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PhD Economics / Overview

Year of entry: 2024

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Streams : The 1+3 stream consists one year of PhD level teaching followed by 3 years of research. The 1+1+3 stream consists of one year of MSc teaching followed by the 1+3 stream.

High level of performance: Achieving an average of 65% in coursework with no unit marks below 55% for both UG and PG degrees as well as 65% mark for dissertation. Normally, offer holders tend to achieve much higher standards than this.

Degree Requirement : Economics degree training should be equivalent to the training given at the University of Manchester. Applicants with degree in quantitative fields other than economics will be considered on a case by case basis. We will not normally consider applicants whose previous studies have been in non-quantitative fields. Our criteria are:

  • 1+1+3 Stream: High level performance in degree equivalent to BSc or MA in Economics from the University of Manchester.
  • 1+3 Stream: High level performance in degree equivalent to the training in the MSc phase of our PhD programme.

Full entry requirements

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

Admission to the PhD programme is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics' profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but you must submit your application before the deadline below to be considered. You will not be able to apply after this deadline has passed.

  • For September 2024 entry: 30 June 2024

It should be noted that the deadlines for funding competitions will often be earlier than the deadline shown above. For internal studentships from the School of Social Sciences, the application deadline is the same as the programme deadline above. However, we reserve the right to close the competition at any stage if all awards have been allocated, so we recommend that you apply as early as possible. If you intend to apply for external funding sources (e.g. ESRC NWSSDTP), you must submit your programme application far enough in advance of the relevant external funding deadlines, which are usually much earlier than the programme deadline listed above.

Programme options

Programme overview.

  • Join a vibrant and active research hub, with weekly seminars in macroeconomics, economic theory and applied economics.
  • Benefit from staff with expertise across all areas of economics.
  • We host prestigious events such as the Annual Conferences of the Royal Economic Society and the Summer Meeting of the European Economic Society and the Econometric Society.

To find out what studying on a postgraduate research programme at Manchester is like, visit our Open days and study fairs page and explore our virtual open week or future on-campus and international events.

Join us from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 October for the Faculty of Humanities' PGR Virtual Open Week. Book your place.

Fees for entry in 2024 have not yet been set. For reference, the fees for the academic year beginning September 2023 were as follows:

  • PhD (full-time) UK students (per annum): £4,712 International, including EU, students (per annum): £21,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.


There are a range of scholarships, studentships and awards available to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers, details of which can be found via the links below.

To apply University of Manchester funding, you must indicate in your application the competitions for which you wish to be considered .

All external funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting your funding application and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below.

For more information about funding, visit our funding page or use our funding database to search for scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for.

  • ESRC North West Social Science DTP (NWSSDTP) PhD Studentships 2024 Entry (TBC)
  • School of Social Sciences Economics PhD Studentships 2024 Entry
  • China Scholarship Council - The University of Manchester (CSC-UoM) Joint Scholarship Programme 2024 Entry (TBC)
  • Humanities Doctoral Academy Humanitarian Scholarship 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (Least Developed Countries and Fragile States)
  • Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 2024 Entry
  • PhD Studentship with the Stuart Hall Foundation (Social Sciences) 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (High Income Countries)

Contact details

See: School Subjects

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

  • Social Sciences

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website .

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website .

economics phd uk

Economics PhD

Key information.

economics phd uk

  • 4th  in the UK in the field of Energy Economics (Research Papers in Economics 2021)
  • =6th  in the UK  for Economics   (ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2023)
  • =6th  in the UK for our research impact   in Economics and Econometrics   in  REF 2021   (Times Higher Education)

Join an active academic community with a range of seminar activities and research groups. You’ll have access to training opportunities at Sussex, and in collaboration with the SeNSS South East Network for Social Sciences  and other Economics departments in the UK. You’ll have two supervisors, working in a relevant area.

A PhD with us opens a range of careers opportunities in academia, as well as in policy and the private sector.

Areas of study

Economics research at Sussex draws on the latest research methods, has an applied focus, and contributes to academic and policy debates in the following areas, where we invite research proposals:

  • empirical microeconomics in developed and developing countries, including labour economics, education and human capital, family economics, crime and law. We have advised the UK government on policies on the minimum wage, school inspections, and the salaries and contracts of teachers and military personnel. The Digital Futures at Work Research Centre  is based in the University of Sussex Business School
  • international economics, and trade and industrial policy, in developed and developing countries. The Department is home to the UKTPO UK Trade Policy Observatory , which conducts analysis on UK trade policy post Brexit, and trains and advises trade policy-makers
  • development economics, where you’ll benefit from our expertise in topics such as migration, conflict, poverty and agriculture. We are affiliated with the Sussex Centre for Migration Research
  • environmental and resource economics
  • behavioural and experimental economics and economic theory.

Find out more about research at the University of Sussex Business School

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Masters and P h D events

Meet us on campus or online

Book your place

Entry requirements

  • UK requirements
  • International requirements

Please select your country from the list.


Saudi arabia, south africa, south korea, switzerland, united arab emirates, my country is not listed.

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

English language requirements

Ielts (academic).

Higher level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our language requirements  and  find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests, cambridge advanced certificate in english (cae).

169 overall, including at least 162 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson PTE Academic

Higher level (62 overall, including at least 59 in all four skills)

Check your Pearson (PTE Academic) qualification meets all of our language requirements  and  find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)


Higher level 88 overall, including at least 20 Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

Check your TOEFL (iBT) qualification meets all of our language requirements  and  find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

As/a-level (gce).

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.


Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 4 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt english-speaking countries.

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

  • Visas and immigration

Admissions information for applicants

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

  • How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

  • browse funded projects in this subject area
  • browse our potential supervisors and propose your own research project.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and personal life. For details about part-time study, contact us at [email protected]

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in duration and in the extent of your research work.

  • For a PhD, your research work makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
  • For an MPhil, your work is an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You’ll graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy. You might be able to change to a PhD while you study for an MPhil.

Our supervisors

economics phd uk

Prof Sambit Bhattacharyya

Professor of Economics

[email protected]

View profile of Sambit Bhattacharyya

economics phd uk

Dr Ingo Borchert

Reader in Economics

[email protected]

View profile of Ingo Borchert

economics phd uk

Prof Amalavoyal Chari

Professor in Economics

[email protected]

View profile of Amalavoyal Chari

economics phd uk

Dr Rocco d'Este

Senior Lecturer in Economics

[email protected]

View profile of Rocco d'Este

economics phd uk

Prof Richard Dickens

[email protected]

View profile of Richard Dickens

economics phd uk

Prof Richard Disney

Emeritus Professor

[email protected]

View profile of Richard Disney

economics phd uk

Prof Peter Dolton

[email protected]

View profile of Peter Dolton

Dr Pawel Dziewulski

[email protected]

View profile of Pawel Dziewulski

economics phd uk

Dr Matthew Embrey

[email protected]

View profile of Matthew Embrey

economics phd uk

Dr Sonja Fagernas

[email protected]

View profile of Sonja Fagernas

economics phd uk

Prof Michael Gasiorek

[email protected]

View profile of Michael Gasiorek

economics phd uk

Dr Iftikhar Hussain

[email protected]

View profile of Iftikhar Hussain

economics phd uk

Dr Julie Litchfield

[email protected]

View profile of Julie Litchfield

economics phd uk

Dr George Mackerron

Senior Lecturer in The Economics of Environment, Energy & Climate Change

[email protected]

View profile of George Mackerron

economics phd uk

Prof Annemie Maertens

[email protected]

View profile of Annemie Maertens

economics phd uk

Prof Andy McKay

Professor of Development Economics

[email protected]

View profile of Andy McKay

economics phd uk

Dr Panu Pelkonen

[email protected]

View profile of Panu Pelkonen

Dr Tom Potoms

Senior Lecturer

[email protected]

View profile of Tom Potoms

economics phd uk

Prof Barry Reilly

Professor of Econometrics

[email protected]

View profile of Barry Reilly

economics phd uk

Prof Shqiponja Telhaj

[email protected]

View profile of Shqiponja Telhaj

economics phd uk

Prof Richard Tol

[email protected]

View profile of Richard Tol

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Dr Selma Walther

[email protected]

View profile of Selma Walther

economics phd uk

Prof L. Alan Winters

[email protected]

View profile of L. Alan Winters

Funding and fees

How can i fund my course, funded projects and scholarships.

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals. Don’t miss out on scholarships – check the specific application deadlines for funding opportunities. Note that funded projects aren’t available for all our PhDs.

Up to 10 scholarships for outstanding PhD students from China

Find out more

£3,000 scholarships available to environmental influencers bringing about real-world behaviour change

Applying for USA Federal Student Aid?

If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA federal Direct Loan funds, you will be registered on a separate version of this degree which does not include the possibility of distance learning which is prohibited under USA federal regulations. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid .

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students.

Home students: Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2024/25. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2024/25. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.

International students: £21,500 per year for full-time students

Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation. Overseas fees are subject to an annual increase - see details on our tuition fees page

Additional costs

Note about additional costs.

Please note that all costs are best estimates based on current market values. Activities may be subject to unavoidable change in response to Government advice. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity. We review estimates every year and they may vary with inflation. Find out how to budget for student life .

Empirical research costs

On top of your PhD fees and living costs, you may also need to cover some research and training costs, relevant to your research project. These costs will depend on your research topic and training needs, but may include: - travel (to archives, collections or scientific facilities) - a laptop - overseas fieldwork costs (travel and accommodation, and language training) - conference costs (travel, registration fees and accommodation) - laboratory consumables and workshop materials - participant costs - transcription or translation costs - open-access publication costs. If you have a scholarship from one of the UK Research Councils, your scholarship should cover these types of costs. You'll receive details of how to claim this additional funding. If you're self funded, or if your scholarship doesn’t cover these costs, check with the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator in your School for details of School or Doctoral School funding that may be available.

  • Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Explore our campus

Experience Sussex life in our virtual tour.

Start your virtual tour

PhD Information Sessions

Visit campus and chat to staff and students. Book your place

Online PhD Sessions

Join a live webchat. Book your place


Meet us in your country

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 876787

Send us a message

Admissions enquiries

If you haven’t applied yet:

+44 (0)1273 678169 business-researchstudents@​

Find out about the University of Sussex Business School

After you’ve applied:

+44 (0)1273 877773 [email protected]

Find out how to apply

Quick links

  • Guide to PhD study
  • PhD support
  • Academic facilities
  • Open Days and events
  • Accommodation
  • International students
  • Student life
  • Order a printed prospectus

What do you want to do next?

  • Courses Browse our courses by subject area
  • Sussex Life Find out about life at Sussex
  • Visit Come to a PhD Open Evening
  • Apply Find out how to apply

The University of Edinburgh home

  • Schools & departments

Postgraduate study

Economics PhD with Integrated Study

Awards: PhD with Integrated Study

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Economics

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

Join us at the Postgraduate Virtual Open Days 14-16 November 2023.

  • Find out more and sign up

Research profile

Our PhD programme enables you to pursue your academic interests, and learn the latest methods in research, while providing you with thorough training in modern economics.

Research rankings

We have an impressive history of high rankings for our research.

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 25% of our research was judged world-leading in its originality, significance and rigour. A further 45% was judged internationally excellent.

Academic staff profiles

There are 34 staff members and around 30 PhD students. Profiles of all our economics staff and students are available on the economics website:

  • Staff and students at the School of Economics

Programme structure

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses.

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Training and support

Academic support.

You will be supervised by two faculty members from the School, who will provide academic support and advice on the subject area, methodology and structure of your thesis.

What will I study?

The PhD programme is principally a research degree, but modern economics requires substantial training that exceeds the level of an MSc or other masters study.

In Year 1, you will take 120 credits of advanced research-oriented coursework, with the opportunity to take field courses at the frontier of areas relevant to your research.

Review and progression

Subject to passing an annual review at the end of Year 1, you will proceed to three further years of research, with the possibility of taking a fourth “writing-up” year.

As a postgraduate student at the School of Economics you will be immersed in a rich academic environment and supportive community of staff and students.

You with have all the practical facilities to ensure success in your chosen programme of learning or research.

Career opportunities

Employment opportunities.

While many of our PhD graduates choose to remain in academia as lecturers and researchers, some pursue careers in other sectors.

Recent PhD graduates have found employment as researchers and analysts with:

  • Behavioural Insights Team
  • Danmarks Nationalbank
  • Bank of England
  • other private and public organisations

Post-doctoral opportunities

Recent graduates have successfully attained post-doctoral positions at:

  • University of Oxford
  • King's College London
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • European University Institute

As well as faculty positions at:

  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Penn State University
  • University of St Andrews
  • Aarhus University
  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Practical careers support

Our PhD students benefit from the help of our Placement Director in looking for academic jobs.

As well as offering advice and running information sessions, the Placement Director organises practical preparation sessions tailored to the academic job market, such as practice interviews and job talks.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK masters degree with distinction, or its international equivalent, in analytical economics. This degree should be equivalent to that offered by the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics .

If you do not hold a masters, or if your masters is in another subject, you will not normally be admitted directly to the PhD.

Our programme is designed to enable you to pursue your academic interests, and learn the latest methods in research, while providing thorough training in modern economics. As important as your topic is the ability to match your topic with our supervision team. We will not admit a student, where we cannot provide the very best supervision. Therefore, you should think carefully about whether your topic matches our research interests.

During the application process, you will be asked to provide a research summary that briefly outlines your research interests and why you feel they fit with those of the School.

The criteria we will use to decide upon admission will include:

the quality and rigour of your training in core economics areas.

your performance at undergraduate and postgraduate level

our ability to offer supervision in your chosen area of research

the quality of your research summary and the strength of the match to the research priorities of the School

our assessment of any previous independent work (such as your masters dissertation or extended project)

In exceptional cases, we may consider prior independent research experience as a positive factor for admission.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in reading and listening, and 6.0 in all other components.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in reading and listening, and 20 in speaking and writing. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 176 in reading and listening, and 169 in speaking and writing.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in reading and listening, and 59 in each other component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Scholarships and funding, featured funding.

We offer funding for high quality applicants, although we would encourage you to try and obtained your own funding sources in the first instance.

  • School of Economics scholarships
  • University of Edinburgh Scholarship Search

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • Postgraduate Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1795
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • School of Economics
  • 30/31 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: Economics
  • School: Economics
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD with Integrated Study in Economics - 4 Years (Full-time)

Application deadlines.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

  • How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

See our supervisors and their areas of research:

  • Economics staff

Before applying for a PhD with us, please send us an enquiry email so we can assist you and give you the best advice.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

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PhD Programs in Economics in the United Kingdom

Study economics in the united kingdom.

If you are looking to do your PhD degree in economics abroad, the United Kingdom is a great international destination. The UK is home to many of the best universities for economics in the world, all engaged in cutting-edge economics research. A doctoral degree in economics in the UK only takes 3-4 years to complete making it a quick and affordable option. Graduates from UK economics colleges also have excellent career prospects, while teaching here encourages individual research alongside group discussions and assignments.

Pursue your research interests, be it economics theory, macroeconomics, econometrics, health economics, financial economics, behavioral economics, applied economics or development economics. Start your postgraduate training in the UK and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of British Universities.

Key Information

• Academic year: September – May • Study length: 3-4 years • Type of degrees: Doctor of Philosopy (Ph.D or D.Phil.), Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert), Professional Doctorate, e.g. Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) • Fees: between £15,000 and £25,000/year (funding usually covers most or all costs) • Scholarships: The Chevening Scholarships , The Royal Society Grants , The Commonwealth Scholarhips , scholarships from UK universities • Living costs: £700 – £1300 (London most expensive) • Average starting salary: £52,000 for economists with a PhD degree ( INOMICS Salary Report )

Highlighted PhD courses in economics in the United Kingdom

Logo for School of Economics, University of Surrey

  • PhD Program

Doctoral programme in Economics (MRes+PhD)


  • PhD Program, Master's Program

International Business Economics Master programme in the heart of London - City, University of London

Phd in economic and social history, mphil/phd in economics, best universities to study economics uk.

The University of Cambridge , Oxford , and The London School of Economics all rank in the Top 10 of the Times Higher Education World Rankings for Economics . Indeed, the United Kingdom is the only country to rank institutions in the Top 10 outside the United States. Other World Top 100 UK universities for PhD in economics include UCL , Warwick , Manchester , Edinburgh , Surrey , Leeds , Sussex and Lancaster .

Best Universities in London for Economics

A global financial centre and cultural giant, London boasts more highly rated economics schools than perhaps any other city in the world. Economics colleges in London include the London School of Economics , UCL and City, University of London . Pursuing an economics doctoral degree in London opens the door to one of the liveliest job markets for economists after graduation and the chance to live in the political and cultural hub of the UK.

Browse courses by city

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PhD programs in Edinburgh

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PhD programs in Glasgow

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PhD programs in Liverpool

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Sample Motivation Letter For Your Economics PhD Application

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MRes/PhD Economics

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Economics
  • Application code L1U4
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

This programme offers you the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to the field of economics. You will begin on the MRes degree, and will need to meet certain requirements to progress to the PhD.

The Department of Economics pioneered the development of systematic research training in economics in Britain and our MRes/PhD Economics aims for the highest international standard of achievement and professional competence. The programme offers structured research training and supervision by faculty prominent in their fields. It begins with two years of rigorous coursework, equipping you with the theoretical knowledge and analytical techniques necessary to proceed to the research component of the programme. 

Many research students are associated with the work of one of LSE's research centres. You could work with the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines on areas ranging from development economics to public policy; or on research technology, growth and globalisation as part of the Centre for Economic Performance . You could contribute to major research programmes addressing the key issues of unemployment, inflation, fiscal and monetary policy, macroeconomic development and growth, financial markets, and changes in the world economy at the  Centre for Macroeconomics ; or specialise in risk management, asset pricing, financial institutions and corporate finance as part of the Financial Markets Group .

Programme details

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for mres/phd economics.

An upper second class honours (2:1) degree (or equivalent) in any field. Some preparation in economics, a strong mathematics background and evidence of research potential are essential. The goal of the MRes/PhD Economics is to train first class researchers. We will use all available information to assess research potential.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our  Information for International Students  to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

GRE/GMAT requirement

GRE is required for all applicants. This must be no more than five years old on 1 October 2024 and must show full and percentile scores for all three sections. Most successful MRes/PhD Economics applicants score 166 or above in the quantitative section.

Find out more about GRE/GMAT

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate  staff research interests  before applying.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications) - statement of academic purpose - references - CV - research statement - GRE/GMAT

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do.  See our English language requirements  for further information.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 14 December 2023 . However, to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must also have submitted your application and all supporting documents by this deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Research statement

An application for entry to the MRes/PhD Economics should include a Research Statement, along with other required information  (Note: A separate sample of written work is not required as part of the MRes/PhD Economics application).

What should my Research Statement contain?

Your Research Statement should be submitted in place of the Outline Research Proposal, along with your application form and other required supporting documents, via the LSE online application system.

Please answer the following questions clearly and concisely. Max 200 words per question.

  • Why do you want to do research in economics?
  • Can you explain how your studies and experience make you suitable to do research in economics?
  • Which aspect of the PhD do you think you will like the most? Which will you dislike the most? Why?
  • Tell us about your favourite paper in economics. What do you like about it? How would you improve it?
  • Write a comment for a general audience on ONE of the following topics  (i) Is inequality good for growth?   (ii) Do immigrants take the jobs of native workers?   (iii) Is CEO compensation excessive?  (iv) Is universal minimum income a good idea?  (v) Overall, has central banks' move to inflation targeting has been a success?  (vi) Is culture an important determinant of differences in income per capita across countries?  (vii) Markets function well as information is aggregated efficiently through prices.  (viii) Elections are effective at disciplining politicians who do not have the public interest as their main goal.

How can I demonstrate research potential?

If you have served as research assistant for an economist please ask that person to write a letter focussing on your research skills and describe your experience – reference point 2 (above) of the research statement.

If not, please list any evidence you think would be valuable. Examples include but are not restricted to: experience working autonomously under stress without any guidance, demonstration of creativity in any form, experience of writing original research.

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee in line with the fee structure for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover  living costs  or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2024/25 for MRes/PhD Economics

Home students: £4,829 for the first year (provisional) Overseas students: £22,632 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges home research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the  cost of living in London  may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for  LSE PhD Studentships , and  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding (pending bid outcome). Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

For the MRes/PhD Economics, the funding deadline is the same as the application deadline for the programme: 14 December 2023

The Economics Department also has a number of scholarship packages for direct entry MRes/PhD students. After the first year of the MRes/PhD Economics, there are teaching and research assistantships available in the Department. Read more about funding opportunities through the  Economics Department .

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.  Find out more about financial support.

External funding

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students . 

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page). 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

Introductory course (mres).

In early September, before the academic year commences, you will begin your degree programme by taking the Introductory Mathematics and Statistics course.

First year (MRes)

In the first year of the programme you will take advanced core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and analytical techniques necessary for research. Permission must be obtained to sit Econometric Analysis as it is intended for students with a strong econometric background and an interest in pursuing a PhD with econometrics as the primary field.

Microeconomics for MRes students Introduces the basic analytical tools that are necessary to conduct research in any field in economics.

Macroeconomics for MRes students Covers topics in advanced macroeconomics with emphasis on fundamentals and applications to recent theoretical advances. Either Econometrics for MRes students Covers inference, classical and generalised linear regression, generalised regression methods, time-series, panel-data, and microeconometric methods, and specialised econometric methods. Or Econometric Analysis Gives an advanced treatment of the theory of estimation and inference for econometric models.

Second year (MRes)

In the second year, you will typically take two PhD field courses and write a research paper in your major field. Currently, there are economics PhD field courses covering: econometrics, international, labour, public, development, industrial, microeconomics, macroeconomics, political economy. In addition, there are PhD field courses offered in Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing. From the second year onwards, you will also participate in a departmental research seminar and a work in progress seminar allied to your major research field.

Research Paper in Economics A research paper, between 5,000 and 10,000 words, related to the student's designated major field, to be submitted mid-way through the Spring Term.

Two courses from a range of options

Upon successfully completing the MRes and progressing to the PhD, you will work on your research and write your PhD thesis. You will also take one further PhD field course. You will also attend Work in Progress seminars, where you present your research, as well as the weekly departmental seminar series closest to your major field.

One course from a range of options.

Second and subsequent years of the PhD programme

You will continue to work on your research and write a PhD thesis. You will also continue to attend Work in Progress seminars, where you present your research, as well as the weekly departmental seminar series closest to your major field.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page .

You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.  

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s  Calendar , or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the  updated graduate course and programme information  page.

Supervision, progression and assessment


You will be assigned a lead supervisor (and a second supervisor/adviser) who is a specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies.

Progression and assessment

In order to progress to each subsequent year of the programme, and to progress to PhD registration, you will need to meet specific progression requirements, such as achieving certain grades in your coursework.

Your final award will be determined by the completion of an original research thesis and a viva oral examination.

More about progression requirements

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians   – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service  – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders  – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service  – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as  student counselling,  a  peer support scheme  and arranging  exam adjustments.  They run groups and workshops.  

IT help  – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.   

LSE Faith Centre  – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.   

Language Centre  – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers  ­ – with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library   –   founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE  – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU)  – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.  

PhD Academy   – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice   – this   offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.  

St Philips Medical Centre  – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre  – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advisers   – we have a  Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy)  and an  Adviser to Women Students  who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in  extracurricular activities . From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one  campus  in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think  London is a fantastic student city , find out about  key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners . Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about  London on a budget . 

Student stories

Hanwei Huang MRes/PhD Economics, 2018 China

Hanwei Huang

I am a PhD student studying economics in the LSE. I am also affiliated with the Centre of Economic Performance (CEP), one of the largest research centres in the LSE. My main research interest is international trade.

One thing that I have learned from the faculties is that economics is not just about mathematics, it should answer interesting economics questions. Over the past few years in the LSE, I have been conducting a few research related to China. This is not surprising given my Chinese origin. Given the anti-globalization current that we have been witnessing, it is also quite relevant to the academic and policy circle to understand how China has become a global manufacturing power house and the champion of global trade.

My work features a close link between theory and empirics, another lesson I have learned in the LSE. My first piece of work done in the LSE focuses on the evolving structure of Chinese production and export. My second paper, which is a joint work with my supervisor Professor Ottaviano, studies how Chinese exporter producing multiple products respond to competition due to comparative advantage. My current research project studies how the domestic infrastructure construction boom that has been taking place in China has enabled China to make better use of globalization.

The most exciting part of LSE is that we are seated near the centre of the UK policy-making. I am fortunate enough to be able to be on a team from the CEP which has been studying various issues related to Brexit. It is only by doing this bit of work that I have seen how LSE research has shaped the debate in the media and the UK parliament.

As a one of the largest economics departments in the world, with numerous seminars and visitors every week, you bump into various people all the time. You might run into a workshop introducing machine learning. You might also hear people talking about big data in the Bean Counter, where we have our coffee. And I am very glad to be one of them here.

Stephan Maurer MRes/PhD Economics, 2017 Germany

Stephan Maurer

I came to the LSE in 2011 after having completed my MSc in Economics at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. Already during my undergraduate studies in St. Gallen, I had gotten hooked to economics and to the idea of doing a PhD, and my time in Barcelona further confirmed this.

My research is in applied economics broadly, at the intersection of labour economics, political economy, and economic history. Economic history is for me both a tool and an end itself - I am interested in better understanding historical events, but I also frequently use exogenous variation provided by history to study questions in labour economics and political economy.

What I really like about research and the academic profession is that it offers a lot of freedom and allows me to work independently on a variety of issues. For example, I have studied determinants of city growth in Iron Age Europe, but also local economic effects of resource booms in the early 20 th century US South. I also enjoy teaching - during my time here, I have taught various courses and have found it very enriching. Being asked to explain concepts such that students can understand them often has deepened my own understanding. In this respect, I particularly enjoyed teaching in the MPA and MSc Programmes.

Research can also be frustrating. It involves a great deal of failed projects, ideas that do not materialize, and work that does not reap rewards. It is also very discontinuous - you can make great progress in few days, or feel like you’re banging your head against a wall for months. I was lucky to have two very dedicated supervisors to guide me through my PhD, helping me triage my ideas, strengthening my results by constantly questioning them, but also cheering me up when needed. My colleagues and friends at the LSE have also been a great help, not only but especially those from my cohort. Studying for the first year exams and going through the first research steps together has created a lot of cohesion and friendships that I am sure will continue to last for a long time.

After finishing my PhD, I will be joining the Department of Economics at the University of Konstanz as an Assistant Professor. I am very much looking forward to this new endeavour, but I will make sure to be back in London and at the LSE from time to time!

Preliminary reading

Readings are included in the respective course guides in the Calendar .

Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Economics

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Financial and Professional Services              
  • Education, Teaching and Research            
  • Government, Public Sector and Policy   
  • Consultancy      
  • Advertising, Marketing, PR Media, Entertainment, Publishing and Journalism

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2020-21 were the fourth group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes.

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. See information on the placements of previous students on this programme . 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Starting from the second year of the MRes, students are encouraged to undertake some class teaching in the Department, as this represents useful professional training. Additional information about teaching in the Department .

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the  support available to students through LSE Careers .

Find out more about LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home. 

Experience LSE from home

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus.  Experience LSE from home . 

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour.  Find out about opportunities to visit LSE . 

LSE visits you

Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders.  Find details on LSE's upcoming visits . 

How to apply

Virtual Graduate Open Day

Register your interest

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PhD in Economics

  • Advanced Diploma in Economics
  • MPhil in Economics
  • MPhil in Economic Research
  • MPhil in Finance and Economics
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economics phd uk

This is the most advanced programme of graduate studies in Economics at Cambridge. Upon its completion, candidates are awarded a PhD degree for producing a thesis of high-quality, original, and publishable research over a period of four years (full-time) and seven years (part-time).

A good number of our PhD students receive full or partial funding for their studies, from a variety of funding bodies, such as the ESRC and the Gates Foundation .

Our PhD students receive high quality training on a variety of research methods and are exposed to cutting edge research conducted by our own Faculty members, as well visitors to the Faculty (via the Cambridge-INET Institute , seminars, PhD workshops, locally organised conferences, etc.). Faculty members can supervise a wide range of topics from six broadly defined research areas: microeconomic theory, macroeconomics, econometrics, applied microeconomics, economic history and alternative approaches to economics.

PhD students in Cambridge benefit from a high faculty-to-student ratio and therefore form close relationships with many Faculty members. They also forge strong links with our post-doctoral researchers, and they actively participate in the Faculty’s vibrant research life. They have access to a wide range of facilities, such as their own desk/office space in the same building as regular Faculty members, computing equipment, a variety of software and access to a wide range of databases.

PhD students are encouraged to attend academic conferences and showcase their research work in a variety of ways. Upon completions of their studies, many of our PhD students become academics, or researchers at international or government research institutions (see recent job market placements here ).

Explore here the profiles of our current PhD students.

To obtain the degree of PhD in Economics, students need to:

1. Obtain the Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS) . If accepted for the PhD degree, you will be registered initially for the Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS) in Economics. Students registered for the CPGS are required to:

  • Attend the 'How to do Economics' lecture course. Other postgraduate courses in research methods are organised by the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Physical Sciences, and are available to all PhD students.  
  • Undertake a minimum of four courses from PhD or MPhil Modules from at least two subject areas. You must achieve a pass mark (60%) on each component of the coursework. Students who fail any examinations will be called for a viva on the coursework.

Course Requirements

  • Write a research proposal (maximum length 10,000 words) that should include a review of the relevant literature, a research question, and outline of a research design and methods. The expectation is that this proposal will be for a piece of research that could form the basis of one chapter of a PhD dissertation. You will be given an oral examination on this piece of work and must perform to a satisfactory standard.  
  • Attend (a) one of the three research workshops (on microeconomics, macroeconomics or econometrics) at which research students present both their own work and recent papers in the literature - assessment of workshops will be arranged by course organisers; (b) attend at least one of the Faculty's general seminars in which papers are given both by outside speakers and Faculty members;  
  • To be registered for the PhD submit an acceptable piece of research (first year chapter) of not more than 20,000 words. The piece of research submitted must be of a standard that would enable it to form the basis of one-third of your eventual PhD thesis. This means that it must contain research that could be expanded upon to constitute one-third of the PhD thesis.

2. Once upgraded to PhD status, a student concentrates on her or his PhD dissertation. In general the thesis format is either in the form of a book divided into chapters, or of three or more connected articles; in either case, the Faculty has a strict limit of 60,000 words. As research progresses, there will be opportunities to present work in progress at research workshops attended by Faculty members and research students. PhD students will also be required to attend research seminars given by outside speakers and Faculty members. 


Upon completion and submission of the PhD thesis, students do an oral examination (viva) with two examiners, one internal to the University of Cambridge (not the supervisor or research advisor), and one external (from any other University in the UK or the rest of the world).

After a successful thesis defence, the examiners recommend awarding the degree of PhD.

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PhD Economics

The School of Economics carries out research into most of the major fields of economics. It has a distinctive focus and reputation, combining high-level advances in economic theory, structural modelling and econometrics with innovative research in public policy.

The quality of the department's research has been evident in the most recent research assessments. 97% of our Economics and Econometrics research is rated either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2021).

World-leading research

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK ( Times Higher Education ).

94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Entry requirements

The standard entry route into the PhD is from the MRes Economics programme, dependent on academic results and the availability of supervision. We will also consider you for direct entry into the PhD programme if you have an MRes or MPhil Economics degree from another institution. If your master's-level studies took place outside Europe, the US or Canada, you are strongly recommended to provide GRE scores in your application.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our  profile level B.

Further information about  English language requirements and profile levels .

Fees and funding

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support .

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study.  Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

The School of Economics has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 scholarships. Please visit the school website for more information.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Many of our PhD graduates pursue careers in research, in academia or elsewhere. The programme also provides you with the skills for a career in finance, business management, public service or teaching.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.

Research groups

Most research is carried out within five main research areas:

  • econometrics;
  • economic theory;
  • labour economics;
  • macroeconomics, growth and development;
  • public organisation and applied microeconomics.

Further details of the current research and supervision interests of individual members of staff are available on the School of Economics webpage.

How to apply

Apply via our online application system. For further information, please see the guidance for how to apply on our webpages.

We welcome applications for admission at any time of year, though early application is advised.

There may be deadlines related to particular sources of funding. For further information on funding opportunities and deadlines, visit the School of Economics website.

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PhD in Economics

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View 2021–2022 Economics PhD Handbook

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Admission Guidelines

Admissions are competitive. To be considered for the PhD in Economics program, the applicant must meet the admission guidelines of the Graduate School and Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Degree Requirements

Economic Theory - The student must show competence in economic theory by passing departmental written examinations in Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory. These examinations are given twice a year, in January and June, and students must pass both exams at the PhD level. Students failing either exam are allowed a second attempt; those failing on the second attempt are not permitted to continue in the program. The student should take the theory examination at the end of two semesters after entering the program. The theory examination should be taken after completing:

ECO601 - Advanced Microeconomic Theory ECO602 - Macroeconomic Theory ECO701 - Neoclassical Microeconomic Theory ECO702 - Advanced Macroeconomic Theory

OR equivalent courses.

Statistics/Econometrics - Students must demonstrate competence in the area of statistics and econometrics. This competence may be demonstrated by satisfactory performance in the following courses:

ECO603 - Research Methods and Procedures ECO703 - Introduction to Econometrics I ECO706 - Introduction to Econometrics II

ECO707 - Research Seminar in Economics or ECO 790 - Time Series Analysis 

OR by passing a special examination.

Elective Areas -All PhD students must choose two fields of study approved by the student's Advisory Committee. The two fields may be chosen from the following:

  • Environmental and Health Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Public Economics

Minimum course preparation for each field shall consist of at least two courses as determined by the student's Advisory Committee. In addition to the chosen fields, the student is encouraged to take elective courses in other areas of economics, such as econometrics or economic theory, or in other disciplines such as Agricultural Economics, Finance, Marketing, Mathematics, or Public Administration. Courses in other disciplines must be approved by the DGS of Economics in order for them to count toward the economics elective requirements.

Supporting Work - At least nine hours of supporting course work must be selected. These courses must be approved by the student's Advisory Committee. The supporting work will allow the student to pursue more intensive study of one or both of the two chosen fields, or to pursue courses in other fields of economics. The supporting work cannot consist of 400 or 500 level courses, ECO610 or ECO611, ECO652, or any of the core courses in economic theory (ECO601, ECO602, ECO701, ECO702, ECO704) or econometrics (ECO703, ECO706). Only three of the nine elective hours can be satisfied by taking ECO797.

Grades - A minimum average of grade "B" must be attained in all courses attempted for graduate credit after being admitted to the Graduate School . Students obtaining six quality points below a "B" average will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Qualifying Examination

Written Examination - The written examination must be taken in one of the student's elective fields as part of the requirements for candidacy for the PhD degree. This examination is given twice a year following the year in which the field is offered, in June and, if necessary, in January. The written examination is prepared and graded by specialists in the respective fields. In the event that the student fails the examination, the student's Advisory Committee determines the conditions which must be met before another examination is given. Two failures to pass the written examination constitute failure of the qualifying examination. Students typically take the field exam in June after completing their second year in the program.

Oral examination - After the student has passed the written qualifying examination, the Director of Graduate Studies will, on the advice of the Advisory Committee, schedule an oral examination through the Graduate School which will be administered by the Advisory Committee. The examination will ordinarily consist of the presentation and defense of a dissertation proposal. The student should complete the oral examination prior to the end of the 7th semester in the program.

PhD Dissertation -The dissertation will be based on original research on a significant topic. The dissertation will be defended in an oral examination.

Typical PhD Course Schedule

First Year:

Micro & Macro Prelims are taken in June at the end of the 1st year of coursework.

Second Year:

Written field exams are usually taken in June at the end of 2nd year of coursework.

Third Year:

Dissertation Research and Workshops

Fourth Year:

Frequently Asked Questions

Obtaining your PhD involves a tremendous amount of preparation and hard work. Click the link below for some answers to frequently asked questions about achieving your PhD in Economics.

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DPhil in Economics

  • Entry requirements
  • Funding and costs

College preference

  • How to apply

About the course

Oxford has a thriving group of research students studying for the DPhil in Economics. The DPhil, which is the equivalent to a PhD at most other institutions, is similar in structure to a PhD at leading economics graduate schools worldwide.

The majority of students on the DPhil at Oxford have first completed the two-year Oxford MPhil in Economics . You can also apply for the DPhil if you hold, or will hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in Economics from other universities.

All students starting the DPhil are admitted with Probationer Research Student status (PRS) in the first instance. You will take additional courses from the MPhil menu to deepen and broaden your economic training, while starting to work on your first research project. The PRS status allows for a smooth transition from learning about economic research to producing new economic insights yourself. If you haven’t completed the MPhil in Economics at Oxford, you will usually be required to take a year of coursework taking papers from either the first and/or second year of the MPhil programme. Students progressing from the MPhil in Economics at Oxford will usually complete their coursework by taking additional advanced courses from the MPhil. 

You will join one or more of the department's research groups, becoming part of a vibrant educational research community with a large number of doctoral student-led events, seminars and conferences.

You will have opportunities to present your work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.

Further information about part-time study

The department is able to offer the DPhil in Economics as a part-time mode. Although there is no requirement to reside in Oxford, part-time research students must attend the University on a regular basis (particularly in term-time: October and November, mid-January to mid-March, and late April to mid-June) for supervision, study, research seminars and skills training.

The department understands that part-time research students will have non-standard attendance and work patterns. To ensure a comprehensive integration into the faculty's and University's research culture and with their full-time peer groups a pattern of attendance at MPhil courses, training events and research seminars would form part of the general part-time study agreement.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department of Economics and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Economics. In those cases, the expectation is that a co-supervisor or secondary supervisor from within the Department of Economics will also be appointed.

DPhil students will work closely with their supervisors and will be expected to meet face-to-face on at least two occasions per term with additional contact through online meetings and email exchanges.

Full-time students admitted to Probationer Research Student status are first required to transfer to DPhil status. The Transfer of Status requires the completion of the Qualifying Examinations, necessary coursework, and an interview with two assessors appointed by the department, at which the candidate presents an outline of their proposed thesis and a piece of written work relevant to the thesis. The transfer is normally expected to be completed by the end of the fourth term, and no later than six terms from admission to Probationer Research Student status. In exceptional circumstances, where a student has already successfully completed advanced coursework as part of the MPhil in Economics at Oxford, the department may waive the requirement for Transfer of Status and students may progress directly to DPhil status. Upon a successful transfer to DPhil status, students are required to confirm their DPhil status no later than nine terms after admission to Probationer Research Student status. 

Candidates for Confirmation of Status are required to present a research paper at a workshop or seminar, present a detailed outline of the complete thesis and some complete draft chapters, and will be interviewed by an assessor.

Part-time students admitted to Probationer Research Student status are normally expected to transfer to DPhil status during the first two to three years of study. Upon a successful transfer to DPhil status, students are required to confirm their DPhil status no later than eighteen terms after admission as a Probationer Research Student.

The award of this degree is based on a thesis of not more than 100,000 words in length. It should constitute a significant and substantial piece of research, of a kind which might reasonably be expected of a diligent and competent student in three years of full-time study. The maximum time allowed for completion of the DPhil is four years (eight years for part-time).

Graduate destinations

The interests and strengths of the department's doctoral students are many and diverse and this is reflected in the positions they take up after graduation: most take up tenure track or postdoc positions in academia; others find employment in government, international organisations, or the private sector. The international reputation of Oxford’s doctoral programme also means that its DPhil graduates can be found making a contribution in many different parts of the world.

The department recognises the importance of helping doctoral students find suitable employment and its placement efforts are directed by a senior member of the faculty. The department provides advice and help on all aspects of the job application process, including limited financial assistance to cover travel and conference expenses.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence, degree-level qualifications.

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • an outstanding performance in a rigorous master's course in economics;  and
  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in economics or another approved subject (such as mathematics).

Applicants must demonstrate a strong quantitative preparation. 

Offers will usually be made conditional on obtaining a distinction grade (or an equivalent level of performance where a distinction grade is not officially awarded) at master's level. 

Please note:

  • a master's qualification that is only partially in economics would not be considered a suitable background: for example, a master's course in development studies, public administration, or in finance lacks the required level of economics content, even if there are economics courses as part of the training;
  • a master's qualification in a specialised field within economics (eg development economics, applied economics, or financial economics) may also be insufficient background. Candidates with these qualifications should provide a written statement as part of their research proposal to demonstrate that the courses on which they have been examined covered all the core material of a rigorous master's course in economics.

Applicants with an insufficient master's background in economics who wish to proceed to DPhil are encouraged to first apply to the joint MPhil+DPhil in Economics.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum cumulative GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

If you do not hold, or will not shortly hold, a UK or Republic of Ireland degree, you must submit the results of a GRE Test obtained within the last 5 years. However, we recommend applicants from UK or Republic of Ireland universities also submit a GRE score. Entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants will have a GRE score of Verbal 160, Quantitative 164, Analytical 4.5.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • All candidates are expected to have working knowledge in one programming language (of the candidate’s choice) at the start of the DPhil. The department will provide advice to accepted candidates on how to acquire such knowledge.
  • Part-time applicants will also be expected to show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and, if applicable, an employer's commitment to make time available to study, to complete coursework, and attend programme and University events and modules. Where appropriate, evidence should also be provided of permission to use employers’ data in the proposed research project.
  • Publications are not expected.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's  higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides  further information about the English language test requirement .

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.  

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements published under that heading.

References  and  supporting documents  submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide  more information about how applications are assessed . 

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of  the University’s pilot selection procedure  and for  scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about  processing special category data for the purposes of positive action  and  using your data to assess your eligibility for funding , can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the  About  section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions . 

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a  Financial Declaration  in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any  relevant, unspent criminal convictions  before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some postgraduate research students in science, engineering and technology subjects will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate prior to applying for a  Student visa (under the Student Route) . For some courses, the requirement to apply for an ATAS certificate may depend on your research area.

With more than 60 academics in permanent posts and 30+ postdoctoral research fellows, the Department of Economics is a large and vibrant international community of researchers. In the 2021 REF, Oxford was ranked first in terms of overall research ‘power’ and funding market share.

The department hosts research centres such as the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), which is internationally recognised as a hub for innovative research and outreach to the academic and policy-making communities world-wide through their seminars, workshops and annual conferences.

Within the department, specialised research groups play a key role in bringing together faculty and graduate students working in particular sub-fields, supporting and mentoring doctoral students and postdoctoral research fellows, and promoting research of the highest international standard.

The research groups provide an important interface between the research centres and the department, for example, econometrics and the INET programme on Economic Modelling (EMOD); development economics and CSAE. Other research groups facilitate collaboration across departments, as in the case of the economic history group and economic historians in the Faculty of History. Each research group runs a regular seminar series with external presenters, plus a more informal workshop in which members, including DPhil students, present their research in progress.

Students can access a range of internship programmes through the University Careers Office as well as the RCUK Policy Internship scheme for ESRC-funded students. In addition, the Bank of England and Goldman Sachs each provide a short summer internship for a doctoral student specialising in macroeconomics or finance and the Department of Economics is accredited by the Asian Development Bank to nominate candidates for their internship programme. In recent cohorts, students have benefited from an internship with organisations including the EBRD, European Central Bank, UK Home Office, as well as those identified above.

The Department of Economics is located in the Manor Road Building in central Oxford, alongside the Department of Politics and International Relations. The department contains faculty offices and open-plan workspaces for DPhil students and postdoctoral research, with access to Wi-Fi and print services. A BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy is in place within the Economics department, enabling you to access data shares, printing, software and for some, a full Windows desktop via the department's Virtual Desktop environment. The Manor Road IT team support all IT-related infrastructure and systems within the department, including desktops, laptops and tablets, and all associated peripherals (printers, scanners, webcams etc) and software provision.

The Manor Road Building also houses the Bodleian Social Sciences Library (SSL), a first-class research library open to all members of the University. The SSL holds over 250,000 printed books, over 1,000 printed journal titles, as well as statistical publications, working papers, dissertations, pamphlets and reports. Online resources include almost 100,000 e-journals and an extensive collection of databases and archives in the social sciences. Graduate teaching and most seminars take place within the Manor Road Building, where there is also a cafeteria and common room for students' use.

Oxford's Department of Economics is one of Europe's leading research departments and its members include some of the world's most distinguished academic economists.

The department offers its community of around 300 graduate students a rigorous and relevant training in economics, providing a setting in which debate and research can flourish. The department’s graduate courses prepare students for a wide range of careers in academia, government and business.

The department is committed to excellence in teaching and the MPhil and DPhil in Economics are internationally recognised for the quality of the training provided. The University of Oxford is ranked 2nd in Europe in the most recent Tilburg University ranking of Economics departments, based on research contribution for the period between 2016-2020. In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise, that evaluated research output of UK Universities, Oxford was first for overall research strength in Economics and Econometrics, with more research ranked as ‘world-leading’ than any other participating institution.

In a submission of 84 FTE academics, which was the largest number of researchers submitted in the Economics and Econometrics Unit of Assessment, 94% of the department's research output was assessed as ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’ (3* or 4*). The scale and breadth of the Department’s research is a product of a vibrant and well-connected community, with particular attention on supporting early career researchers. The Department maintains world-class expertise in the core discipline areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, while building clusters of research strength in more specialist subfields – notably applied microeconomics; behavioural economics and game theory; the economics of climate change and sustainability; machine learning; economic history; development economics.

Oxford has one of the strongest, largest, and most varied groups of economists in the world. Our objective is to engage in innovative research that extends the frontiers of the discipline, deepening our understanding of the operation of modern economies. Research spans almost all the major sub-fields of economics with particular strengths in microeconomic theory, including behavioural economics; econometrics, both micro-econometrics and time series; economic history and development and international economics. Research activity is focused within smaller, specialised groups, with each group holding regular workshops at which research by faculty and graduate students is presented and discussed. Many distinguished researchers from outside Oxford also visit to present their work at seminars.

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The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

Full-time study.

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Part-time study

Information about course fees.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Continuation charges

Following the period of fee liability , you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding  section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility  and your length of fee liability .

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Please note that you are required to attend in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Also, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur further additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief  introduction to the college system at Oxford  and our  advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

The following colleges accept students for full-time study on this course:

  • Balliol College
  • Blackfriars
  • Brasenose College
  • Campion Hall
  • Christ Church
  • Corpus Christi College
  • Exeter College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Hertford College
  • Jesus College
  • Keble College
  • Kellogg College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Linacre College
  • Lincoln College
  • Magdalen College
  • Mansfield College
  • Merton College
  • New College
  • Nuffield College
  • Oriel College
  • Pembroke College
  • The Queen's College
  • Regent's Park College
  • Reuben College
  • St Anne's College
  • St Antony's College
  • St Catherine's College
  • St Cross College
  • St Edmund Hall
  • St Hilda's College
  • St Hugh's College
  • St John's College
  • St Peter's College
  • Somerville College
  • Trinity College
  • University College
  • Wadham College
  • Wolfson College
  • Worcester College
  • Wycliffe Hall

The following colleges accept students for part-time study on this course:

Before you apply

Our  guide to getting started  provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines  in our Application Guide. If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance .

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to  check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver  before you apply.

Readmission for current Oxford graduate taught students

If you're currently studying for an Oxford graduate taught course and apply to this course with no break in your studies, you may be eligible to apply to this course as a readmission applicant. The application fee will be waived for an eligible application of this type. Check whether you're eligible to apply for readmission .

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents . 

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Referees: Three overall, academic and/or professional

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

It is recommended that you provide three academic references, however the department will accept one professional reference of the three required overall. Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, and motivation.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

A CV/résumé is compulsory for this course. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Research proposal: A maximum of 1,500 words

You should submit a detailed outline of your proposed research, written in English, covering areas such as the background to the research, methodology, expected results and the contribution to the field of learning.

It is not necessary to include your bibliography in the overall word count. 

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying;
  • the coherence of the proposal;
  • the originality of the project;
  • evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study;
  • the ability to present a reasoned case in English;
  • the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the course (a maximum of 4 years);
  • commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course;
  • preliminary knowledge of research techniques;
  • capacity for sustained and intense work;
  • reasoning ability; and
  • ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.

Written work: One essay of a maximum of 2,000 words

An academic essay or other writing sample from your most recent qualification, written in English, is required. An extract of the requisite length from longer work is also permissible. The written work should be related to the subject you propose to study.

The written work should be typed and in English. The word count does not need to include any bibliography or brief footnotes.

  • a comprehensive understanding of the subject area;
  • understanding of problems in the area;
  • ability to construct and defend an argument;
  • powers of analysis; and
  • powers of expression.

GRE General Test results

If you do not hold, or will not shortly hold, a UK or Republic of Ireland degree, you must submit the results of a GRE Test obtained within the last 5 years. However, we recommend that applicants from UK or Republic of Ireland universities also submit a GRE score. Entrance is very competitive, and most successful applicants have a GRE score of at least 160 for verbal, 164 for quantitative and 4.5 for analytical.

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please  refer to the requirements above  and  consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide   Apply - Full time Apply - Part time


Open to applications for entry in 2024-25

12:00 midday UK time on:

Friday 19 January 2024 Latest deadline for most Oxford scholarships Final application deadline for entry in 2024-25

*Three-year average (applications for entry in 2021-22 to 2023-24)

Further information and enquiries

This course is offered by the Department of Economics

  • Course page on the department's website
  • Funding information from the department
  • Academic and research staff
  • Departmental research
  • Social Sciences Division
  • Residence requirements for full-time courses
  • Postgraduate applicant privacy policy

Course-related enquiries

Advice about contacting the department can be found in the How to apply section of this page

✉ e [email protected] ☎ +44 (0)1865 281290

Application-process enquiries

See the application guide

Other courses to consider

You may also wish to consider applying to other courses that are similar or related to this course:

MPhil + DPhil in Economics

You can study this course as part of our five-year integrated  MPhil+DPhil in Economics  which enables students to first study for the two-year MPhil in Economics and then automatically switch to the DPhil in Economics.

Visa eligibility for part-time study

We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.


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