Our PhD programme provides rigorous training for careers in professional and academic economics.
Our four-year PhD programme provides a stimulating, supportive, and structured environment in which highly-qualified graduates can develop economic research skills that will enable them to make an original contribution to economic knowledge. We aim to produce economists who are sought-after by leading economics departments and research institutions around the world. Recent PhD students have been highly successful in securing internships and employment in academia and the private sector.
Our Economics faculty includes leading researchers in several fields, including macroeconomics, labour and development economics, microeconomic theory and agri-environmental economics. All students will receive expert supervision by a research-active member of staff. PhD students also have the opportunity to contribute to the teaching and research activity of the School and are encouraged to participate in seminars and present their own work.
The first year of the Economics PhD programme is dedicated to PhD-specific training courses across microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The content, structure and level of these courses provide the skills needed for independent economic research. By the summer term, students will have developed a set of detailed research questions and written a comprehensive literature review. A poster session is held within the School in which students present their research ideas.
The final three years of the PhD are devoted to independent research, under the guidance of a supervisory panel. Throughout the academic year, there are regular reading groups, workshops and seminars in which students are encouraged to attend and participate. In the summer term, PhD workshops are held in which all students must present their work. At the end of four years, the student will submit a thesis that is examined by viva voce. Research generated during the PhD can result in the publication of papers in top economics journals.
About the School of Economics
The School of Economics is dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research, as demonstrated by our results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and recent national student surveys. Our academic staff are active in research, and teaching and learning are informed by the School’s thriving research culture and strong cosmopolitan academic community.
We currently have 35 academic staff, with about 30-40 MSc and 40-50 PhD students, which has the benefit of a good community for interaction between students and that each student receives a good deal of individual attention in classes and workshops. It also means that we are able to offer excellent facilities for research.
Our postgraduate student community is global with many of the students originating from outside the UK and Europe. There are also a number of different nationalities represented within the academic staff. You will be able to integrate into this multicultural environment and build yourself an international professional network for the future.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Economics was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity and 84% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.
In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2018, the School also scored highly with an 86% student satisfaction rate, placing us in the top quarter in the UK.
A PhD in the area of economics is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our PhD programme provides rigorous training for careers in professional and academic economics. Our graduates have gone on to work as economists in international organisations, the financial sector, business, UK and overseas governments, and to academic careers at Kent and UK and overseas universities.
We will provide you with an environment in which you can both develop as an economist and complete a high quality thesis, plus the appropriate resources to achieve this.
All our PhD students are given dedicated office and computer facilities and have full access to the University’s excellent resources. Our location, on the University’s Canterbury campus, gives easy access to both London and continental Europe.
You will receive committed supervision, with regular appointments with your supervisor(s) to discuss your work, receive timely and constructive feedback on all the work that you do, and advice on how to present your work externally.
Over the last few years, the School has scored highly in the Postgraduate Research Student Survey, underlining our commitment to creating an excellent environment for our research students.
As a postgraduate student at Kent, you have access to the support of the Graduate School, which is a focus for all graduate matters at Kent and which provides specialist academic and personal advice and guidance. The Graduate School runs a series of skills training workshops for research students. All first year PhD students are required to complete a skills audit which encourages you to consider your existing portfolio of skills, as well as the skills that you hope to acquire while doing your doctoral research. In addition research students who are required to teach can take part in an initial teacher training session and enrol for the Associate Teacher Accreditation Programme (ATAP).
Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
A typical student will have studied for an MSc in Economics (or a closely-related discipline) in the UK with an average grade of 65% or above. We welcome applications from students who do not fit this norm, however, it is essential that students have a strong background in quantitative work.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
The School of Economics has a strong research culture and an international reputation in several fields, particularly applied microeconomics (labour and agri-environmental), quantitative macroeconomic theory, macro and microeconometrics and economic development.
The School is home to two research centres and one research group:
Centre for Agri-Environmental Studies (CEAS)
CEAS has a long history of participating in agri-environmental research and policy debate. Founded in 1974 to conduct research into the implications of the UK's entry to the European Economic Community, CEAS has developed into a centre of research excellence, focusing on food and agri-environmental policy in the UK and Europe.
Macroeconomics, Growth and History Centre (MaGHiC)
MaGHiC brings together a large number of researchers at the School whose main interests lie in the wide area of macroeconomics. MaGHiC is the focal point for macroeconomic research, impact and training at the University of Kent. The centre's main focus is on the analysis of macroeconomic issues, including productivity and growth, labour markets, income distribution, business cycles and macroeconomic phenomena from a historical perspective. The group also has technical strength in computational economics, macroeconometric modelling and forecasting, and expertise in building long-run macroeconomic time series and reconstructing historical national accounts.
Microeconomics Research Group
In addition to the two research centres, the School has an active microeconomics research group, whose members' research spans applied and theoretical microeconomics, and microeconometrics. The group's research covers a wide range of areas with the main focus being on development economics, labour and education economics, microeconometrics, games and behavioural economics, the economics of food, economic geography, industrial organisation and the economics of tax.
Staff research interests
Many of our academic staff serve as academic advisers and experts to UK and international agencies, including the World Bank, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), HM Treasury and the Bank of England.
Staff publish regularly and widely in top academic journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Econometrica; American Economic Review; Journal of Political Economy.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for Home/EU PG Research programmes have not yet been set by the Research Councils UK. This is ordinarily announced in March.
General additional costs
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
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