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More in this section Postgraduate Research (PhD)

Postgraduate research

The Postgraduate Research Programme in Economics provides students with rigorous training and experience in economic analysis. The community is relatively small with 25 students enrolled, thereby ensuring a high level of interaction between research students and academic staff.

Students benefit from advanced economics training in their first year and further research methods training in higher years. The Department of Economics at Royal Holloway has considerable strength across all the main fields of the discipline, and so supervision can be offered in most areas of research including microeconomics, macroeconomics, finance and applied econometrics. Further information about staff research interests can be found here.

In the nation-wide 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) the Department came seventh in the UK  in terms of producing the highest quality research. Eighty percent of our research submitted to the REF was classified as "world-leading or internationally excellent". The Department is part of the South East Doctoral Training Centre (SE-DTC), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which provides studentships as well as a range of research and training related activities in the field of social sciences.

Interaction: There are plenty of opportunities for interaction and collaboration with academic staff. Each student works with a team of two supervisors with complementary expertise.

Training: Students benefit from advanced PhD level economics training in their first year, and training on key research methods and software in later years. Students also obtain generic research skills training at College level.

Facilities: Students on the programme are provided with facilities for carrying out their research. In years 1 and 4, students have use of a hot desk in the Department. In years 2 and 3, students are offered individual work spaces. All students are provided with funding to attend at least one international conference during their programme.

PhD Conference: Every Spring, the Department organises an in-house PhD Conference with invited speakers and visiting PhD students from other universities. This offers our students an opportunity to present their work in a familiar environment and to obtain feedback from colleagues outside the supervisory team.

Seminar Activities: All research students and staff have the opportunity to present their ideas at the weekly Internal Seminar. Our research students are also invited to attend our two weekly External Seminars at which academic speakers from around the world present their work.

Candidates for a place on the MPhil/PhD programme should have completed a taught Master’s in Economics, with a distinction or a high pass, in a good department. Students register for the MPhil or the MPhil leading to PhD in the first instance, and transfer to PhD registration as their work progresses.

The total number of students is limited to about 25. This ensures that students gain a strong sense of group-identity and enjoy close contact with academic staff.

If you are interested in applying then you should start by checking the research interests of academic members of staff to see who is conducting research in the area that you are interested in. You may want to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Juan Pablo Rud to discuss potential projects.

Further information about the application process can be found here.


Research students can be nominated by the Department of Economics for two types of Royal Holloway Awards as follows:

College Scholarships: The Department nominates candidates, based on academic merit, for College Scholarships. Find out more here.

Leverhulme Scholarships: The College offers approximately eight scholarships per annum for multidisciplinary projects exploring the current and future impact of digital technologies on security, personal freedom and political debates about freedom. The following Leverhulme Scholarships are available in the department of economics in conjunction with the Department of Computer Science

Leverhulme Magna Carta Doctoral scholarship in Econometrics

Departmental Studentships: The Economics Departments allocates a small number of Fee Awards, Departmental Bursaries and Departmental Assistantships. All are based on academic merit. The Departmental Assistantships offer an annual stipend for a maximum of six hours of work per week supporting teaching, research, or administrative duties as required in the Department.

ESRC-logoA limited number of ESRC studentships are available to Economics students at Royal Holloway through the Southeast Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). Student can apply through the DTC for either “+3” studentships – three year studentships to support PhD studies  –  or “1+3” studentships – four year studentships to support MSc studies plus PhD studies.

Current ESRC Studentship offered in Economicsmore information for this oppotunity is available here.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for further information.

Our students go on to first jobs with a range of employers; ranging from university placements to international organisations and various research outfits. Examples of recent first placements include: African Development Bank, University of Munich, Germany; University of Binghampton, US; University of Maastricht, the Netherlands; Universitr Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy; National Institute for Economic and Social Research, UK; Ifo Institute, Germany; Universidad Javeriana, Colombia, London Stock Exchange, UK; Universidade do Minho, Portugal; Cabinet Office, UK; University of Sussex, UK.

Graduate Profile:

Darko Hadjukovik "Although small, Royal Holloway’s Economics department is extremely well diversified and provides an excellent opportunity for academic excellence. It is vibrant, dynamic, international and fun. I found academics there helpful and knowledgeable. I spent three years reading for a doctorate in Economics. Quality of supervision was excellent. The internal research seminars were helpful in expanding my understanding beyond my field of study, something which although very important, is often easily forgotten by economists eagerly focusing on their own research.

“Now I work in the Primary markets team at London Stock Exchange Group, working with different market practitioners in ensuring that London continues to be a leading global financial centre. Knowledge and skills obtained during my doctoral studies, remain as ever, invaluable in my work."

Darko Hadjukovik


Postgraduate Brochure


 For further information about Postgraduate Research opportunities, contact the Director of Graduate Studies Juan Pablo Rud


For information about applying contact study@rhul.ac.uk

Tanya Wilson"I have found the PhD programme in Economics provides excellent opportunities to learn, with bi-weekly research seminars and close interaction between the students and faculty. I really like the fact that we are encouraged and supported to present our work both within the department and at external conferences."

Tanya Wilson
PhD Student



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