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MRes, MPhil, DBA, PhDEconomics

Research opportunities

Our research is supported by numerous awards from a variety of sources including but not limited to the ESRC, EPSRC, Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise.

Many of our staff are engaged in networks of research economists, with collaborators based in other Scottish universities and universities across the rest of the UK and overseas. 

You can study an MRes or an MPhil over the course of one year, a PhD over the course of three years or a DBA also over a three year period, or more.

You can study the degree of your choice within any of our four research areas:

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) programme 

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • the standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


Economics PhD supervisors & topics

Mr Grant Allan 

Energy, Environmental and Regional Economics

Mr Richard Bellingham

Smart Sustainable Cities & Energy Economics

Professor Julia Darby

Macroeconomics, particularly issues in Fiscal Policy, Applied Econometrics.

Dr Giuseppe De Feo

Economics of Regulation, Industrial Organization, Information Economics

Dr Rodolphe Desbordes

Foreign direct investment; Economic growth; Applied Econometrics.

Dr Alex Dickson

Microeconomics: Game theory, Industrial organization

Mr Darryl Holden           

Econometrics, Statistics, Finance

Professor Gary Koop

Bayesian econometrics, with an emphasis on macro time series

Dr Stuart McIntyre

Environmental and Energy Economics, Regional Economics, Spatial Econometrics.

Professor Peter McGregor

Energy and Environmental modelling; the economics of devolution/decentralisation.

Mr Roger Perman    

Applied Econometrics, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Development Economics, Business Economics


The Scottish Economy; Economics of smoking bans; Economics of crime and punishment.

Professor Ian Wooton

International trade, FDI and multinational enterprises, international factor mobility.

Professor Robert Wright

Population ageing and economic performance; the determinants of migration and immigration policy; Analysis of micro-credit.


Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/ EU

  • TBC

Rest of UK

  • TBC

International students

  • £14,050 (full-time)

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.


You can find any funding opportunities on our scholarship search.

ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre studentships (SGSSS-DTC)

ESRC awards cover full fees and include a maintenance grant and a research support grant.

If you're applying to the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics MSc and wish to continue to PhD level study, you can apply to the SGSSS-DTC for a 1+3 (MSc+PhD) studentship.

If you're applying for a PhD in Economics and already hold, or are currently studying for, an MA or MSc in Economics or Econometrics, you can apply to the SGSSS-DTC for +3 (PhD) funding. To be eligible your MA or MSc must be deemed equivalent to the Scottish Graduate Programme’s MSc (ie another ESRC recognised masters programme studied elsewhere in the UK, or a similar programme from outside the UK, typically including core classes in Microeconomics Theory, Macroeconomic Theory and Econometrics as well as relevant options and a dissertation).

Full awards are available on a competitive basis for applicants with established UK residency, international students and non-resident EU citizens.

Also, awards made through Economics are eligible for an additional £3,000 maintenance grant per year, taking the total maintenance grant to around £16,863 per year in 2014-15. You may also be able to apply to the interdisciplinary Environment, Climate Change and Energy pathway. 

As an ESRC funded PhD student, and in addition to receiving research training from one of the UK’s top Doctoral Training Centres in social science, you'll have access a Research Training Support Grant to cover the costs of additional training, conference attendance and fieldwork and will be eligible to apply for a number of additional ESRC-funded opportunities, from iverseas institutional visits to internship opportunities. 

There are two stages to the application and both have strict deadlines:

  • registration
  • application

Full information on the application process, including relevant deadlines, can be found on the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science's website.

Research Council studentships (AHRC, BBSRC, ESPRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC)

  • Full Research Council studentships can only be awarded to UK and EU students.
  • If you're an EU student, you're eligible for Research Council studentships if you've been living in the UK for three years, including for studying, immediately before starting your PhD.
  • If you're an EU student and you haven't been living in the UK for three years, you may be eligible for a 'fees only' studentship.
  • If you're an international student, you can only be funded by a Research Council if you have the Right to Abode (ie if your passport describes you as a British citizen), if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. 
  • If you have full Refugee status, you're eligible for fees and stipend.

British Council funding

The British Council offers scholarships to overseas students. Availablity is dependent upon your home country and you're advised to contact your local British Council office or have a look at Education UK for more information.

The World Bank: Robert S McNamara Fellowship programme

This grant helps fellows advance their doctoral research work through a residency period of five to 10 months in an institution in another country. 

Commonwealth scholarships

Commonwealth scholarships are available for students from commonwealth countries for PhD study here in the UK. See here for more details.

Royal Economics Society: one year junior fellowship awards

The Royal Economics Society offers one year junior fellowships to six students.

Applications must be submitted to the Head of Department and those awarded Fellowships must submit a report to the Secretary-General of the Society at the end of the academic year.

Universities will be invited by the Secretary-General of the Society to make application for the awards in the Spring of each year.

For further details contact the RES Administrator.

Carnegie-Caledonian PhD scholarships

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland offers a limited number of maintenance, fee, research and travel allowance awards each year for PhDs in any discipline.

Eligibility is restricted to applicants who are graduates of a Scottish university with a First Class Honours degree.

The deadline for applications is generally in March each year awards that begin the following September/October.

Find out more.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Please complete and attach our Postgraduate Research Proposal Outline with your application.

Entry requirements

PhD & MPhil

We look for a strong first degree in Economics, or a degree in which economics was a major part, and a Masters degree in Economics that includes the following core classes:

  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • econometrics
  • dissertation
  • a range of relevant options


You'll have a good MBA degree from an AMBA accredited institution, although other Masters degrees containing a significant amount of economics may be accepted.

You'll also have a significant amount of work experience as a manager or consultant and we expect you to continue in a senior practice role throughout the programme. Ongoing support from your employer is also required.

English language proficiency

If English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS score of 6.5.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of around 1500 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated. Please use our Postgraduate Research Proposal Outline.

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Before you apply

Before finalising your formal application, we can give you some help and guidance on refining your proposal.

Get in touch with a potential supervisor early on, preferably as soon as you've put together a draft proposal. You can find some information about our supervisors and their research interests under the 'Supervisors' tab. 

Writing your research proposal

We've put together some guidance to help you write your research proposal.

Getting a reference

We've put together some guidance to help you when getting your references.


It's important that you find a good match between your research interest and your potential supervisor. 

When you've identified a potential supervisor, based upon how well your research interests match theirs, send them an email to introduce yourself.

In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV.

Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage - you'll have help from the Department of Economics to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor is available to work with you, they will confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus; our online application system.

If you accept our offer, you'll then be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a Scottish, UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

As a postgraduate research student here, you'll have the opportunity to attend a variety of appropriate subject specific training courses, like:

  • advanced classes offered by the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics. You can find out more on the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science's website
  • a range of specialist workshops and master classes organised by the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics, often in collaboration with the department
  • other externally offered and relevant short courses and summer school (recent examples include courses offered by CEMMAP, a variety of ESRC funded data workshops and specialised short advanced training courses provided by the SGPE and elsewhere)

You'll also be expected to attend and participate in presentations and discussions of research work in progress with colleagues and staff members at lunchtime seminars, the department’s Annual PhD Away Days and the Research Seminars.

During your studies, you'll be encouraged to submit and present papers to appropriate academic conferences. You'll also be encouraged to submit your work for publication in the department’s discussion paper series, and work towards submitting your papers to be considered for publication in academic journals.

If you take up the opportunity to become involved in undergraduate teaching, delivering tutorials and/or supporting computer lab sessions, you'll receive appropriate training from the University’s Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement and are encouraged to participate in Graduate Teaching Assistant workshops offered by the Economics Network of the Higher Education Academy.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


We have a great careers service at Strathclyde that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

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