The four-year doctoral program in economics sits amongst the world's top PhD programs, with substantial coursework and research and supervision available across a wide variety of areas in the field of economics.

The first year of the program provides broad instruction in the central tools of economic research. In the second year students take additional coursework with a focus on specific fields of research within the discipline.  Upon completion of the coursework, students proceed through to PhD candidature through a rigourous confirmation process. This process marks the beginning of a candidate's dissertation research. Candidates graduate with a Master of Economics and a Doctor of Philosophy. 

Program overview

  • Four year full-time (or equivalent) program, including one year full-time or equivalent of coursework at the Master of Economics level and 3 years full-time or equivalent PhD course
  • Year One: Master of Economics-level Coursework (100 points);
  • Year Two: PhD-level Coursework (100 points);
  • Years Three to Four: Research and Thesis Writing

Research pathways - economics



When undertaking the Doctoral Program in Economics we can offer PhD supervision for topics in a wide range of specialisations, including:

  • behavioural economics
  • development economics
  • econometric theory
  • economic design
  • economics of education
  • economics of innovation
  • experimental economics
  • financial economics
  • health economics
  • industrial economics
  • international economics
  • labour economics and social policy
  • labour market research and analysis
  • longitudinal survey research
  • macroeconomic forecasting and business cycles analysis
  • macroeconomic policy research
    and analysis
  • macroeconomics
  • microeconomic theory
  • micro-simulation modelling
  • monetary economics
  • social policy research and analysis.


Who should apply?

This 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 sectors.

Year 1 of the Doctoral Program


  • a four-year honours degree in economics at minimum H2A (75-79%) standard from an Australian university, or
  • a relevant postgraduate degree or combination of qualifications with at least an H2A (75-79%) average considered by the Research Higher Degrees Committee to be equivalent, and which includes completion of subjects that satisfy the prerequisites for both the core and quantitative subjects in the first year of the program.
Applicants are also required to provide results of the GRE*.
Candidates who successfully complete year 1 of the Doctoral Program will be awarded a Master of Economics.

*Applicants to the PhD degree in Economics offered by the Department of Economics and the Melbourne Institute are exempted from the GRE requirement if: they have previously provided a GRE result for their admission to the first year of the Doctoral Program in Economics (comprising the second year of the Master of Economics); or had that waived by the Faculty on the basis of completion of an Australian tertiary qualification within 18 months of applying OR as a holder of a permanent Humanitarian Visa for Australia.

Years 2 to 4 of the Doctoral Program

Progression from the first to second year of the program requires an average grade of at least H2A (75%) in the first year of the program.

Direct entry to the second year of the Doctoral Program will be considered for applicants who have completed the MEc and achieved a grade of at least H2A (75%), or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered by the Research Higher Degree Committee to be equivalent.

The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended PhD. In order to be deemed relevant, the degree must include the subjects ECON90012 Microeconomics II, ECON90014 Macroeconomics II, ECOM90014 Advanced Econometric Techniques II, and ECON90053 Mathematics for Economists, or their equivalents.

Students are required to attain an average mark of at least an H2A (75-79%) in their coursework in the first two years of the Doctoral Program and satisfy the requirements of a confirmation seminar.

The decision to award the degree is entirely based on the examination of the thesis.



Student Type

Cost per year


Local Student

Year One: Master of Economics-level Coursework (100 points)

$0 (HECS* exemption)

Year Two, Three and Four: PhD-level Coursework (100 points); Research and Thesis Writing

$0 (RTS**)


International Student

Years 1-4


Local students include Australian and New Zealand citizens, Australian permanent residents and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
*HECS - Higher Education Contribution Scheme
**RTS – Research Training Scheme


The University has a range of scholarships available to suitably qualified applicants through the Melbourne Scholarships Office. In addition, each FBE department offers top-up scholarships and funding opportunities for outstanding research students as detailed below.

The Faculty and Departments award a Special Coursework Studentship and Fee Remission Scholarship to all first-year Doctoral Program in Economics candidates with a scholarship score of 80 or above.

Economics Education Scholarship

read more

Health Economics Scholarship

read more

PhD candidate EconomicsThe Doctoral Program offers a good opportunity to develop a solid foundation via coursework before moving into research. I enjoy the chance to learn from academics that excel in their field, and to be surrounded by a group of intelligent and dedicated students.
Andrea La Nauze
Doctoral candidate Economics