DPHIL IN ECONOMICS

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 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 department is starting a joint MPhil-DPhil programme, admitting the first students for a start in October 2021. In future, the majority of DPhil students will study the combined MPhil-DPhil programme.

COURSE STRUCTURE

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 students admitted to Probationer Research Student status are first required to transfer to DPhil status. The Transfer of Status requires the completion of the Qualifying Examinations, necessary coursework, and an interview with two assessors appointed by the department, at which the candidate presents an outline of their proposed thesis and a piece of written work relevant to the thesis. The transfer is normally expected to be completed by the end of the fourth term, and no later than six terms from admission to Probationer Research Student status.

Upon a successful transfer to DPhil status, students are required to confirm their DPhil status no later than nine terms after admission to Probationer Research Student status. Candidates for Confirmation of Status are required to present a research paper at a workshop or seminar, present a detailed outline of the complete thesis and some complete draft chapters, and will be interviewed by an assessor.

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.

Further information about part-time study

The department is able to offer the DPhil in Economics as a part-time mode. The MPhil in Economics and the MPhil-DPhil are, however, only offered as full-time mode. Although there is no requirement to reside in Oxford, part-time research students must attend the University on a regular basis (particularly in term-time: October and November, mid- January to mid-March, and late April to mid-June) for supervision, study, research seminars and skills training.

The department understands that part-time research students will have non-standard attendance and work patterns. To ensure a comprehensive integration into the faculty's and University's research culture and with their full-time peer groups a pattern of attendance at MPhil courses, training events and research seminars would form part of the general part- time study agreement.

Part-time students admitted to Probationer Research Student status are normally expected to transfer to DPhil status during the first two to three years of study. Upon a successful transfer to DPhil status, students are required to confirm their DPhil status no later than eighteen terms after admission as a Probationer Research Student.

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

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

A student wishing to be admitted for the 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.

More information on the papers on the MPhil can be found here.

FEES AND FUNDING

You can find more information about the annual fees (both full-time and part-time) for the DPhil Economics on the Oxford University webpage here by selecting the ‘Funding and Costs tab’.

 

Many of our students have their fees and maintenance paid for by scholarships (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Clarendon, a variety of studentships co-funded by the Department of Economics and one of the Colleges, etc.) A number of Colleges also provide smaller scholarships for outstanding applicants – these are typically a contribution of several thousand pounds towards fees and maintenance.

In addition to the scholarships mentioned in the prospectuses, the following sources of funding beginning in October 2021 are also available

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

 

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

 

The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on social and economic issues. The University, in collaboration with Brunel University and the Open University, hosts the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership - one of fourteen Doctoral Training Partnerships accredited by the ESRC as part of a Doctoral Training Network.

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.

 

In order to be considered for a Grand Union DTP ESRC studentship, you must select ‘ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences’ in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University's graduate application form. You must also complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form and upload it, together with your graduate application form, by the relevant January deadline for your course.

 

• The Department’s Graduate Funding Panel selects the most outstanding candidates subject to their meeting the ESRC eligibility conditions.
• Selected candidates are contacted by the Department to confirm that they wish to be nominated for an ESRC studentship.
• The nominations, including supporting statements from the Department, are forwarded to the GU DTP Awards Panel for review and assessment in mid-March. (This is an open competition across the three universities in the partnership, and also not just for Economics.)
• Successful nominees are contacted by the GU DTP informing them that they are being offered an ESRC studentship, usually by late March.

 

Information about ESRC studentships at Oxford can be found on the Grand Union DTP website. Please ensure you have read all of the guidance available on the website before completing the Grand Union DTP Application Form. Questions can be directed to the Grand Union DTP Office.

The Clarendon Fund offers fully-funded scholarships covering course fees, as well as a grant for living expenses for the period of fee liability. There are no restrictions on nationality, ordinary residence or field of study. All full-time and part-time DPhil and Master’s courses are eligible. You will be automatically considered for a Clarendon award if you apply by the relevant January deadline for your course. You do not need to submit a separate application.

• The Department’s Graduate Funding Panel selects the most outstanding candidates.
• The nominations, including supporting statements from the Department, are forwarded to the Clarendon Scholarships Panel for review and assessment in mid-March. (This is an open competition across the University, and not just for Economics.)
• Successful nominees are contacted by the Fund informing them that they are being offered a Clarendon scholarship, usually by late March.

Clarendon scholars are selected for their outstanding academic merit and potential, and the scholarships are highly competitive. More information can be found on the Clarendon Fund website.

A fully funded Nuffield-Economics Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Department of Economics for the MPhil programme, the 3-year DPhil programme ot the MPhil-DPhil programme, for October 2021 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 22th 2021), and will cover all fees and living costs (under terms and conditions).

A fully funded Oxford-Chellgren Studentship is available to an outstanding candidate who applies to the Department of Economics for the MPhil programme, the 3-year DPhil programme or the MPhil-DPhil programme, for October 2021 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 22th 2021), and will cover all fees and living costs (under terms and conditions).

wo Atkinson Scholarship positions, funded by the Global Priorities Institute (University of Oxford), are available to outstanding candidates who apply to the Department of Economics for the DPhil programme. The Atkinson Scholarship provides a stipend for living costs of at least £19,000 p.a., as well as applicable continuation fees, for two years, to commence after the Scholar's other funding ceases; such that the Scholar is able to have their DPhil fully funded for 5 years. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be commencing the full-time DPhil in Economics programme in the 2021/212academic year. There is no separate application process for this scholarship. In order to be automatically considered, applicants must submit their application for the DPhil programme by the relevant January deadline.

 

See the Global Priorities Institute website for more information: https://globalprioritiesinstitute.org/atkinson-scholarship/

The Future of Humanity Institute will be awarding up to two DPhil scholarships for the 2021/22 academic year. The scholarships will be open to those beginning a DPhil at the University of Oxford whose research aims to answer crucial questions for improving the long-term prospects of humanity. Candidates will be considered from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to computer science, economics, international relations, mathematics, philosophy, and public policy. Successful applicants will be awarded full funding for their DPhil, office space in FHI, and the chance to participate in the Research Scholars Programme as well as other FHI activities.

Applicants need to apply to an Oxford department by the relevant January deadline to be considered for the scholarship. In early February, FHI will open applications to the scholarship programme. Candidates will be asked to submit a cover letter, CV and the research proposal submitted for their DPhil application. Decisions will be made by early April.

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). 

Two-year bursaries are available to students within fee liability and each award offers funding of £10,800 (2018/19 figures) per annum. Final year bursaries are also available and each award offers funding of £5,100 (2018/19 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 £8,832 per annum (2018/19 rates) is made, bringing total support to £19,632 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 £4,416 per annum (2018/19 rates).

Mr Coombs has created the Coombs DPhil Scholarship in Politics and Economics through Pembroke college which will offer 3 years of support to a DPhil studying Politics or Economics. All successful applicants on the DPhil Economics course will be considered.