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PhD in Economics

The Department of Economics offers students the opportunity to pursue both MLitt and PhD research degrees.

Economics Research Degrees at Trinity College Dublin

Trinity's Department of Economics has an active postgraduate research programme which produces the largest number of doctoral degrees of any economics department in Ireland. The PhD programme blends an innovative curricular element, which offers core and optional modules jointly with other Irish universities, with a unique research environment that promotes close interaction with the faculty. Currently, the department has 18 full-time academic staff and 30 research students.

The Department provides generous financial support for research students through a programme of teaching assistantships as well as providing a number of research awards. Assistance in securing external funding is also provided throughout the PhD process, with a good record of success.

Course Structure

The length of the PhD programme is a maximum of four years, subject to successful confirmation on the PhD register after 18 months. In exceptional circumstances PhD candidates may complete the programme in a shorter time period but they must be registered full-time for a minimum period of two years. In addition to working on their first research paper, PhD candidates in their first year will be required to take a number of taught PhD level modules. MLitt candidates are expected to register full-time for a minimum of one year but usually two years.

A research thesis is above all a training exercise in research skill, but in undertaking this exercise students are expected to make an original contribution to knowledge. The objective is to carve out a sufficiently focused and manageable subject which allows the demonstration of mastery of research skills while producing a useful and relevant contribution to knowledge. Generally a PhD thesis comprises of three core papers at least two of which are potentially publishable articles.

Visit the Research Degree Structure section or consult the PhD/Mlitt in Economics Handbook 2022/2023 for more information.

Is it for me?

Our research degree programmes are designed to give students the highest level of training to become scholars at the forefront of the discipline.

Candidates are expected to master research techniques; develop their facility for academic writing; and become adept at presenting and defending their views in front of an audience of their peers. Graduate students are provided with ample opportunity to achieve these goals through one–on–one interaction with their supervisors, collaboration with other members of the Department and a weekly seminar series.

What are the admission requirements?

The Department welcomes applicants for postgraduate research degrees from any country. Preference is given to students who wish to work in areas of economics in which members of staff have an existing research interest. One important prerequisite is that applicants for the PhD programme should have an MSc in Economics covering a curriculum comparable to that offered at Trinity.

Visit the admissions section for further details.