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  1. Research degrees
Study at City

PhD / MPhil Economics

City's PhD / MPhil in Economics programme places emphasis on rigorous economic and econometric modelling and its practical applications in private and public sectors.

Key information

Start date

Admissions take place on 1st October each year.


Full-time: 2 – 4 years

Part-time: 4 – 7 years



Full-time: £4,590 per year

Part-time: £2,295 per year


Full-time: £12,240 per year

Part-time: £6,120 per year


The programme combines learning of advanced economic theory and econometric methods with the production of research papers at the frontier of economics knowledge. At the beginning of the programme, you will develop a research agenda in the areas of interest to you and the Department.

During this journey, you will be guided by Academic Staff who are enthusiastic about PhD supervision and research. Our academic staff are experts in their areas of research and publish in leading economics journals. You will be part of a vibrant research environment and have opportunities to attend presentations by researchers from the UK and overseas; discuss your research with other PhD students; and receive funding to attend specialised training courses and research conferences. City is also part of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Program Partnership. SeNSS is a consortium of ten leading UK universities, offering cutting-edge social science research, training and collaboration.

Research in the Department covers a wide variety of topics. A substantial part of our research involves collaboration both within the Department and City and with external institutions, such as NERA and the King's Fund. You will be able to join one of our research groups in Financial Economics, Health Economics, Behavioural Economics, Macroeconomics, Competition and Regulation, or the Economics of Immigration.


Entry requirements

Applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement as demonstrated by a at least a 2.1 honours degree and a merit-level Master’s degree in a relevant subject (or international equivalent).

English requirements

Students whose first language is not English should hold one of the following qualifications:

  • A degree from a UK university or from the Council for National Academic Awards.
  • A 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.
  • An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest.

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.

For more information see our main Visa page.


All research students are initially registered as MPhil students. Students can study both full-time and part-time. Full-time students will be required to take four taught modules in their first year, including Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and one elective module. Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics modules are jointly taught by City, Birkbeck, and Royal Holloway. The upgrade to the PhD will be conditional on passing the compulsory modules. Part-time students will be expected to pass these modules during their first two years.

Course Outlines


  • ARMA and VAR processes
  • Kalman filter and Markov switching processes
  • Financial econometrics topics
  • Models for discrete and limited variables
  • Panel data models


  • Fiscal and monetary policies
  • Bayesian Estimation of DSGE Models
  • Simulation and estimation of models using Dynare
  • Data, parameter, and model uncertainty
  • Macroeconomics and Medium Run


  • Individual decision making
  • Demand, production, choice under uncertainty
  • Equilibrium and its basic welfare properties
  • Game theory

After 18 months on the programme you will be upgraded to PhD subject to satisfactory progress and approval by the Research Committee. In order to get upgraded to PhD, you need to demonstrate progress on your dissertation by submitting a written piece of work and making a presentation in front of the academic staff.

Following the Upgrade, your progress on the dissertation will be evaluated annually. Full-time (Part-time) students will be expected to complete their dissertations within four (seven) years from the date of registration. A dissertation usually consists of three chapters / papers.

Funding options

Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

Studentships for 2020/21

The School of Arts and Social Sciences at City, University of London, is offering eight full-time, three-year doctoral studentships for 2020/21 entry. Applications are invited from exceptional UK, EU, and international graduates wishing to pursue cutting-edge research within any of the School's departments

Find out more and apply online

City, University of London is part of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership, which currently offers 40 PhD studentships funded by Economic and Social Research Council. Information about application for SeNSS studentships is provided on the SeNSS website.

Funding for research programmes may be available from your home country or international organisations. For example, Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are offered for candidates from Commonwealth countries for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.

The National Institute of Health Research offers doctoral fellowships in health economics. These fellowships enable individuals with the potential to become future health research leaders to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

The Government offers the Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000 over three years to support study for a PhD degree. A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study and can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.



Your main contact person within the Department will be your principal supervisor whom you will meet on a regular basis. You will also be allocated a secondary supervisor(s). Supervisors provide guidance to research students in the writing of the dissertation, acquisition of additional training, presenting at conferences, searching for jobs, and other matters.

Research support

The Department of Economics is committed to providing support to our research students for the facilitation and dissemination of their research, which includes presenting at conferences, payments to experimental subjects, attending training courses, and purchasing software (subject to approval).


Additional doctoral training opportunities for postgraduate research students are offered by the School of Arts and Social Sciences and the South East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership.

The School of Arts and Social Sciences runs MSc Programme in Research Methods. Research students may take modules in this Programme free of charge if they are relevant to their research.

City Graduate School offers City-wide research and teaching related activities, which contribute to research student development

Research Environment

The Department of Economics comprises of close to 30 academic staff members, visiting lecturers, and undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. The academic staff members are experienced economists who, in addition to teaching, undertake research, lead research projects in a wide range of topics, and act as consultants to public institutions and private companies. You can approach all staff members, not only your supervisors, to talk about your research or career planning.

Department seminars

The Department of Economics runs two active seminar series – one external and one internal. Both seminar series run in Autumn and Spring terms. The attendance of both seminar series by full-time research students is compulsory, and active participation in discussions is encouraged.

How to apply

Preliminary Enquiries

When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance both to the applicant's academic profile and the fit between their research proposal and the expertise of the academic staff.

Before submitting an application, you may want to approach an academic staff member to inquire if they would be willing to supervise you. Send them your CV, degree transcripts, and Research Proposal in your introductory email. If the academic staff member expresses interest in supervising you, indicate so in your application.


We accept applications until the end of June for entry in October. To apply, you should submit the following documents using the Online Research Degree Application Form (full time) or Online Research Degree Application Form (part time)

  • Your research proposal.
  • Reference letters from at least two academic referees.
  • 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).

Please note that we will not consider incomplete applications. You can find general information about the application process at City here.

Find out more about how to prepare your research proposal.

If you have any questions about the application process or scholarships, please contact the Director of PhD Programme Dr Laura Delaney.

Find out more about the application process at City.

South East Network for Social Sciences

City, University of London is part of the South East Network for Social Sciences, an ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership.