School of Economics

Further training opportunities

Our programme gives you additional training in the latest research methods.

Taught Courses

In the first year, all students take up to six credit-bearing taught courses. The compulsory courses are:

  • Models and Research Methods in Microeconomics
  • Models and Research Methods in Macroeconomics
  • SGPE Option course in Econometrics
  • Frontiers in Economics

First year students may take up to two SGPE option courses, typically choosing from:

  • Advanced Topics in Microeconomics
  • Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Time Series Econometrics
  • Advanced Microeconometrics
  • Bayesian Econometrics

First-Year Research Paper

During the first year you will also write a research paper (which may form the basis for one of the chapters of the PhD) that includes a plan of the proposed PhD research. You will do this under the guidance of your supervisory team. Research paper outlines must be submitted for comment in the spring and final submission in the summer will be followed by a presentation given to a small panel of faculty members.

Frontiers in Economics

As part of the first year training, there are weekly meetings with the full PhD cohort, together with members of the academic faculty. This is a regular opportunity to present your work to a group of your peers and members of staff. This will be useful in developing your communication skills in an academic environment and in improving your critical abilities by asking challenging questions. Typically, a PhD student presents her/his own work, presents a classic research paper in her/his field, or a group of PhD students lead a discussion of a recent presentation at the faculty seminar. Every PhD student is required to participate.


All students are assigned a supervisor team. After the first-year, this will usually consist of a first and second supervisor. The supervisors accompany the doctoral student’s journey towards a doctorate, providing academic support and giving advice on the subject area, methodology, and structure of thesis.


We have a full programme of seminars given by academics of international reputation. This is an ideal opportunity to keep ahead of the current issues in economics.

Internal Seminars

Our internal seminar series runs in parallel with the seminar programme and is an opportunity to discuss topics with academics. These seminars are usually staff members of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE) or PhD students towards the end of their programme presenting their on-going research. You are expected to attend these regularly.

Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics Annual Conference

The SGPE organises a two day conference every January. As a member of the SGPE you are required to give a 20 minute presentation in each year of your registration. This will be followed by comments from a staff member from another SGPE university. You can find more information on the SGPE website:

Other Courses

The School will support students to attend outside training courses if approved by the supervisory team and PGR Director. Students often enrol on or audit courses provided by the SGPE and have the option of attending additional activities provided by the SGPE; in previous years this has included Numerical Bootcamps and guest lectures.


As part of your training and preparation for work after your PhD, you will be given the opportunity to lead tutorial groups in the core undergraduate economics courses. Tutoring is an important part of the preparation for a career in academia, developing and practicing the skills of public presentations, group management and marking. A course entitled Effective Tutoring, is offered by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) and is designed for postgraduates who take undergraduate tutorials. There are also weekly tutor group meetings where tutors discuss problems and strategies to promote learning.

The Institute for Academic Development

The Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh offers courses in research planning, communication and professional career management for doctoral researchers.