The MRes includes:
- one year of modules covering the tools, techniques and literature necessary for you to write a PhD dissertation at the forefront of the economics discipline
- four years (maximum) of research under the guidance of world-renowned faculty
- support and resources to enable you to participate in the scientific community and achieve a top job market placement
- scholarships available
Students wishing to apply for a PhD in Economics are normally expected to apply to our MRes/PhD programme. In exceptional circumstances, students may ask to be admitted directly to the first year of the PhD (without completing the preliminary MRes year), but please note that these applicants would normally not be considered for school scholarships.
A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, final thesis and PhD defence (viva voce, verbal examination).
Our selection process
After an initial check by central admissions for completeness, 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 by a committee selecting the most promising students from among all candidates who are offered a place on the programme.
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 in doubt about any element of your application or the admissions process please contact Lauren Trevatt, the school's postgraduate research admissions administrator, or Dr Markus Eberhardt, the postgraduate research admissions tutor.
During your MRes year, you will complete advanced-level taught modules in order to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for research in economics. These are examined and you must pass to progress to our four-year PhD programme.
Core modules taught in the first term are in:
In the second term, you can chose from advanced modules in:
- micro theory
- applied econometrics
- behavioural economics
- computational economics
Once admitted into 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 Graduate School. Training is provided for the preparation of articles for submission to academic journals and for applying for jobs in academia.
Masterclasses from visiting academic experts provide additional opportunities for training (for example, Petr Sedlacek, Oxford, and Pontus Rendahl, Cambridge, on computational macro; Andres Rodriguez-Clare, Berkeley, on trade, industrial policy and welfare).
The school offers full-time postgraduate research students their own workspace and IT equipment in dedicated rooms.
The school provides an exciting environment where you will be exposed to a rich variety of cutting edge research. Our seminar series attract 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
The Hallward Library stocks all of the major economics publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual and silent study.
The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University, with dedicated study spaces, training courses and placement opportunities.
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. Further there are a myriad of opportunities to attend the conferences, workshop and seminar events within the school.
Teaching is an important part of your training as a future researcher/academic and is strongly encouraged in the PhD part of the programme. Students who have been offered a school scholarship will normally be asked to engage in teaching during their PhD studies.
The University provides a range of support and information to enhance your student experience.
You will have access to:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- financial support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
English language courses
Our Centre for English Language Education offers presessional English courses to help develop your English and study skills.
The centre is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, so you can be sure that the teaching and facilities are high-quality. You can also access free English language support alongside your academic course.
University of Nottingham Students’ Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or speak to the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Researcher training and development
The Graduate School training and development programme empowers postgraduate students and early career research staff to develop the skills required in their research and future careers.
Our academic staff conduct world-leading research across a wide range of subjects, so we can offer expert supervision in most areas of the discipline. You will be assigned two supervisors who will help ensure smooth progress of your research work.
Careers and professional development
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 starts her position as Assistant Professor at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in autumn of this year.
Mohamed Diaby also completed his PhD in 2019, studying topics in macro and monetary economics. He will join the International Monetary Fund as an economist later this year.
Average starting salary and career progression
94.4% of postgraduates from the School of Economics secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £31,750 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £45,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
Whether you are considering a career within or outside academia, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate.
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.
Fees and funding
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.
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.
See information on how to fund your studies, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.
There are different ways to fund your research degree, from subject scholarships to government loans – explore postgraduate funding.
UK government loan
PhD students from England and the EU could qualify for a postgraduate doctoral loan of up to £25,700.
EU and international students
We offer research scholarships for EU and international students.
For information on specific funding opportunities and entry requirements, see our webpage for students from your country.