MPhil + DPhil in Economics


For the first time, the Department of Economics is offering an integrated DPhil (PhD) in Economics. Students admitted to the joint MPhil + DPhil in Economics will first complete the two-year MPhil in Economics and then progress to the three- to four-year DPhil in Economics.

If you intend on studying for the DPhil in Economics at Oxford, and already have a substantial economics training and exceptional results in your prior studies, this is the right programme for you as it reduces the uncertainty for progressing from the MPhil (courses) to the DPhil and increases the opportunities for funding. 

A DPhil at Oxford is the equivalent to a PhD at most other institutions. The structure of the MPhil + DPhil programme is similar to that of the integrated five-year PhD (sometimes called MRes-PhD) at leading economics graduate schools worldwide.

The majority of DPhil Economics students will study the combined MPhil + DPhil programme, entering at one of two points in time.

  1. Applying directly to the MPhil + DPhil: The department intends to admit around half of the DPhil in Economics cohort via the MPhil + DPhil programme.
  2. Applying to the MPhil + DPhil midway through the MPhil: You may begin with the standalone MPhil and then apply to transfer to the MPhil + DPhil during the second year of the MPhil. The department intends to admit around half of the DPhil cohort in this second way.

Students who have experience in graduate work in economics or related fields, or for example have completed the MSc in Economics for Development may wish to apply directly to the DPhil in Economics.  

MPhil + DPhil students 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 have opportunities to present your work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.

To enable the new joint programme to offer more rigour and exposure to the research frontier for future DPhil students, the department has made the MPhil programme more flexible. Students who enter the MPhil-DPhil programme will be expected to take more of the Advanced MPhil courses.


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First year

The first year of the programme starts with a non-examined preparatory course in mathematical methods. The first two terms of the academic year focus on three compulsory courses in the central areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The three courses are offered on two levels. Though most MPhil students will take the courses on the "core" level, MPhil + DPhil students will be expected to take one or more of the three courses at the "advanced" level in the first year and to take additional advanced courses in the second year. In the third term of the first year, you will choose from two entirely new courses in Empirical Research Methods and Advanced Maths. These courses will provide the specialised skills needed for academic or non-academic careers in our data-rich world and the technical tools for research in economics.

Second year

In the second year, you will take four option courses. The option courses build on the first-year training and provide deeper and broader training in your areas of interest. You can take advanced-level courses in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and empirical research methods covering recent developments in theory and analytical techniques. Other option courses are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of theory, empirical techniques and debates within specialist fields of economics. These include behavioural economics, development economics, economic history, financial economics, international trade, labour economics and public economics.

The second important component of the second year is the required thesis, supervised by a member of the department.


Please see further information on the MPhil in Economics Course Stucture page.

In order to progress to the DPhil element of this course, you will be required to satisfactorily pass the MPhil element first.

You will then start the DPhil as Probationer Research Student (PRS). You will take additional courses from the MPhil menu to deepen and broaden your economic training, while starting to work on your first research project. The PRS status allows for a smooth transition from learning about economic research to producing new economic insights yourself.


For full details on the Admissions Criteria for the MPhil+DPhil in Economics, please visit the Oxford University webpage here

A student wishing to be admitted for the MPhil+DPhil in Economics must be accepted first by the department and then by a college.

The University requires candidates to apply online and for their referees to submit online references. To access the online application system please visit the Oxford University webpage here and select the ‘How to Apply’ tab.



You can find more information about the annual fees for the MPhil+DPhil in Economics on the Oxford University webpage here by selecting the ‘Funding and Costs tab’.


Further information on Scholarships available for both the MPhil and DPhil element of the course are available on the relevant pages under 'Fees and Funding'.