For our PhD Economics within ISER, we offer supervision in applied microeconomics and microeconometrics, which should interest you if you plan to use socio-economic survey data in your research. We offer supervision in: economics of the family; education; migration; labour markets; retirement and pension; health economics; inequality, poverty and income distribution; public policy; and ethnicity. As we have extensive experience in the analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, we also welcome those interested in researching panel data and survival analysis, missing data, measurement error, endogeneity, and other estimation issues. You will be supervised by some of the world’s leading experts in their field.
Studying with us will open doors to an academic career for you, as well as to a professional life in government departments, international organisations and statistical institutions. Several of our PhD students now work at: Department of Economics, University of Chicago, USA; Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia; Department of Economics and Public Finance, University of Turin, Italy; Department of Economics, University of Linz, Austria; Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University, Italy; Applied Microeconomics Research Unit, University of Minho, Portugal; and School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University, Canada.
As part of our wide offering of studentships, we currently have three research opportunities in the areas of sociology and economics. These projects are studentships linked with the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSOC), which is hosted at our Institute for Social and Economic Research at our Colchester Campus. You can find out more on our Postgraduate Research Opportunities webpage.
We also offer an Mphil in this subject.
Please note, part-time research study is also available.
Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
Our Institute for Social and Economic Research is home to the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, an interdisciplinary centre with a prestigious team of staff who have a wide range of expertise in social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, demography, geography, health research and statistics.
We are also home to the UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC), funded by the ESRC, which aims to promote longitudinal research. Our experienced and talented team support users of longitudinal data through the provision of advice, information, training in longitudinal analysis and resources to make data easier to use. Methodological research is carried out to improve longitudinal survey methods and to ensure the production of high quality data for users. We run the British Household Panel Survey, which has interviewed the same sample members since 1991, and Understanding Society, the world’s largest longitudinal survey with 100,000 sample members from 40,000 households.
Our PhD students are provided with their own desk, usually in a shared office, and have access to specialist resources such as The Hilary Doughty Research Library, with significant holdings of published and unpublished material on longitudinal and panel data methodology, and its application to economic and policy issues. In addition, you can use our variety of longitudinal and panel data sets, including the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and Understanding Society. Access to such unique materials enhances and furthers your individual research.
Some of our PhD students now work at:
You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject.
You are also required to submit a well developed research proposal
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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A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our students invest time mainly working on their thesis under the supervision of one or two researchers. Most of the theses in ISER are organised in three main chapters, plus introduction and conclusions. Ideally, you should produce a complete draft of a new main chapter by the end of each academic year. If your chapter is judged of enough good quality, you can progress to the following year. You can decide to structure your thesis differently, if needed, but you should discuss and agree the structure with your supervisor.
We encourage our PhD students to attend training courses whenever their research requires acquiring new skills. You are also invited to take part in our Institute for Social and Economic Research group meetings and to attend research seminars. You should also present your research work at our research student seminar series at least once per year.
Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our students are supposed to have a supervisory board meeting every six months to discuss progress, training needs and other issues. Any potential issue is considered at the Student Progress Research Committee.
You can enter into completion if, by the end of your third year, you have a complete draft of all thesis chapters (excluding introduction and conclusions) and these are of good quality.
£16,230EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline and we aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
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.
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.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
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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