Departmental website: 

Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Taught: 175
Research:  115 

Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 73 
89 per cent of the Department's research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent

Location:  32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

About the Department

The Department is one of the largest in the world, and offers an unusually rich choice of courses. It is also one of the leading research departments. This is reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) which recognised the Department's outstanding contribution to the field. According to the REF 2014 results, 56 per cent of the Department's research output was graded 4 star (the highest category), indicating that it is "world-leading". A further 33 per cent was designated "internationally excellent" (3 star).

Ten past and present members of staff and students have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics including the 2010 prize winner Christopher Pissarides. Important figures in the discipline such as Atkinson, Besley, Layard, King, Sutton and Stern are, or have been, members of the Department. Both the former Bank of England Governor, Professor the Lord Mervyn King, and former Deputy Governor, Sir Charlie Bean, were professors in the Economics Department before they took up their appointments at the Bank and have now returned to the Department.

In rankings of departments, based on publications in leading journals and peer review, the Department is consistently placed in the top 20 worldwide, far ahead of any other department in Europe. A recent ranking by Tilburg University of publications in top economics journals 2008–2012 places the Department 11th worldwide. Members of the Department are current or former editors of some of the leading journals, including the American Economic Review, Review of Economics Studies, the Economic Journal and Economica.

There is a cosmopolitan feel to the Department as well over half the members of staff were born or educated outside the UK and nearly three quarters of graduate students come from overseas.

Former students are employed as economists in universities and in a wide range of national and international organisations, in government, business and finance.

Opportunities for research

Our Department pioneered the development of systematic research training in economics in Britain and our PhD programme aims for the highest international standard of achievement and professional competence. The intellectual climate created by a substantial number of able and enthusiastic students, along with the input of an encouraging and skilled staff are the most important assets of the programme. 

Many research students are associated with the work of one of LSE's research centres. The largest are: the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, with major groups working on development economics, economics of industry, econometrics, economic theory, public finance and public policy; the Centre for Economic Performance, looking at technology and growth, globalisation, labour markets and financial stability; the Centre for Macroeconomics, with major research programmes to address the key issues of unemployment, fiscal austerity, financial markets, shifts in the world economy and the development of new methodologies; and the Financial Markets Group, specialising in risk management, asset pricing, financial institutions and corporate finance.

During the past two decades, LSE has developed a remarkable record of placing its PhD students in academic positions in the United States, as well as in the best research universities in Europe. A 2005 study by the Université Catholique de Louvain ranked LSE 10th worldwide for placing students in prestigious economics departments. For details of recent placements, see PhD job market candidates.

The Department has educated some of the leaders in their respected fields, such as Orazio Attanasio, Daron Acemoglu and Thomas Piketty.

Structure of the programme

The MRes/PhD programme is offered in one format. Students of the programme will have to complete MRes degree courses and a PhD qualifying course prior to submission of the PhD thesis.

An overview of the programme is given below. Detailed information about the programme, coursework requirements and financial support is available at MRes and PhD programme in economics.


Entry to the MRes/PhD Economics programme is normally aimed at students with exceptional grades in a postgraduate degree in economics.

Highly successful graduates of our MSc programmes are able to enter the MRes/PhD Economics programme, subject to the attainment of a distinction grade.

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

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.

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.


Admission to these programmes is highly selective. All applicants must have taken the GRE General Test no more than five years before 1 October 2016, and must include the test score with their application. Most successful MRes/PhD applicants have scores of 166/800 or more in the quantitative section. Please visit Admissions FAQs (MRes/PhD) for more information.

Taught programmes

The Department also contributes to:


MRes/PhD Economics
Visiting Research Students

Application code: L1U4 (MRes/PhD), L1EC (VRS) (check availability)

Start date: Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics begins in August 2016

Duration: MRes: 2 years; PhD: maximum of 4 years; VRS: up to 9 months (renewable)

Entry requirement: Exceptional grades in a postgraduate degree in economics

English requirement: Standard

GRE/GMAT requirement: All applicants must submit a GRE score. This must be no more than five years old on 1 October 2016 and must show full and percentile scores for all three sections

Fee level: See Tuition fees

Financial support: LSE scholarships and studentships (see Financial support). LSE is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centre. The MRes/PhD Economics is part of the 'Economics' group of accredited programmes for ESRC funding (see ESRC). Departmental scholarship funds may be available to UK/EU and overseas applicants unable to obtain external financial support. There are also numerous opportunities to earn support via teaching and research assistantships

Application deadline: 14 December 2015. Selection for funding is also based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents – by this deadline