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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political SciencePostgraduate study

How to Apply

Application process

To apply, please complete the online application form.

Entry Requirements

For direct entry into the 3 year MPhil/PhD programme applicants are expected to have an MSc degree in Economics and/or Econometrics or equivalent with a strong component in Macroeconomic Theory, Microeconomic Theory and Econometrics.

Students with related Master’s degrees or with a more limited background in core Economics subjects but strong transcripts and proposals are also welcome to apply. In such instances admission may take the form of an offer into a 4 year version of our PhD programme with a more important first year coursework component. Although students may wish to specify whether they would like to be considered for a 3 year or a 4 year programme on their applications, the admissions committee will base their final decisions on the supporting documentation (e.g. transcripts, research proposal, reference letters etc) and their own assessment of the applicant’s academic readiness.

Undergraduate students interested in pursuing an Economics PhD are also welcome to apply to our taught 12 months MSc programmes upon successful completion of which transfer to the MPhil/PhD takes place subject to performance.

English Language Requirements: If your first language or language of education is not English, we will ask you to show evidence of fluency in the use of English. For all of our postgraduate programmes we require a level of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 580 (CBT: 237; IBT: 92).


Applications can be submitted at any time although we would encourage applicants to apply before the end of May. If you are seeking financial support for your postgraduate studies, please fill in a specific application form for the ESRC DTC, available here, and send it to before the 13th of February.

PhD proposals

Prospective students are asked to draft a short research proposal within their application form. A research proposal is a project outline which you write as part of the application process. We use it to assess the quality and originality of your ideas, whether you are able to think critically and whether you have a grasp of the relevant literature. It also gives us important information about the perspectives you intend to take on your research area, and how you fit into the discipline area's research profile overall. This will helps us assign a suitable supervisor for your project.

It is normal for students to refine their original proposal in light of detailed literature reviews, further consideration of research approaches and comments received from the supervisors (and other academic staff). At the application stage, what we are looking for is clear evidence of potential for successful PhD study and a proposal which reflects that.


For all applications, two academic references are required. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications until we have received both references.

Further information

For further information please contact us.

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