Land Economy is a multi-disciplinary degree covering a wide array of subjects whilst focussing on the central themes of Law, Economics and Geography. It isn’t, as commonly held, a course for farmers. The department is relatively small, consisting of around 50 undergraduates per year group, giving you a better opportunity to get to know students from different colleges compared to other, larger, subjects.
What about the Land Economy course at Cambridge appealed to you?
You may already be aware that Land Economy is generally regarded as a bit of a ‘doss’ subject at Cambridge designed to fit in with the schedule of Blues Rowers and teach you how to farm, although this may have been the case half a century ago it is far from the truth today. The course combines four very different aspects; law, economics, maths and the environment to give you a solid foundation of knowledge that will make you incredibly employable by the time you graduate.
How have you found the structure of the course?
Unlike humanities or other social science subjects Land Economy has less of a rigid week by week structure as you are studying several simultaneously. Whilst everyone studies the same four compulsory modules in the first year, you are able to specialise in the second year, choosing five of seven different papers. This allows you to effectively create your own degree, studying higher level and more specialised topics in the areas you find most interesting.
What is your faculty/department like?
The faculty is a row of terraced houses located on Silver Street, adjacent to the main lecture theatre on Mill Lane. The Mill Lane lecture theatre doubles as a library, containing multiple copies of all the books required for the course. Having the main department library so close to lectures is very convenient, allowing access to lecture and supervision readings given out in lectures. The system of lectures and supervisions, as well as having a director of studies provides an effective feedback and tracking mechanism as the course progresses. Supervisions reinforce knowledge gained in lectures and from further readings, whilst having a director of studies provides a means of communication for any problems regarding the course.
What types of work do you have to do?
As Land Economy is such a diverse course the work set for each of your supervisions can vary significantly. Whilst the majority of work is essay based, the nature of and the approach to answers varies between papers. Work for the Land, Environment and Structural change paper is almost entirely essay based with the structure and content of answers worked through fully in supervisions. Law, on the other hand, consists of fairly short essays on a range of topics as well as questions based on legal concepts and cases for supervisions. Economics, both the Macro and Micro papers, tends to require shorter answers including algebraic, graphical and descriptive analysis in answers. Lecturers and supervisors make students aware of readings required for lectures, supervisions and essays. The nature of these readings depends on the paper and the lecturer or supervisor, but tends to consist of academic papers, textbooks and articles specific to the topic at hand.
Do you have career plans?
If you talk to the majority of LandEcs you’ll find that very few have a firmly decided career path, however the course is so diverse this tends not to matter. Graduates of the Department have the opportunity to go into a hugely varied range of occupations including law, business and finance, civil service, public service, property professions, environmental agencies, further study and national/international agencies. The course even exempts you (be it fully or partially) from having to gain qualifications for some professional bodies such as the Law Society, Bar Council and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
What about your course would you change?
The biggest complaint most Land Economists have about the course is it’s name, they feel that ‘Land Economy’ doesn’t properly express what the course entails which has lead to the misconception that Land Economists are farmers in training.
Typical timetable of a 1st year Land Economy student
|9am||-||-||-||Paper 4 Lecture||Paper 1 Lecture|
|10am||-||-||-||Paper 4 Lecture||Paper 1 Lecture|
|11am||-||-||Paper 1 Lecture||Paper 3 Lecture||Paper 2 Lecture|
|12am||-||-||Paper 1 Lecture||Paper 3 Lecture||-|
What has been going on at Land Economy?
- Recent Events -
The department holds lunch time seminars Monday-Friday that focus on areas of current affairs, although not always relevant to the topics you are studying they are always very interesting and normally given by renowned experts in their field.
Competition in New York
Six 3rd year undergrads recently took part in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition in New York. Although the team didn't win, they found it a “fantastic educational experience”.
The London Careers Walking Tour took students to meet industry experts, make contacts and discuss careers. It was a great chance to discover more about opportunities to apply for internships and jobs.
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