Programmes

MPhil/PhD Environmental Economics

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Application code L7ZR
  • Starting 2018

This programme offers the chance to undertake a substantial piece of research that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to the field of environmental economics. Students are first registered on the MPhil, and will need to meet certain requirements to be upgraded to PhD student status.

The programme culminates with an examination/viva in which your work is scrutinised by two experts in the area of research in which you have specialised.

Over the last two decades, the tools of economic analysis have become indispensable in analysing environmental problems and providing the basis for developing sustainable policy solutions. With rising employment opportunities in this field, student demand has also grown for doctoral courses offering rigorous, state-of-the-art training in environmental, natural resource and climate change economics. The MPhil/PhD Programme in Environmental Economics responds to this increased demand and builds on growing research at LSE in environmental, resource and climate change economics, and other related subjects. In particular, the Department of Geography and Environment currently has the largest group of full-time academic environmental economists in any UK university, and one of the largest internationally. Importantly, the Department enjoys close links with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.

The MPhil/PhD Environmental Economics aims to:

  • provide advanced knowledge of the principles and conceptual foundations of environmental economics
  • equip you with the analytical tools and methodological understanding needed to develop original research in the field
  • expose you to the most recent developments and debates in environmental and natural resource economics
  • prepare you for careers in research and academia, international organisations, the private/consultancy sector, NGOs, or governmental institutions

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Environmental Economics
Start date 27 September 20178
Application deadline 26 April 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three-four years (minimum 2) full-time
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas £17,904 for the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadlines 8 January 2018 and 26 April 2018)
ESRC funding (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement Taught master’s degree, with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

In addition to progressing with your research, you are expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses. You may take courses in addition to those listed, and should discuss this with your supervisor.

Route One

If you have already completed MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change you will enter Year 1 and take the specified courses below:

(* denotes half unit)

First year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Compulsory (examined)
Microeconomics
Develops the basic tools for analysing problems of resource allocation used by economists working in research, government and business. 

Relevant advanced research methods course(s) to the value of one unit from a range of options

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Workshop in Information Literacy
Finding, managing and organising published research and data.

Second year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Third year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques. 

Route 2

If you have not completed MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change then you will enter Year 1 and take the specified courses below:

First year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Compulsory (examined)
Microeconomics
Develops the basic tools for analysing problems of resource allocation used by economists working in research, government and business.  

Environmental and Resource Economics
This course seeks to develop a rigorous treatment of the theory of environmental and natural resource economics, and to show how formal economic thinking can assist real world policymaking in areas such as climate change, ecosystem & biodiversity conservation and water resource management.

Advanced research methods course(s) to the value of one unit from a range of options

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Workshop in Information Literacy
Finding, managing and organising published research and data.

Second year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined) 
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques. 

Third year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Fourth year

Training courses
Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined) 
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

At the end of your second year (full-time), you will need to satisfy certain requirements and if you meet these, will be retroactively upgraded to PhD status.  

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendaror contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Supervision, progression and assessment

Supervision

You will either be allocated a principal supervisor and a review supervisor, or two joint supervisors. One or both will be specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. The Department encourages – whenever possible – joint-supervision arrangements. However, please confirm your supervisory arrangements during your first meeting with your supervisor(s).

Joint supervisors will have a joint leading role throughout your studies, and you will be able to meet them separately or jointly. Students with a main and a review supervisor should be aware that the main supervisor will have a leading supervisory role during the doctoral studies, whereas the review supervisor will be involved less frequently, being primarily responsible for progress monitoring and participating in review and upgrading decisions (see below). However, please keep your review supervisor abreast of your progress throughout the year and discuss with him/her any matters arising as soon as possible.

Progression and assessment

Once on the MPhil/PhD programme you will go through a First Year Progress Review taking place in the Summer Term of your first research year. This is Year 1 for students in the +3 programme and Year 2 for students in the 1+3 programme. For the First Year Progress Review, you must submit a written progress report containing an extensive and updated research proposal (typically including an introduction to the topic and motivation for the research; aims and objectives/research questions; contribution to knowledge; summary of methods to be used; and outline of the work to be done) and either a comprehensive literature review or a substantive draft of a chapter/paper as evidence of progress made during the year. Normally, there will be a progress review meeting between you and the supervisors to discuss the written material presented. The work has to reach an acceptable standard to enable you to progress. There is provision for a second Supplementary Review in cases where there are doubts as to whether progress has been sufficient to allow entry to the second year (third year of the 1+3 programme). Progression to the second year (third year of the 1+3 programme) is also dependent on you having passed all required examinations and obtained at least one merit, and having presented your work satisfactorily in the doctoral presentation workshops.

All research students are initially registered for an MPhil and have to be upgraded to PhD status. The upgrade from MPhil to PhD usually occurs during the second year of full-time registration. This is Year 2 for students in the +3 programme and Year 3 for students in the 1+3 route. The exact timing depends on your progress. You are required to submit a formal written upgrade report consisting of an extensive revised research proposal, two substantive draft papers/chapters, of which one can be a literature review, and a detailed plan for completion. You will be asked to discuss your research paper/thesis outline during an Upgrade Meeting in front of an Upgrading Committee normally formed by your main supervisor, your review supervisor and a third member of staff with relevant expertise. The material is evaluated by the Upgrading Committee, who will recommend transferral to PhD registration if your work is judged to be of sufficient quality and quantity. The upgrade is also dependent on you having completed all required training courses and having made a satisfactory research presentation in your doctoral presentation workshop.

In addition to these formal arrangements, each year during the Summer Term and throughout the course of your studies, you and your supervisors have to complete a yearly Progress Report Form, detailing progress made, problems arising and plan/timeline for completion. The forms are sent to the relevant Doctoral Programme Director for approval before you are able to re-register for the following session.  If perceived lack of progress is identified, it can trigger a more formal annual review of progress in which you will be asked to produce specific written documents to be evaluated by a review panel.

Careers

We prepare students for a variety of careers: in academia; international organisations such as the World Bank, OECD, UNEP or European Commission; private/consultancy sector (eg, renewable energy firms, water companies, environment consultancies, etc), NGOs or high-profile positions in governmental institutions.

Previous graduates of the programme have gone on to positions in the following institutions:

  • International institutions: World Bank in Washington DC, The European Commission
  • Consultancy: Vivid economics (London)
  • Academia and research: Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Virginia; Brighton University; Grantham Research Institute
  • NGOs: Flowminder Foundation, Stockholm

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying, on our people page

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications)
- personal statement
- references
- CV
- research proposal
- sample of written work

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do. See our English language requirements for further information.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 26 April 2018. However to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MPhil/PhD Environmental Economics

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a taught master’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

The programme is offered in the following alternative formats:

Either the stand-alone MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics (+3 route)

Or Combined with the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change progressing onto the MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics (1+3 route)

+ 3 Route: MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics (2-4 years)

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a taught master’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline.  

1+3 Route: MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change (1 year) + MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics (2-4 years) 

The 1+3 route – suitable if you do not hold a relevant postgraduate degree – is aimed at students graduating with an undergraduate degree preferably in economics, or otherwise with a background in economic analysis and strong analytical, quantitative and technical skills. (See Entrance requirements for the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change)

The 1+3 Combined PhD Programme is only available as part of an ESRC Funded pathway (EU Applicants only). The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. The ESRC 1+3 scholarship covers the master’s and the PhD programme and so takes up to 5 years in total.

Progression from the master’s onto the PhD programme is dependent upon performance in the master’s programme (Students must score 65% overall and at least 70 in their dissertation to comply with the department’s usual PhD entry criteria).

To apply for the 1+3 route, an application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway and associated funding within their personal statement. Students who apply for the PhD programme directly, will not be considered for the 1+3 pathway.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MPhil/PhD Environmental Economics

UK/EU students: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £17,904 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

Funding deadline for first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 8 January 2018.
The deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

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