Faculty of Economics

MPhil in Economics


The MPhil in Economics is a one-year masterís degree that runs from mid-September to late July. This degree is specifically aimed at candidates who are interested in undertaking a masterís degree that will give them the technical training required to undertake a career as a professional economist working for, say, the UK Government Economic Service or an economics consultancy.

Each student will take eight modules plus a dissertation. Each module consists of twenty hours of lectures, together with supporting classes.


  • to attend the preparatory course in mathematics and statistics
  • one compulsory module in each of the three core areas [3]
  • Three more modules which can be taken from any of the core areas [3]
  • two additional modules, either from the core areas or from the list of additional options [2]
  • a dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

Preparatory Course in Mathematics and Statistics

A good understanding of mathematics is needed to cope with much of the theory in modern economics and a sound knowledge of statistics is essential for applied work. The aim of the compulsory three-week preparatory course, which runs from mid-September to early October, is to review and develop the required technical methods for the compulsory core modules in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. The topics covered are: linear algebra; statistics; static optimisation; dynamic optimisation; differential and difference equations. Students are expected to pass a two hour examination at the end of the course.


Examination of the Modules will be in May.  Each module accounts for 10% of the overall mark and the dissertation accounts for 20% of the overall mark.


During the second term, each student is allocated a supervisor for the dissertation (maximum length 10,000 words). The topic of the dissertation is associated with either a core subject or a specialist subject and must be formally approved by the Faculty. During the second and third terms the student will meet the supervisor to discuss an outline of the topic, a bibliography, the use of appropriate data and methods of analysis, and a draft of the dissertation. After the written examinations in the third term, students can concentrate entirely on their dissertations, with supervisors permitted to give comments until the end of June (maximum of two hours supervision). A further three weeks after the end of June are available for students to write up and submit their dissertation.

Continuation to PhD

Although the MPhil in Economics is designed for students who wish to obtain a one-year masterís qualification before leaving academic economics, it will be possible for students to continue from the MPhil in Economics onto the PhD programme. To do this, students will be expected to perform at a standard similar to that required for continuation from the MPhil in Economic Research; this means that as well as achieving continuation marks, students would need to have taken the advanced modules that are compulsory for MPhil in Economic Research students.