Land Economy

Teaching Land Economy at St John's

If you are successful in an application to Land Economy at St John's College, you will have been chosen as someone we think has the potential, ability and motivation to succeed here in this multi-disciplinary subject. One of our main jobs once you are a student here is to encourage you to realise that potential. In the Land Economy department, teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and supervisions. Lectures tend to be formal, but supervisions involve small group teaching in which there is direct interaction between student and supervisor. For instance, you will often have to write an essay or tackle a legal or economic problem and explain your reasoning. What we are looking for when interviewing are students who can write clearly, express their ideas verbally and demonstrate an aptitude for solving problems. Enthusiasm and an enquiring mind also count for a lot, since an innate interest in the subject and intellectual curiosity are both great motivators and good indicators of real academic potential in what is a broad but highly rewarding subject area.

Undergraduate Land Economists can join the Purchas Society, which organises both academic meetings and social occasions.


The Department of Land Economy is an unusual Department in Cambridge terms because of its interdisciplinary nature. Its two primary disciplines are law and economics. Its main focus is land, property, urban and regional planning and environmental protection. Its teaching programme comprises a full three-year undergraduate course (Tripos). Students reading the Land Economy Tripos obtain in their first year a solid grounding in economics, including microeconomics and macroeconomics and areas of particular interest in relation to land, such as urban economics, regional economics, finance and investment analysis and environmental economics. 

Students also get a solid grounding in law. There are papers in Public Law and, in the second year, Law of Real Property, Private Law and Landlord and Tenant Law. In Part II (year 3) the courses build on these foundations and draw together the disciplines of law, economics and environment. The programme is rigorous. Students are introduced to complex theoretical debates and to their practical implications.

There is also considerable scope for original research in the form of a third-year dissertation. It is not a programme of vocational training, yet it has the advantage of recognition by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors under a special partnership scheme. The course also carries part-exemption (by application) from the requirements of the Law Society.

Land Economists at St John’s benefit in particular from a well stocked college library and from the generous book grants and financial support.

Entry Details

UCAS Code: KL41

Typical Minimum Entry Requirements

A Level: A*AA

International Baccalaureate: 42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Essential/Desirable Subjects: None

Submitted Work: None

Admissions Assessment: None

Admissions Interviews

There will be either one or two interviews for Land Economy, with a total time of up to 50 minutes. 

An example of the type of questions that you might be asked is “Discuss the factors that may affect the value of homes in cities from the centre outwards. Consider how a growing uptake of working from home may affect this value.”

Further information regarding interview dates and arrangements can be found here.


Our students have an excellent employment record after graduation. Many graduates follow a career in the financial industry, consulting, policy making, start their own companies or continue to further education (graduate degrees/PhDs) - to name just a few next steps. 

Student Views

Gemma Cairns-Smith, second year undergraduate:

Studying Land Economy at St John's is a fantastic opportunity. I am part of a close-knit community where I am completely academically and personally supported, it is an incredible environment to live and work in. St John’s has provided me with opportunities to pursue my interests in Land Economy extra-circularly by giving me funding to visit cities in China enabling me to explore Land Economy beyond the lecture theatre.  Land Economy is great, but at St John's it’s even better!