PhD in Economics

The Crawford Economics PhD is a degree program that applies the discipline of economics to matters of public policy. As Australia’s national university, the ANU is home to the country’s leading group of economists concerned with economic policy. In applications as diverse as natural resources, international trade and finance, economic development, and the environment, ANU economists are national and world leaders. Their interests encompass policy issues in Australia, the neighbouring Asia-Pacific region, and other countries of the world as well as the international economic institutions. Crawford Economics PhD brings this expertise together to inform a new generation of researchers and policy makers through postgraduate research training.

An important feature of the Crawford Economics PhD is the year of coursework that is tailored to budding researchers in all areas of economic analysis of public policy. The applied and policy-oriented nature of these courses are what distinguish this PhD degree from the companion Economics PhD program at the ANU College of Business and Economics, although the two programs work in close harmony with similar rules and procedures.

Prospective PhD candidates please follow these steps.

Step 1: Check your eligibility

To be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy, Economics PhD program you are required to have achieved:

• A Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours Division A in economics with a minimum weighted average of 75 from an Australian Go8 university or equivalent, or

• A Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours Division A with a minimum weighted average of 75 from an Australian Go8 university or equivalent, which includes a major or equivalent in economics or is complemented by a Master degree or equivalent in economics, or

• A Master degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification in economics that is deemed by the Economics HDR Convenor to be at least equivalent to Second Class Honours Division A at ANU, with a minimum weighted average of 75, or

• A Master degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification in economics that is deemed by the Economics HDR Convenor to be at least equivalent to Second Class Honours Division A at ANU, with a minimum weighted average of 70 plus research experience, potentially including a research project at the Master level, academic publications, and/or research experience in a work setting.

In the above, economics includes specialised or closely related fields such as agricultural economics but does not include business or accounting. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Economics HDR Convenor.

Candidates are assumed to have a background in mathematical economics at least at the level of ECON8013 Optimisation for Economics and Financial Economics or IDEC8015 Mathematical Methods in Applied Economics and a background in econometrics at least at the level of EMET8005 Econometric Methods and Modelling or IDEC8017 Econometric Techniques. Candidates can otherwise complete these courses as part of their program, but these courses will not be counted towards the Part A coursework requirement.

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

Where relevant, it is possible for students to apply for credit for some of the Part A courses in line with the Research Awards Rule 2021.

Inquiries regarding the admission requirements and possible course credit may be addressed to the Economics HDR Convenor.

Step 2: Look for two possible supervisors

Please look through the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics academics list to search for supervisors. Note that some of the academics listed might not be available to take on more students. At ANU, Higher Degree Research students have a Chair of Panel, Primary Supervisor, and Associate Supervisors (advisors). If you apply to enter the PhD in Economics, the Primary Supervisor and a second supervisor need to be from the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at ANU.

Step 3: Write the thesis proposal within 7–8 pages


Give a precise and informative description of the project.


A summary of the proposed research that includes the key research question or hypothesis, the rationale for the research, the region under study, and the method to be employed in the research.

Aims & significance

A clearly focused statement of the overall purpose of the proposed research (i.e. why is it important?).

Research questions &/or hypotheses

The questions that the proposed research will address and/or the hypotheses that will be tested.

Literature review

You need to demonstrate that are aware of the wider literature published internationally and your research can be engaged with the on-going debates. Therefore, you need to provide a preliminary review of the key research that has already been carried out in the field and identification of the gaps in the literature that the proposed research aims to fill.


A proposal should spell out at least initial ideas for the methods. You should discuss how the proposed methods are appropriate for the proposed project, and indicate the likely feasibility of the proposed approach. Give an explanation of what type of data will be required and how it will be collected, and how the data will be analysed.


An indication of how the research will be carried out over the duration of a full-time (3–4 years) or part-time (6–8 years) candidature.


If relevant, an indication of the funding that will be required (such as for fieldwork) and options for procuring external funding, as well any special materials or training that may be necessary for the successful completion of the project.

Institutional fit

A statement on why the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics is suitable for your project and an indication of potential supervisors.


A list of references cited in or relevant to the proposal.

Step 4: Submit an expression of interest to potential supervisors

Before submitting an application for admission, you must submit an expression of interest by emailing the following documents to two potential supervisors:

• Curriculum vitae (CV)
• Academic transcripts
• IELTS/TOEFL results (if applicable)
• Thesis proposal (7–8 pages)

Your potential supervisors might arrange an interview with you either in person or online.

Step 5: Make a formal application to ANU

• A minimum of 3 letters of reference required (at least 2 academic)

• Have two confirmed Arndt-Corden Department of Economics academics willing to be your proposed supervisors.

Once both supervisors have signed off on your proposal, you may then submit an online application. Your application will be sent to the Crawford HDR Admissions Committee for assessment at the next Crawford HDR Admissions meeting. Please contact the Crawford HDR Coordinator for more information and see PhD programs for due dates.

Part A - Compulsory coursework requirements

Economics students must successfully complete CRWF9000 Fostering Public Policy Research (0 units) and 48 units in the first 12 months of candidature or part-time equivalent. This includes the following three compulsory courses:

  • IDEC8064 Masters Microeconomics
  • IDEC8008 Open Economy Macroeconomics, Finance, and Development
  • IDEC9024 Economics Seminars

And at least one compulsory advanced econometrics course from the below list:

  • EMET8001 Applied Micro-Econometrics
  • EMET8010 Applied Macro and Financial Econometrics
  • IDEC8023 Case Studies in Applied Econometrics
  • IDEC8026 Quantitative Policy Impact Evaluation

Note: With approval of their Chair of Panel, students have the option of substituting ECON8011 for IDEC8064 and/or ECON8022 for IDEC8008.

Students must also complete four electives from the set of courses below, chosen in accordance with the candidate’s research interests and on the advice of the candidate’s Chair of Panel:

Suitable electives offered by the Crawford School of Public Policy (not all courses are offered in all years; check for availability):

  • IDEC8007 Aid and Development Policy
  • IDEC8010 Quantitative International Economics
  • IDEC8012 Quantitative Methods for Monetary Policy Analysis
  • IDEC8014 Quantitative Financial Economics
  • IDEC8018 Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • IDEC8020 Applied Economic Dynamics
  • IDEC8021 The Chinese Economy
  • IDEC8022 Economic Development
  • IDEC8023 Case Studies in Applied Econometrics
  • IDEC8025 Empirical Public Finance
  • IDEC8028 The Microeconomics of Development
  • IDEC8030 Issues in Applied Macroeconomics
  • IDEC8034 Middle Eastern Economies
  • IDEC8035 Islamic Economies in Practice
  • IDEC8037 Pacific Economies and Politics
  • IDEC8053 Environmental Economics
  • IDEC8081 Economics of Incentives and Institutions
  • IDEC8083 Financial Markets and Instruments
  • IDEC8088 Cost-Benefit Analysis: Principles and Practice
  • IDEC8089 Energy Economics
  • IDEC8127 Modelling the Global Economy: Techniques and Policy Implications
  • EMDV8080 International Climate Change Policy and Economics
  • EMDV8081 Domestic Climate Change Policy and Economics

Suitable electives offered by the Research School of Economics (not all courses are offered in all years; check for availability):

Part B – Supervised research and thesis

Following successful completion of Part A, candidates commence Part B of the program comprising a period of study normally equivalent to between 24 and 36 months of full-time research. During this period, each candidate writes a doctoral thesis. When the thesis is complete, the candidate submits the thesis to be examined. The thesis will be examined by two to three outside examiners who are experts in the relevant field. The PhD degree is awarded solely on the basis of the examination of the research thesis. While examiners would be aware the candidate has completed coursework requirements, the level of performance in coursework is not taken into account in examining the candidate for the award of the degree.

During Part B, each candidate is expected to contribute regularly to seminars in the Crawford Economics PhD seminar. Such contribution should include regular attendance, active involvement including constructive comments on the work of others, and presenting at least once a year.

Progress milestones in Part B

It is University policy that each candidate’s progress should be reviewed periodically. In every year of their PhD studies, PhD candidates are required to submit an Annual Plan, which outlines their research plan for the next twelve months, and a Progress Report, which summarises their progress in their research and also discusses difficulties or changes in their research path, if any. The Progress Report and the Annual Plan form the basis of the student’s Annual Review. In addition to these, in the second year, candidates must submit their Thesis Proposal for review. The proposal is a description of the research questions to be studied in the thesis, and a discussion of the structure of the thesis and its time plan. From this document the student’s supervisory panel can judge the originality, significance, adequacy and achievability of the thesis plan.

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Updated:  5 March 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team