Department of Economics

Lund University School of Economics and Management

The PhD Programme

The aim of the PhD programme is to give research 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 a research project.


The program consists of a total of 240 credits (60 credits per year), of which 90 credits are taken as courses and 150 credits consist of a thesis.

A total of 45 course credits in Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory and Econometrics are obligatory (7.5 credits Macroeconomics can be replaced by other specified courses if this is appropriate for the student's field of research). In addition there are 22.5 course compulsory credits in Mathematical Methods and Statistical Methods. These form the core courses.

The remaining 22.5 course credits can be chosen from the department's course program, taken at other universities or specially designed as reading courses. Courses taken from our Graduate Program as a part of a Masters degree can in many cases also be credited in the PhD degree, after a supplementary examination or research oriented assignment.

All courses in the Graduate Program are given in English.

The Thesis

The PhD thesis is usually written as a collection of separate papers together with an introduction. These papers should either have been published in a refereed international journal, or they should have a format that makes them "publishable". The thesis usually consists of three papers if they are all single-authored, while the number increases if more than one paper is co-authored. At least one paper must be single-authored.

All theses are 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.


If a student has a clear field of interest then a supervisor and an assistant supervisor will be appointed upon enrolment. A temporary supervisor, usually the coordinator of doctoral studies, will be appointed if a student cannot specify a field of interest.

Doctoral studies begin with the core courses discussed above; the exact timing will depend on which, if any, of these have been taken within a Masters degree. Students should begin to plan their theses by the end of their first year of studies at the latest, and thesis and course work will run parallel during the second and third years. The final year is usually devoted completely to work on the thesis.

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 course work 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)