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To be admitted to the PhD Programme in Economics, students must have completed a Masters in Economics comparable to the MSc programmes offered by our School.  

Admission to the MLitt/PhD Programme will depend on the candidate's qualifications in terms of grades, English language skills, and reference letters, as well as the availability of faculty to provide thesis supervision. Applicants should not contact potential supervisors before applying, as a supervisor will be allocated to you if you are accepted.

For details of the English language requirements of this programme, see here.

Applications for the programme MLitt/PhD programme open on the 1st of October 2023 and will close in August 2024.

Applicants who want to be considered for a School of Economics scholarship must apply by January 26, 2024Applications sent in after this date will not be considered for the scholarship.

The School offers several scholarships to full-time students which comprise a fee waiver and a tax-free stipend of €19,500 per year. Scholarship recipients are expected to tutor for one course per term. Students can top up their funding through additional grading support and research assistant work. Students who want to be considered for the scholarship should indicate this in the application. Scholarships will be awarded based on academic merit. 

In the academic year 2023/24, the current stated fees for full-time students will be 6,790€ (EU)/ 13,080€ (non-EU); the fees for part-time students will be 4,490€ (EU)/ 8,760€ (non-EU). (subject to change)

On the UCD website, applicants need to apply for the MLitt programme.

If their application is successful, they will transfer to the PhD register after completing the course phase in year 1.

The application code is W115 (MLitt full-time) or W160 (MLitt part-time). Apply here

The online application form will ask a number of questions and require you to upload documents for the PhD Committee to review. Below is a summary of this so you can prepare everything in advance.

Required Items:

  • Full transcript from previous bachelor's and postgraduate degrees (we look for students to have an MSc in Economics with a 2:1 or equivalent grade)
  • An English Language cert (if applicable)
  • A 1-1.5 page research proposal (see FAQ for details)
  • €60 Application Fee
  • Details of two references (names and email addresses)
  • Title of your Research Proposal
  • Primary and secondary research interests
  • Any other documentation you feel is applicable

Please note that your application will not be considered without all of the above.

You do NOT need to contact a supervisor in advance of your application. A supervisor will be allocated to you should you be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Because all students are admitted to the MLitt first, please apply for the MLitt in Economics (W115 for full-time or W160 for part-time).

No. The School of Economics can only offer 5-6 scholarships per year, which are awarded based on academic merit. Students who have been admitted but have not been made an initial scholarship offer are placed on a waiting list.

You should not contact potential supervisors before applying. A supervisor will be allocated to you should you be accepted.

However, it is helpful to indicate in the application what broad area you are interested in, such that our admissions committee can assess whether we have one or more potential supervisors.

You will only be assigned a supervisor when you are offered a place on the programme. You can indicate in your research proposal if there is someone you feel matches your research interests, but you should not contact potential supervisors before applying.

No, all students are first admitted to the MLitt programme. After successfully passing their first-year courses, they automatically transfer to the PhD register. 

It depends. We are looking for students with strong quantitative skills. If your Masters had a strong quantitative component, we may consider your application. It is best to discuss this with the PhD Director.

Yes, but the School of Economics will not provide funding for that.

For the School of Economics, the research proposal serves two purposes: a) It shows that applicants have thought about a potential PhD topic and identified interesting research questions, and b) it helps us to assess whether we have potential supervisors in the proposed research area. However, once admitted, students are not bound by their proposal. Students often choose to work on different topics, but many students stay within the broad field outlined in their proposal.

The proposal should be 1-1.5 pages long and include the following:

i) a description of a broad research area and a motivation for why this research area is interesting;

ii) 2-3 potential research questions within this area, along with a brief description how the applicant intends to answer them;

iii) references to the 2-3 most important papers in this area;

iv) mention of faculty members whose research interests the proposed research overlaps with. Please do not contact potential supervisors before applying. You will be allocated a supervisor if your application is successful

Two references will be required in support of your application. When you submit your application, an email will automatically be sent to your referees under the email addresses you provided for them. This email will contain a link where they can upload their recommendation letter. Please ensure your referees are aware of this and are looking out for this email.

If your Masters programme was taught and examined in English then you do not need to provide any further English Language qualifications.

Please direct all additional queries about the programme and the application to the School’s Graduate Administrator, Mrs Lesley Tohill ((opens in a new window)lesley.tohill@ucd.ie).

Funding for Specific Research Projects

This PhD Fellowship is funded through the Ad Astra Fellowship of Dr. James O’Mahony. Candidates for this position should ideally have experience in cost-effectiveness analysis and both a willingness and enthusiasm to work on topics including the cost-effectiveness of cancer screening; simulation methods using programme languages such as R; examination and comparison of reimbursement frameworks internationally; and, the application and empirical estimation of cost-effectiveness thresholds. 

PhD Description
PhD T&C's


Applications should be made to Dr. James O’Mahony ((opens in a new window)james.omahony1@ucd.ie) by January 31, 2024.

The application must include:
o    CV including the name of two references. Please include the letters of recommendation along with your application or have your references send them directly to the email above. 
o    Copy of diplomas and transcripts of records. 
o    Application letter outlining personal research interests and suitability of the Fellowship. 
o    If possible, please supply an example of previous research: Bachelor or Master’s thesis, research project, etc. 

The successful candidacy is subject to the approval of the UCD Graduate Research Board and subsequent admittance to the PhD programme via the UCD on-line system.

Contact UCD School of Economics

Newman Building (Room D201) University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
T: 353 1 716 8335/8188/8505/8272 | Location Map(opens in a new window)