Research overview

The MRes/PhD is the normal route to a PhD in economics at Nottingham. It is an integrated one-year Masters in Research, from which you progress to the PhD in economics. 

The programme includes: 

  • a one-year MRes during which you will attend a number of modules covering the tools, techniques and literature necessary to allow you to conduct research at the forefront of the economics discipline
  • four years (maximum) PhD during which you will conduct your independent research under the guidance of world-renowned faculty
  • two supervisors who will help ensure smooth progress of your research work
  • support and resources to enable you to participate in the scientific community and achieve a top job market placement
  • potential scholarships available

If you wish to apply for a PhD in economics, you are normally expected to apply to our MRes/PhD programme. In exceptional circumstances, you may ask to be admitted directly to the first year of the PhD (without completing the preliminary MRes year). However, please note that these applicants would normally not be considered for school scholarships.

Course content

During your MRes year, you will complete advanced-level taught modules in order to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for research in economics. All modules are examined and you must pass them all in order to progress to our four-year PhD programme. 

Once admitted onto the PhD, you will focus in more detail on your research while continuing to have access to research and generic skills training provided by the School of Economics and the Researcher Academy. Training is provided for the preparation of articles for submission to academic journals and for applying for jobs in academia. 

Term one

Core MRes modules taught in the first term are in:

  • microeconomics 
  • macroeconomics 
  • econometrics 

Term two

In the second term, you will be offered a selection of advanced MRes modules including:

  • macroeconomics 
  • microeconomics
  • applied econometrics 
  • behavioural economics 
  • computational economics 

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.


A good honours grade in an advanced masters degree (or international equivalent) in economics (including training in advanced micro, macro and econometrics). Evidence of academic excellence in previous taught courses is required.


A good honours grade in an advanced masters degree (or international equivalent) in economics (including training in advanced micro, macro and econometrics). Evidence of academic excellence in previous taught courses is required.

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.


Find a supervisor

Our selection process

After an initial check by central admissions, applications are passed on to the admissions tutor in the school, who will assess whether you have the potential to succeed on our programme. Detailed profiles of candidates deemed suitable are circulated among all faculty, who then express their interest in supervision.

School scholarships are allocated in a separate process. A committee determines these. They will select the most promising students among all candidates who are offered a place on the course.

You do not need to apply separately for the school scholarships. Candidates for scholarships are considered throughout the academic year, but early applications are advised.

If you are in any doubt about the application process, you can contact the our Postgraduate Research Administrator, Dr Natalia Bas.

If you have any questions regarding the admission process, you can contact the Recruitment and Admissions team, or the school's Admissions Tutor, Dr Zhihong Yu.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply


Home / UK£4,625 per year
International£20,000 per year

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £50-60.

The school contributes to some costs relating to conference attendance and job market activity; however there may be additional costs such as visas, travel insurance, transport and food which can amount to approximately £150-200 pounds per conference.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.


School scholarships

The School of Economics offers a number of full-time PhD studentships covering a maintenance stipend of £14,777 per annum, and tuition fees. Scholarship offers will be made throughout the year, but early applications are advised. Only complete applications (proposal, transcripts, references) will be considered.

For international students, additional scholarships at University level are available.

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


Presenting at conferences 

You will be encouraged to present papers at external conferences, and funds are available to support you with this. There is also an annual conference where you will present your work to academic staff and fellow students. There are also many opportunities to attend conferences, workshop and seminar events within the school. 

Teaching opportunities 

Teaching is an important part of your training as a future researcher/academic and is strongly encouraged in the PhD part of the course. Students who have been offered a school scholarship will normally be asked to engage in teaching during their PhD studies. 

Research seminars 

The school provides an exciting environment where you will be exposed to a rich variety of innovative research. Our seminar series attracts internationally acclaimed academics from top economics departments and many run on a weekly basis during term-time. These include seminars in: 

  • Behavioural and experimental economics (CeDEx seminar series) 
  • Macroeconomics and financial markets (CFCM seminar series) 
  • International economics (GEP seminar series) 
  • Development economics (CREDIT seminar series) 
  • Econometrics (Granger Centre seminar series) 
  • Political economy (NICEP seminar series) 

In addition, the school runs a number of generalist seminars, including: 

  • Senior Academic Seminar Series 
    Recent speakers include Dough Bernheim (Stanford), David Laibson (Harvard), Gerard Padró i Miquel (Yale University), Gianluca Violante (Princeton University) and David Atkin (MIT) 
  • Public lectures and conferences 
    Recent public lectures were given by Colin Camerer (California Institute of Technology), Giovanni Maggi (Yale University) and Johanna Rickne (Stockholm University and University of Nottingham) 
  • School of Economics brown bag seminars 

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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Where you will learn

University Park Campus

University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.


Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Alumni profiles

Georgia Michailidou received her PhD in experimental economics in 2018, researching economic morality using laboratory and field experiments. She is now a postdoctoral associate at NYU Abu Dhabi and an affiliated researcher at LISER in Luxembourg.

Martina Magli completed her PhD during 2019, researching trade in services and its effects on the labour market in the UK. After a stint at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, she started her position as Assistant Professor at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich.

Mohamed Diaby also completed his PhD in 2019, studying topics in macro and monetary economics. He joined the International Monetary Fund as an economist.

93.8% of postgraduates from the School of Economics secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £31,605.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • The School of Economics ranked 6th in the UK, judged by the overall research power measure which takes into account both the strength and depth of a department's research activities
  • 90% of the School of Economics' research activities were considered world-leading or internationally excellent
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 15 October 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.