Dept of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics | Study here | PhD Programmes | Economics and Finance MPhil/PhD programme
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Economics and Finance PhD: The Bloomsbury Programme

Student Testimonial

Programme Director: Dr Yunus Aksoy

The Bloomsbury PhD Programme is a high-level training programme for students aiming towards a research degree in economics or finance. The programme is taught by the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck and the Economics Department at the nearby University College London. Full-time students undertaking the programme are first-year (or in exceptional cases second-year) research students, already in possession of a suitable Master's degree.

The UK MPhil/PhD involves significantly less coursework than a US PhD and therefore students must have MSc degrees or their equivalent on entering. Normally we do not consider applications from those students whose average grade is less than 60% across all modules of an MSc degree. Birkbeck offers MSc programmes in Economics, Financial Economics, Finance, Financial Risk Management and Financial Engineering.

According to University of London regulations, students are initially registered for the MPhil degree. Subject to satisfactory progress (completion of at least one thesis chapter which is not a survey of the literature) and presentation of their research in the doctoral seminar of the Department, they then transfer registration to PhD, normally during their second year. The rest of the PhD involves writing a dissertation under the supervision of a faculty adviser.

The programme is administered by the Department and taught by the Department and UCL for some options, and is supported by the College Research School.

A useful guide for research students is available here.

PhD Programme Courses

Beginning full-time MPhil/PhD students are required to attend a series of lectures and research workshops, covering topics that are at the cutting edge of recent developments in economic theory and methodology. Students also select option classes from the MSc Economics, the MSc Financial Economics, the MSc Finance, the MSc financial Risk Management or the MSc Financial Engineering at Birkbeck or at UCL. After coursework, students proceed to write a PhD dissertation. Appropriate coursework for part-time MPhil/PhD students will be agreed between the student and their supervisor..

In Term 1 (October-December), students are required to follow two research workshops.

In Term 2 (January-March), students are required to take at least two courses from MSc Option courses at either Birkbeck or UCL. Students can also take courses offered at other University of London colleges. In addition to the choice being from the approved list, each student's choice of courses is subject to her/his Principal Supervisor's approval. Criteria for approval include relevance to the student's research and novelty of the material to the student: students will not be allowed to retake courses identical or very similar to those already taken at MSc level. Each of these courses is examined in a way deemed appropriate by the course lecturer. Students are normally expected to achieve a grade of at least 60% in all required courses in order to be admitted into the second year of the programme.

Courses from the following programmes will be offered this year.

The London Graduate School in Mathematical Finance is a consortium of the mathematical finance groups at Birkbeck, Brunel University, Imperial College, King's College, LSE and UCL. Its primary purpose is to provide a programme of advanced courses in mathematical finance, primarily for first-year PhD students in the various groups. The programme started in October 2006. A further activity of the School is organization of PhD Seminar Days, in which students have the opportunity to present their work.