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Course overview

(MPHD) Doctor of Philosophy
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
External Examiners for research degrees are appointed student by student due to the highly specialised nature of the awards. The names and institutions of External Examiners for research degrees are therefore not published on the programme specification. Supervisors discuss with students appropriate External Examiners and nominees are appointed in accordance with the University’s Ordinances. More information can be found in the Principal Regulations for Research Degrees and the accompanying Code of Practice.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 EC990-8-FY EC990-8-FY Research Plan Compulsory 0
02 EC991-8-AU or EC993-8-AU or EC995-8-AU Compulsory with Options 20
03 EC991-8-AU or EC993-8-AU or EC995-8-AU Compulsory with Options 20

Year 2 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 EC998-8-FY Economics - Completion Compulsory 0

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

In the first year of the 3-year programme each student must take two out of the doctoral modules offered in the Autumn Term. These usually are Topics in Macroeconomics, Topics in Economic Theory, Topics in Applied Economics. Students are also required to work towards a research paper starting with identifying an acceptable topic for the paper. This degree requires examinations and coursework but the degree itself is assessed on a dissertation (or thesis), which is written under the supervision of one or more members of the academic staff. For the PhD the maximum length of the dissertation is 80,000 words.

Course Outcomes
1. Continuation in the PhD programme beyond the first year is conditional upon obtaining a mark of at least 60 in both doctoral modules. Students must also obtain a mark of 60 on the research paper in order to continue on the PhD programme.
2. Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Knowledge of advanced economic principles at the forefront of contemporary economics
A2 Knowledge of a range of applications at the forefront of contemporary economics
A3 Understanding of the key strategies of economic research
A4 Understanding of the relationships between theory and empirical research in economics
A5 Awareness of the significance of alternative theoretical and methodological approaches to economic analysis
A6 Knowledge of the core methods used to analyse economic data.
Learning Methods: .
Assessment Methods: .

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Logically analyse a specified problem in economics and choose the most appropriate methods for its solution
B2 Exercise critical judgement in assessing the weights of competing theories and appraising their merits
B3 Formulate a coherent economic argument
B4 Construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of ideas at the forefront of contemporary economics
B5 Critically evaluate and interpret empirical evidence
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

C1 Identify, select and gather information using relevant sources, including the library and online searches
C2 Organise ideas in a systematic and critical fashion
C3 Present and critically assess advanced economic ideas and arguments coherently in writing
C4 Use and apply economic terminology and concepts.
C5 Apply econometric techniques to the analysis of quantitative data and summarise the results
C6 Plan and undertake an independent though supervised piece of research
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

D1 Communication in writing, using appropriate terminology and technical language: (a) the articulation of economic theories, (b) the description of economic evidence, (c) the critical assessment of economic arguments and policies
D2 Production of a word-processed research dissertation. Development of web-skills.
D3 Use of mathematical techniques to construct economic models and the use of econometric methods to analyse economic data.
D4 Application of econ omic reasoning to address complex issues involving economic phenomena
D5 Capacity to: (a) organise and implement a plan of independent study, (b) reflect on his or her own learning experience and adapt in response to feedback; (c) recognise when he or she needs to learn more and appreciate the role of additional research.
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: