PhD Economics

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

PhD Economics

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

PhD Economics

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

The Economics PhD offers students the opportunity to study economics to PhD level, with expert supervision and additional research training. The programme consists of a combination of taught courses and supervised independent research, leading to the completion of a PhD thesis.

Because academic staff conduct world-leading research across a wide range of subjects, the school can offer expert supervision in most areas of the discipline.

Students are allocated two supervisors and, while we make every effort to match applicants to staff on the basis of their research interests, it is not always possible due to staff capacity constraints. Regular annual and quarterly reviews are held to ensure smooth progress of the research work.

During the first year, students complete taught courses in order to acquire the necessary skills and background knowledge for their research. Some are compulsory and some are recommended by their supervisors. All students take the PhD Economics Research Methods module and at least one other module. They also undertake research and generic skills training, provided by the School of Economics and the Graduate School, and start work on their research.

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

Graduates from our PhD programme have helped advance the frontier of economic knowledge across a wide range of economics sub-fields, evidenced by their offer of positions in the best universities around the world upon graduation, as well as in policy agencies (World Bank, IMF, OECD etc) and the publication of their research in top economics journals. As a consequence, Nottingham has long been viewed as a leading PhD programme in the UK and more widely.

Key facts

  • Nottingham was awarded the highest possible score in the latest Quality Assurance Agency teaching review
  • The latest Tilburg ranking of economics departments puts the school 6th in the UK, 13th in Europe and 36th in the world
  • We are ranked 6th among the UK's economics departments for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework


School facilities

The school provides a range of resources for postgraduate research students, including computing, software and study facilities. Computers support standard packages, as well as a wide-range of specialist statistical, mathematical and programming applications.

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.

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a unique facility that focuses on postgraduate education and represent the needs of postgraduate students within the University. It provides a world class research training and development environment for postgraduates and early career researchers.

The Social Sciences and Arts Graduate Centre is a space exclusively for postgraduate students and research staff in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. It offers networked computer stations and Wi-Fi access for laptops, a study area, a social area with comfortable seating, a quiet study zone, and kitchen facilities.

Midlands Graduate School

Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year. For more information, visit the Midlands Graduate School website.

Research support


Students are encouraged to participate in the school's busy seminar and workshop programmes, allowing them to engage with top international academics in the field. Each year, masterclasses on specific themes are held by leading researchers visiting the school.


Students are also encouraged to present papers to external conferences, and their attendance is supported financially by the school. There is also an annual conference where students present their work to academic staff and fellow students.

Teaching opportunities

Second and third year research students are encouraged to act as academic tutors, generally to first year undergraduates. This provides valuable training for a future career in academia, as well as an excellent opportunity to develop a range of presentation and organisational skills. Students who undertake tutoring receive training in communication and teaching skills.

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support, information and specialist services to enhance your student experience and form part of a comprehensive network of services at the University designed to support you throughout your studies, including academic and disability support, counselling, financial support, and childcare services.

International Office

Our International Office is dedicated to the needs of our international and EU students. The International Office will ensure you have all the information you need to live and study at Nottingham and offers a Welcome Programme just before the start of the academic year.

Centre for English Language Education

The University's Centre for English Language Education (CELE) provides high-quality preparation and English language support before and during your studies, as well as providing a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

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

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They also deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their Researcher Development Programme. This means that as well as helping you to develop your research skills, you will have opportunities spanning communication skills, careers, time management, and entrepreneurship - and the chance to meet and work alongside researchers from other disciplines.


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Economics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,322 with the highest being £30,000.*

Graduates from our PhD programme go on to have successful careers in a wide range of areas. Many go on to academia and we have successfully placed students in universities including Yale, Oxford, Nottingham, LSE, Warwick, Manchester, Durham, Birmingham, Bristol, East Anglia, Surrey, Bonn, Innsbruck, Ecole Polytechnique, Sau Paulo and Xiamen.

Others have gone on to positions in The World Bank, IMF, OECD, European Commission, European Central Bank as well as various government department and policy institutes.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service will help you to plan your career throughout your time at the University and beyond. Services available include:

  • presentations and drop-in sessions with employers
  • one-to-one careers guidance and CV sessions with our advisers
  • over 700 careers events held each academic year
  • a specialist careers adviser for research postgraduates

Once you are a student with us, and even after you graduate, you will have access to our service for life.

Flexible paid placements

Postgraduate Placements Nottingham offers flexible paid placements with a range of employers from small local businesses to multinational organisations. These placements are open to all postgraduates and are designed to fit in with your studies and give you the opportunity to learn transferable skills, improve your CV and enhance your employment prospects during your postgraduate studies.

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Entry requirements

  • ESRC-recognised masters (or international equivalent) in economics, with an average mark of 63% or above
  • IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element); if these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 25, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
3 - 6 years
Part time
Full time
4,183 GBP
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: 15,570 GBP (HEU fees: 4,183 GBP)