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Economics

PhD / MPhil
City's economics research programme provides an emphasis on rigorous economic and econometric modelling, but also a concern for practical applications in both private and public sectors.

Key Information

Start date

Admissions take place on 1st October each year.

Duration

Full-time: 2 – 4 years

Part-time: 4 – 7 years

Fees

UK/EU

Full-time: £4,500 per year

Part-time: £2,250 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £12,000 per year

Part-time: £6,000 per year

Overview

This course combines an initial important investment in terms of learning of advanced economics and methods in mathematics and statistics, with the production of research papers at the frontier of knowledge in economics. During this journey, you will be supervised by staff enthusiastic about PhD supervision and research, and who have published papers in leading economics journals. You will participate to a vibrant research environment, attend seminars, discuss your research with other PhD students, and apply to attend additional specialised short courses or to present your own research in conferences –for which you might get financial support.

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 City more widely, and with outside bodies, for example NERA and the King's Fund.

Research in the Department covers a wide variety of topics. You may want to join one of our research groups in Financial Economics, Health Economics, Behavioural Economics, Macroeconomics, Competition and Regulation, or the Economics of Immigration, or alternatively develop your research in other areas of interest to you and to the Department.

Requirements

Entry requirements

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).

English requirements

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 City 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.
  • 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.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

Structure

Students can study both full and part-taught programmes. 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.

The current research interests of our staff can be found on our staff profile pages.

You can also find a list of our current research students and their projects.

Outline syllabi for taught PhD modules

Econometrics

  • Stationary Time-Series Models and Models with Trend
  • Multivariate Time Series Models; VAR, Cointegration
  • Structural VARs
  • Bayesian Econometrics and DSGE Estimation.

Macroeconomics

  • Parameter and Model Uncertainty: Competing Monetary Models
  • Macroeconomics and Medium Run
  • The classical economic growth problem: phase diagrams, comparative dynamics
  • Open and closed economy representative agent models with money in the utility function, the maximum principle
  • Brock's representative agent model: optimality in intertemporal optimization problems
  • The overlapping generations model of fiat money: exchange rate indeterminacy
  • Dynamic programming, Markov equilibria

Microeconomics

  • Individual Decision Making and General Equilibrium; Demand, Production, Choice under Uncertainty
  • Equilibrium and its Basic Welfare Properties
  • Game Theory.

In the first year, in addition to taking the three modules, you will start meeting your supervisor and co-supervisor in order to progressively develop your first paper. You will also be attending the research seminars and participating to the research life in the Department.  After the end of your first year, you will make a presentation of your own research and literature review and anything else you have achieved over the previous year. The departmental Research Committee will then decide whether you may proceed to the next year of the programme. After 18 months on the programme (or earlier if your research is going well) you will make a presentation that is solely focused on your research, for the purpose of transferring from MPhil to PhD.

If you are successful, you will have a period of two and half years (although some extensions are possible) to complete your PhD dissertation. During this period, you will complete your first paper and then write two additional papers. You will get support from your supervisors, and will be expected to present your research internally and also at national and international conferences –for which you might get financial support from the Department. However, in order to be able to complete your PhD, you will need to show in an annual presentation before the Department that your progress in the dissertation in the preceding year has been sufficient.

Funding options

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.

PhD Studentship 2017/18

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce a PhD Fee Waiver Scheme for 2017/18. Applications are sought from exceptional UK and international graduates who have the potential to produce cutting edge research that will contribute to the research excellence of our core departments.

Find out more about the PhD Fee Waiver Scheme

Support

Supervision

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.

Training

The programme includes three taught modules. Students will undertake at least two of these, and a third module may be chosen from those offered on the PhD programme at Cass Business School.

Research Environment

We have a vibrant research culture and a growing group of visiting scholars who are committed to help build an excellent reputation. Staff and students 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.

Development

In addition, training in the Department is facilitated by the availability of Masters Programmes in 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.

Found out more about the details of our Research Methods modules.

For further details about research degree training provision please see our graduate school section.

How to apply

We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry in September. To apply, you should submit the following documents using the online application form:

  • one copy of the Online Research Degree Application Form (full time) or Online Research Degree Application Form (part time)
  • 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.

Please note that we will not consider incomplete applications.

Find out more about the application process at City.

Doctoral Training

There are various doctoral training opportunities for postgraduate research students in the Department of Economics, including doctoral training partnerships with the ESRC and SeNSS, along with advanced research training.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.