Economics MRes + MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
4 calendar years
7 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 13 Jan 2023

Applications closed

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

On this programme you will undertake a significant research project in Economics, beginning with a one year MRes which will train you in the skills and techniques needed to complete a piece of original research. In order to successfully move on to the MPhil and PhD you'll need to meet certain conditions.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for applicants with a Master's degree in Economics or a related subject who wish to undertake independent research.

What this course will give you

UCL Economics has an outstanding international reputation in key areas of current research.

The research excellence demonstrated in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) result is matched by the department's provision of a stimulating, intellectual and supportive research environment. This includes state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated PhD research 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 European Network for Training in Economic Research (ENTER) exchange programme, and may also gain valuable teaching experience as departmental teaching assistants.

The foundation of your career

The community of postgraduate and academic economists are very well connected and close. Many of our PhD students following the job market continue to work with their supervisors and our academic faculty in collaborative research and projects. A number of them also continue to visit the department for research meetings and events.


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.


Our graduate students attend and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences within the department and interdisciplinary research centres across UCL, providing opportunities to network with leading academics across a variety of research fields.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

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)

Research environment

The Department of Economics placed #1 for research environment and outputs in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and ranked #3 overall.

UCL Economics was first for 4* world-leading research outputs and research environments, with scores of 72% and 100% respectively.

The doctoral programme at UCL aims to train economists to conduct research of high academic merit and to make original contributions to the subject. The department  has a lively and active research environment, with a strong emphasis on team research, based around a number of major research groups and centres. With close ties to several research centres students have the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the best researchers in their field.

Although it is possible to complete the programme within 4 years, most students typically take 5 years to complete the programme (1 year MRes, 1 year MPhil, 3 year PhD).


You will undertake 4 taught modules and the research dissertation. Full time structure:

Terms One and Two: You will take 4 compulsory modules in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Econometrics, and Real Analysis and Probability with Economic Applications

During the MRes you will take four compulsory modules in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Econometrics and Real Analysis and Probability with Economic Applications, plus write a dissertation over the summer. The training provided in these modules will essential to establish and later to carry out the plan of research you will propose for your doctoral dissertation. You'll be introduced to the tools to read and understand mathematical concepts and be able to work on innovative research questions and solutions.

Term Three: The dissertation planning commences with the research and writing conducted in term three and the summer.

The dissertation is, an individual research project supervised by a faculty member. The main objective is to assess your self-reliance and capacity for independent research, in preparation for the subsequent PhD years.

You will be allowed to progress to the MPhil/PhD Programme if at first attempt:

  • You obtain at least 50% overall in each of the core courses (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics and Real Analysis and Probability).
  • You obtain a predicted grade of at least 60% in the dissertation, where the prediction is made by the supervisor. Support of the supervisor is also required.


MPhil Year One:

On successful completion of the MRes year you will start working on your thesis and undertaking research work as an MPhil student. At the end end of this year you will present your research at the Upgrade Seminar and a panel of faculty members will decide on your progression to PhD status.

PhD Year Two:

You will continue to work on your thesis with the aim of taking up Completing Research Status (CRS) towards the end of your third year.

PhD Year Three:

This is the year where you should be working on your job market paper. By the end of your third year you will be expected to take up Completing Research Status (CRS).

The MRes programme consists of four compulsory core modules in:

  • ECON0107 - Macroeconomics
  • ECON0106 - Microeconomics
  • ECON0108 – Econometrics
  • ECON0118 - Real Analysis

Students will also be required to write an MRes dissertation over the summer in the third term.

In year 1, you will register for two core modules, one of which must be the Real Analysis module.

In year 2, you will sit the remainder of two of the compulsory courses plus write your dissertation.

In your MPhil year you will attend a reading and presentation workshop prior to making your first presentation of your research topic. A second seminar in September is the upgrade seminar in which you will give a presentation of your own research work. At the end of this seminar faculty members decide about your upgrade from MPhil to PhD status.

During your PhD years, you will continue to work on your thesis with the aim of taking up Completing Research Status (CRS) towards the end of your fifth year. You can find more information about the procedures and regulations you need to follow during your research degree examination process on the Research Assessment webpages.


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

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

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

Funding your studies

Please visit the department's funding webpage.

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

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Deadline: 13 January 2023
Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Got questions? Get in touch

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