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MRes/PhD programme requirements - before 2015

PhD Routes and Coursework Requirements for all students registered up to and including the academic year 2014-2015

A PhD in Economics from the LSE consists of two years of coursework, followed by a thesis which is expected to take either two or (more usually) three 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. The table below illustrates the alternative routes by which coursework credits 1-6 can be accumulated, and the Masters qualifications awarded en route.

Registration details

Irrespective of the route followed, students are registered at each stage for the next degree they are working towards. Thus, students aiming at an MSc Economics degree at the end of year one will be registered as MSc Economics students and, subject to progression, will transfer to MRes registration in their second year. Students on direct entry to the MRes/PhD will be registered as MRes students in both years of the taught programme.

Progression requirements

Both routes demand a high and similar level of attainment for progression at the end of years 1 & 2.

MRes/PhD Direct Entry (Track 1)

The route currently followed by two thirds of our PhD students, involves direct entry to the MRes/PhD. Students following this route take the three PhD-level core subjects in year one and, subject to meeting progression requirements, take their major field course and the research paper in year two. An MRes in Economics is awarded at the end of year two. The sixth coursework requirement (the minor field) is taken in year 3 but may, with permission, be brought forward to year 2.

MRes/PhD Direct Entry (Track 1)

Year 1 

Year 2 

 Year 3 - 5

MRes/PhD Track 1 direct entry (Programme Regulations)

Microeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Macroeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Econometrics (MRes/PhD)

Progress to Year 2


Field A (MRes/PhD)

Research paper (MRes/PhD)

Award MRes,
upgrade to PhD

Field B (PhD)*

Research & thesis writing


 * The PhD field may, with permission, be taken in Year 2.

MSc + MRes/PhD (Track 2)

The route followed by one third of our PhD students involves taking the MSc Economics or the MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics in the first year.

The MSc Economics comprises three core courses and one field course. Students following this route accrue a credit for their field course. Students on the MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics accrue a credit for their compulsory econometrics paper.

Subject to meeting progression requirements (see below), students following this route then join the MRes/PhD programme. Four credits are accumulated in this second year. MSc Economics students carrying one credit (the MSc field course) must take all three PhD-level core courses and the supervised research paper. MSc Econometrics students carrying a credit for their econometrics paper will take the remaining two PhD-level core courses, a PhD-level field course, and the supervised research paper.

Students who pass all of the second year courses are awarded an MRes in Economics and those who meet the progression standard are upgraded to PhD registration from year three. Once upgraded, students focus on research and thesis writing. Students with five accumulated credits at this point are also required to complete the sixth credit requirement by taking a PhD-level field course.

MSc Economics + MRes/PhD Track 2

MSc Economics + MRes/PhD Track 2

Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3 - 5 

MSc Economics + MRes/PhD (Programme Regulations)

Microeconomics (MSc)

Macroeconomics (MSc)

Econometrics (MSc)

Field A course (MSc Economics)

Award MSc,              
progress to MRes

Microeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Macroeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Econometrics (MRes/PhD)

Research paper (MRes/PhD)

Award MRes,
upgrade to PhD

Field B (PhD)*

Research & thesis writing

* Field B (PhD) must be a different subject to Field A (MSc).

MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics + MRes/PhD Track 2

Content goes here

MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics + MRes/PhD Track 2

Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3 - 5 

MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics + MRes/PhD (Programme Regulations)

Econometric Analysis

Advanced Microeconomics

One paper from
the following:

Award MSc,
progress to MRes

Microeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Macroeconomics (MRes/PhD)

Research paper (MRes/PhD)

Field A (MRes/PhD)

Award MRes,
upgrade to PhD

Field B (PhD)*

Research & thesis writing

* Field B will be brought forward to year 2 if either of papers 2 or 3 are taken in year 1. This must be a different subject to Field A (MSc).