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.
All candidates are interviewed, typically via Skype, before an offer is made. 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. Applications are considered throughout the academic year, but our school scholarship deadline is in mid-January – if you apply after this date there will only be limited opportunities for funding.
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 first year, you will complete advanced-level taught courses in order to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for research in economics. These are examined and you must pass to progress to the second year of study.
Core modules taught in the first term are in micro, macro and econometrics. In the second term, you can chose from PhD modules covering advanced courses in macro, micro theory, applied econometrics, and behavioural economic research, as well as select MSc modules in trade theory and econometrics, among other topics.
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).
From your second year, 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.
The school offers full-time postgraduate research students their own workspace and IT equipment in dedicated rooms.
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.
Second and third-year research students can apply to acquire teaching experience by delivering undergraduate tutorials as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). All GTAs receive training and are paid, and every effort is made to ensure teaching is related to their fields of interest. Time spent teaching is restricted to avoid burdening GTAs; most research students get the opportunity but GTA work cannot be guaranteed. Scholarship students will contribute to teaching as detailed in their funding contract.
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 Home/EU tuition fees of £4,414. The scholarships have an application deadline in mid-January. 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.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.