UCD Economics PhD Program‌‌

Thank you for your interest in our PhD programme.  Here you will find information on how to be admitted to the programme, how it works and opportunities for funding.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to our PhD programme, students must have completed a Masters-level qualification in Economics, such as one of the MSc programmes offered by our School.

Students who are studying on a Masters programme in Economics can apply to be admitted to our MLitt programme and then be transferred to the PhD programme once they provide evidence of successful completion of their Masters programme.  Our preference is to admit students who have taken a full year of postgraduate study in the core areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, as is typical in most Masters programmes such as the UCD MSc in Quantitative Economics.  Students who have not completed such a course of studies may be requested by the PhD Director to undertake MSc-level courses in these topics in addition to their required PhD-level coursework.

Admission to the MLitt or PhD programme will depend upon the candidate’s qualifications in the form of grades, English language requirement, reference letters and research statement but also upon the availability of School members to provide thesis supervision. While the research interests of the School are wide-ranging, it is not possible to guarantee that the interests of prospective students will coincide with those of the School members.  Click here for details of the areas in which School of Economics faculty regularly supervise students.

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

Programme Structure

Students are admitted to Stage 1 of our PhD program.  The first year of the programme is devoted to PhD level coursework, building research skills and developing a research topic.  The standard structure of our PhD dissertation is a collection of individual research papers. During the second year (usually early in the second term) students present their research (typically their first completed paper) at a transfer seminar.  If successful, students can transfer to Stage 2 of their PhD.


Each admitted student will be assigned a primary supervisor.  In addition, the student will have a Doctoral Studies Panel, consisting of staff members who have read the student’s application and have indicated a willingness to supervise the student.

Coursework Requirements

All PhD students in the College of Social Sciences and Law are required to take a minimum of 30 ECTS of PhD-level coursework.

Part Time Students

The school will typically only admit part-time students in cases where their paid work is closely related to their area of research. Part-time students are expected to complete their transfer to Stage 2 of the programme no later than 30 months after initial registration.


The School of Economics offers a number of types of financial supports to PhD students. These include a scholarship scheme which provides fee waivers and stipends for up to four years.  These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis each Spring. See here for details on scholarship scheme for the next academic year.

In addition to these full scholarships, the School can also offer some fee waivers to full-time PhD students and can also provide these students with support via work as hourly paid teaching assistants or graders.  In some cases, students can be provided with funding via work as research assistants on externally-funded research projects.

The School actively encourages PhD students to seek external training and to present at international conferences and provides funding for students that undertake these activities.

The School also provides guidance and support to PhD students who are applying for outside funding opportunities such as the scholarships provided by the Irish Research Council.


Applications for the PhD programme are being accepted here.

Programme Coordinator: Dr Benjamin Elsner