Our three-year pathway in the Department of Economics for the PhD economics degree gives you the chance to ask difficult questions, break intellectual boundaries and create new solutions to issues of global concern. You work closely with our creative and committed academics - researchers who are pioneering new solutions to these issues, inspiring your own research.
We are renowned for our research expertise in a number of areas of economics, including the following:
The Department of Economics are top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of our research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014).
You receive advanced research training and expert supervision to reach your full potential, as well as access to top quality research facilities, We also guarantee office space for you in our PhD Research Centre, giving you the space and tools to work.
We work with you to teach you how to look at the world through an economist's lens, taking a critical approach to dismantle a proposition, working robust methodologies to build an argument based on rigorous theoretical reasoning and sound empirical evidence.
Our PhD includes advanced economic methods and analysis, with links to research programmes in our Institute for Economic and Social and Economic Research , the UK Data Archive and other departments at Essex.
Essex economists are engaged in a variety of research networks and collaborate with economists at other universities in the UK and overseas. Much of our research is related to policy and we often provide advice to government and non-government organisations.
The top quality of our work is reflected in our stream of publications in high profile academic journals like the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Finance, and the Review of Economic Studies.
Our staff members also receives funding for their research from a number of national and international funding bodies such as the Economic and Social Research Council and the European Research Commission.
As well as access to all University facilities at our Colchester Campus, such as our well-equipped Albert Sloman Library and extensive open access computer laboratories, we also guarantee office space for you in our PhD Research Centre, giving you the space and tools to work.
Extensive software for quantitative analysis is available in all computer labs across the university. You also have access to ESSEXLab, our on-campus social science lab where you can conduct studies using our participants, in state-of-the-art facilities and to the resources available at the Institute for Economic and Social and Economic Research and the UK Data Archive.
In recent years, our PhD students have obtained posts in a range of academic and non-academic institutions. These include universities such as Bath, Chicago, Dusseldorf, East Anglia, the London School of Economics, Mannheim, Oxford, Rochester, University College London, and organisations like the Office for National Statistics (UK), the Bank of England, Bank of Italy, Bank of Korea, Bank of Mexico, Central Bank of Colombia, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Commission JRC, the World Bank.
With the skills and knowledge you acquire from studying within our Department of Economics, you will be in demand from a wide range of employers. We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, and strong ties with the policy, business and consultancy world, especially in London and other major financial centres.
A merit profile in an MRes Economics, or an equivalent programme, normally with 60% or above (or equivalent) in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematics modules, and submission of the dissertation.
If you have not studied (or are not currently studying) an MRes Economics, or an equivalent programme, you should consider applying for our PhD (Integrated) Economics programme.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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The Department provides advanced research training PhD modules in the first year of the PhD. Students must take PhD modules offered in the Autumn Term.
Starting no later than Spring Term, students are then required to work towards their dissertation research under the supervision of their dissertation supervisors. This starts with identifying a suitable research topic and plan with guidance of their supervisors.
Continuation in the PhD programme is conditional good performance in both the doctoral modules and in the research plan module and presenting the research plan in the student Research Strategy Seminar series.
We expect full-time students in this PhD programme to complete their PhD studies within four years of entering, so you are monitored regularly to ensure you are progressing.
During your thesis research period, you will have a supervisory panel meeting twice a year which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months. In the completion period you should be revising and rewriting chapters. You then submit your approved thesis for examination.
The support provided by your supervisors is a key feature of your experience as a research student. Your supervisors guide you through the different stages of your research degree. Initially they help you to develop your research topic and plan, and then you participate in regular individual meetings to comment on drafts, resolve problems and to maintain progress on your research.
You'll also have access to other research training opportunities via the University’s unique Proficio funding scheme. In addition, the University’s participation in networks such as the ESRC SeNSS DTP and Eastern ARC can provide additional opportunities for training.
The PhD programme is offered as full-time study only in the first year. It may be possible to continue studies on a part time basis from the second year onward, subject to approval.
Our department offers paid opportunities for both Graduate Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants. The Proficio scheme also provides funding for professional development. We also provide career development support, especially in your final year, with practice presentations, interviews, and other activities to prepare you for the international job market for PhD economists.
Our department maintains a lively, friendly, and supportive atmosphere for research. We also provide a number of training opportunities and support services to aid your studies and to help prepare you for employment:
In your completion year you should be revising and rewriting chapters. You submit your approved thesis to an internal reader for comments, and then submit your final thesis before the end of the academic year.
We expect our PhD students to complete their PhD within four years of entering, so you are monitored regularly to ensure you are progressing.
£5,103EU students commencing their course in the 2020-21 academic year will be liable for the Home/UK fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
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At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
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