Department of Economics

Lund University School of Economics and Management

The PhD Programme

The PhD programme aims to give students a deeper understanding of the field of Economics, a thorough training in research methodology and a good insight into the problems that arise in research and its empirical applications. Students who have completed their doctorates should be critical and independent researchers with the ability to plan and complete research projects.

Structure of the Programme

The programme consists of 240 credits (60 credits per year), of which 90 credits are courses and 150 credits are thesis work.

Typically, students devote the first year to coursework. The course package consists of a set of compulsory core courses providing students with key analytical and empirical skills and a broad knowledge of economics. The remaining elective courses are chosen based on the interest of the student. You can find more information about the coursework here

Towards the end of the first year, students gradually shift focus towards working on their thesis. The PhD thesis is usually written as a collection of separate papers together with an introduction. Usually, it consists of three papers, of which at least one must be single-authored. The papers can be in different fields. The papers are presented at seminars and reviewed by external reviewers before being publicly discussed and defended. The School of Economics and Management appoints an official discussant from another university and an examination committee to judge the thesis.

Funding and facilities

All PhD students are fully funded from day one of the programme. The funding comes in the form of a salary and is associated with the standard Swedish package of social security benefits. The funding is usually not tied to a specific professor or research project, which provides students with flexibility and independence regarding the choice of research topics. The department also offers travel funding to attend courses, summer schools, and conferences at other universities. All PhD students are offered a fully equipped office space and have access to the IT infrastructure and services linked to Lund University.

Research areas

The department offers a very active and dynamic research environment supported by frequent seminars, visitors, workshops, and conferences. The research activities are broadly divided into three areas reflected in the department’s seminar series: i) Applied Microeconomics, ii) Microeconomics: Theory and Experiments, iii) FEM - Finance, Econometrics and Macroeconomics. PhD students usually have full flexibility and independence regarding the choice of research topics, although many develop joint research projects with other students and faculty members.


The programme prepares students for highly qualified work inside and outside of academia. Around 50 per cent of the graduates pursue an academic career. The others find jobs in governmental agencies, NGOs, banks, research institutions, and private companies. Recent academic placements include Aalto University, BI Oslo, Copenhagen Business School, University of Copenhagen, University of Galway, University of Gothenburg, University of Oslo and University of York. Recent non-academic placements include Danske Bank, Danmarks Nationalbank, IKEA Group, OECD, Swedish Competition Authority, Sveriges Riksbank and Region Skåne.

Licentiate Degree

Usually, students aim for a PhD, but it is also possible to take a two-year Licentiate Degree (licentiatexamen). Requirements for enrolment are the same as for a PhD, but the examination requirements are, in principle, half those of a doctorate, that is, 60 credits of coursework and 60 credits of thesis work.


Study plans

The official plan of studies doctoral degree (in Swedish) (English translation)

The official plan of studies licentiate degree (in Swedish) (English translation)