Postgraduate study
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Economics PhD with Integrated Study

Awards: PhD with Integrated Study

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Economics

Our PhD programme enables you to pursue your academic interests, and learn the latest methods in research, while providing you with thorough training in modern economics.

Research rankings

We have an impressive history of high rankings for our research.

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 25% of our research was judged world-leading in its originality, significance and rigour. A further 45% was judged internationally excellent.

Academic staff profiles

There are 34 staff members and around 30 PhD students. Profiles of all our economics staff and students are available on the economics website:

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD with Integrated StudyEconomics4 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

Academic support

You will be supervised by two faculty members from the School, who will provide academic support and advice on the subject area, methodology and structure of your thesis.

What will I study?

The PhD programme is principally a research degree, but modern economics requires substantial training that exceeds the level of an MSc or other masters study.

In Year 1, you will take 120 credits of advanced research-oriented coursework, with the opportunity to take field courses at the frontier of areas relevant to your research.

Review and progression

Subject to passing an annual review at the end of Year 1, you will proceed to three further years of research, with the possibility of taking a fourth “writing-up” year.

As a postgraduate student at the School of Economics you will be immersed in a rich academic environment and supportive community of staff and students.

You with have all the practical facilities to ensure success in your chosen programme of learning or research.

Employment opportunities

While many of our PhD graduates choose to remain in academia as lecturers and researchers, some pursue careers in other sectors.

Recent PhD graduates have found employment as researchers and analysts with:

  • Behavioural Insights Team
  • Danmarks Nationalbank
  • Bank of England
  • other private and public organisations

Post-doctoral opportunities

Recent graduates have successfully attained post-doctoral positions at:

  • University of Oxford
  • King's College London
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • European University Institute

As well as faculty positions at:

  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Penn State University
  • University of St Andrews
  • Aarhus University
  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Practical careers support

Our PhD students benefit from the help of our Placement Director in looking for academic jobs.

As well as offering advice and running information sessions, the Placement Director organises practical preparation sessions tailored to the academic job market, such as practice interviews and job talks.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK masters degree with distinction, or its international equivalent, in analytical economics. This degree should be equivalent to that offered by the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics.

If you do not hold a masters, or if your masters is in another subject, you will not normally be admitted directly to the PhD.

Our programme is designed to enable you to pursue your academic interests, and learn the latest methods in research, while providing thorough training in modern economics. As important as your topic is the ability to match your topic with our supervision team. We will not admit a student, where we cannot provide the very best supervision. Therefore, you should think carefully about whether your topic matches our research interests.

During the application process, you will be asked to provide a research summary that briefly outlines your research interests and why you feel they fit with those of the School.

The criteria we will use to decide upon admission will include:

  • the quality and rigour of your training in core economics areas.

  • your performance at undergraduate and postgraduate level

  • our ability to offer supervision in your chosen area of research

  • the quality of your research summary and the strength of the match to the research priorities of the School

  • our assessment of any previous independent work (such as your masters dissertation or extended project)

In exceptional cases, we may consider prior independent research experience as a positive factor for admission.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in reading and listening, and 6.0 in all other components. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in reading and listening, and 20 in speaking and writing. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in reading and listening, and 169 in speaking and writing.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in reading and listening, and 59 in each other component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD with Integrated StudyEconomics4 YearsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

We offer funding for high quality applicants, although we would encourage you to try and obtained your own funding sources in the first instance.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Economics
  • 30/31 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JT

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

See our supervisors and their areas of research:

Before applying for a PhD with us, please send us an enquiry email so we can assist you and give you the best advice.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Economics
  • 30/31 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JT