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Economics PhD

At the heart of a great graduate program is a first-rate training in the foundations of economic theory and econometrics. This outcome is achieved via a program of “core” PhD classes, taken by all students, which provide the concepts and analytical tools required of every economist. In addition, each student develops expertise in two fields of their choosing. A “field” consists of a pair of research field classes in which students study advanced topics and become familiar with the frontiers of research in that field. A list of the fields to be offered is provided below.

The PhD will normally require four years to complete. Significant scholarship support, free from teaching obligations, is awarded competitively. There will also be opportunities for additional financial support from teaching assistant or research assistant roles.

The program will be synchronized with programs in North America, Europe, and Asia. We aim to routinely place students in regular tenure track academic positions in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

The PhD in Economics requires the completion of ten high level coursework subjects, four research field subjects, and two years of research producing a PhD thesis.  PhD students in Economics progress through the degree in three stages as outlined in the  UTS Business School Doctoral Framework and use the Doctoral Study Plan (DSP) to plan, monitor and review their progress.


The coursework component of the PhD in economics consists of ten core subjects and four research field subjects.  The core subjects provide the foundational knowledge essential to first-rate research.  The research field subjects take PhD students to the frontiers of research.
Year 1: Students receive a rigorous training in economic theory and econometrics.  
Spring (July-November)Autumn (February-June)
Microeconomic I (consumer, producer)Market Design
Macroeconomics I (dynamic methods)Macroeconomics II 
Econometrics I (statistics)Econometrics II
Mathematics for Economists Game Theory

At the end of their first year, students must pass comprehensive exams in econometrics and theory in order to continue in the program.


Year 2:  Students complete the core coursework and take research field subjects in their research areas.

Spring (July-November)Autumn (February-June)
Microeconomics II (GE, public, info.)

Research Field Subject #2

Econometrics IIIResearch Field Subject #3
Research Field Subject #1Research Field Subject #4


Research Field Subjects

The program offers a variety of research field subjects to provide state of the art training in economics research.  The topics offered reflect the diversity of research strengths of the Economics Discipline Group faculty, and include:
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Econometrics
  • Health Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Labour Economics
  • Market Design
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Public Economics

Research Development (Stage 1 of the Doctoral Study Plan)

A research paper will be due at the end of Year 2.  Students will present their papers in the Second Year Paper Conference, attended by faculty and graduate students.  The conference achieves several important objectives. It provides students with the opportunity to develop the presentation skills they will need when on the job market and afterwards.  It fosters a research environment among the graduate students – in a good graduate program students learn a great deal from other graduate students.  Finally, it ensures that all students are making good progress as they transition from coursework to research.  Passing the second-year paper is a program requirement and satisfies the Stage 1 Assessment of the UTS Doctoral Framework. Should a student not continue after this second year paper, an exit option will be the Master of Economics.  By the end of their second year, students should have chosen their Primary Supervisor and the other two members of their Supervisory Panel.

Thesis Development (Stage 2 of the Doctoral Study Plan)

Year 3:  Students are expected to participate in the research activities of the department.  They should attend and participate in the Economics Discipline Group seminar series.
In the first semester, students must do their “Thesis Proposal Defense” with their Supervisory Panel.  In this exam, students present a complete (but perhaps still unpolished) research paper, and present their plans for completing a second and third thesis paper.
A research paper is due at the end of the third year, which students present in the Third Year Paper Conference, attended by faculty and graduate students.  The paper should be near ready for submission for publication.  Satisfactory progress on the third year paper is a program requirement.  The Thesis Proposal Defense and the third year paper satisfy the Stage 2 Assessment of the UTS Doctoral Framework.
Should a student not continue after the Thesis Proposal Defense or the third year paper, an exit option will be the Master of Economics.
Year 4:  Students are expected to remain involved in the research life of the department, attending and participating in the Economics Discipline Group seminar series.
Students should have two complete research papers by mid-year.  One of these papers should be polished and suitable for serving as the student’s “job market” paper.
Thesis Completion (Stage 3 of the Doctoral Study Plan)
At the end of the fourth year, students defend and submit their thesis for external examination.  This satisfies the Stage 3 Assessment of the UTS Doctoral Framework.  A thesis will typically consist of three high quality chapters, with a brief introduction and conclusion.  It should be the view of the student’s Supervisory Panel that each chapter will be suitable for submission for publication after further development and polishing.
The final thesis will be examined by at least two external examiners.

Graduate Student Teaching 

Teaching experience is an integral part of PhD training.  Many academic employers expect new assistant professors to have experience either as a teaching assistant or as an instructor of their own class.  Students who entered the program with a scholarship will be funded via teaching or research assistantships beginning in the second semester of their fourth year. Students entering the program without a scholarship stipend will also have teaching or research opportunities while in the program.

Job Placement of PhD Students

Although the PhD program is new, Economics faculty at UTS have a strong record of employment success for the students they have supervised.
  • John Geweke has supervised numerous students, with placements at Princeton University (Andriy Norets, 2007), Barcelona Autonoma University (Necati Tekatli, 2006), Johns Hopkins (Hulya Eraslan, 2000), and many others.
  • Susumu Imai has placed students at U. of Melbourne (David Byrne, 2010), Wisconsin-Madison followed by Wharton (Jean-Francoise Houde, 2006), among others.
  • John Wooders has placed students at the University of Alabama (Matt Van Essen, 2010), San Diego State University (Quazi Shahrair, 2007), and ITAM Mexico (Rado Vadovic, 2006).

Expression of interest

Learn about how to complete your Expression of Interest, important dates, deadlines and other requested supporting documents.

Note that completing an Expression of Interest, and providing us with this information before you formally apply to enrol for a Research degree saves significant time where a formal application is deemed unlikely to be successful, and also speeds up the process of application where feedback from the relevant Discipline Group indicates that an application would likely be supported.

EOI closing dates

Autumn session: No enrolment available
Spring session: 31st January

Expression of interest