Research course


University of Glasgow · College of Social Sciences

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Entry requirements

Applicants for the PhD in Economics should normally have a good Masters in the area of Economics or Finance. Applicants who are currently studying for their Masters would be expected to complete this before embarking on a PhD.

Applicants for the PhD in Quantitative Finance should normally have overall merit or above in our MSc Quantitative Finance or in a comparable Masters degree.

Required documentation

Applicants should submit:

  • Transcripts/degree certificate
  • Two references
  • A research proposal (3000 words maximum)
  • CV
  • Name of potential Supervisor
  • Guide to writing a research proposal

A PhD is expected to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge. Therefore you need to explain how your research is likely to be original and how it will contribute to your field of study. Your proposal must be convincing and be able to exist as a stand alone document.

A research proposal would normally be around 3,000 words and should be fully referenced throughout using Harvard Referencing Style. It should be clear and concise regarding the core focus and contribution of your research. Your proposal should include:

Working title

Research context and importance of the proposed research

This section should provide the background which outlines what your proposed research is about and what it is you are seeking to discover/achieve. It should be a brief introduction outlining the general area of study and identifying the subject area within which your study falls. You should also refer to the current state of knowledge (i.e. what research has been done to date) and any recent debates on the subject. This section should:

  • Demonstrate how your research ‘fills a gap’ in existing research (i.e. show that it hasn’t been done before).
  • (Explain why your research is important – it is not enough to say that this has not been studied previously, you need to explain why it should be studied i.e. why it is interesting/important.

Research aims

Against the background provided above you need to set out the contribution that your research will make in the form of specific aims, research questions or hypotheses.

Research methodology

Here you need to explain how you will obtain the information necessary to write your thesis.


You should provide a very approximate timetable for the research.

Months of entry


Course content

We are leading experts in macroeconomics, microeconomics and finance. We have an active research environment, with many seminars and conferences, including events dedicated entirely to PhD students. Economics graduates successfully pursue careers in academia and the private sector.

There are currently over 50 PhD students undertaking economics research programmes at Glasgow. Programmes are offered in Economics, Finance and Quantitative Finance.

As an Economics PhD student, you will have opportunities to:

  • present and discuss your work in progress with colleagues and staff members as part of the Economics workshop programme for PhD students
  • take advanced MSc courses to develop your skills where appropriate
  • benefit from the College of Social Sciences Graduate School Research Training programme, where appropriate

As a research student you may have the opportunity to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant, delivering tutorials to first and second year undergraduate students and help with assessment of undergraduate assignments and examinations. Teaching is payable at a University-wide hourly rate and it is anticipated that an active GTA, subject to suitability and availability, should be able to earn up to £1,500 per annum. GTAs undergo compulsory training. PhD researchers may have the opportunity to become GTAs from their second year. Vacant posts are advertised towards the end of semester 2.

Full-time students are allocated office space and are provided with their own PC and printing facilities.

Supervisors and students are required to complete an Annual Progress Report in April/May of each academic year. All Progress Reports are reviewed by the PhD Convenor and by the College's Graduate School. A satisfactory progress report is a prerequisite for student registration in the following academic session. Final assessment involves the submission of a thesis of between 70,000 and 100,000 words and an oral examination (viva voce).

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

Please see the English Language requirements if your first language is not English. Please also see the international page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60-96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details