Introduction

Oxford has a thriving group of research students studying towards the award of a DPhil in Economics. The DPhil is the name Oxford gives to its doctoral degree rather than the more familiar name PhD used in most other universities.

There are two main routes leading to a DPhil at Oxford. The first route is the two-year Oxford MPhil in Economics course followed by a further two or three years of research for the DPhil. The MPhil provides training in economics at graduate level, comparable to the first two years of the PhD programme at the best international universities.

If you have not completed the MPhil in Economics at the University of Oxford but hold a master’s degree or equivalent in economics and wish to undertake research for the DPhil then you may apply to be admitted as a Probationer Research Student (PRS). In this case you will usually be required to take a year of coursework, roughly equivalent to the second year of the MPhil course.

In joining the Department of Economics, you will join one or more of the department's research groups, becoming part of a vibrant educational research community with an active set of doctoral student-led events, seminars and conferences. You will also have opportunities to present your work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.

The award of this degree is based on a thesis of not more than 100,000 words in length. It should constitute a significant and substantial piece of research, of a kind which might reasonably be expected of a diligent and competent student in three years of full-time study. The maximum time allowed for completion of the degree is four years.

DPhil students work closely with a supervisor (or sometimes with joint supervisors) who will be a specialist in the subject under investigation. Prospective students (especially PRS applicants) should check with the list of Department members' research interests to determine if there is likely to be a suitable supervisor for the area in which they wish to work.

Full-time DPhil students are required to 'confirm' their DPhil status no later than nine terms after admission to Oxford as a graduate student. The candidate for confirmation has to present a detailed outline of the complete thesis and some complete draft chapters, and has to present a research paper at a workshop or seminar.

The interests and strengths of our doctoral students are many and diverse, and this is reflected in the positions they take up after graduation: some take up tenure track positions in academia; others find employment in government, international organizations, or the private sector. The international reputation of Oxford’s doctoral programme also means that our DPhil graduates can be found making a contribution in many different parts of the world.

The Department recognises the importance of helping our doctoral students find suitable employment. Our placement efforts are directed by a senior member of the faculty. We provide advice and help on all aspects of the job application process, including limited financial assistance to cover expenses.

 

Part-time DPhil
The Department of Economics offers students the opportunity of studying for a DPhil in Economics on a part-time basis. This includes applicants entering their doctorate directly from the Oxford MPhil, and those admitted to Probationer Research Student (PRS) status who have studied an appropriately rigorous Masters degree in Economics at another institution.

Students will be expected to work for approximately 20 hours per week on their DPhil and to be in Oxford for a minimum of thirty days per year following their transfer to DPhil status. For a probationer research student, coursework requirements will necessitate their attendance in Oxford for a minimum of two full days per week during full-term. Part-time students are expected to undertake transfer to full DPhil status after nine terms of registration, and within a maximum of twelve terms.

Admission Criteria

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in economics or another approved subject (such as mathematics), and demonstrate a strong quantitative preparation.

Applicants must also be predicted or to have achieved an outstanding performance in a rigorous Master's course in economics as a minimum, and offers will be made conditional on obtaining a distinction grade (or an equivalent level of performance where a distinction grade is not officially awarded). If you have not completed the MPhil in Economics at Oxford University but hold a different Masters degree or equivalent in economics and wish to undertake research for the DPhil then you may apply to be admitted as a Probationer Research Student (PRS).

Note that a Master's qualification that is only partially in economics would not be considered a suitable background. For example a Master's course in development studies, public administration, or in finance lacks the required level of economics content, even if there are economics courses as part of the training.

Note also that a Master's qualification in a specialised field within economics (e.g. development economics, applied economics, or financial economics) may also be insufficient background. Candidates with these qualifications should provide a written statement as part of their research proposal to demonstrate that the courses on which they have been examined covered all the core material of a rigorous Master's course in economics.  

Applicants with an insufficient Master's background in economics who wish to proceed to DPhil are encouraged to first apply to the MPhil in Economics

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

All applicants must submit the results of a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test taken within the last five years. Entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants will have a GRE score of Verbal 160, Quantitative 164, Analytical 4.5.

 

PRS requirements

A student who is admitted as a PRS is expected to transfer to DPhil status after three or four terms.  Transfer to DPhil status requires that you pass five papers from the MPhil degree programme to a satisfactory standard, write a substantial research paper and prepare an acceptable research plan.   The choice of MPhil papers must be approved by the Department.  Exemption or modification of these requirements may be granted depending on your academic background   As a PRS, you should expect to devote a substantial part of your time in the first year (i.e., before transfer to DPhil status) to coursework.   More information on the papers on the MPhil can be found below.

 

Fees and Funding

The Annual Fees for entry to the DPhil in Economics in 2017-2018 are below:
 

  FEE STATUS

  TUITION FEE  

  COLLEGE FEE  

  TOTAL ANNUAL FEES  

  Home/EU
  (including Islands)

  £4,195

  £3,021

  £7,216

  Overseas

  £15,755

  £3,021

  £18,776

 

The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see the University's guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

You can find further information about fees on the Oxford University Fees and Funding webpages.

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

Most of our students have their fees and maintenance paid for by scholarships (eg. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Commonwealth, Clarendon, Rhodes, Marshall, Chevening, Nuffield College funded studentships, etc.). A number of Colleges also provide scholarships for outstanding applicants.

In addition to the scholarships mentioned in the prospectuses, the following sources of funding beginning in October 2018 are also available.

Economic and Social Research Centre (ESRC) Studentships (Economics Pathway)

The University of Oxford is the lead research organisation in the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), one of 14 DTP’s in the Social Sciences commissioned by the ESRC.

The University is one of the major providers of social science research training in the UK, and has one of the largest and most diverse pools of academic social scientists producing internationally recognised research. It is home to a number of outstanding departments, which are committed to research to develop a greater understanding of all aspects of society.

Oxford's Department of Economics is one of Europe's leading research departments and its members include some of the world's most distinguished academic economists. In the most recent UK Research Assessment, Oxford Economics had more research output graded as world-leading in terms of its originality, rigour and significance than did any other economics department in the United Kingdom. The department has particular research strength in the areas of: behavioural economics, economic theory, econometrics, international economics and industrial organisation.

Additional studentships in Economics are also available for the DPhil if the research makes extensive use of Advanced Quantitative Methods.

All students who apply are eligible to be considered for ESRC funding.

  • The Graduate Admissions Committee makes awards to the most outstanding candidates subject to meeting the ESRC eligibility conditions.
  • The successful candidates will be contacted by the Department offering to nominate them for the award.
  • The application will be sent to the University's Doctoral Training Centre for approval.
  • Student will be contacted by the DTC confirming their award.

Please note: To be considered for an ESRC studentship award, you must apply by the 19 January 2018 admissions application deadline.

 

Oxford-Chellgren Studentship in Economics (joint with University College)

A fully funded Oxford-Chellgren Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Dept of Economics for the MPhil programme or the 3-year DPhil programme, for October 2018 entry.  The studentship is open to any nationality and does not require an explicit application to the college.  The studentship will be awarded as part of the Department of Economics' annual studentship competition (online application deadline January 19th 2018), and will cover all fees and living costs (under terms and conditions.

 

Oxford-Radcliffe Studentship in Economics (joint with University College)

A fully funded Oxford-Radcliffe Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Dept of Economics for the MPhil programme or the 3-year DPhil programme, for October 2018 entry.  The studentship is open to any nationality and does not require an explicit application to the college.  The studentship will be awarded as part of the Department of Economics' annual studentship competition (online application deadline January 19th 2018), and will cover all fees and living costs (under terms and conditions.

 

Nuffield Studentship in Economics (joint with Nuffield College)

A fully funded Nuffield Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Dept of Economics for the MPhil programme or the 3-year DPhil programme, for October 2018 entry.  The studentship is open to any nationality and does not require an explicit application to the college.  The studentship will be awarded as part of the Department of Economics' annual studentship competition (online application deadline January 19th 2018), and will cover all fees and living costs (under terms and conditions.

 

Fee Waivers

The Department of Economics is offering to waive University tuition fees for some incoming MPhil students or Probationer Research Students, at the Home/EU rate. All incoming students, whether Home/EU or Overseas, are eligible. A maximum of two such waivers will be granted to students in any single incoming cohort.

All eligible students who are made an offer from the Department will be automatically considered for departmental awards.

Studentship enquiries should be sent to econgrad.admissions@economics.ox.ac.uk.

 

Department-based Funding Opportunities

The Department of Economics has a Doctoral Studentship Scheme, which is open to all students who have achieved DPhil status and do not have full funding from other sources ( e.g. ESRC) (A PRS can normally expect to be eligible for such an award in his/her second year at Oxford, but not in their first.)  Two-year bursaries are available to students within fee liability and each award offers funding of £10,600 (2017/18 figures) per annum.  Final year bursaries are also available and each award offers funding of £5,000 (2017/18 rates) for one year.  Award holders are offered the opportunity to teach for the Department or a College for up to four (contact) hours per week during term as graduate teaching assistants.  If they choose to teach for four hours per week an additional payment of £8684 per annum (2017/18 rates) is made, bringing total support to £19,284 for two-year bursary holders.  Where a fees-only award permits their doing so, a student may hold such an award simultaneously with the Department's Doctoral Studentship. 

In addition to these bursaries, the Department also employs some research students as graduate teaching assistants. Payment varies with the teaching load; for example, a two-hour per week teaching commitment currently pays £4,342 per annum (2017/18 rates).

Lastly, it is worth pointing out that economics is a popular subject for undergraduate study at Oxford and Oxford is a collegiate University. Many colleges directly employ our DPhil students to help senior faculty with undergraduate economics teaching.

Scholarship enquiries should be sent to econgrad@economics.ox.ac.uk.

 

St Cross:  Godfrey Tyler Scholarship in Economics

See the following link for details:
https://www.stx.ox.ac.uk/prospective-students/funding-support/godfrey-john-tyler-scholarship-economics