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

PhD (Integrated) in Economics

This is a 4-year Programme. The expected duration is 48 months, and the maximum allowed length of candidature is 60 months, if students choose to get into nominal registration role. In the first year, students entering the Integrated PhD programme are required to complete the taught elements of our MSc in Economics programme. Progression onto the research element of the programme is determined by satisfactory completion of these taught elements, with a minimum average of 60% across all modules (and a pass mark of 60% for the Level 7 dissertation) and with no module below the University pass-mark for Standalone Masters programmes. The Integrated PhD offers a structured PhD pathway that includes a wide choice of formal instruction, coupled with an extensive range of specialist research topics across the breadth of the subject. There is a progression from an initial emphasis on instructional modules towards full time research, supported by high quality supervision.

The integrated PhD programme is highly flexible and student-centred.

The integrated PhD programme is highly flexible and student-centred.

Our postgraduate research programmes are conducted under expert individual or joint supervision. Supervisors are research-active members of staff with expertise in your area of interest. The MSc Programmes Director acts as Personal Academic Tutor to students during the taught component of the programme before the supervisory team for the research element is identified.

The course is particularly suitable for overseas students seeking to convert from other scientific disciplines, and also those who are awarded four-year scholarships through their government or other sources. Please note that there is no funding available for this programme through the University of Southampton, ESRC or NERC.

Year PhD Programme

Students entering the Integrated PhD programme are required to complete the taught elements of our MSc in Economics programme.

In the following years, students will have the opportunity to attend different complementary field modules.  The field modules are taught by internationally renowned experts visiting the Economics department on a regular basis and internal academic staff.

View the Course Description Document

To Apply

Apply using the University online application form. A full guide to this process may be downloaded from here.

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, we recommend that you apply before the end of January so you have time to gather the necessary documentation for your funding body/sponsor.

Prospective students are asked to draft a short research proposal within their application form. A research proposal is a project outline which students write as part of the application process. We use it to assess the quality and originality of their ideas, whether they are able to think critically and whether they have a grasp of the relevant literature. It also gives us important information about the perspectives students intend to take on the 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). Note also that this research proposal can be updated and modified at completion of the Master’s dissertation after consultation with the supervisory team. At the application stage, what we are looking for is clear evidence of potential for successful PhD study and a proposal which reflects that.

At least two members of academic staff will consider the application.

Typical entry requirements

The University’s Admissions Policy applies equally to all programmes of study. The following are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission into the Integrated PhD programme.

Selection process

The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed below will also be acceptable.

At a minimum, successful applicants must meet the admissions requirements of the University Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Unlike undergraduate study, the open-ended nature of research means it is not possible to always predict the structure of a programme of study leading to a thesis.  The following is an indicative list.  Where there is a definite requirement to undertake a certain activity this is stated.

4 Year PhD Programme

Year 1

Students entering the Integrated PhD programme are required to complete the taught elements of our MSc in Economics programme. Students who satisfy the progression requirements for the iPhD proceed with PhD research.

In addition to the taught components, students can take additional training in statistical packages and also attend two library skills sessions: one at the start of the academic year and one at the start of the dissertation period. The University also provides English courses for students wishing to improve their English skills. This may be particularly useful for improving writing skills. Supervisory teams will also provide timely advice to students on this matter during the master’s dissertation period

Year 2

In the following years, students will have regular meetings with their supervisory team and discuss their learning strategies as well as the progress of their research. This is the most important part of the programme. The student together with the team may decide to attend additional modules and learning activities. Students wishing to gain further training in research methods are also able to attend the specialised training offered by the National Centre for Research Methods led by the University of Southampto.

Year 3

An important component of the subsequent research-based training involves participating in research workshops and seminars in Economics.  All PhD students are required to present their research in one workshop per year during their third and fourth years of registration.  The Department is also running weekly external speaker seminars and internal staff workshops to which PhD students are asked to attend.

Between months 30 and 33 of the start of the programme students are assessed on their performance. If students meet the requirements, they will be confirmed on the PhD programme, otherwise they may be given further time to satisfy the confirmation requirements or be asked to terminate their studies without the PhD award.

Year 4

Evidence of continued progress is provided by publications and presentations in a suitable venue (e.g. an international conference). It is unlikely that further major training will be needed at this stage. The target date for submission of the PhD thesis is normally at the end of Year 4 as this may coincide with the end of any supporting studentships.

Normally, students are expected to submit their thesis by the 48th month of study. However, for students in full time registration who need a fifth year (in nominal registration role) for writing up, the final PhD thesis must be submitted at the latest by the end of the 60th month (excluding periods of suspension) unless special dispensation is granted by the Graduate School. The latter will only be granted rarely, in the case of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.


The iPhD is typically a four-year programme, if studied full-time. In year 1 students are required to complete the taught elements of one of our two MSc Programmes (MSc in Economics, MSc in Economics & Econometrics). Students who satisfy the progression requirements for the iPhD proceed with PhD research. The following modules are only indicative examples of the options available. There is a wide array of option modules to choose from, subject to availability.

Semester 1




Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics

Students must choose ECON6004 Quantitative Method OR ECON6024 Econometrics 1. This module will become core once chosen.

Quantitative Methods
Macroeconomic Policy 3
International Trade
Labour Economics

These modules are only indicative examples of the options available. There is a wide array of option modules to choose from, subject to availability.

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
EconomicsIntegrated PhD (iPhD)2023Full-timetbc March 2023£18,600
EconomicsIntegrated PhD (iPhD)2022Full-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£18,000
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Successful iPhD doctorates will be able find work taking up positions as teaching and research academics. They will also be leading economic or econometric analysts in public or private sector, including central and local governments and the institutions of the European Union, in statistical offices, central banks, financial supervision authorities, international aid organisations, commercial banks and financial institutions, etc. Finally, this programme also forms a solid basis for a career in private sector in management, or in consultancy.

Study locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Economic, Social and Political Science is based on the main campus of ...Find out more

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