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Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD

UCL Economics is a world-class academic department with a commitment to research excellence. The Economics doctoral programme 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

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 7 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 14 January 2016

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:


The range of areas where doctoral supervision is provided reflects the extensive and diverse research expertise of the department’s faculty, comprised of over 60 leading academics. The subject areas where doctoral research might be pursued include; econometrics; econometric theory; microeconometrics; development economics; macroeconomics; labour economics; international finance; applied econometrics; health economics; international macroeconomics; game theory; consumption, microeconomic analysis and theory; microfinance; and the economics of migration.

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


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: six ESRC Awards in addition to Ricardo, David Pearce and WM Gorman Research Scholarships.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

David Pearce Scholarship

Tuition fees plus stipend (1 year)
UK, EU students
Based on academic merit

WM Gorman Graduate Research Scholarships

£15,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on 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.


Undertaking the UCL Economics PhD affords students excellent networking opportunities from day one of the degree programme, and outstanding employment options upon completion. The Department is committed to maximising PhD students’ ability to gain employment in the top academic departments, research centres and financial and public policy organizations 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, and receive the support of the Department and its dedicated Job Market placement programme.


The centrality of major Research centres within the Departmental alongside the high volume 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 degree.

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 has 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.

Student / staff ratios › 65 staff including 13 postdocs › 130 taught students › 105 research students

Department: Economics

Degree reviews

Student review

"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
Alumni review

"Completing the MRes at UCL allowed me to get on to the UCL PhD programme, which is one of the best in the world. I applied for a joint position allowing me to study for an MRes/PhD at UCL whilst being funded by and based at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. This allowed me to be involved in some practical policy work alongside the more academic projects for my PhD. UCL has some of the leading researchers in economics, and the department is a great place to study. "

Arun Advani

Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD ()

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
14 January 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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