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MPhil in Economic Research

Course Description

The MPhil in Economic Research is the first year of a 4-year route to a PhD and runs from mid-September to the end of August. The MPhil in Economic Research is the foundation year for the PhD programme and involves a thorough study of the core areas of economics and the requirement to explore one area in detail in order to begin the process of choosing a PhD research topic. However, please note that it is not necessary to have a detailed proposal for PhD research at the time of applying.

Se the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/ececmpmer

Course detail

On completion of the MPhil degree students should have:

1. acquired an advanced technical training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics;
2.acquired, through optional papers, some knowledge of work at the frontiers of the subject in particular areas;
3. begun to acquire independent research skills and experience of putting them into practice;
4. acquired experience and guidance in formulating a realistic research topic and prepared written work to a strict timetable;
5. acquired sufficient knowledge and understanding of advanced economics to proceed to a research degree.


Each student will take eight modules plus a dissertation. One module is equivalent to eighteen hours of lectures.


- to attend the maths preparatory course in mathematics and statistics
- two compulsory modules in each core area of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics – amounting to six modules
- one additional module from the core areas – amounting to one module
- one either from the core areas or from the list of additional options – amounting to one module
- a dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

There is an internal examination on the material covered in the preparatory course which is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Classes in problem sets take place for core compulsory modules - one problem set for each of the compulsory modules is formally assessed. Mid-course examinations in microeconomics I, macroeconomics I and econometric methods take place in January; marks are recorded but do not count towards the final degree result. Each student receives 2 hours of supervision for the dissertation component of the MPhil in Economic Research.


Students submit a 10,000 word dissertation at the end of August worth 20% of the final overall mark.

Students are examined on 8 coursework modules in May/June worth 80% of the final overall mark.


The requirement for continuation to PhD is an average of at least 70% across the 8 coursework modules and is also conditional on the appointment of a supervisor.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Faculty of Economics has 3 Doctoral Training Centre Economic & Social Research Council Studentships (ESRC) to award to EU and UK applicants. These studentships can be awarded either to students admitted to the MPhil in Economic Research or to students admitted directly to the PhD (CPGS) after having completed a suitable Master's course. In the former case, the studentships cover both the MPhil year and three further years working on the PhD (1+3 award). In the latter case, the studentships cover three years of work on the PhD (+3 award).

In order to be considered for a studentship applicants must tick the appropriate box in the Graduate Application form (GRADSAF) and provide a personal statement (please see the Faculty web page for further information).

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Economic Research page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. At least a good 2.1 undergraduate degree in economics which includes standard courses in intermediate level microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics (a business studies, accountancy or management degree or qualification does not provide an adequate background). Applicants from North American institutions: a GPA of at least 3.6 out of 4 or the equivalent. Applicants from other educational systems: within the top ten per cent of their reference group.

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