The UQ School of Economics is one of the largest, most influential and prestigious Economics departments in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Across all major global rankings, UQ is consistently among the top 100 universities in the world. According to RePEc, UQ Economics ranks among the top 50 economics departments in the world. Its diverse research strengths span economic theory, applied economics and econometrics. The faculty consists of some of the foremost researchers and accomplished scholars in their specialisation, along with a growing cohort of exceptional junior academics. Our faculty consistently claim an over-proportionate share of Australia's Economics honours, competitive research grants, prestigious fellowships and high-quality publications.

School of Economics PhD Program 


Our PhD program is designed for students with prior training in economics or a cognate discipline with a strong analytical/mathematical component, who wish to acquire the advanced skills needed to practice as a professional economist in the public or private sector. Admission to the program is highly competitive and only outstanding candidates with exceptional research potential are selected.

Entry requirements and pathways

The following are minimum entry requirements and do not guarantee entry:

  • UQ Master of Advanced Economics (MAdvEcon) or a postgraduate qualification considered as equivalent by the University’s Graduate School
  • First class UQ Honours degree or an Honours degree considered as equivalent by the University’s Graduate School

The following diagram summarises the pathways to the PhD program for undergraduates, UQ honours and graduate students.

The School of Economics offers a one-year master degree (MAdvEcon) in preparation for the PhD degree. The Master of Advanced Economics (16 Units) has eight compulsory foundation courses. This program is for applicants who have previously completed a relevant bachelor honours degree or equivalent, or a relevant postgraduate degree in economics or cognate discipline. Students who have previously completed a relevant bachelor degree or equivalent enter the Master of Advanced Economics (24 Units). These students additionally have to take ECON7850-Research Thesis (8 Units). Successful MAdvEcon students may then apply to enrol in the PhD degree. For information on admission and scholarships for the MAdvEcon see below.

Students who successfully completed the UQ Bachelor of Economics Honours program or a degree comparable to the MAdvEcon from another institution may apply directly for the PhD degree. For inquiries regarding eligibility, please contact

Please note, the Master of Advanced Economics degrees (16 and 24 units) are only available to students pursuing a PhD with the School of Economics.  Applicants wishing to undertake a coursework Masters program should consider the alternative degrees offered in the School of Economics suite of programs.

If you consider applying for a PhD scholarship with UQ, be aware that the PhD scholarship must be for full-time PhD enrolment only. 

PhD Degree

In the first semester of the PhD Degree, students take fields courses delivered in three modules. The field courses might change from year to year.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of courses that might be on offer:

  • Monetary economics/frictions
  • Experimental/behavioural economics
  • Mechanism design/applied theory
  • Productivity analysis/networks
  • Growth/development
  • Industrial organization/public policy
  • Environmental/resource economics
  • Political economy/applied microeconomics
  • Labor and Development
  • Applied Econometrics

In the second semester, students attend the PhD Research Colloquium and work on their second-year research paper.

Semester 1:

  • ECON8800-Advanced Studies in Economics 1
  • ECON8810-Advanced Studies in Economics 2
  • ECON8820-Advanced Studies in Econometrics

Semester 2:

  • PhD Research Colloquium
  • Completion of a research paper

The subsequent three years consist of research and writing the PhD thesis. The thesis research is supported by a three-stage milestone process involving the confirmation of candidature, mid-candidature, and thesis review milestones. Throughout the program, students benefit from the intellectually stimulating environment at UQ. Our research oriented and internationally recognised faculty provide advice, guidance and supervision in all fields of specialisation. The School actively supports the placement of PhD graduates in positions at prestigious universities, government agencies and private corporations.

Admission & Financial Support 

Your application package for the MAdvEcon and PhD degree should include relevant supporting documents (academic cv, previous academic transcripts, evidence of English language requirements, GMAT/GRE score sheets) and a minimum of two referee reports (/files/4455/SOE%20UQ%20referees-report-blank.doc). There is no need to locate a supervisor before applying.

Applications will be considered in two rounds. The deadline for the first application round is 30 April and the deadline for the second application round is October 31. Successful candidates are eligible for a scholarship package of AU$30,000 per annum and a tuition fee waiver. The scholarship is offered for the duration of the MAdvEcon degree. Upon successful completion, the School of Economics will then support the candidate's application for a UQ PhD scholarship (also topped up to AU$30,000 per annum). Entry to the program is for RQ 1, (January) only.

The online application for the MAdvEcon:

Master of Advanced Economics (16 Units) and Master of Advanced Economics (24 Units).


School of Economics MPhil Program

Information about the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) program can be found on the Graduate School website.

The coursework requirements for MPhil candidates in the School of Economics are:

Summer compact course

Quantitative Skills for Economics (ECON8000)

Semester 1

Micro A (ECON6010/8010)


Macro A (ECON6020/8020)


Metrics A (ECON6300/8300)

Semester 2

Two elective courses at 6000, 7000 or 8000 level

MPhil candidates are required to complete four compulsory core courses in semester 1 followed by two elective courses at 6000, 7000 or 8000 level.  The choice of elective courses has to be approved by the advisory team and the HDR Coordinator. Any exemption from these requirements has to be approved by the HDR Coordinator. 

MPhil candidates are required to pass all courses. No supplementary examinations will be offered. If candidates fail one or more courses, they are liable for termination of candidature.

MPhil Applications

If you are interested in pursuing an MPhil degree with the School of Economics, please complete the University's online application form.

All applicants are required to identify a supervisor on the online application. Please name A/Prof Heiko Gerlach, the School of Economics HDR Coordinator, in the "Supervisor's Name" box. The UQ School of Economics requests that applicants do not make direct contact with academic staff prior to making an application. The School of Economics endeavours to match applicants with a supervisor after an application has been submitted and assessed for eligibility to help streamline the administration process.

Please note that as we have a limited number of spaces in our HDR program and MPhil and PhD applications are considered in the same application pool, MPhil applicants have a much smaller likelihood of being invited in to the program. 

Applications close on 31 October. Entry to the program is for Research Quarter 1, (January) only.



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