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Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD

UCL Economics is a world-class academic department with a commitment to research excellence. The Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD aims to attract, educate and develop students of the highest academic calibre. Our graduates are employed by the world’s foremost academic, international and governmental institutions.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years
Part time: 7 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
£19,010 (FT) £9,560 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 13 January 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Economics or closely related subject with distinction-level performance. Applicants must demonstrate that they are qualified to proceed to research work. The GRE General Test is a required part of the application, except for applicants with an Economics MSc from UCL or those currently enrolled on the UCL Economics MSc programme.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


UCL Economics has an outstanding international reputation in the areas of game theory, fiscal policy, econometrics, applied microeconomics, development and labour economics.
The department is a global leader in policy-oriented research, with members directing and holding senior positions in research centres involved in policy design and evaluation. UCL Economics was the top-ranked department in the UK for Economics and Econometrics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, as well as the top-ranked department in any field in any UK university, according to the grade point average on the overall score. This reflects the high quality of policy-relevant academic research being undertaken by staff, and the excellent research and teaching environment for graduate students.

Research areas

UCL Economics is host to, and affiliated with, numerous research centres conducting cutting-edge research of national and international importance. These include:
  • Centre for Microdata, Methods and Practice (Cemmap)
  • Centre for Research and Analysis on Migration (CReAM)
  • Centre for Microeconomic Analysis of Fiscal Policy, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (EDePo), Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Co-operation in Europe (NORFACE)
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Centre for Macroeconomics
More information can be found on the department website: Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD


Research Centre funding and Departmental Teaching Assistantships are available to MPhil and PhD students, as is ESRC funding through the UCL Doctoral Training Centre.

For the MRes + MPhil/PhD research degree programmes, departmental scholarships are awarded as follows: five ESRC Awards in addition to Ricardo, David Pearce and WM Gorman Research Scholarships.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


In recent years, our PhD students have obtained posts in leading universities and research centres such as University of Chicago, University of Arizona, Carlos III University, Edinburgh University, University of Manchester, NYU Stern School of Business, Pompeu Fabra University, Princeton University, Singapore Management University, Sogang University, Stanford University, Stockholm University, UBC, UCLA, University of British Columbia, University of Essex, University of Mannheim, University of Oxford, University of Rochester, University of Texas at Austin and University of Wisconsin. They have also done very well in policy institutions, such us the Bank of England, EBRD, IFS, McKinsey, RAND Corporation and the World Bank.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan)
  • Management Consultant, Oliver Wyman
  • Senior Economist, Bank of England


Undertaking the UCL Economics doctorate programme affords students excellent networking opportunities from the outset, and outstanding employment options upon completion. The department is committed to maximising PhD students’ ability to gain employment in leading academic departments, research centres and financial and public policy organisations worldwide. The rigorous doctoral programme ensures students graduate with a wide range of highly valued technical, analytical, teaching and research skills. Senior PhD students have the option to go on the Economics Job Market.


The wealth and diversity of major research centres within the department, as well as the high degree of interaction with visiting academics and researchers means our doctoral candidates are not only exposed to, but actively engage with, the dominant social and economic issues determining contemporary research agendas, as well as with the professors and professional researchers examining these issues. The department’s participation in the ENTER Exchange programme facilitates interaction with fellow doctoral candidates at other centres of academic excellence, and the department’s doctoral candidates often take up research posts at leading international academic institutions during their PhD.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Economics has an outstanding international reputation in key areas of current research. It is the only department of economics in the UK to have received the grade point average of 3.78 (out of 4) in the 2014 REF, with 79% of all indicators of output rated at the highest 4* level.

According to the grade point average (GPA) on the overall score, the REF 2014 ranked UCL Economics as:

  • the top department in the UK in the field of economics and econometrics
  • the top department at UCL
  • the top department in any field in any university in the UK.

The extraordinarily positive outcome of the REF 2014 documents the department's outstanding quality in research. It is the fruit of many years' hard work aimed at producing a world-leading department excelling in frontier-shifting and policy-relevant research. This research excellence is matched by the department's provision of a stimulating, intellectual and supportive research environment including state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated PhD resesarch wing, complete with desk space for all MPhil and PhD candidates.

Our doctoral students often take up visiting research posts within leading economics departments worldwide, may participate in the ENTER exchange programme and may also gain valuable teaching experience as departmental teaching assistants.

Department: Economics

Student / staff numbers › 65 staff including 12 postdocs › 130 taught students › 87 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Economics

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I found UCL is a leading, intellectually innovative university, full of opportunities to expand my academic interest. I think the emphasis on multi-disciplinary work within and among departments at UCL creates innovative environment for research. For example, SSEES department consists of economics and business, history, politics, sociology and language discipline, so that I could talk to students and faculties from different area which benefit my research in Eastern European economies."

Seohyun Lee

Economics MPhil/PhD
Student view

"London is an amazing city and there are many great opportunities such and conferences one can attend in different schools, like LSE, Queen Mary, and the Bank of England. My experience at UCL was truly amazing and I would never forget it."

Alireza Sepahsalari

Economics PhD
Student view

"Excellent faculty members and qualified research students to communicate with."

Jihyun Bae

Economics MPhil

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
13 January 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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