimum of 2 papers in each:

Microeconomics

Macroeconomics

Quantitative Economics

Development of the World Economy since 1800

2nd Year (Oxford)

Third Year Papers

Econometrics

Economics of Developing Countries

Game Theory

Money and Banking

Thesis in Economics

You are also able to offer a 15,000 words thesis instead of the optional finals papers.

3rd Year (Oxford)

Cambridge Economics Course Content

Degree: Economics (BA) Hons

Duration: 3 Years

The top three sectors which Cambridge Economics graduates found themselves in after studying were Banking/Finance (21% – Those who responded), Public Sector/Policy (9%) and consulting (8%) and some found studying further was better suited to them (20%). Those who got into these sectors can thank their Cambridge Degrees. A degree in Economics from Cambridge is considered strong due to their course content. Which is as follows:

1st Year

The first year like all courses is more of an introduction to the subject and core knowledge is explored through 5 compulsory papers which are:

 

Microeconomics

Macroeconomics

Quantitative Methods in Economics

Political and Social Aspects of Economics

British Economics History

It is through these papers in which you dwell deep into topics such as supply and demand, role of prices and markets, inflation, employment, monetary policy and more. The quantitative methods paper will cover mathematical and statistical techniques.

2nd Year

Second year includes 3 compulsory papers:

 

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Theory and Practice for Econometrics 1

 

You will also be required to take 1 compulsory paper from the list below:

  • International Trade and Development
  • Modern Societies
  • Mathematics and Statistics for Economists
  • Labour
  • Modern State and its Alternatives
  • International Conflict, Order and Justice
  • History and Philosophy of Economics
  • World Depression in the Interwar Years

 

It is through these papers in which you receive knowledge about key topics, analytical techniques in microeconomics and macroeconomics theory as well as learn the IT skills necessary to undertake projects in applied economics.

3rd Year

In the final year you have to choose 2 compulsory papers which are:

Microeconomics principles and problems

Macroeconomics Principles and problems

 

You will also be taking two optional papers and writing a compulsory dissertation of 7,500 words.


The optional papers can be on the topics listed below:

Economic Theory and Analysis

Political Economy

Banking and Finance

Public Economics

The Economics of Developing Countries

Industry

Theory and Practice of Econometrics II

Global Capitalism

British and European Politics

 The first year like all courses is more of an introduction to the subject and core knowledge is explored through 5 compulsory papers which are:

Microeconomics

Macroeconomics

Quantitative Methods in Economics

Political and Social Aspects of Economics

British Economics History

It is through these papers in which you dwell deep into topics such as supply and demand, role of prices and markets, inflation, employment, monetary policy and more. The quantitative methods paper will cover mathematical and statistical techniques.

1st Year (Cambridge)

Second year includes 3 compulsory papers:

Microeconomics

Macroeconomics

Theory and Practice for Econometrics 1

You will also be required to take 1 compulsory paper from the list below:

International Trade and Development

Modern Societies

Mathematics and Statistics for Economists

Labour

Modern State and its Alternatives

International Conflict, Order and Justice

History and Philosophy of Economics

World Depression in the Interwar Years

It is through these papers in which you receive knowledge about key topics, analytical techniques in microeconomics and macroeconomics theory as well as learn the IT skills necessary to undertake projects in applied economics.

2nd Year (Cambridge)

In the final year you have to choose 2 compulsory papers which are:

Microeconomics principles and problems

Macroeconomics Principles and problems

You will also be taking two optional papers and writing a compulsory dissertation of 7,500 words.

The optional papers can be on the topics listed below:

Economic Theory and Analysis

Political Economy

Banking and Finance

Public Economics

The Economics of Developing Countries

Industry

Theory and Practice of Econometrics II

Global Capitalism

British and European Politics

3rd Year (Cambridge)

The difference between course content for both universities is quite clear, especially with the degree itself. Oxford offers students a BA in Economics and Management whereas Cambridge offers a BA in just Economics with Oxford allowing students to specialise in Management too. LSE is the only university which offers a BSc in Economics. So, when applying, do ask yourself, do you want to study a mixed degree or just Economics?

Some students chose to pick Cambridge over Oxford for Economics as they want to play to their strengths, which in the case of Cambridge is Maths. Economics at Cambridge is more Mathematics centric, so those who don’t necessary want a business/management orientated future chose Cambridge and vice versa.

Teaching and Assessments

Oxford Teaching and Assessments

During the first year of your studies at Oxford a typical week will include between 4 to 6 lectures, two tutorials and a class. The course is actually taught through lectures and tutorials with the lectures being held at the Examination Schools on High Street. Due to the similarities in content, these will be run alongside the PPE course as well as History and Economics (HECO). The lectures will last approximately 1 hour. 2 tutorials are held each week during your first year. Tutorials are a more “hand-on” approach, however teaching styles may vary with different tutors.

 A task is set beforehand, and it is the student’s responsibility to complete the work assigned. These are generally held so that the tutors can understand if the students have a grasp of the topic. The size of these tutorial groups is 2-4 students, which means it is intimate and the teacher is able to assess, provide feedback and discuss the topic in depth.

 A task is set beforehand, and it is the student’s responsibility to complete the work assigned. These are generally held so that the tutors can understand if the students have a grasp of the topic. The size of these tutorial groups is 2-4 students, which means it is intimate and the teacher is able to assess, provide feedback and discuss the topic in depth.

Cambridge Teaching and Assessments

There are two elements to teaching in Cambridge. The faculty organises lecture courses for each paper with the majority of papers having 32 to 40 hours of lectures in topic. Supervisions are Oxford’s version of “tutorials”. These go hand in hand with the lectures. There are around 10 hours of supervisions per paper.

Life in Cambridge

Prior to your supervision, the supervisor will assign you a task which you have to complete and demonstrate your grasp on the topic. These are typically highly interactive sessions where the supervisor will go through problems/essays, provide feedback, and answer your questions about material.  

cambridge-university-trinity-college-great-court

Prior to your supervision, the supervisor will assign you a task which you have to complete and demonstrate your grasp on the topic. These are typically highly interactive sessions where the supervisor will go through problems/essays, provide feedback, and answer your questions about material.  

The main differences amongst the universities teaching and assessments can be found within their assessments. There are no formal examinations in your second year of Economics at Oxford, all final examinations will be held in your trinity term of third year, whereas Cambridge takes examinations each year, at the end of the term. Both universities offer intimate hour-long weekly sessions with world-leading experts in economics, Cambridge refer to them as “Supervisions” and Oxford call them “Tutorials”. You will receive plenty of hours at both universities to practice, research and develop your skills through supervisions or tutorials.

Oxford vs Cambridge Entry Requirements

Oxford Entry Requirements

Oxford Entry Requirements image

Cambridge Entry Requirements

Cambridge Entry Requirements Pie Charts

As you can see from this data, Cambridge are typically stricter than Oxford. Oxford’s data has shown that they tend to interview 85% of their applicant pool which does boost your chances if you do interview well.  Data has been effectively sourced for their economics degree stats. This data also shows the amount of student who chose to apply for both universities which outlines who the majroity tend to go for.

Oxbridge Academic Requirements

Oxford Entry Requirements

STUDYOXFORD
IB39 (INCLUDING SCORE POINTS) 766 AT HL
ADVANCED HIGHERAA/AAB
A-LEVELSA*AA INCLUDING MATHEMATICS AT GRADE A OR ABOVE

Cambridge Entry Requirements

STUDYCAMBRIDGE
IB39 (INCLUDING SCORE POINTS) 766 AT HL
ADVANCED HIGHERAA/AAB
A-LEVELSA*AA INCLUDING MATHEMATICS AT GRADE A OR ABOVE

Academic Subject Requirements 

Oxbridge require to have Mathematics as an A-Level with an A* or A grade. Non-academic achievements are given little emphasis at Oxford University

Oxbridge Admissions Tests

OXFORD

UCAS APPLICATION COMPLETE
TSA parts 1 and 2 Part 1 includes 50 multiple choice questions and are split evenly between problem solving as well as critical thinking. 90 minutes for this section. Section 2 is a choice of 4 essays and candidates are required to answer 1 within 30 minutes. The date for the test is 4th of November. You can expect the results to be released on 11th January.
Once your results are in you will receive an offer from the universities subject to your A-Levels results.
INTERVIEWS
RESULTS
ACCEPTANCE

CAMBRIDGE

UCAS APPLICATION COMPLETE

TMUA

The TMUA has two 75 minute papers and it is designed to test the mathematical knowledge you have learned so far during school. 

Both papers are sat back to back and contain 20 multiple-choice questions. 

The results are based on a scale that runs from 1 – 9 with 9 being the highest score. 

Once your results are in you will receive an offer from the universities subject to your A-Levels results.
INTERVIEWS
RESULTS
ACCEPTANCE

The main difference between both universities’ admissions tests, is that for Oxford you will be required to do a TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) whereas for Cambridge you will have to do the TMUA. Make sure to look up your course code and which Admissions Test to take.

Whatever your decision, we will help you achieve your Oxbridge Economics dreams.

Our expert Economics Tutors help you craft the perfect Economics Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score on the TSA or TMUA and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge Economics application.

Discover our Oxbridge Economics Premium Programme by clicking the button below to enroll and triple your chances of success.

Oxford vs Cambridge Extra-Curricular Economics Activities

Oxford

There are 200 clubs to chose from at Oxford, 1 for every taste, hobby, and interest. These range from debating societies, rowing clubs all the way to MBA tournaments.

In regard to Economic specific clubs, you could enrol into the:

  • Oxford Business Network, a club where you students exchange ideas and interested around Finance, entrepreneurship, Economics and Law.
  • The most popular choice for students is the Oxford Economics Society which is a society that seeks to promote and discuss academic literature and current economic affairs.
Oxford Economics Society Logo

Cambridge

Similar to Oxford, the choice of clubs for students to choose from is vast. There are approx. 200 clubs, all ranging from Advertising and Marketing Society all the way down to a 3D printing society. There is something for everyone.

  • The Marshall Society dates back till 1927 and was founded by Alfred Marshall and is Cambridge Universities’ Economics Society. This society will enable you to partake in speaker events, exclusive socials and mentorship and networking. 
  • The CU Entrepreneur society is a student run society which challenges students to run a three phase business plan and pits groups with each other.

As an overview, both universities provide their students with vast clubs and societies to choose from. Everyone will be able to find something of their interest comfortably. However, in regard to Economics, the Marshall Society of Cambridge is rated very highly and is well-esteemed.

Oxford vs Cambridge Economics Starting Salaries

One of the lifelong benefits you will receive from studying at Oxbridge, is that your CV will be highlighted amongst the other candidates. It will elevate your chances significantly. Without even considering employability, the substantial knowledge you will obtain from an Oxbridge education is something which will always set you apart from other candidates.

Oxbridge Starting Salaries grey
oxbridge grads grey what are they doing

Around 90% of Oxford Economics graduates are pursuing a legal profession, which is classed as high skill work. As expected, they are within the finance profession with some going into research and development. Some have decided to stay on for further education or specialisation.

 

Cambridge differs especially when it comes to the starting salary. After 15 months from graduation, students have been recorded earning around £50,000 with it growing to £67,000. When it comes to applying, it is important to ask yourself how important starting salaries are for you, which type of profession you wish to dive into after graduation.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between these excellent universities is a difficult mission, however throughout this article, we have compared the main differences between the application processes, the way their teaching styles and assessments, the extracurricular activities, as well as the employability for each university.

As an overview, ask yourself the relevant questions, what matters to you as a student and what do you wish to achieve within the course and then out of the course when you do graduate.

Whatever your decision, we will help you achieve your Oxbridge Economics dreams.

We help you craft the perfect Economics Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score on the TSA or TMUA and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge Economics application.

Discover our Oxbridge Economics Premium Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

Book An Expert Application Consultation