UCL Department of Economics


Sources of Funding

Department Funding                                         

Below you can find details of different packages depending on your individual circumstances to fund your MPhil/PhD study at UCL Department of Economics. 

1. Full-time unfunded students

Full-time unfunded students (who are not affected by any of the exceptions below) will, for up to five years:

  • Take on a full Teaching Assistant load (312 hours per year, including contact hours, preparation, marking, office hours, and other support tasks)
  • Receive a full tuition fee offset
  • Receive an annual payment of £20,000

The full teaching load can be spread over your five-year period of study. For example, you could ask to take on fewer groups of a large module in the first year (when you’ll need to spend more time preparing) and more groups of the same module in later years.

Students going on the market

If you are going on the market, you have the option to teach part-time (156 hours per year) and receive a payment of £10,500.

2. Full-time externally funded students

Externally funded students, in this context, refers to you if you’re receiving support from a non-UCL institution that is labelled as PhD funding. It does not cover:

  • Research assistant income
  • Compensation for other types of work or duties
  • Ad-hoc payments taken from your supervisor’s personal grants

If you’re not sure if you qualify as an externally funded students, you should contact our PhD Administrator, Daniella Harper at daniella.harper@ucl.ac.uk.

Standard package

All full-time externally funded students (who are not affected by any of the exceptions below) will, for the duration of their funding:

  • Take on a full Teaching Assistant load
  • Receive an offset of the share of the tuition fees that is not covered by external funding
  • Receive an annual payment from the department, topping up the external funding amount to a maximum of £20,000 plus an extra £5,000 bonus payment as an incentive to seek external funding

If your external funding is for less than five years, you’ll revert to the standard package for unfunded students for the rest of the five-year period.

External funding with limits on teaching hours

Some funders place limits on the amount of teaching their awardees are allowed to take on. Under current UCL regulations, a full TA load is 312 hours per year (6 hours per week over 52 weeks), which may be over some funders’ limit.

In such cases, students may be allowed to reduce their load to satisfy the constraint imposed by the funder. These will be addressed on a case by case basis.

3. Part-time students

Funding for part-time students are largely decided on a case-by-case basis, but they are generally exempt from teaching.  If you would like to teach while studying you can do so under the following terms:

  • If teaching a half-load, receive an annual stipend of £1,000 plus £2,390 in teaching income
  • If teaching a full load, receive an annual stipend of £2,500 plus £4,780 in teaching income

The James Lanner Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship offers £10,000 each year to a UK or overseas student applying for an MRes degree at UCL Economics. Consideration for The James Lanner Scholarship will be made at the application stage. There is no separate application process for departmental scholarships. Only those shortlisted for departmental scholarships will notified.

The scholarship was established in memory of James Lanner, who began his distinguished career at the London School of Economics. Having gained a first class degree, he taught at a number of institutions, including Cardiff University and University College London. In 1953, he moved to Paris to work for the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (now the OECD). In 1965, after a short spell in industry, he moved to Geneva to work for the European Free Trade Association where he became Head of the  Department of Economics until his retirement. 

No Strings Attached Scholarship

This scholarship provides financial support for at least two UK or Overseas students pursuing a PhD within the Department of Economics at UCL, when taking a half-time teaching load in the final year of the PhD to go on the academic job market. A call for applications will be circulated in the summer. Recipients will be selected by a committee consisting of the PhD programme director, the PhD placement officer, and the Head of Department.

The scholarship was established by an anonymous donor.

Scholarship for Financial Economics

A Scholarship for Financial Economics is available to MRes Economic students who are interested in undertaking research in Financial Economics. The value of this scholarship is £5,000. Application Procedure: Consideration for departmental scholarships is made when we make decisions on applications for admission.

Research support

Finally, in terms of research support, the department has a limited amount of money per year to be awarded to MPhil and PhD students to assist with funding general research activity if relevant to the programme of study. In particular:

UCL Scholarships                                                                                        

Overseas Research Scholarships
The UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (UCL-ORS) aim to attract high-quality international students to UCL to undertake research. 

Graduate Research Scholarships UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) aim to attract high-quality students to undertake research at UCL. Up to 25 UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) are available annually to prospective and current UCL research students from any country. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and research potential.

CSC Partially-Funded Visiting Research Scholarships 
UCL offers a number of fee-only scholarships to match CSC-funded one-year Visiting Research Scholarships. This is to encourage research collaborations with top Chinese laboratories for mutually beneficial research projects that may lead to co-funding opportunities from other sources. 

Research Project Funds
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies. 

PhD scholarships for UK BAME students 
Committed to diversifying the student community at doctoral level, UCL is launching an ambitious programme that aims to create over 15 new scholarships for black and minority ethnic (BAME) postgraduate research students. 

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship
UCL's Research Opportunity Scholarship (UCL-ROS) is intended to support BME postgraduate research degree students.

The Windsor Fellowship 
Windsor Fellowship is working with UCL to launch a new scholarships programme to support BME postgraduate research degree students – The UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (UCL-ROS). The scheme offers full financial support and a skills development programme, both designed to promote academia as a more attractive career option.

UCL ChangeMakers
UCL ChangeMakers is offering funding to student-staff partnership teams looking to enhance the experience of postgraduate research students undertaking their PhDs or doctorates at UCL.

External Funding                                

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postgraduate Studentship 
UCL is an ESRC Designated Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). To apply for an ESRC studentship you should apply to the ESRC via UCL.  

(The Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) requires applicants to have supervisory arrangements in place when applying for the preliminary round. You will be asked to provide a statement from your supervisor as part of this application).

The Royal Economic Society one-year junior fellowships
Universities are invited to make application for the awards in the Spring of each year. Applications can only be submitted by the candidate’s Head of Department. Candidates should have completed at least two years' work towards a doctoral thesis when they take up an award.

Funds for Women Graduates
This funding opportunity applies to Women who are in the final year of their studies.

Club Financiero Español Scholarship

These scholarships are targeted to support the most outstanding Spanish PhD scholars at University College London. The Scholarships are provided for the whole duration of the PhD programme. The scholarships are open to PhD scholars, residents of Spain or of Spanish nationality, of intellectual excellence and of irrefutable moral standing. The Scholars are required to be committed to the economic development of Spain and her people.

The Bank of Italy awards the "Bonaldo Stringher", "Giorgio Mortara" and Donato Menichella" to allow your graduates to complete their studies in specific fields / thematic topics of interest to the Institute. Each Scholarship is related to a particular field.

The Alan Turing Institute Studentships 
The Alan Turing Institute offers a number of places each year to graduate students to complete a PhD through the Institute and one of our university partners. Our doctoral studentship scheme combines the strengths and expertise of our partners with the Turing’s unique position as the UK’s national institute for data science, to offer an exceptional PhD programme.

Institute For Fiscal Studies Graduate Scholarship Programme The IFS Graduate Scholarship Programme is open to UCL students. Under the programme, students will undertake research leading to a PhD and must be following an ESRC-accredited pathway. For deadlines, how to apply and details of eligibility check the IFS website.