PhD Economics / Programme details

Year of entry: 2022

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Programme description

Our 5-year PhD programme consists of: 

  • Two years of formal training
  • Three years of independent research (with the possibility of a 6th year, for writing up)

The first year of the new programme is equivalent to an MSc in Economics and candidates that have already gained a similar qualification at 2:1 level or above, can be considered for entry directly into the second year.

In Year 2, you will take advanced PhD level courses and work on your research proposal, which will represent the basis of the subsequent three years of research. 

The new programme structure aligns to that of top institutions in the US and the UK, providing you with rigorous advanced training and sufficient time for producing independent research, giving you a competitive edge in the job market. 

We admit around 8-10 students per year, and 5-year scholarships from the department/school are available, there is also the possibility to compete for ESRC funding.

Find out more on our dedicated webpages .

Teaching and learning

When you become a postgraduate researcher, you'll join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.

You'll be assigned to a specific research area that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes.

Our working environments are often spacious and open-plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School. You will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus.

All of our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research.

You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project.

You will have access to a large and diverse community of internationally recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development.

We provide additional financial support for a number of activities related to your PhD, including:

  • presenting at international conferences;
  • attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;
  • conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas;
  • hands-on, paid teaching experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Graduate Teaching Assistants are valued members of the teaching team. As such, we take pride in the opportunities provided for the professional development of graduate teaching assistants.

Our training includes preparation for application to the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. This brings a range of benefits:

  • consolidates your personal development and emphasises your professional practice in HE;
  • entitlement to use post-nominal letters - AFHEA;
  • provides a valuable measure of success and is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;
  • recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.

See the Associate Fellowship  for more information.

Programme unit list

The programme unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Sociology Postgraduate Research Workshop SOCY60510 0 Mandatory

The Department of Economics is recognised as a leading centre for economics research, and research-led teaching, with particular strengths in economic theory, macroeconomics and econometrics, which support strong applied work in labour economics and environmental economics.

Building on these core areas, recent professorial appointments are leading international research agendas in Financial Economics/Mathematical Finance, game theory with economic applications, and development macroecomics, with the latter's emphasis on poverty-reduction and growth informing the future research direction of the Growth and Business Cycles Research Group, co-directed by George Bratsiotis and Akos Valentinyi. Further information can be found at

Whilst supporting all aspects of intellectual enquiry through high-quality research, our strategy is to underpin this with foundations in the core of the discipline in order to maintain a profile which addresses key economics research questions of the day. To facilitate this, and to provide an academically stimulating environment of discourse and debate research is organised principally through our research areas .

Members of the Economic Studies have had papers published by many leading journals, including: American Economic Review, Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Mathematical Economics, International Economic Review, European Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, Economic Journal, International Journal of Game Theory, Games and Economic Behaviour, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Biometrika, Review of Economics and Statistics, Econometric Reviews, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Labour Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Scholarships and bursaries

We have funding from a range of sources to help support your research and have a variety of awards on offer, covering tuition fees and a generous stipend.

Within the University we offer a large number of school and departmental studentships as well as the President's Doctoral Scholar award . Many of our research students also receive funding externally from places such as research councils, foundations and international government funding bodies.

Application deadlines for internal funding opportunities are often early in the year for programmes starting the following September, and many external funders have earlier deadlines. If you're planning to apply for a scholarship or award that is not attached to a particular project, you'll normally need to hold an offer of a place from the University before applying.

Search for current funding opportunities by country and research programme using our funding database search tool

Doctoral loans may be available through the UK government for those studying PhDs and equivalent doctoral programmes including professional doctorates. UK nationals who are ordinarily resident in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, are eligible.

If you wish to be considered for funding available via the Research Council and the School Studentships you will need to contact the admissions team for up-to-date information.

Please note that you are required to contact your referees (the School does not contact referees directly).

What our students say

See profiles of our current cohort of PhD students in Economics.


The School of Social Sciences is based in a purpose-built building which allows 24/7 access.

There are shared workspaces available for research students within the Department, as well as a dedicated area in the atrium with computer terminals.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: