University of Cambridge



Land Economy

Environment, law, economics

If you're looking for an intellectually challenging course that has many excellent career opportunities, Land Economy at Cambridge is for you.

UCAS code KL41 BA/LE

Duration Three years

Colleges Available at all Colleges except Churchill, Corpus Christi, Emmanuel, King's and Peterhouse

2013 entry Applications per place: 4
Number accepted: 50

Open days and events 2014 Department open day - 4 July, booking required, see the Department website
College open days (arts)
Cambridge Open Days - 3 July, 4 July 2013

Related courses
Contact details 01223 337147


A challenging combination

Law, economics, and their relationship to the built and natural environment are central to Land Economy, along with other areas such as business regulation, the financial aspects of real estate and international development.

The multidisciplinary nature of the course is particularly relevant in the twenty-first century where the environment, law and economics and the control of scarce resources affect the daily lives of people around the world.

Teaching and resources

Our lecturers are specialists in their own fields and include lawyers, economists, environmentalists, and experts in business, finance and quantitative methods. Many are involved in research projects of national and international concern.

We have dedicated lecture and seminar rooms equipped for both traditional and interactive lectures, and a comprehensive library. There's an extensive range of computing facilities, including an intranet store of wide-ranging teaching, careers and other useful information.

Professional training

This degree differs from similar courses elsewhere because it's not wholly vocational - there's an emphasis on high intellectual and academic content, which appeals greatly to employers.

However, the degree is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and allows graduates to progress directly to the Assessment of Professional Competence to become a full member of the RICS. It also gives partial exemption from the academic requirements of the Bar Council and Law Society.

Exceptional employment prospects

The Department has one of the strongest records for graduate employment across the University – a reflection of its strong applied base and emphasis on the development of critical employment skills.

Our graduates go on to become lawyers, economists, civil servants, and to work for national and international agencies. Many go into financial, business or management careers, and others enter public service with local or national organisations or proceed to further education and research.

Course outline

Teaching in the Department is a mix of lectures, seminars, project work, field trips and supervisions.

In a typical week, you can expect 10-15 hours of lectures and two supervisions.

Year 1 (Part IA)

Part IA provides the framework for later specialisation. You acquire a thorough grounding in the core disciplines of law and economics and are introduced to the multidisciplinary nature of the degree through four compulsory papers:

  • Economics
  • The Public Sector: Institutional and Legal Frameworks
  • Quantitative and Legal Methods for Land Economists
  • Land Economy, Development and Sustainability

During your first year you develop a sound numerical base, computer literacy, and skills in oral presentation and report preparation.

Assessment is by written examination and through coursework and projects, including statistical exercises and oral presentations.

Year 2 (Part IB)

In Part IB, you can continue studying a broad range of law, environment and economics or choose to specialise more closely in one of the three disciplines. You take five papers, including at least one paper from a choice of two on law, and select your other four papers from a choice of six. Current options include:

  • Environmental Economics and Law
  • Fundamentals of Finance and Investment
  • The Built Environment
  • Land and Urban Economics
  • The Law of Real Property: Principles, Policy, and Economic Implications

Assessment is through written examinations and coursework.

Year 3 (Part II)

Part II continues the work of the second year, with further opportunity for breadth or depth. You're required to take four papers and submit a dissertation.

The four papers are chosen from a wide range of options, which currently includes:

  • Law and Economics
  • Landlord and Tenant Law
  • Planning Policy and Practice
  • Land, Food and Ecosystem Services
  • Land Policy and Development Economics
  • Advanced Techniques in Finance and Investment for Real Estate

You also write a 10,000 word dissertation on any aspect of the Department's work of your choosing. Dissertation topics have covered all the research interests of Departmental staff (including many with an international focus) and this is the opportunity to specialise in a topic that particularly interests you.

The choice is very broad and in the past students have written on, for example:

  • land reform in Zimbabwe and Slovakia
  • international regulations on marine pollution
  • conservation in rural Cambridgeshire
  • electronic transfers of land
  • housing policies and brown-field sites
  • a legal examination of the Palestinian right of self-determination
  • analysis of crofters' rights in Scotland
  • valuation of anchor tenants in retail developments

Entry requirements

Typical offers require
A Level:
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level
For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages.

Course requirements

Essential No specific subjects

No particular subjects at A Level (or equivalent) are required for the Land Economy course but a combination of arts and science subjects is recommended. Economics, Mathematics and Geography are particularly useful. The only exceptions are as follows:

  • At Hughes Hall, GCSE Mathematics is required.
  • At Newnham, AS Level Mathematics is considered desirable.

Check College websites for College specific requirements. See also Entrance requirements and our Subject Matters leaflet for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.

Admissions tests and written work

The table below sets out the ways in which each College assesses applicants for this subject. For more information about these methods of assessment and why we use them, see the main Admissions tests and written work page.

College Assessment of applicant for this subject
Christ's Interview only
Churchill Not available at this College
Clare Preparatory study at interview
Corpus Christi Not available at this College
Downing Interview only
Emmanuel Not available at this College
Fitzwilliam School/college essay; Written test prior to interview
Girton Interview only
Gonville & Caius Interview only
Homerton School/college essay; Preparatory study at interview
Hughes Hall Interview only
Jesus Preparatory study at interview
King's Not available at this College
Lucy Cavendish School/college essays; Test at interview
Magdalene School/college essay; Preparatory study at interview
Murray Edwards School/college essay; Preparatory study at interview
Newnham School/college essays; Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)
Pembroke School/college essays
Peterhouse Not available at this College
Queens' Interview only
Robinson Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)
St Catharine's Interview only
St Edmund's One-hour essay test
St John's Interview only
Selwyn Preparatory study at interview
Sidney Sussex Preparatory study at interview
Trinity Preparatory study at interview
Trinity Hall Interview only
Wolfson School/college essay; Test at interview
How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this course, please see our Applying section for more details.

Find out more about Land Economy at Cambridge

  • Course website - Explore Land Economy in more detail on the course website.
  • Course FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about the Land Economy course.
  • Course guide - A detailed guide to the Land Economy degree.

Improve your knowledge of Land Economy

  • Preparatory reading - Guidance on preparatory reading for applicants interested in Land Economy.

Tools to help you with your Land Economy application

Land Economy and your future

  • Career opportunities - Information about the careers opportunities available to you after studying Land Economy at Cambridge.
  • Course accreditation - Information on the accreditation of the Land Economy degree by professional bodies.

The student experience

  • Student profiles - Some current students describe their experience of studying Land Economy.

Unistats info

Contextual Information

From September 2012, every undergraduate course of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual courses at different higher education institutions.

However, please note that superficially similar courses often have very different structures and objectives, and that the teaching, support and learning environment that best suits you can only be determined by identifying your own interests, needs, expectations and goals, and comparing them with detailed institution- and course-specific information.

We recommend that you look thoroughly at the course and University information contained on these webpages and consider coming to visit us on an Open Day, rather than relying solely on statistical comparison.

You may find the following notes helpful when considering information presented by the KIS.

  1. The KIS relies on superficially similar courses being coded in the same way. Whilst this works on one level, it leads to some anomalies. For example, Music courses and Music Technology courses can have exactly the same code despite being very different programmes with quite distinct educational and career outcomes.

    Any course which combines several disciplines (as many courses at Cambridge do) tends to be compared nationally with courses in just one of those disciplines, and in such cases a KIS comparison may not be an accurate or fair reflection of the reality of either. For example, you may find that when considering a degree which embraces a range of disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry and geology (for instance, Natural Sciences at Cambridge), the comparison provided is with courses at other institutions that primarily focus on just one (or a smaller combination) of those subjects.

  2. Whilst the KIS makes reference to some broad types of financial support offered by institutions, it cannot compare packages offered by different institutions. Different students have different circumstances and requirements, and you should weigh up what matters to you most: level of fee; fee waivers; means-tested support such as bursaries; non-means-tested support such as academic scholarships and study grants; and living costs such as accommodation, travel.

  3. The KIS provides a typical cost of private (ie non-university) accommodation. This is very difficult to estimate as prices and properties vary. University accommodation can be substantially cheaper, and if you are likely to live in College for much or all of the duration of your course (as is the case at Cambridge), then the cost of private accommodation will be of less or no relevance for you. The KIS also provides the typical annual cost of university accommodation and the number of beds available. Note that since most universities offer a range of residential accommodation, you should check with institutions about the likelihood of securing a room at a price that suits your budget. Knowing the number of beds available is not necessarily useful: it may be much more important to find out if all students are guaranteed accommodation.

  4. Time in lectures, seminars and similar can vary enormously by institution depending on the structure of the course, and the quality of such contact time should be the primary consideration.

  5. Whilst starting salaries can be a useful measure, they do not give any sense of career trajectory or take account of the voluntary/low paid work that many graduates undertake initially in order to gain valuable experience necessary/advantageous for later career progression.

The above list is not exhaustive and there may be other important factors that are relevant to the choices that you are making, but we hope that this will be a useful starting point to help you delve deeper than the face value of the KIS data.