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PhD - Entry Requirements

Academic Performance

Applicants for direct entry to the PhD programme must hold (or be expecting) a Distinction-level Master’s degree in Economics – of equivalent level to the Faculty’s MPhil in Economic Research.

Specifically, candidates must have advanced technical training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. In addition, through optional papers, they should have some knowledge of the work at the frontier of their research areas of interest. Successful applicants should display some independent research skills and should have experience putting them into practice.

We strongly encourage applicants to include information about their ranking within their academic years, at both undergraduate and master’s degrees.

Candidates without such a background should apply for the MPhil in Economic Research, from which it is possible to proceed to the PhD programme, conditional on performance and Supervisor availability.  If you do not meet the criteria listed above, it is unlikely you will be offered a place.

Research and Supervisor

All applicants MUST include a proposal setting out the research they wish to undertake for the PhD.

All applicants MUST nominate a proposed Supervisor with their applications. The Academic Staff Pages outline a broad range of their research interests, which may provide a suitable basis for a PhD thesis. You MUST also write to your proposed Supervisor ahead of submitting your application to discuss availability.

GRE Requirements

All applicants whose previous university training is from countries outside the UK must submit the results of a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.

The Faculty of Economics will not normally consider admitting a student whose score registers below the 90th percentile in the Quantitative Reasoning section and below the 50th percentile in the Analytical Writing section of the test.

The Faculty MUST receive the results of the GRE General Test to meet the course deadline OR the funding deadline, should you wish to be considered for funding (see How and When to Apply). Please note that your application will be automatically withdrawn should the test results are not received in time.

The University of Cambridge Faculty of Economics institution code for GRE is 2433.

MPhil in Economics - GRE Requirements

You MUST provide a GRE Test result if:

  • Your degree level study is from any country other than the UK
  • Your degree level study has been taken via the University of London International Programme
  • Your degree level study is from any country other than the UK, but you have taken one or more exchange programme in the UK

You are NOT required to provide a GRE Test result if:

  • Your degree level study (undergraduate and/or postgraduate) is from the UK (except University of London International Programme)

Note:  The Faculty may request candidates from UK universities to take the GRE General Test.


Details of registration deadlines for this test, and of opportunities to take the computer-based test can be sought from ETS, which administers the test. 

The GRE website can be accessed to order publications, try out sample questions and for information regarding test dates and locations.

GRE Customer Service number: +1-609-771-7670

GRE Fax number: +1-609-771-7906.

Specific questions about the GRE can be emailed directly to

Details of entry for the GRE test are often available within the candidate’s home country, or can be obtained from:

Applications from Europe

P O Box 1109
6801 BC Arnhem

Other Applications

Educational Testing Service
P O Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

English Language Qualifications

MPhil in Economics - English Language Qualifications

Please refer to the University Postgraduate Admissions website for further details on language conditions.

The Faculty of Economics will not normally ask you to have a valid English Test in order to submit an application, however, this might be a requirement at a later stage, should you receive a conditional offer.