Economics - Research

UCD School of Economics runs a thriving PhD programme that offers rigorous training and expert supervision. The programme is designed to prepare students for top-level jobs in academia, institutions and the private sector. From day one, our PhD students are part of a vibrant research community at UCD and in the Greater Dublin Area. Currently, over 50 students from 16 countries are enrolled in the programme.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of two phases: the MLitt phase (Year 1) and the PhD phase (Years 2-4).

MLitt phase (Year 1)

The MLitt phase is dedicated to coursework, which equips students to carry out independent research. Students take six core modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics and sit qualifying exams in two of these subjects in June. After passing the modules with an average grade of B and passing the qualifying exams, students transfer to the PhD register.

PhD phase (Years 2-4)

During the PhD phase, students carry out independent research. Each student is assigned a supervisor based on mutual interest as well as a Research Studies Panel, consisting of two additional faculty members.

In March of year 3, students have to pass a transfer seminar in order to progress to the final stage of the PhD.

Details on the MLitt/PhD programme can be found in the programme guidelines


UCD faculty are at the forefront of research in all areas of economics and publish in leading journals. The School has particular strengths in labour economics, behavioural economics, international trade and economic history.

In the first year, each student is matched with a preliminary supervisor based on mutual research interests. The final assignment of supervisors is done at the beginning of year 2. In addition to the supervisor, every student has a Research Studies Panel of three faculty members who provide feedback to the student once per term.

Students have to present their work regularly in a weekly PhD seminar, where they receive constructive feedback from peers and faculty. UCD also encourages students to present at international conferences.

The School of Economics runs a weekly seminar series and students are encouraged to discuss their work with the seminar speakers. In addition, the Geary Institute for Public Policy and UCD Behavioural Science Centre runs regular seminar series and workshops.

Entry requirements

To be admitted to the PhD Programme in Economics, students must have completed a Masters in Economics comparable to the MSc programmes offered by our School.

Admission to the MLitt/PhD Programme will depend on the candidate's qualifications in terms of grades, English language skills and reference letters, as well as the availability of faculty to provide thesis supervision.

For details of the English language requirements of this programme, see


W133: PhD 3 years full-time / 6 years part-time.
W115: MLitt 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start date: To be agreed with School

Post Course Info


UCD offers active support for students entering the academic job market. In recent years, our graduates were succesful in securing academic positions at Queen's University Belfast, the LSE Grantham Institute, IZA, ILO, LISER, Aalto University, and the ESRI, among others. Several graduates obtained placements at central banks, regulators, international institutions and at consultancies.


Development Economics, Productivity, Business Environment, Ease of Doing Business, Economic Growth, Corruption

Thesis Title
Essays in Development Economics

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider