Research course


The University of Manchester · Economics

Entry requirements

Entry into the programme requires both the prior attainment of certain academic qualifications and also the submission of a satisfactory research proposal at time of application;

  • Direct entry into year 2 of the 4 year programme, you will normally be expected to have achieved a high level of performance in a postgraduate programme in economics. For a UK masters programme, high level performance equates to a minimum overall average of 65% on the taught component and a dissertation mark of 65% or above (with no mark below 55%). Entry from other courses is considered on a case-by-case basis. Your masters' training is expected to offer a comparable training to one of the following programmes at Manchester; MSc Economics, MSc Econometrics, MSc Economics & Econometrics, MSc Financial Economics.
  • For year 1 entry of the 4 year programme, you will normally be expected to have achieved a high level performance in an undergraduate and/or a postgraduate programme in economics that provides a sound training in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics equivalent to at least an Upper Second Class Honours in the BEconSc degree at Manchester.
  • Applicants with a high level of performance in any of the following Manchester PG programmes would normally be accepted to enter Year 1, although Year 2 is considered on a case-by-case basis: MA Economics, MSc Finance and Economics, MSc Development Economics and Policy, MSc Economics and Management of Rural Development, MSc Environment and Development, MSc Development Finance, MSc Industrial Strategy and Trade Policy and MA Political Economy.
  • GRE. This is only one of our admission criteria - we are looking for the 'right fit' for the PhD/MRes programme and use all of the admissions criteria to make a decision. A very high score does not necessarily give a stronger chance of admission and a below average score does not automatically eliminate a candidate.

In addition to the normal supporting documents, applicants for PhD/MRes must also supply the following:

- A brief description of any econometrics/macro/micro economics/mathematics and statistics courses taken on their undergraduate degree/postgraduate degree, detailing core texts used. This does not have to be an official document. A paragraph for each course unit taken will be sufficient.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Our PhD/MRes programme has been introduced in 2010 as a response to the Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) sponsored Benchmarking Review of UK Economics. Building on our successful ESRC-recognised PhD/MPhil we have developed a new 2+2 American-style structure for our programme to meet the international standard demanded for a PhD-training in Economics.

In the first year a MSc-equivalent training is provided, that is, year 1 will entail one of our well-established MSc courses (MSc Economics, MSc Econometrics, MSc Economics & Econometrics, MSc Financial Economics).

Year 2 consists of advanced PhD level coursework and preparation of a detailed research proposal; direct entry into year 2 requires a prior Master degree of appropriate standard and content, such as at least a merit from one of the Manchester degrees mentioned above, or equivalent from elsewhere.

Research is full-time in years 3 and 4, leading to submission of the thesis at the end of year 4 (although extensions to a 5th year for writing up are possible). Upon successful completion of the programme (whether entering in year 1 or 2), degrees of PhD and MRes will be awarded.

Our training programme is part of the ESRC's newly accredited North-West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) where Economics PGR training is provided jointly by us and our partner institutions from Lancaster and Liverpool.

The Areas of Research Training (ARTs) that we offer at Manchester are;

  • Financial Economics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Econometrics and Applied Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics and Mathematical Economics

Information for international students

  • IELTS 7, including 7 in writing and with no further score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section.
  • ALL non-native English speaking students are required to do the English language assessment when they register in September.
  • Any non-native English speaking student going away for fieldwork in an overseas, non-English speaking country required to re-take the English assessment when they come back to Manchester.
  • All non UK/EU, non-native English speaking applicants must have obtained the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score in order to obtain a CAS for their visa.

Scores are valid for 2 years.

For students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, your test score is valid for 2 years preceding the course start date.

For example;

Test taken on or after 17 September 2016 - CAS issued June 2018 = Score is VALID

Test taken before 17 September 2016 = Score is INVALID

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, PDF copy of passport received and the offer accepted.

Applicants from certain countries MAY be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score. For further advice please email

Pre-Sessional English Courses:

If you eligible to do a pre-sessional English course (either 6 weeks or 10 weeks, depending on your English score), you will be required to successfully complete the course at the required level before you are permitted to register on your academic course).

The dates and fees for next summer (2018) are now available on the English Language Centre's website.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The School of Social Sciences and the Economics Discipline Area have up to 10 studentships for 2018/2019.

Economics operate three deadlines for receiving complete on-line applications:

Round 1: 8 January 2018

Round 2: 5 March 2018

Round 3: 15 June 2018

Candidates wishing to be considered for funding MUST apply before the 8 January 2018 deadline.

Please see the School's funding page for further information (please note that the School's funding web page is not yet fully updated). Any queries, please email

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Social Sciences
+44 (0)161 275 4743