Economics MPhil and PhD
Qualifications and durations
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme will enable you to conduct supervised research into your chosen topic and produce a written thesis (typically 20,000 - 40,000 words). You can complete the MPhil in 1 to 3 years (full-time) or up to 4 years (part-time).
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a more significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a larger written thesis (typically up to 90,000 words). You can complete your PhD in 2 to 4 years (full-time) or up to 6 years (part-time)
The MPhil and PhD programme provides an opportunity to undertake original research into a wide variety of areas. The department has a strong international research reputation, covering all mainstream fields of economics. Many of our academics are acknowledged as leading the field in their disciplines. The department has a lively PhD community, and both team and individual research. The emphasis is on involving PhD students in our areas of expertise, providing them with a strong environment in which to pursue their research, and encouraging and helping with publication. Students are also encouraged to present their work both within the department and at international conferences.
Most students are registered in the first instance for the degree of MPhil. The MPhil may include some taught units in year one. Students are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject, which must then be written-up as a substantial thesis. The transfer from MPhil to PhD is subject to students passing an assessment process, which involves submission of a substantial portion of written work and an oral examination.
The final stage of the PhD degree is the viva voce examination, in which students are required to defend their thesis to a Board of Examiners.
Current student projects
Take an insight into what some of our current students are researching »
The research proposal
In order to do a PhD you must have a clearly identified research topic. Ideas for research topics can come from journals, books, etc. It should be in an area which interests you. It might be something of considerable current concern, a new aspect of something on which a lot of work has been done, or a completely new idea. In any case, your work should provide some new insights. It should eventually prove publishable, either as a book or a series of journal articles.
Your project outline should lay out in depth the topic you wish to study, refer to any existing literature on the subject and emphasise why you feel it an important and interesting area. If there are any data requirements, you should specify exactly how you intend acquiring the data, and subsequently what techniques you intend to apply to the data. Vague generalities (such as 'I intend to use modern econometric techniques to analyse the data') are not sufficient. Specify exactly what techniques you intend to use.
There is some flexibility to change the direction of your research once here, indeed this is quite common. Nonetheless, the clearer the ideas are at the outset, the more rapid your progress will be to successful completion.
A strong academic background in a field relevant to the proposed research - specifically, a 2.1 or higher Bachelor degree (or equivalent). Applicants should also have, or expect to have by the beginning of the course, a 2.1 or higher Masters degree (or equivalent) in economics or in a related area.
A strong performance at the Masters level may compensate for a weaker one at the Bachelor’s level. Students may apply to one of the department’s Masters programmes prior to commencing a research degree.
English Language requirements
Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.
- IELTS 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components)
- TOEFL 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test) with a score of not less than 4 in TWE or 100 (internet-based test) with not less than 24 in each of the components.
If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the English Language Centre.
- Two references are required. At least one of them should be from an academic with a track record of publications in international journals.
Read details for how to apply to study.
Potential sources of funding
How to apply
Applications must be made through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.
View our how to apply section for further information.
- Funding deadlines for Studentships and Scholarships
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6753
Economics has four research clusters
- Incentives & Governance – This represents the largest research cluster within the department encompassing Economic Theory; Institutional Economics; Labour Economics; Public Economics; Sports Economics and Development Economics. The broad range of interests in this cluster lends itself to overlapping research that aids the research ethic within the department.
- Environmental Economics – The department has an internationally renowned team of environmental economists who publish regularly and have attracted a number of research grants from the European Commission. Professor Anil Markandya was a lead author for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
- Money and Macro-finance – Research focuses on time series analysis of macroeconomic variables and the construction of small scale macroeconomic models. The cluster has produced high quality peer reviewed articles in macroeconomic-behavioural models, the relationship between stock market prices and exchange rates, and inflation rate targeting. Other areas of interest:- Credit default swaps, yield curves.
- Development Economics - Development economics is the field of economics dedicated to understanding long-term structural change of economies and their effect on human wellbeing. It is concerned particularly with the persistence of global poverty and inequality, and what can be done to reduce it, both within countries and through changes to the global economic system. Also concerned with aid effectiveness and corruption.
About the Department
Economics at Bath
The Department of Economics has a strong international research reputation in mainstream economics. The department has attracted substantial funding for its work on, for example, Environmental Economics. Other quality indicators include: