Economics PhD

We provide a first-rate PhD program, training students for both an academic career or for a career in the research units of central banks, governments or international bodies.

Vasco Gabriel Head of the School of Economics

Why Surrey?

The School of Economics has a leading reputation in research and teaching, with many staff members publishing in top academic journals and acting as economic advisors to governments and prestigious international organisations such as the IMF, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

Economics research at Surrey has both theoretical and policy-related relevance. The School has expertise in a wide range of areas, including macroeconomics, microeconomics, energy economics, health economics and econometrics.

We pride ourselves on the levels of supervision we provide and on our friendly, highly effective research atmosphere. 

Programme overview

Our four-year PhD in Economics aims at producing first rate scholars who are sought-after by leading Economics Departments and Business schools, as well as research institutions around the world.

The first year is dedicated to core courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. The content and the level of our courses are comparable to those offered by other top UK and international institutions. The second year provides specialized training in several areas of economics and econometrics, both from theoretical and empirical perspectives. The last two years are dedicated to independent research, under the guidance of a supervisor and a co-supervisor. At the end, the student will submit a dissertation that is examined by viva voce and lends itself to the publication of papers in highly rated economics/econometrics journals.

The Economics faculty includes leading researchers in several fields, including theoretical and applied microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, labour, development and international economics. Most members of the School of Economics regularly publish in top economics and general journals, and their work is recognised worldwide. This ensures first rate supervision in almost all areas. In addition, the School has several visitors for shorter periods, and hosts regular seminars and field workshops. PhD students are expected to participate in seminars and to present their own work in the field workshops. In addition, students are encouraged to submit their paper to presentation at conferences, and funds are available for that.

Students are also expected to contribute to teaching. This provides them with valuable teaching experience. For this reason, students are encouraged to undertake modules on the PG Cert in Higher Education.

Programme structure

Year 1

Core to the first year are PhD Foundation training units. These are the basis of research training, which is required for doctoral excellence.

Semester one

  • Advanced Econometrics 1
  • Advanced Macroeconomics 1
  • Advanced Microeconomics 1

Semester two

  • Advanced Econometrics 2
  • Advanced Macroeconomics 2
  • Advanced Microeconomics 1

June

PhD Foundation Exams to assess units in PhD Year 1. If a student fails a unit or the exam, there is the possibility of a resit exam in September. To proceed to the second year, students have to pass the assessments in all the units and the exam.

First Year Units Overview

Advanced Econometrics 1

The module is organised in two parts. The first part of the module provides the analytical tools needed for deriving the limiting distributions of estimators in the context of linear models (OLS and instrumental variables) and nonlinear models (NLS and Generalized Method of Moments). Since in a finite sample, asymptotic approximations may not be accurate enough, the construction of bootstrap critical values is analysed to provide more accurate inference. The second part of the module involves forecast evaluations, predictive density constructions, factor models, VAR and dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, and (partial) identification of impulse response functions.

Advanced Econometrics 2

The module builds on Advanced Econometrics 1 and is organized in two parts. The first part covers recent topic financial econometrics, focusing on GARCH models, Stochastic Volatility, High Frequency Data, Realized Volatility Measure, and Jumps. The second part covers topics in Microeconometrics, focusing on Panel Data, Discrete Choice Models, Censored Models, and Duration Models.

Advanced Macroeconomics 1

This module gives the students a systematic way of thinking about macroeconomic issues by presenting the methodology and the tools used in the analysis of dynamic macroeconomic problems. It will cover a broad range of macroeconomic theories including economic growth, business cycle, unemployment and asset prices. Topics covered include Markov chains and mathematical preliminaries, discrete time dynamic programming, asset pricing, numerical methods, equilibrium with complete markets, log-linearization and the solution of rational expectations models, the real business cycle model, New Keynesian models.

Advanced Macroeconomics 2

The module continues along the line of Advanced Macroeconometrics 1 and covers topic like linear quadratic dynamic programming, discretion vs commitment in monetary policy, Intro to time series econometrics and vars, more on vars (Cointegration, bvars, svars and identification), continuous time stochastic processes and frequency domain econometrics, techniques for estimating DSGE models without the use of filters, Estimating DSGE models via Kalman filters and introduction to nonlinear filtering, Numerical quadrature, and the estimation of DSGE models via nonlinear filters, Continuous time optimal control, Endogenous growth theory, Search and matching, old Keynesian, and new Monetarist models, and rational expectations and learning in macroeconomics.

Advanced Microeconomics 1

This module presents key microeconomic concepts focussing on game theory and information. It presents the four main models in game theory, which consist of static games with complete information, dynamic games with complete information, static games with incomplete information and dynamic games with incomplete information. The treatment is rigorous, at a suitable pace. Emphasis will be given to economic applications.

Advanced Microeconomics: 2 

This module continues the study initiated in Advanced Microeconomics and focuses on consumer theory, producer theory and general equilibrium. Efficiency and social stability of general equilibrium will be addressed. General equilibrium models of pure exchange economies, production economies and economies under uncertainty will be studied. An introduction to incomplete markets theory will also covered.

Year 2

In the second year, students are expected to take advanced topic courses. The courses offered may vary over years. The aim is to provide students with cutting-edge research in various fields. This helps them in identifying an area/topic of interest which will be starting point of their dissertation. At the same time, it provides them with a large spectrum of advanced topics, thus broadening their knowledge.

In addition, the second year of the program will deliver specific courses on research training, and on guidance towards writing their research proposal.

All specialisation units will be assessed by a final exam in June. The Research Proposal will be also assessed. Students who fail a unit or the exam, have the possibility of taking a resit exam in September. To proceed to year 3, students have to successfully pass the written final examination and have a satisfactory mark on their Research Proposal.

Semester one

  • PhD Specialisation Unit
  • PhD Specialisation Unit
  • Research Proposal 1
  • Introduction to Research 1

Semester two

  • PhD Specialisation Unit
  • PhD Specialisation Unit
  • Research Proposal 2
  • Introduction to Research 2

June

  • PhD Specialisation Exam to assess PhD Specialisation units in PhD Year 2
Year Two units overview

PhD Specialisation unit

These units will cover advanced topic in Econometrics, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics and will reflect the interests of the students as well as the expertise of the School of Economics’ staff. Examples of possible specialisation units are advanced empirical macroeconomics, topics in international economics, financial econometrics, asset pricing, contract theory, advanced statistical theory for econometrics, etc.

Research Proposal 1 and 2

The student will work under the supervision of one academic to develop a proposal for the research she/he plans to carry out in the next two years of the PhD programme.

Introduction to Research 1 and 2

The student is introduced to the practical aspects of research, including the formulation of research questions, learning to sift through the literature, preparing a research proposal, structuring a paper, etc. By the end of the first semester the student is expected to have prepared a research proposal for a short piece of research that she/he intends to carry out in the second semester. In the second semester the student will carry out this research under the direction of a supervisor (who may or may not the PhD advisor), which will lead to a short paper.

Example of topics include:

Applied time series

Identification Strategies -Computation methods -Selected topics from the literature (examples are Macroeconomics of the Labour market, Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Growth and Business Cycle).

Applied Labour

Classical Model of Labour Supply, Labour Supply decision and the family, Household production and intra-household research allocation, family economics and matching models, economics of crime, economics of education.

Topics in Human Resources

Programme Evaluation, Selection bias, Randomised trials, Difference in Difference, Regression Discontinuity

Topics in Development

Neoclassical growth model, Coordination failure, Poverty Traps, Microcredit

Topic in Energy Economics

Energy Demand, Cost Efficiency, Stochastic Frontier Models, energy regulations

Year 3 and Year 4

During the final two years, students are working on their dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor and a co-supervisor. At the end of year 3, students are supposed to present their progress in the appropriate field workshop. Students are also expected to regularly participate in seminars and workshop. At the end of year four, the student will submit a dissertation that is examined by viva voce and lends itself to the publication of papers in highly rated economics/econometrics journals.

Fees and Funding

All students offered a studentship for the programme receive full funding, which includes a tuition fee waiver (UK/EU and International) and a competitive stipend (£16,740 pa). We will also consider applicants who are able to self-fund or bring external funding.

Students who are funded by the Faculty/University are expected to do some teaching and/or some research assistance. Students will also get limited funds to present their work at conferences, such as the Royal Economics Society or the European Econometric society yearly conferences.

Studentships

Postgraduate Research Studentships for PhD study in Economics

Supervisor(s) To be confirmed
Funding Funded by University of Surrey
Application deadline 15 March 2015
Opportunities across all subjects

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Programme facts

Type of programme:

PhD

Programme length:

  • Full-time: 48 months

Start date:

October

Contact:

Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 689 380

economics-pg@surrey.ac.uk

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, normally with a first class honours (or equivalent).

We do not require a GRE score but it is recommended that applicants take the GRE exam. It will greatly strengthen an application.

A minimum of two letters of recommendation should be provided with your application.

To be considered for a scholarship, the deadline for applications is 15 March 2015. 

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally require IELTS 7.0 or above with a minimum of 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Researcher Development Programme

Our researcher development programme provides a range of workshops and support mechanisms for our postgraduate researchers.

More info

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Contact Us

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

pg-enquiries@surrey.ac.uk

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