Research course


University of Edinburgh · Business School

Entry requirements

You are normally required to have an MSc in Economics with high marks (2:1/B+ or better) before starting your PhD. Most of our PhD students begin by taking the SGPE MSc here in Edinburgh, but we also welcome applications for direct entry into the PhD programme from those who have an ESRC-recognised MSc, or its international equivalent, in economics from another well ranked and recognised University. We also expect you to have undertaken one year of coursework in economics covering significant quantitative content at graduate level. As part of your online application for a PhD, you will need to submit a research proposal of about 1,000 words, explaining any existing research in your chosen topic and the research you intend to carry out. We expect a research proposal in an area where we can provide appropriate supervision, and you should ensure that your proposal is aligned to our staff and research strengths. We strongly recommend that you check the school website for staff and research strengths before you submit your application.

Months of entry


Course content

Our PhD programme enables you to pursue your academic interests, and learn the latest methods in research, while providing you with thorough training in modern economics.

Our group collaborates with seven other Scottish universities to provide the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE).

We have an impressive history of high rankings for our postgraduate research. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 25 per cent of our research was judged world-leading in its originality, significance and rigour, while a further 45 per cent was judged internationally excellent.

Our research can be divided into four areas:

  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • applied economics and economic theory
  • labour and health economics.

Our micro theory group is one of the strongest in Europe, and we can offer supervision and support across a range of subject specialisms, including political economy, monetary theory, labour economics (both theoretical and empirical), industrial organisation, real business cycles, econometrics and theory and intergenerational economics.

Information for international students

To find out about the support offered to International Students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit:

Fees and funding

Visit Scholarships and Student Funding Services at

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0) 131 651 1764