Land Economy

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 Department of Land Economy is an unusual department in Cambridge terms, because of its distinctive interdisciplinary nature. Its two primary disciplines are law and economics; its main focus is land and environmental protection. Its teaching programme comprises of a full three–year undergraduate course (a Tripos), and an MPhil degree by instruction or research. Students reading the Land Economy Tripos obtain in their first year a solid grounding in economics, including not only microeconomics and macroeconomics, but also particular areas of interest in relation to land, such as urban economics, regional economics, finance and investment analysis and environmental economics. They are also educated in law: there are detailed papers in Constitutional and Administrative Law; and in their second year, Law of real Property; Business Law and Landlord and Tenant. In Part II the courses build on these foundations, and draw together the two disciplines. Examples of this include papers on Land Markets and Public Policy, Law and Economics, Land–use Planning, the seminar course on Environmental Law and Economics and a paper on Land Policy and Development Economics.

The programme is rigorous. Students are introduced to complex theoretical debates, and to their practical implications. It is not a programme of vocational training for surveyors, yet it has the advantage of accreditation by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in recognition of the importance of such rigorous education for leading property professionals.

Although the BA degree in Land Economy provides the possibility of full exemption from the written examinations of the RICS and ISVA, the Tripos does not seek to instil professional skills in aspiring graduates. During supervisions students are encouraged to discuss the philosophy and underlying rationale of land use decisions and policies, taking into account institutional, political and social influences as much as those derived from economics. Supervisions in groups of two, three or four take place either in the Department or in the rooms of College Fellows.

The coursework and supervisions are supplemented by field trips within the United Kingdom. Recent visits have included an examination of the role of a major shopping centre in a new town, the redevelopment of the London Docklands, the economics and management of public and private forests, the effectiveness of the public inquiry system as exemplified by Sizewell, and the management of the Felixstowe Dock complex.


Land Economy at Caius

We usually admit three or four students in Land Economy each year. This makes for a small and supportive group within a large and diverse College. The College is centrally located, very near to the Land Economy department. The Director of Studies is Professor Peter Tyler.

"Studying Land Economy at Caius allows you to explore a diverse set of subjects such as Economics, Law and Sustainability. The course focuses on relevant issues such as Brexit, gentrification and regional inequalities, providing a different perspective on the world’s most pressing problems and encourages you to think critically about policy-making and possible solutions. Land Economy is a relatively small course where the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly and you have the opportunity to get to know all your coursemates over the year through supervisions which usually take place in the Department!"

Reyna, first year Land Economy student at Caius

Teaching Fellows


Land Economy may be approached from many backgrounds and there are no A–level subjects that are essential prerequisites. Economics, Geography, Law, the statistical parts of Mathematics, and Politics are all useful and relevant subjects, but it is perfectly possible to be considered for admissions with A–level (or equivalent) subjects which are entirely different. What matters is analytical ability, enthusiasm, wider exploration of the subject and a willingness to work hard.

Candidates for Land Economy at Caius are considered on the basis of their full written application and academic record to-date, and two interviews. At least one interview will be with two subject specialists.

If you have any queries about Admissions, please contact the Admissions Office.