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Land Economy at Sidney

Land Economy at Cambridge

Land Economy is the study of the use, development and management of land, other natural resources and the built environment. Drawing upon theories and concepts from economics, law and quantitative methods, the student analyses how the private sector allocates resources, what implications this has for society and why and how government seeks to alter private processes. Though the analysis concentrates upon economically advanced countries, the experience of selected low income countries is also covered.

The Land Economy course encourages students to develop an understanding of complex economic, political and administrative questions. The development of an analytical capacity to tackle complex questions such as “How should private development objectives be balanced against the need to conserve social assets?” and “In poor countries, what should governments do in the face of an explosive growth of urban areas and rural depopulation?” provides a stimulating education. The emphasis on the interaction of the private and public sectors fits students, after graduation, to enter either sector. The employment prospects of graduates in Land Economy are excellent, particularly in occupations dealing with land management, surveying, planning and development.

The coursework in Land Economy progresses from basic principles (particularly those drawn from Economics and Law) in the first year, to more advanced analysis and vocational applications in the second and third years. In their first year (Part IA), all students take introductory courses in economics, business and administrative law, accounting and data evaluation, and a topics course on land, environment and structural change in the United Kingdom.

In the second year, those who have completed Land Economy IA must take an advanced economic theory paper, a law paper, and three others from a range of six on offer. Students who change Tripos and begin Land Economy in the second year must take the accounting and data evaluation course (unless specifically exempted), a law paper, an advanced economic theory paper and two others. In the second year, students may select courses which lead to a specific professional career, for example Chartered Surveying, or choose courses with a view to a range of jobs in business and administration within either the public or private sectors.

In the third year, students have the maximum freedom to select those courses which most suit their interests, skills and professional objectives. Five papers, or four papers and a long essay based on a seminar course, have to be offered.

Land Economy at Sidney

Sidney's Director of Studies is Professor Paul McHugh is an expert on common-law aboriginal rights, constitutional (imperial and colonial) history and historiography. His work has been cited by courts (most recently and prominently, New Zealand's foreshore and seabed controversy (2003 -), also Takamore v Clark [2011] NZCA 587; Ross River Dena Council v A.-G (Canada) 2012 YKSC 4) and for the defendants in the 'Urewera Four Trial' (2012) (billed as New Zealand's most expensive criminal trial - click here to read more about the trial). Professor McHugh supervises Constitutional Law and Land Law.


Director of Studies (DoS) and Fellow

Professor Paul McHugh

All of our undergraduate students are allocated a Director of Studies and learn from specialists in particular areas of their subject. From time to time, individual teaching staff may be away on leave.

Typical Intake

2 - 3

Standard Entry Requirements

A*AA at A Level, or 40-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level (please see the University website for standard entry requirements in other qualifications). Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.

No specific subjects are preferred. Economics, Geography, Law, Mathematics and Politics are all useful and relevant, but it is possible to be considered for admission if your subjects are entirely different.

Admissions Process

Written work

We will not ask you to submit any written work as part of your application.

Admissions Assessments

90-minute at-interview assessment: Thinking Skills Assessment (Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; 90 minutes). Read more about the admissions assessment on the University website.


Two interviews, dicussing questions related to Land Economy. One interview will involve discussion of a passage given to candidates to read beforehand.

Find out more

Department of Land Economy

University website Land Economy course page