Economics PhD

PhD Economics
With expert supervision and additional research training, the School of Economics offers an excellent PhD programme.

Fact file

3 years full-time
Entry requirements
ESRC-recognised masters (or international equivalent) in economics, with an average of 63% or above
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Other requirements
You will need a research proposal, two academic references and academic transcripts



With expert supervision and additional research training, the School of Economics offers an excellent PhD programme.

A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, verbal examination and final thesis.

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.

During your first year, you will complete taught courses in order to acquire the necessary skills and background knowledge for your research. Some are compulsory and some will be recommended by your supervisors. You will also undertake research and generic skills training, provided by the School of Economics and the Graduate School, and start work on your research.

From your second year, you will focus in more detail on your research. Training is provided for the preparation of articles for submission to academic journals and for applying for jobs in academia.

Economics research areas include:

  • behavioural economics
  • development economics
  • economic policy
  • econometrics
  • environmental/resource economics
  • experimental economics
  • financial economics
  • international economics/finance/trade
  • macro/microeconomics
  • political economy
  • public economics

How to apply

To apply, please complete an online postgraduate application form.

Please note that decisions are not made on applications for the following academic year during September/October of each year, due to the start of term and this being an extremely busy period in the school. If however, you require an urgent decision on an offer for the following year for any reason, for example, a scholarship application, please contact us.

The quality of an applicant's research proposal, and its fit with the school's supervisory capacity are important criteria in assessing applications, so it is important that candidates include a research proposal in their application.

The research proposal should include:

  • a statement about the research question
  • the methodology to be adapted
  • data requirements (if relevant)
  • references to recent literature on the topic published in leading acadamic journals

Key facts



School facilities

In addition to IT facilities provided by the University, the school offers full-time postgraduate research students their own workspace in dedicated rooms. You will be provided with computer, printing and photocopying facilities and will have a generous printing and photocopying allowance.

Library facilities

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.

Graduate School

Representing the needs of postgraduate students across the University, the Graduate School provides research training and development for postgraduates and early career researchers.

You will have access to a dedicated space on University Park, which includes computer stations, Wi-Fi, study and social areas, and kitchen facilities.


Research support


Our seminar and workshops allow you to engage with top international academics in various fields. Each year, masterclasses on specific themes are held by leading researchers who visit the school.


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.

Teaching opportunities

Second and third-year research students can apply to build their paid teaching experience by delivering undergraduate tutorials. Training courses on teaching methods are on offer, though teaching is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support and information to enhance your student experience. They are part of a comprehensive network of University services that includes academic and disability support, counselling, financial support and childcare services.

Centre for English Language Education

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and English language support, as well as a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre and dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their researcher development programme.


Find a supervisor

You will be assigned two supervisors appropriate to your field. Please make sure that we have a supervisor who shares an interest in your proposed area of research before applying.


Fees and funding

School scholarships

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 £4,350.

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 doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

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.



Our research postgraduates go on to successful careers in a wide range of areas. Many have obtained academic positions in universities including Yale, Oxford, London School of Economics, Manchester, Birmingham, Bonn, École Polytechnique, São Paulo, and Xiamen.

Others have secured roles in policy agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Commission, and the Bank of England, as well as various government department and policy institutes.

Alumni profile

Tom Lane completed his PhD in 2017, after which he has remained at the University of Nottingham, moving over to the Business School to work as a teaching fellow on the Ningbo campus in China.

Tom teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in economics and quantitative methods, and remains active in research involving behavioural and experimental economics.

Employability and average starting salary

94.4% of postgraduates from the School of Economics who were available for employment 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 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

The University's award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.


Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 5559  
Social Science videos

Social Science videos


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham
Sarah Nolan
School of Economics
Sir Clive Granger Building
University Park

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry