PhD Economics

The PhD Programme in Economics is aimed at students of high calibre who wish to pursue a research career as economists in academia,  government, research organisations, or in business. PhD students in the department enjoy both close supervision by a group of well-established faculty members that specialise in their research topic, and wide access to numerous advanced research training courses offered by the ESRC-funded North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP). Students also participate in a large number of departmental activities (seminar series, departmental workshops and conferences).

Funding and Scholarships

A range of funding opportunities is available to finance the PhD study or Masters plus PhD (Integrated PhD) study of outstanding students. These take the form of scholarships, studentships and bursaries and include:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) awards
  • Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) awards
  • Departmental awards

Applicants who apply for PhD scholarships should hold a Masters degree in Economics or related discipline of high standard.

Applicants who apply for scholarships that cover both the Masters degree and the PhD should hold an undergraduate degree in Economics or related discipline of high standard.

Applicants from all nationalities are eligible for all of these studentships. Studentships are currently £17,553 for ESRC-funded students and £14,553 for LUMS-funded students. Full fee waivers will be granted.

There are two types of studentships: open studentships and studentships that are linked to specific projects (CASE).

Research Funding Deadlines

For ESRC open studentships, students should submit their application to the Department by the 25th of January 2018.  

For LUMS studentships, students should submit their application to the Department by the 26th of March 2018.

For studentships linked to specific projects (CASE), more information will appear in December 2017.

Overview of PhD Programme Structure

The first part of the programme includes a range of advanced modules, which are delivered by the Department or by our ESRC NWDTC partners at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool, and have a significant element of both advanced theory and applied economics. These modules lay the foundations for conducting high-quality research and preparing the doctoral thesis. The last two years of the PhD programme are dedicated to full-time research for the completion of the doctoral thesis. Upon completion of the programme, students should have a thorough understanding of economic theory and its applications, as well as an ability to think critically about, and apply quantitative methods to, economic problems. A detailed description of the PhD programme can be found in the PhD Economics handbook.


Although the department accepts applications in all fields of economics, there are specific areas where we particularly welcome applications. This enables us to offer the kind of high-quality supervision which is vital for PhD study. The specific research areas are:

  • Labour, Education and Health Economics: the economics of education, labour economics, health economics, sports  economics and personnel economics
  • Macroeconomics and Financial Markets: analysis of gambling markets, bubbles in asset prices, forecasting daily stock volatility, quantifying risk in Islamic financial instruments, interaction between fiscal and monetary policy in DSGE models, macro-prudential regulation and monetary policy, analysis of high-order risk attitudes and portfolio choice
  • Industrial Organisation and Economic Theory: applied and theoretical industrial organisation, game theory, spatial economics. political and public economics
  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics: game theory, political and public economics, behavioural finance, decision making under risk and uncertainty
  • Political Economy and International Trade: FDI in India’s retail sector, the impact of diaspora and FDI on economic development in India, comparative analysis of FDI into African countries, empirical analysis on the causes and consequences of conflict, evaluation of transport infrastructure for economic development, analysis of electoral systems and voting behaviour, analysis of antidumping policies in developing countries, empirical analysis of political economy of trade policies

You can find more information by looking at our Search for a Supervisor page.

How to Apply

Applications should be made online via the University's online application system.