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Research degrees in Economics and Finance

Why apply for the PhD programme in Queen Mary's School of Economics and Finance?

  • The School of Economics and Finance is one of the UK's leading departments, ranked in the top 10 for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment.
  • The breadth and depth of our expertise enables us to offer courses and supervision in virtually all major areas of economics and finance.
  • The School has around 40 research-active staff working in a wide range of research areas, including macroeconomics, microeconomic theory and game theory, applied microeconomics, econometric theory, time series analysis, theoretical and empirical finance, and financial econometrics.
  • Staff members typically publish in the leading economics and finance journals, with publications over the 2014 Research Excellence Framework period in journals including Econometrica, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Finance, and many others. Individual members of staff also have active collaborations with various governmental and non-governmental agencies, including the UK Treasury, the Bank of England, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, OECD, and ILO.
  • The School hosts two weekly seminar series with external speakers from institutions in North America and Europe, as well as two internal workshops.
  • We have a vibrant community of doctoral students conducting research in economics and finance.
  • Our PhD programme has held Economic and Social Research council (ESRC) recognition since 2008 and is affiliated with the QMUL-Goldsmiths Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), which awards ESRC-funded 1+3 year studentships and offers social science training beyond the areas covered by the School.
  • PhD students are entitled to a £1,000 yearly research allowance.
  • Excellent career opportunities are open to our PhD graduates. Recent placements include lectureships or postdoctoral research positions at universities and research institutions worldwide such as Cambridge, Warwick, York, Leicester, Aarhus, Vienna and IZA. Our graduates are also typically hired by central banking institutions: recent placements include the Bank of England and the Bank of France.


  • PhD students also have access to extensive computing resources. In addition to personal computers and computer labs with mathematical, statistical and real-time trading software (Eviews, Stata, Matlab, Gauss, Reuters, Bloomberg, TWS, FXCM), and a full range of economic and financial data services (DataStream, Macrobond, Bankscope, CRSP), PhD students also have access to macro computing Unix-based resources.

We supervise all related topics.  Examples of recent PhD supervision include:

  • Applied economics
  • Economic theory
  • Econometrics
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Financial econometrics
  • Financial derivatives
  • Asset pricing
  • International finance


Students must complete the MRes Programme before they can progress on to the PhD.

MRes  Options

*Programmes eligible for ESRC Funding

These programmes are considered the first year of the PhD programme. For admission to the MRes programme, applicants should have, or expect to obtain before entry, a suitable Master's degree in Economics, Finance or a related subject.  On application to the MRes programme, when appropriate, a conditional offer of admission to the PhD programme will be made. Applicants who already hold an MRes in Economics or Finance can apply directly to the PhD programmes offered through the School (how to apply below)

Structure of the PhD Programme


The MRes is first year of the PhD programme.  Students build on their core postgraduate training by completing two advanced modules in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, or financial economics; and can choose from a selection of option modules that cover a range of theoretical and applied topics. Students also conduct original research to fulfil the substantial dissertation component of the degree, which can form the basis of later doctoral work.

PhD Programme

The School offers PhD programmes in both Economics and Finance which lead on directly from advanced research training during the MRes year. During the programme students will work on their thesis and undertake research work.

The School hosts two weekly Economics and Finance Seminar series with external speakers from institutions in North America and Europe, as well as two internal workshops which PhD/MRes students are encouraged to attend.

The School organises an annual PhD students' conference, where research students present their current research output. The evaluation of the research work presented at this annual conference is one of the elements employed in the assessment of research students' performance.

Financial Support

The School is pleased to be able to offer generous Teaching Assistantships to incoming PhD students. A Teaching Assistantship covers the tuition fees and provides maintenance per annum that includes:

  • £16000 as the research grant
  • £4000 for compulsory teaching of 50 hours per annum and associated duties

There is no separate application form for Teaching Assistantship. Applicants for the PhD programme who wish to be considered for the award should indicate this in the PhD application form.

PhD students are also entitled to an additional £1,000 yearly research allowance.

Prestigious 1+3 year Economic and Social Research Council fellowships covering MRes and PhD studies are available to European Union Citizens (see the ESRC website for full eligibility details). For 2017/18 entry the School will offer ESRC research scholarships funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Science DTP (LISS DTP) in collaboration with Kings College London and Imperial College London. Details of the 2017 studentship competition are available here.  Please note, this stream of funding is only available to students joining our MRes Economics and Econometrics or MRes Finance and Econometrics programmes.  The application deadline is 31st January 2017.


How to apply

Please fill an online application (see also the guidance notes).

Applicants who hold an MSC in Economics or Finance should apply on the course pages here:  

Applicants who already hold an MRes can apply directly for the PhD programme. Admission is for entry in September 2017.

Make sure that the following supporting materials are included with the application:

  • a full academic transcript (a record of courses taken and grades achieved)
  • Applicants must submit documentation of GRE results obtained during the last five years, showing scores for all sections of the examination
  • evidence of your proficiency in English (for international students)
  • resume / Curriculum Vitae
  • a research proposal (1000 words)

Applicants who wish to be considered for ESRC research scholarships must fill an additional ESCR application form (see also the guidance notes). There is no additional application material required to be considered for teaching assistantships, however, explicit reference should be made on the application if financial support is sought.

The application deadlines for direct applicants to the PhD are:

  • 31 January for applicants who wish to be considered for ESRC research scholarships through LISS DTP or China Research Council scholarships
  • 28 February for applicants who wish to be considered for School funding or who do not apply for financial aid.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Nick Owen
Research and Joint Programmes Manager
School of Economics and Finance
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7882 7298

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