UCL Graduate degrees


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 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years
Part time: 7 years

The programme duration is 1+3 years, with the possibility of an additional year subject to departmental review. Part-time students will attend the MRes programme over a two year duration. You will follow the same timetable as the full time students but take two core courses in the first year, followed by two core courses in the second year plus the dissertation.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 13 January 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£20,600 (FT)
£10,460 (PT)
£20,600 (FT)
£10,460 (PT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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, macroeconomics, 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 Research and Analysis on Migration (CReAM)
  • Centre for Finance (CfF )
  • Centre for Macroeconomics (CfM)
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
  • Centre for Microdata, Methods and Practice (Cemmap, Institute for Fiscal Studies)
  • Centre for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP, 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)
More information can be found on the department website: Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD

About this degree

The structure of the MRes is that you take four  compulsory modules in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Econometrics and  Real Analysis and Probability with Economic Applications, plus write a dissertation over the summer.

Details of the programme structure are available on the department web site at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/economics/study/postgraduate

The dissertation is, in essence, an individual research project. It will be supervised by a faculty member, but the main objective is to assess the students' self-reliance and capacity for independent research, in preparation for the subsequent PhD years. As such, the overwhelming majority of the work on that project can be classified as "independent study".

The dissertation is a preliminary research towards the first chapter of a PhD dissertation (and the upgrade seminar which takes place at the end of the MPhil year). We will expect original / innovative content, expecting the student to develop a clear understanding of the literature and gaps in it. Some students might plausibly also use it, in part, to review various data sets for their thesis, for example. In any case, we hope this allows most students to start their MPhil year with a sound research basis to build upon.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


For further information about departmental funding, please visit the department's web page at:



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, Yale University, Princeton University, NYU Stern School of Business, Stanford University, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, University of Winsconsin, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Manchester, University of Essex, University of Oxford, Universidad Carlos III, Pompeu Fabra University, Sciences Po Paris, University of Mannheim, Stockholm University, Singapore Management University, and Sogang University. They have also done very well in policy institutions, such us the Bank of England, Federal Reserve Banks, EBRD, IFS, McKinsey, RAND Corporation and the World Bank.


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.

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

What our students and staff say

Student review

"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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
13 January 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021