Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Which Cambridge College for Economics?
53

SophiaLorenxoxo · 17/06/2021 09:05

DD is hoping to apply to Cambridge to do Economics next year. It seems that several Colleges within Cambridge offer Economics and you have to apply to the specific College you want to go to. What are the factors that need to be taken into consideration? We have no knowledge whatsoever about the Oxbridge system.

Thanks for any advice.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

TeenMinusTests · 17/06/2021 09:13

Lectures are organised by the university, supervisions by college.

Different colleges have very different feels.
Some are quite traditional in look with courtyards and staircases and more regular formal dining and rubbish kitchens.
Others are more modern with corridors and better communal facilities.
Some are near the centre, some are further out.
All are mixed apart from Newnham and Murray Edwards which are women only. Newnham has lovely grounds.

There will be separate entrance tests for economics, more maths based than anything I think.

Please
or
to access all these features

JuneJustRains · 17/06/2021 09:15

There is a fair bit to get your head round — sympathies!

The first thing to know is how early the application deadline is. Usually mid-October, unlike other universities.

The next thing is that there will be admissions tests, and she will need to enter herself or get her school to enter her in good time.

Lots of info if you google Cambridge admissions economics.

She can apply to a specific college or make and open application. (She might get ‘pooled’ to a different college anyway, so it’s best not to get too obsessed with the One Perfect College.)

There will be threads on it soon! Have a look at last year’s if you’re feeling brave.

Please
or
to access all these features

TeenMinusTests · 17/06/2021 09:18

Also, there are far more worthy candidates than get through each year, it's worth a shot but it would be no failure if she doesn't get offered a place.

Please
or
to access all these features

JuneJustRains · 17/06/2021 09:26

Goodness, yes, it’s good to go into the process with eyes open. For economics it looks like about a 1 in 8 acceptance rate over the past few years (and the applicants will all be very able kids).

A guaranteed way not to get in, though, is not to apply.

Please
or
to access all these features

Malbecfan · 17/06/2021 09:27

I will tell you what we did, but please bear in mind this was long pre-Covid (2016). We booked a Premier Inn on the outskirts of Cambridge in the summer holidays then got up early & took the Park & Ride bus into the city - parking is a nightmare and very expensive. Some hotels have city centre maps, you could use your phone or go into Tourist Information in the centre to get a list and go and look at the colleges. The magic words to say are: "I am a prospective student. Could I possibly have a look inside the gates please?" The tourists were given short shrift when we were there, but DD was welcomed and the porters at all the colleges were lovely. DD had a notebook and after we visited each college, she made a note about what she thought.

She ended up with a shortlist and applied to one that she had stayed in for a course. She was interviewed there but ended up receiving an offer from a college we hadn't visited. So we went back in the February half term of year 13 and she loved it. She's just about to graduate.

As I've been going there for the starts/ends of term for the last 4 years, I'm delighted where she ended up because it is not right in the centre. There is a little bit of parking at her college (free of charge) so it makes things a lot easier than our friends had it whose DD was at Trinity. Colleges slightly away from the centre have more chance of that. I think Economics is based on the Sidgwick site, so colleges slightly to the west would mean a shorter walk/cycle to lectures. As someone else said, supervisions take place at your own or another college.

Please
or
to access all these features

TeenMinusTests · 17/06/2021 09:51

I think Malbecfan's suggestion sounds very sensible.

This link: www.applytocambridge.com/ will probably make useful reading.

Please
or
to access all these features

TeenMinusTests · 17/06/2021 09:57

Supervisions are quite intense, 1 lecturer/professor/PhD student and 2 undergraduates (unless different for economics or system has changed). Nowhere to hide. Grin

Please
or
to access all these features

SophiaLorenxoxo · 17/06/2021 12:02

Thank you all so much for the information. That certainly gives us a lot to chew over.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

SophiaLorenxoxo · 17/06/2021 12:23

@Malbecfan Love the Premier Inn idea. Definitely one we will duplicate this summer! Thanks for the tip.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

MarchingFrogs · 17/06/2021 15:44

By the way, although her school may try to persuade her otherwise, making one October deadline application does not mean that she has to apply to all the universities she wants to apply to by the early deadline. As long as she pays the 'more than one' fee to UCAS, the other applications can be added at any time up to the general deadline in January (usually the 15th, but extended to the 29th this year). So plenty of time to attend - or 'attend'- open events and get a sensible feel for alternative options.

Please
or
to access all these features

SophiaLorenxoxo · 17/06/2021 16:19

@MarchingFrogs That is useful to know. Thanks!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

FlyingSquid · 17/06/2021 17:42

Mmm, yes, and then she can forget the deadline to make any other applications, in a spectacular ‘eggs in one basket’ manoeuvre.

Not that I’m thinking of anyone in particular here, of course. Certainly not.

Please
or
to access all these features

Daisysway · 17/06/2021 18:38

Cambridge is small and well served by Park and Ride so my advice would be to find somewhere to stay outside the city if you are looking around and then use p/ride. I live about 30 mins from city and I think its an amazing place for students to study...

My friends dd graduated from Pembroke college (economics) last year.. Highly competitive ...she was given a tough target in terms of offer (IB high score with 7 in Maths), she has managed to get a fab job after graduation 2:1(global company with a very good salary).

Please
or
to access all these features

ErrolTheDragon · 17/06/2021 18:49

There's a nice interactive graph generator you and your DD may want to play with which gives details on Cambridge applications and offers. If you specify economics in the courses choice and leave colleges blank then you can see at a glance which colleges make offers - touch the columns of the histograms for the detailed numbers.

The page has links on the right hand side to documents with masses of statistics if you or your DD like drilling into such things... I'm sure most people don't Grin

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/statistics

Please
or
to access all these features

ANutAsBigAsABoulder · 17/06/2021 18:57

Worth taking a look at which Cambridge College is ‘linked’ to your area: www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/area-links and then see when they might be running Y12 taster sessions and Q&A sessions with academics and lecturers.

You can apply to any College, but it is worth checking out their websites and social media to get a feel for them. Some are large, some small, some central and some further out - although the further out Colleges can actually be closer to the departments where lectures are held and specialist libraries are. Most students are happy with the College they pick and it’s where they live and eat and join some College-specific sports clubs/societies. All economics students across all the Colleges will then have the same lectures at the University department.

When you’re looking at Colleges, it’s worth finding out what kind of extra financial support is available (St John’s is very generous) and if accommodation is available throughout and where it’s based (Jesus has students in College and surrounding streets,’other Colleges have accommodation scattered around the City). Also factor in how much rent is, if there’s a Kitchen Fixed Charge per term if you eat in, and (seemingly daft) things like are the laundries free of charge on site. Little things can add up.

Please
or
to access all these features

ANutAsBigAsABoulder · 17/06/2021 18:59

Just to add, many colleges are still closed to any outside visitors due to Covid restrictions, so so bare that in mind if you were thinking of visiting soon. Good luck to your daughter!

Please
or
to access all these features

MeOnSea · 17/06/2021 19:07

Some good advice above. I definitely recommend taking up the opportunity to visit and ask questions. Each college has its own vibe so good to find out which ones feel like they might be a good fit. This information may be out of date now (I was there about 25 years ago, eek!), but the advice was to see how many tutors in your subject are associated with your college: I studied a subject with lowish numbers and not all colleges had tutors; it’s not a major issue if your college doesn’t have a tutor as you’ll be assigned to another one for supervisions, but in my case it was nice having tutors on site, not so far to go, and good to see them around/informally…

Please
or
to access all these features

Shannith · 17/06/2021 19:08

Is she incredibly good at maths? You have to be for pure Economics at Cambridge - Selwyn used to have a strong Economics reputation.

I'm not (good at maths - comparatively) so was steered towards PPE at Oxford. I applied to one collage (Exeter).

If she's more interested in macro economics, that might be an option to consider.

Please
or
to access all these features

DorotheaDiamond · 17/06/2021 19:14

FWIW you can also put in an open application where the admissions office chooses where to put your application to even out the number across the colleges. So if you have no particular preference don't get stressed. My nephew did this and is loving the college he got!

www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/ucas-application/making-open-application

Also I believe that Newnham is the only single sex female college - I believe Murray Edwards is single gender (if that is important).

Everyone I know who went to Newnham absolutely loved it.

I'd probably start with a simple set of questions: old/new, big/small, central/outsides, famous/not!

Then look at costs of rooms etc - and see how much choice you get - some colleges you can choose how much to spend to get allocated a room in that budget - others (esp Girton) it's the same cost regardless of room but if you get a crap room one year you get an amazing one the next. Which is great unless you'd prefer crap/cheap for both.

Look at whether you will be in college itself for 3 years, in college owned accommodation, or have to find your own. Look at whether self catering is at all possible if that's important.

Please
or
to access all these features

TeenMinusTests · 17/06/2021 19:19

Also I believe that Newnham is the only single sex female college - I believe Murray Edwards is single gender (if that is important).

Everyone I know who went to Newnham absolutely loved it.

Ah, yes that is true about ME, I glossed over that.

Newnham is pretty much right opposite the Sidgewick site. I didn't choose Newnham but ended up there (after being at single sex schools too). You ended up doing more socialising with other colleges, but it was nice to come back to an all-female corridor without so many random blokes around. Did I mention it has lovely grounds too?

Please
or
to access all these features

ErrolTheDragon · 17/06/2021 19:45

According to the interactive graph generator, Newnham (surprisingly) appears to be one of the few colleges which doesn't offer Economics places so other factors are not going to be very relevant to the OPs DD!

(Afaik newnham and ME have essentially the same undergrad admissions policy now; the latter has male fellows and postgrads so never was a fully single sex college. The staff at newnham have been single gender rather than sex for a long time. )

Please
or
to access all these features

JuneJustRains · 17/06/2021 20:09

Well, I don’t think we can say that NC is single gender. It doesn’t consult most of its women students on their inner sense of gender. It just asks for female ID.

But if it doesn’t do economics, that’s not too relevant!

Please
or
to access all these features

FingernailNibbler · 17/06/2021 22:53

@JuneJustRains

Well, I don’t think we can say that NC is single gender. It doesn’t consult most of its women students on their inner sense of gender. It just asks for female ID.

But if it doesn’t do economics, that’s not too relevant!

Well, NC has a Gender Expression Fund that pays for binders, packers and breast forms, so that sounds like the college is for female (sex) people with female or male gender but also for male (sex) people with female gender (breast forms)? Sorry, I need to lie down in a dark room now. Glad it's almost bedtime!
Please
or
to access all these features

FingernailNibbler · 17/06/2021 23:30

@DorotheaDiamond

FWIW you can also put in an open application where the admissions office chooses where to put your application to even out the number across the colleges. So if you have no particular preference don't get stressed. My nephew did this and is loving the college he got!

www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/ucas-application/making-open-application

Also I believe that Newnham is the only single sex female college - I believe Murray Edwards is single gender (if that is important).

Everyone I know who went to Newnham absolutely loved it.

I'd probably start with a simple set of questions: old/new, big/small, central/outsides, famous/not!

Then look at costs of rooms etc - and see how much choice you get - some colleges you can choose how much to spend to get allocated a room in that budget - others (esp Girton) it's the same cost regardless of room but if you get a crap room one year you get an amazing one the next. Which is great unless you'd prefer crap/cheap for both.

Look at whether you will be in college itself for 3 years, in college owned accommodation, or have to find your own. Look at whether self catering is at all possible if that's important.

I disagree with this strategy. See the stats for 2019: www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/statistics
Open applications aren't evenly distributed. Proportions are very high for some colleges, very low for others. You don't have an equal chance of being assigned to any college. IMHO you should evaluate all the colleges and choose one you like the look or vibe of, or the DoS for your subject. Or maybe a sport or other activity they offer.
Open applications by college (2019):
Girton: 298
Murray Edwards: 262
Homerton: 177
Robinson: 156
St Edmund's (21+): 119
Sidney Sussex: 118
Lucy Cavendish: 108
Newnham: 91
Magdalene: 81
Fitzwilliam: 76
Trinity Hall: 75
Wolfson (21+): 69
Hughes Hall (age 21+): 68
Clare: 66
Churchill: 54
Peterhouse: 47
Selwyn: 44
Downing: 40
Gonville and Caius: 38
Queens': 32
Christ's: 31
Corpus: 30
Emmanuel: 30
Pembroke: 30
St Cat's: 26
St John's: 25
Jesus: 0
King's: 0
Trinity: 0
Which Cambridge College for Economics?
Please
or
to access all these features

FingernailNibbler · 17/06/2021 23:32

In the pic the lighter blue is the open applications. You can see the proportion varies dramatically.

Which Cambridge College for Economics?
Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.