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

Our Economics research groups include:

  • Behavioural Economics
  • Centre for Competition & Regulatory Policy
  • City Health Economics Centre
  • Economics of Migration
  • Financial Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • School of Arts and Social Sciences,
  • Department of Economics
  • Start Date:

    Admissions take place on 1 October each year.

    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 Language 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.

    Start Dates / Duration of Studies

    Start Date

    Admissions take place on 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 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 year.

    Research Areas

    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


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


    • 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


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


    • Full-time EU: £4,500 per year
    • Part-time EU: £2,250 per year
    • Full-time Non EU: £12,000 per year
    • Part-time Non EU: £6,000 per year

    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

    The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a PhD Studentship for this programme. The Studentship will comprise a full tuition fee waiver and a maintenance grant of £16,057 per annum for three years, starting in October 2016.

    Full applications received by Thursday 31st March 2016 will be automatically considered for the Studentship and successful candidates will be informed in May 2016.

    Preliminary Enquiries

    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 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.

    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.

    Training Provision

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Below are some examples of projects our staff are currently working on.

    Find out more about our recent PhD students.

    Health Economics

    Mireia Jofre-Bonet - Individual health behaviour and lifestyle decision making; Environmental stressors and children’s and adolescents’ health and educational outcomes; Topics of industrial organisation applied to the demand for health care; Topics in research policy.

    Victoria Serra-Sastre, Mireia Jofre-Bonet - The impact of economic downturns on health risks and behaviours.

    Victoria Serra-Sastre - Technology and workforce: achieving hospital efficiency.

    Read more about research in the City Health Economics Centre.

    Behavioural and Experimental Economics

    Sergiu Ungureanu – The role of limits to rational decision making in optimal economic behaviour, and the implications for basic economic institutions.

    Sotiris Georganas - Experimental Economics and Bounded Rationality; Auctions, Legislative Bargaining.

    Xeni Dassiou - Applications for economic regulation and competition policy: Retail banking review (CMA, FCA), Energy review (CMA), Quasi markets (education, health, legal services), Consumer Policy.

    Read more about Decision Making and Behavioural Economics Research Group.

    Effects of Migration on the economy

    Michael Ben-Gad – analysis of the impact of immigration in dynamic macroeconomic models, immigration and endogenous growth, fiscal policy and public debt in dynamic macroeconomic models, the political economy of public debt, indeterminacy in growth models.

    Alice Mesnard – Migration and development: migration impacts on origin countries, migration policies, interactions between legal and illegal migration, links between migration and health risks.

    Javier Ortega - labour market impact of immigration on natives. The findings of his paper “The Impact of Immigration on the French Labour Market. Why so different” (with Gregory Verdugo) have been widely echoed by the French press (Le Monde, Les Echos, Le Parisien, Mediapart, Le Huffington Post…) and were mentioned in background information to the programme of a candidate in the French 2012 Presidential election. A recent paper (with Verdugo) exploits a large French panel data set for 1976-2007 to examine how low-educated immigration affects wages, occupations and locations of native workers. Unlike previous work, this paper focuses on very homogeneous groups of blue collar natives working initially in immigrant-intensive industries and who are thus more likely to compete with immigrants. The results of this paper have featured in Le Monde and were mentioned in a plenary session of the French Parliament.

    Shaping the UK’s competition regime

    Xeni Dassiou - Public service markets: institutional design, oversight, economics and regulation for Health, Education and Consumer policy.

    History and Philosophy of Economics

    Andy Denis - Supervision is available in all areas of the history and philosophy of economics.  For example: the bullion debates of the early 19th century; the School of Salamanca; the epistemology of DSGE methods; the notion of equilibrium in neoclassical economics; the methodology of the Austrian school of economics;  providentialism and natural law in economic paradigms; invisible hand explanations in economics; microfoundations and macro outcomes; the ontologies of reductionism and holism in economics; the economic calculation debate; Keynes and the postwar economic financial system.

    Interaction of macroprudential, monetary and fiscal policies

    Joseph Pearlman - Effects of macroprudential and fiscal policies on redistribution; effect of a debt risk premium on fiscal policy; stabilization policies;  impact of least squares learning on optimal policy.

    Links to current and previous grants:


    Gabriel Montes-Rojas - quantile regression models, specification tests and panel data.

    Alev Atak - Econometric theory and practice, high frequency econometrics, factor models, inference for point processes, microstructure of financial markets, nonparametric econometrics and panel data; Financial econometrics; Empirical Finance.


    Alice Mesnard - Social policies in developing countries: education, health, nutrition, conditional cash transfers, intra-household transfers.

    Political Economy

    Javier Ortega - research is interdisciplinary in the sense that it brings economic and quantitative tools to topics traditionally studied by historians, sociolinguists or political scientists. He covers issues such as the choice of language of instruction or the determinants of the knowledge of language in multilingual countries. A current paper (with Esther Hauk) models the link between nation-building, industrialisation and mass schooling, which was first identified by anthropologist Ernest Gellner, and incorporates the role of political elites and institutions as argued by historian John Breuilly; it then studies whether the predictions of the model fit the late 19th century nation-building processes in France and Spain.

    Crises, Systemic Risk and Financial Frictions

    Giulia Iori - Research in this area addresses the tradeoff between financial stability and economic performance when taking into account the heterogeneity and interconnectedness of economic agents. Examples include exploring the role of interbank lending in the propagation of  systemic risk, analyzing the efficacy of  Basel III regulatory limits on bank  leverage, understanding the role of CCP clearing in OTC markets, and assessing the role of transparency (such as by limiting use of iceberg orders) in financial markets.

    Links to current and previous grants:

    Finance and Industrial Organization

    Laura Delaney - Decision making under uncertainty; corporate finance; financial mathematics; market microstructure.

    Albert Banal-Estanol - Interaction between corporate finance and industrial organization, organizational economics, research policy.

    Read more about research within the Department of Economics.