Postgraduate Research

We welcome MPhil and PhD applications in any area of the discipline and have a long tradition of successful supervision in all areas. 

The School of Economics is pleased to form part of the South East Doctoral Training Centre. The South East Doctoral Training Centre unites the Universities of Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway and Surrey in providing outstanding postgraduate training in the M25 region. A number of studentships are available. 

For more information please visit

The School of Economics at Surrey enjoys a strong and growing reputation for its research. It receives full recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council for research training and attracts excellent research students. The School prides itself on the levels of supervision it provides and on the friendly but highly effective research atmosphere. New research students will join a community of research-oriented scholars producing work of the highest international standard.

In terms of research output, Surrey economists have been exceedingly productive writing a stream of books and refereed journal articles. Moreover, it is not only in terms of the quantity of research that the School's record is impressive, since much of this research has been published in leading core and specialist journals thereby enhancing the School's international reputation.

Recent research has, for example, been published in:

  • Econometrica
  • Economic Journal
  • Economics Letters
  • Economic Modelling
  • Energy Economics
  • Energy Journal
  • Energy Policy
  • European Economic Review
  • Journal of Development Economics
  • Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control
  • Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
  • Journal of Health Economics
  • Journal of International Development
  • Journal of Monetary Economics
  • Journal of Public Economics
  • Manchester School
  • Oxford Economic Papers
  • Scottish Journal of Political Economy
  • Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv
  • World Economy
  • World Development

In addition to fundamental theoretical work, economics research at Surrey has a firm practical and policy-related relevance. Members of staff have advised governments, international organisations, and private companies, and this has ensured that the School's reputation has spread beyond the academic community.

The high quality of research at Surrey and its policy-relevance has resulted in a record of success in attracting research income from the ESRC as well as from the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the Overseas Development Administration, the British Academy and other donors, in circumstances where there is very severe competition for such prestigious research awards. Over the last couple of years the School has won a number of major research awards.

The PGR Programme

As a potential research student you are expected to have a Masters degree in Economics with a distinction from a UK university or an equivalent qualification. You will be asked to provide an outline of your proposed research explaining why the research is of interest, what research question(s) will be addressed and how the research will undertaken, i.e. the methodology to be employed and the data sources you intend to use. You may also be asked to provide further written evidence of your research potential and to come to Surrey for an interview. We shall then assess your application and, if we offer you a place, carefully match you with a supervisory team of normally two member of staff who will have the principal responsibility for advising you and monitoring your progress throughout the duration of your research. Furthermore, your progress will be assessed by our Postgraduate Research Committee (PGRC) and the Postgraduate Research Tutor. Full details are available in the annual PGR handbook which gives clear guidelines for research students and fully explains the responsibilities of students and supervisors, and the role of the PGRC.

You may register on a full-time, part-time, or collaborative basis (see below). The period of study is at least thirty-three months for full-time and collaborative students and forty-five months for part-time students. During your first year you may be required to follow some postgraduate modules, as recommended by your supervisor and PGRC, and you will attend our Research Methods module as well as the research seminars that are run exclusively for research students.

Your progress will be monitored at various stages. At a suitable point, you will be asked to give a presentation based on your research up to that time. You will be interviewed by a research assessment panel to confirm that your progress has been satisfactory, and to offer advice to help you complete your research.

Details of the research interests of staff are provided in the Staff Profiles leaflet that you may obtain from the School. As you will see from this, and from the activities of the research groupings below, the School offers a wide range of research options.


As part of the PGR application process, applicants will need to supply a detailed research proposal for the work they would like to undertake.  This should clearly state WHY they want to do the research (i.e. its importance, policy relevance, etc.), WHAT research they want to undertake (i.e. the research question/questions to be answered) and HOW the research would be undertaken (i.e. the economics/econometrics methodology you would employ).

The Collaborative Research Programme

Some potential research students live overseas or are in full-time employment. The collaborative programme is designed specifically for such people. Under this scheme you need to spend only a limited amount of time each year at Surrey, in order to attend courses and receive close supervision from your Surrey supervisor. For the remainder of the time you will have a co-supervisor either in your own institution or in a local university who will be responsible for day-to-day issues that may arise, although you will remain in contact with your lead supervisor at Surrey throughout. The scheme has been very attractive to students who wish to acquire a Surrey PhD but find it impossible to commit themselves to physically attending the University for a lengthy period of time.

Visiting Scholars' Programme

This programme is designed primarily for economists with some years practical experience in industry, government departments or academic institutions who wish to familiarise themselves with recent developments in economic analysis and their application. Scholars with a different academic background but with practical experience in economics are also eligible for this programme.

Scholars usually follow lecture courses offered by the School, undertake research on a topic of their choice, with the guidance of a member of the academic staff, and write a research report. A scholar may register for one or two semesters depending on their own requirements or preferences.

Financial Support

The School is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to receive full-time research studentships on a Mode A basis. In addition, the University of Surrey awards Scholarships each year to outstanding students. Other sources of financial support are described in the University's postgraduate prospectus.

The School runs a competitive Graduate Assistantship scheme under which successful applicants receive full fee remission as well as a stipend in return for undertaking limited tutoring responsibilities. Other research bursaries may be offered to gifted students.

Computing Facilities

The University of Surrey's Central Computing Services offer a wide range of state-of-the-art hardware and software computing facilities. In addition, the School houses its own computing laboratory where large data sets and several economics and econometrics software packages (such as EVIEWS, PcGive, Stamp, Limdep, Microfit, Stata, Gauss, etc) are available to help you with your research. Members of staff with considerable computing expertise as well as a the School's Computing Officer will be able to give you advice regarding the most appropriate methods of dealing with your chosen field of research.

Related Links

Research Students
Research Centres and Groupings

Contacting Us
We hope that this has given you the information you need. We believe that the School of Economics at Surrey will provide you with a friendly and stimulating research environment and an organisational structure that will maximise the chances of you successfully gaining a research qualification.

If you would like to know more about us please contact: 

PG Admissions Secretary
Maureen Newman

PGR Admissions Tutor and DTC Coordinator
Giovanni Forchini

Please visit the Contact Us page for further details

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Expiry Date: Wednesday 20 April 2011 16:13:25
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