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 overproportionate share of Australia's Economics honours, competitive research grants, prestigious fellowships and high-quality publications.

School of Economics PhD Program Overview

The 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.

The School of Economics PhD program commences with a one-year coursework master degree followed by a 4 year PhD degree. Incoming students undertake one year of coursework within the Master of Advanced Economics (MAdvEcon) degree (an alternative pathway is via an approved Bachelor of Economics Honours program). Successful candidates may then apply to enrol in the PhD degree where they will complete 3 compulsory courses of advanced coursework, participate in a colloquium and prepare a research paper, before embarking on the completion of their thesis over the subsequent 3 years. During the thesis research, internationally recognised faculty provides advice and guidance within a three-stage milestone process.  The MadvEcon follwed by the PhD program involves a total of 4 to 5 years of study.

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 considering applying for a PhD scholarship with UQ, be award that the PhD scholarship must be for full-time PhD enrolment only.

 Master of Advanced Economics

The Master of Advanced Economics (16 Units) has eight compulsory courses. This program is for applicants whom have previously completed a relevant bachelor honours degree or equivalent, or a relevant postgraduate degree in economics or cognate discipline.

Course Code


Course Title



Quantitative Skills for Economics



Microeconomics A



Macroeconomics A



Advanced Econometric Theory



Computational Methods in Economics



Microeconomics B



Macroeconomics B



Advanced Microeconometrics

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 entering in the Master of Advanced Economics (24 Units) additionally have to take ECON7850-Research Thesis (8 Units). This program is for applicants who have previously completed a relevant bachelor degree or equivalent. This thesis is to be submitted prior to the commencement of the PhD Degree.


 PhD Degree

In the first semester of the PhD Degree, students take fields courses delivered in three modules. The available fields will be announced at the beginning of the second year. 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

The field courses might change from year to year.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of courses that might be on offer:

  • Industrial organization/public policy
  • Monetary economics/frictions
  • Experimental/behavioural economics
  • Mechanism design/applied theory
  • Productivity analysis/networks
  • Growth/development
  • Environmental/resource economics
  • Political economy/applied microeconomics
  • Labor and Development
  • Applied 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 provides advice, guidance and supervision in all fields of specialisation. The School actively supports the placement of Ph.D. graduates in positions at prestigious universities, government agencies and private corporations.

Pathways to the PhD Program

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

Admission & Financial Support 

Your application package 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. 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 the PhD program and scholarship. Entry to the program is for RQ 1, (January) only.

Applications for the UQ School of Economics PhD program must first apply to the Master of Advanced Economics.

Applicants with a relevant bachelor honours degree or equivalent; or a relevant postgraduate degree in economics or cognate discipline, please apply to the Master of Advanced Economics (MAdvEcon(16 Units)) degree by completing the online application for a courswork masters degree.

Applicants with a relevant bachelor degree in Economics or cognate discipline or equivalent please apply to the Master of Advanced Economics (MAdvEcon(24 Units)) degree by completing the online application


MPhil Program Overview

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 RHD Coordinator. Any exemption from these requirements has to be approved by the RHD 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 Research Higher Degrees 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 Research Higher Degrees 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.


Living and Studying in Brisbane

With a population of over two million people, Brisbane has been described as one of the most liveable cities in the world. It offers a vibrant, friendly and multicultural environment. Brisbane’s clear blue skies, warm sunny days and tropical ambience promote an outdoor lifestyle. As Australia’s third largest city, Queensland’s capital is a vibrant hub for visitors and locals alike.

UQ and the School of Economics reflect the multicultural aspect of the city with a high and ever increasing proportion of international students from all over the world. The School of Economics has 1200 students enrolled, including more than 450 international students from 48 countries. More information about UQ for international students, including the study environment, links to estimated living costs, support services, information for students with families can be found at here.

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