UCL School of Management

PhD Programme in Financial Economics

Overview

Start date: September 2021
Duration: 5 years (1 year MRes + 4 years PhD)
Fees: We offer fully-funded scholarships to all admitted students who have applied by the 28 February 2021 (see details below) 
Application deadline: 28 February 2021 (late applications may still be considered, see detail below)
Entry: Applicants must hold a distinction in a master’s degree in Economics or a closely related subject. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of analytical and quantitative skills (such as in mathematics and statistics), evidenced by strong performance in relevant modules taken on previous degree programmes and/or through relevant standardised test performance (such as GRE Quantitative of at least 160). International students - please note that UCL’s English language requirements must be met (a ‘Good Level’ IELTS test is currently required for this programme)
Coronavirus Information: See more information below

Programme

The MRes and PhD in Financial Economics is a joint programme between the UCL Department of Economics and the UCL School of Management.

The MRes programme is the first year of the five-year integrated MRes/PhD programme in Financial Economics. The MRes programme will provide you with training in research methods together with an advanced understanding of financial economics, to enable you to conduct insightful and original PhD level research in financial economics. 

The MRes will firstly provide quantitative training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and finance. These will be taught in the context of cutting-edge research and relevant applications. Secondly, it will provide you with analytic frameworks and transferable skills that will allow you to identify relevant and promising research topics, present ideas in order to obtain feedback, and provide feedback yourself. 

The subsequent years (for students who progress from the MRes to MPhil) will focus on the skills you will need to run research projects to completion and to present completed research projects to various kind of specialised audiences. Likewise, teaching skills will also be developed.

PhD Structure

  • The MRes programme consists of taught modules (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics), a hybrid module (Financial Economics) with taught components and research based components, and a research project in the final part of the year. For the MRes project, you work under supervision to design and carry out a substantial piece of original research. This enables you to gain a deep understanding of the entire research process.
  • Superior performance is required for automatic progression from MRes to MPhil. In particular, students should achieve an average mark of not less than 60% in the independent, original research components of the programme, and not less than 50% in the taught element.
  • Our highly selective and small-sized PhD programme ensures that each student receives personal attention and guidance from our faculty members throughout their doctoral study. The close mentorship process forms the foundations of a successful academic career. At the same time, you will be part of both the School of Management PhD cohort and the Economics PhD cohort, with which you will share most of the taught modules.
  • We expect our PhD graduates to have as their goal an academic career as a faculty member in a top business school or Economics department or in the research group of an international institution or a central bank.

Why choose us

What makes us different:

Unlike many PhD Programmes in finance, our programme has a full anchor in economics and econometrics. Hence, we offer a unique world-class environment that combines the best of a leading business school, located in Canary Wharf, the heart of London’s modern financial district, and the tradition of economic research and teaching of the Department of Economics, which located in Bloomsbury, London’s historical intellectual centre.

If you want to become an academic economist conducting research in finance, this programme is for you.  

Applications

Applying for our MRes/PhD Programme

Entry requirements and admissions criteria:

Applicants to the MRes+PhD programme must hold a distinction in a master’s degree in Economics or a closely related subject. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of analytical and quantitative skills (such as in mathematics and statistics), evidenced by strong performance in relevant modules taken on previous degree programmes and/or through relevant standardised test performance (such as GRE Quantitative of at least 160). Submitting GRE test result is encouraged but not compulsory and is only one of the components used to assess the strength of applications. 

We only have a single intake in September. We accept applications throughout the year. Successful candidates who have submitted their MRes application by 28th February will receive a scholarship (full fee waiver plus a stipend). Successful candidates who have submitted their application after this date may receive a scholarship subject to availability, or will come with their own funding.

In your personal statement you are expected to suggest one or more faculty members as potential supervisors. On the application form you may see that it states that it is preferred that you contact potential supervisors beforehand. However, we strongly discourage applicants from contacting individual faculty members or potential supervisors when applying to our programme. All applications are first evaluated by a joint admissions committee, so contacting potential supervisors separately will not increase your chances.

We also require you to submit IELTS or TOEFL scores if English is not your first language. Our School requires a “Good” English level which corresponds to:

IELTS: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

TOEFL: Score of 100 overall, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing subtests and 20/30 in the listening and speaking subtests. Please check TOEFL details here.

Application Deadline

The application window closes 28th February 2021 and a late submission window closes on 30 June 2021. We advise those interested in the programme to apply before 28th February 2021, as those applying in the late submission window will only be considered if there are still places remaining.

Application Procedure

Apply via UCL Postgraduate Admissions System here. When starting the application, you must select the MRes Financial Economics option. In addition to filling out the online application form, please upload a copy of the following documents:

  1. CV/Resume
  2. Official Transcripts of Grades / Course marks
  3. A 1 page personal statement that clearly indicates: (i) your research interests and preliminary research ideas, (ii) potential faculty member(s) you may want to work with (this is a suggested list, you don’t need to contact potential supervisors beforehand), and (iii) your motivation to do a PhD.
  4. Your GRE score report, if you took the test.
  5. Your IELTS/TOEFL score report, if English is not your first language.


Funding/Scholarships

We offer fully funded five year scholarships to all admitted students who apply before the 28th of February 2021. The scholarship is open to all nationalities. It covers all tuition fees, and includes an annual stipend of £21,700 which is tax-free. 

Successful candidates who have submitted their application after the 28 February 2021 may receive a scholarship subject to availability or will come with their own funding.

Further Information and Contact Details

The full-time MRes/PhD programme runs from September each academic year. Entrance is therefore every September. While we may accept applications until 30 June we encourage candidates to apply as early as possible. Our programme is very selective and we only admit a limited number of students, so applying before 28 February increases your chances.

How to Apply

Coronavirus Information

Our top priority is the wellbeing and safety of our students and staff. The campus itself has been reconfigured in line with Government guidelines to ensure it is as safe as possible, with a wide range of safety measures in place. Whether you study online or on-campus, we are committed to providing a world-class education and outstanding student experience. For advice and information concerning UCL’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit UCL’s prospective students’ Coronavirus (Covid-19) information pages.

For queries about the MRes/PhD Programme that are not addressed on our web pages, please contact the MRes/PhD Administrator, Andrew King (mgmt-pgr@ucl.ac.uk)

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the UCL School of Management MRes/PhD Programme

Programme Information

How long is the Programme? Can I enrol on a part-time basis?
The five year PhD degree consists of five years of full-time study, starting with one year of modules (and a research project) registered as MRes. We do not offer any part-time study options.
What is the MRes and is it a stand-alone course?
The MRes is the first year of our PhD programme in which students typically take advanced postgraduate and methods courses to prepare them for their PhD research. Our MRes is not a standalone programme, so we do not offer it as an individual degree. In applying for the MRes, you are applying for the full 5 year (1 year MRes + 4 year PhD) programme.
Can I begin the programme in January or some other time in the middle of the year?
The programme has a single intake each September at the beginning of the academic year at UCL. It is not possible to start the programme at any other time.
How many students do you admit each year to your MRes/PhD Programme?
Our programme is extremely competitive. We normally admit 4-5 students each year, and we offer fully funded School scholarships to all of them.

Application Process

How can I apply to the programme? What is the application deadline?
You should apply via the UCL Online Application System here. Our application deadline for September 2021 entry is 28 February 2021 with a late submission window closing on 30 June 2021. We advise those interested in the programme to apply before 28 February 2021, as we will allocate most (if not all) of the available places and scholarships with this deadline and those applying in the late submission window will only be considered if there are still places remaining. 
What should I include in my application?
In addition to filling out the online application form here, you need to upload a copy of the following documents: (i) CV/Resume, (ii) Official Transcripts of Grades/Course marks, (iii) 1 page Personal Statement, (iv) your GRE score report, if you took the test, and (v) your IELTS/TOEFL score report, if required.
Do I need to contact faculty members before submitting my application?
No, in fact, we strongly discourage applicants from contacting individual faculty members or potential supervisors when applying to our programme. All applications are first evaluated by a joint admissions committee, so contacting potential supervisors separately will not increase your chances. It is only in your personal statement that you are expected to suggest several faculty members as potential supervisors. But again, these faculty members need not be contacted beforehand. 
May I schedule an appointment with the Programme Director to discuss my application?
Due to the extremely high volume of applications received, it is not possible for the Programme Director to meet personally with applicants. If you are shortlisted, you will be offered an interview in person or online if you are overseas.

Admissions Requirements

Can I get a waiver for GRE if I have a Master’s degree in the UK?
No waiver is needed. Submitting a GRE test result is encouraged but not compulsory and is only one of the components used to assess the strength of applications. 
Can I submit my application if I have not yet taken TOEFL/IELTS tests?
While we highly recommend you submit your application here once it is fully completed, you can still submit the application if you have not taken these tests yet. But, you should indicate in your Personal Statement when you plan to take these tests and we will not make a final decision before seeing the test results.
What are the English language requirements for the programme?

Students are required to possess a “Good” level of English if it is not their first language. This means:
TOEFL: Score of 100, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing, and 20/30 in the listening and speaking subtests.
IELTS: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.

I only have an undergraduate (e.g. bachelors) degree, and no Masters. Can I still apply to your programme?
No, applicants must hold a distinction in a Master’s degree in Economics or a closely related subject.
I have the following qualifications…: Will I be admitted to the programme?
We must see a fully completed application, including reference letters, transcripts, statement of purpose, and test scores in order to make decisions about admissions. We are unable to comment on your suitability, chances or international qualifications based on information supplied by email. UCL Admissions checks and must approve all completed applications and qualifications before the School can make a final admissions offer.

Funding

What are the fees for the programme? Are there PhD funding/scholarships available for international (e.g., non EU) students?
The School provides fully-funded five-year scholarships (including all tuition fees and stipend) to qualified candidates regardless of their nationality or citizenship.
Are there additional funding opportunities available?
We can provide Teaching and Research Assistantships to qualified PhD students. Applicants are also encouraged to explore other UCL funding opportunities and external funding sources.

Further Information

If you have any other questions regarding the programme that are not addressed on our web pages please email the programme administrator Andrew King (mgmt-pgr@ucl.ac.uk)

Last updated Monday, 15 February 2021