MRes/PhD programme requirements - 2015 onwards

Information regarding the MRes/PhD Economics for Students Entering MRes Registration in or after 2015

A PhD in Economics from the LSE consists of two years of coursework, followed by a thesis which is expected to take either three or four years. The coursework requirement involves accumulating six credits; three for PhD-level core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, two for field courses and the sixth by writing a supervised research paper. Upon passing the regulations pertaining to upgrading to PhD registration, you are also required to take a further field course.

In the first year of the programme you will take advanced core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and analytical techniques necessary for research.

In the second year, you will typically take two field courses and write a research paper in your major field. Currently, there are field courses covering: microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, financial markets, and international, labour, public, industrial, political, and development economics. From the second year onwards, you will also participate in a Departmental research seminar and a work in progress seminar allied to your research field.

All students are required to attend the September Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics in year one.

Registration details

Students are registered as MRes students in both years of the taught programme.

Progression requirements

Upon passing the regulations pertaining to upgrading to PhD registration, you are required to work on your research and write a PhD thesis. In addition you are required to take one further field course.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How does this programme differ from the standard U.S. and European programmes?

A. The two year coursework requirement is a standard feature of US programmes, and it is usual for leading US departments to require students to complete the full two years, even if they already hold a Masters degree. Many European departments have a more limited coursework requirement.

The LSE system aligns with that of most US programmes, with students taking core courses in year one and field courses in year two.

Q. Is there an opportunity for students taking an LSE Economics Department MSc programme to progress to the MRes/PhD?

A. A place on our MSc Economics or our MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics will include a conditional offer of progression to the MRes/PhD, subject to the attainment of a Distinction grade in the MSc. Hence our MSc students are in essence granted conditional offers onto the MRes/PhD for the following academic year and can, during their MSc year, decide whether to accept or decline this conditional option. Those who meet the progression requirement and decide to progress are then registered as MRes students and undertake the same two-year MRes course requirement as all other MRes/PhD students.

Q. I am undecided about staying on to complete a PhD but would definitely like to take the MRes taught courses. Could I come for just the 2 year MRes taught course element?

A. The MRes is an integral stage of the PhD programme, and may only be taken by students who are committed to completing a PhD, subject to satisfying progression requirements.