MRes Economics (Pathway to PhD)

Duration Full time 2 years
  • Economics
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The MRes Economics (Pathway to PhD) is a two-year programme that provides the foundations for conducting modern research in economics. It is intended for anyone wishing to progress onto a PhD in economics or another related social science.

  • In the first year you will learn core economic models, econometric techniques and research methods.
  • In the second year you will specialise in modules covering advanced topics in the fields of econometric theory, empirical economics, microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. The list of topics includes auctions, computational economics, education, fiscal policy, gender, health, human development, inequality, labour supply, machine learning, networks, sexual orientation, taxation, and voting.
  • By the end of the second year you will have acquired the tools to write an MRes dissertation. The MRes dissertation, which will be supervised by one member of our academic staff, will enable you to apply your research skills and develop an in-depth knowledge in your chosen field.

Following successful completion of your MRes you will then progress onto our three-year PhD Economics programme at University of Exeter. You will receive guidance from our internationally respected academic staff for progressing onto our PhD Economics programme.

Programme structure

During the programme students will study 9 mandatory modules (including the MRes dissertation) and 2 (out of 3) sequences of optional modules totalling 240 credits. Each module other than the dissertation consists of 15 credits. The research dissertation amounts to 60 credits.

Students will also participate in the weekly graduate workshop and departmental seminar, where research is presented by graduate students and faculty members, respectively. In addition, they will also be encouraged to attend reading groups organised by faculty members in different relevant topics, from machine learning to price theory.

Please note that programme structures may be subject to change.

Year 1

Year 2

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching


Assessments will be conducted via problem sets, midterm exams, final exams, presentations, and an MRes dissertation.


Students will be assigned an academic tutor and a pastoral tutor from the first day of their MRes.  During the MRes period you will have the opportunity to meet and discuss your research interests with academic staff to help ensure you have the best possible match with your supervisor for your PhD.  

Progression to PhD

Although the MRes Economics (Pathway to PhD) can be studied as a two-year standalone programme, it is intended as a pathway to PhD.

Progression on to the PhD is subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the PhD.  This includes (1) successful completion of the MRes (achieving at least an average of 60% across all modules and at least 65% in the Dissertation) and (2) the identification of a member of academic staff in the Department of Economics who has agreed to be your PhD supervisor.


The MRes programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to carry out PhD level research and subject to meeting the entry criteria you will be able to progress onto our PhD Economics programme.

Upon completion of your PhD, you will be well equipped to conduct top-notch research and pursue careers in academia, government or consultancy.

Recent placements of our graduating students include assistant professorships and lectureships at places like Lancaster University, University of Manchester, Warwick University and Xiamen University. Others have taken post-doctoral positions at places like FAU-Erlangen-Nuremberg and University of Innsbruck.

Recent research conducted by our graduating students during their doctoral studies or immediately after finishing their doctoral studies has been published in top international Economics journals such as Experimental Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. For instance, one of our recent graduates, Lorenz Hartmann has a paper forthcoming in Econometrica:


What our graduating students say

 “Through interactions with the supportive faculty members, I had the opportunity to expand my academic thinking and challenge conventional wisdom with experimental research.” Lawrence Choo (PhD, 2015)

Entry requirements

A good 2:1 (65%+) degree with honours in an Economics or related discipline from a recognised university. Evidence of mathematical/quantitative ability is required. Degrees in Mathematics, Engineering, Physics or Statistics are also considered.  

We do consider all applications where there is evidence of exceptional performance in modules relevant to the programme of study.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their (quantitative reasoning) GRE scores.


Applications must include a statement of purpose or a sample of written work.

In order to apply for the MRes Economics (Pathway to PhD) most of the modules at undergraduate level should have been taken in Economics, Mathematics and related subjects.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £4,800 full-time
  • International: £11,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions queries

For any queries please complete our enquiry form

For questions about the programme:

Phone +44 (0) 1392 726679

For questions about your offer, CAS/Visa, supporting documents or application process:

Phone +44 (0) 1392 723044 (overseas) or 0300 555 6060 (UK)

Apply for 2020 entry

Apply online

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