Economics PhD / MPhil
The Department of Economics is particularly proud of its reputation, both nationally and internationally and we have a long tradition of providing postgraduate courses with strong professional orientation. We have grown considerably over the last twenty years, from a small number of staff mainly undertaking service teaching to its current status as a medium-sized department undertaking a full range of research, teaching and consultancy activities.
The School of Social Sciences has made a considerable investment in recent years into Economics at City. This includes an increase in academic staff, enabling existing and new staff to spend more time on research, and funding for postdoctoral research fellows and PhD student bursaries.
We have a wide-ranging but focused research programme, with an emphasis on rigorous economic and econometric modelling, but also a concern for practical applications in both private and public sectors. Much of our research involves collaboration, within the department and University more widely, and with outside bodies, for example NERA and the King's Fund.
Applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by a good undergraduate degree with at least a second class (upper division) pass or equivalent; plus a good Masters level degree with at least a pass with merit (or equivalent).
For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:
- A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
- GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
- Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above.
- An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest.
- A score of 600 minimum (computer score 250, internet-based score 100) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- Satisfactory standard in the verbal section of the Princeton Test (GMAT).
- US SAT with 500 in verbal performance.
- Warwick English Language Test (WELT) with pass grades of BBC minimum.
- Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the Board of Studies concerned.
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than 6 months
- Students on courses of less than 6 months
- Students on a pre-sessional English Language course
For more information see our main Visa page.
Admissions take place on 1 February and 1 October each year.
Duration of Studies
The minimum period of registration is two years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. The maximum period of registration is four years for full-time students and seven years for part-time students.
Students on graduate research programmes are initially registered for an MPhil award. As of October 2013 we expect to have in place a part-taught programme; full-time students will be expected to take three taught modules in their first year, in at least two of Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Microeconomics, and Econometrics, with a possible choice of one module from the Cass Business School MRes programme. Progression to the second year will be conditional on passing these modules. Part-time students will be expected to pass these three modules during their first two years.
Promotion to registration to PhD is not automatic, but contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a review process.This normally takes place towards the beginning of the second year of registration for full-time candidates and towards the beginning of the third year for part-time candidates. Students submit a report to an academic panel and present at the annual research colloquium. If the outcome is satisfactory, the student will be upgraded to PhD.
The programme will conclude with submission of your research in the form of a PhD thesis and attendance at a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to the University.
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
The current research interests of our staff can be found on our staff profile pages.
- Full-time EU: £4,200 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time EU: £2,100 per year (2013 entry)
- Full-time Non EU: £10,000 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time Non EU: £5,300 per year (2013 entry)
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.
Details are available at: http://www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/fees/research-council-funding and at the ESRC website - http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/index.aspx.
The University offers a number of doctoral studentships on a competitive basis each year. For further information please visit http://www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/fees/university-doctoral-studentships.
The deadline for University Doctoral Studentship applications is Friday 8 March 2013.
Applicants will be informed of the outcome before the end of April 2013.
The Economics Department also offers a number of doctoral studentships on a competitive basis each year. Further details will be published in March 2013.
When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance both to the applicant's academic profile and record of achievement, and to the fit between the proposed research and the interests of the supervisor. Please consult individual staff webpages for our specialist research profiles and interests.
Please note that we will not consider applications unless the applicant has initially discussed their proposal with a member of staff. Members of staff will also provide guidance on how to structure the research proposal that accompanies the application.
How to Apply
We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry in September. To apply, you should submit the following documents:
- one copy of the Research Degree Application Form
- your research proposal
- testimonials from at least two academic referees sent by email from an official work (not private) email account
- copies of your degree transcripts and certificates (originals or certified copies). If your application is successful we will need to verify the original hard copies before a final offer is made
- proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language)
- the Research Training Questionnaire signed by a referee and sent by email from an official (not private) email account
- a non-technical summary of the proposed research of no more than 400 words.
Completed applications should be submitted to Mary Wright by email: Mary.Wright.email@example.com
Please note that we will not consider incomplete applications.
Instructions to referees
Thank you for your contribution to our admissions process; reports from academic referees are a vital part of our information gathering about applicants for Research Degrees. In your testimonial, please focus your report on the following issues:
- Give evidence of the applicant's capacity to undertake high quality research in Economics
- Explain any particular features of the applicant's prior training that you consider to be of particular importance
- Comment on the applicant's determination and motivation for studying for a research degree
- Rank the applicant both by reference to their MSc cohort, and by reference to Economics PhD candidates of your experience
- Indicate whether or not the applicant has discussed their research interests with you prior to applying to City
- Comment on the applicant's honesty and integrity.
Writing Your Research Proposal
Your research proposal should be no more than 3 sides of A4. It should specify (a) your research question, (b) an indication of the research literature you have consulted, (c) the research methods you intend to use, (d) an outline work plan and (e) any research ethics implications.
During the first year of the three-year programme a student's panel will supervise advanced research training, part of which is generic, part in the chosen field.
Assessment of the student's progress is via term papers written under the direct supervision of one or more panel members, written examinations and coursework in three modules and, for upgrade decisions, a presentation to the Department. One term paper (generally the second) will form the basis of the student's Research Plan.
As of October 2013, it is anticipated that the programme will include three taught modules. Students will undertake at least two of these, and a third module may be chosen from those offered on the MRes programme at Cass Business School.
In addition, training in the Department is facilitated by the availability of Masters Programmes in Social Research Methods. All research students may choose to take relevant Masters modules and are encouraged to develop their research skills by following specialist short courses if necessary.
Details of our Social Research Methods modules can be found at http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/social-research-methods.
For further details about research degree training provision please see http://www.city.ac.uk/citygraduateschool/researcher-skills-development.
At present we have 19 full- and part-time research students in the Department. In addition to this we have a vibrant research culture and a growing group of visiting scholars who are committed to help build an excellent reputation. They are housed in shared rooms on the third floor of the Social Sciences Building, and have access to state-of-the-art research facilities.
Our students constitute an important part of innovative empirical and theoretical research culture. We provide students with a range of academic and training support as well as regular research seminars and symposia in order to facilitate their research and develop their careers and our research environment.