The PhD programme in Applied Economics is unlike any other in the Catalan university context. The programme aims to provide future researchers with a sound knowledge of economic theory, quantitative methods and methodological tools, to help them conduct original, high-quality research in applied economics.

The programme covers a broad range of research areas, with teaching staff of a high academic level. As well as the members of the department, several other internationally-renowned lecturers carry out teaching and supervisory tasks on the programme.

The objective of the PhD is to prepare students to conduct original, high-quality research that makes a significant contribution to the discipline. The theses on this programme must display knowledge of the main scientific debates and contributions, mastery of cutting-edge tools for quantitative and qualitative analysis and the ability to present research results with scientific rigour and in accordance with the canons of the discipline. The goal is to publish the research in leading journals and achieve maximum dissemination.

Candidate profile

The expected profile is that of a student with a master's degree or equivalent in economics, preferably obtained in the last three years, with a good background in macroeconomics and microeconomics and a good command of English. Access to this programme will also be considered for applicants with suitable professional experience.

Professional opportunities

The experience of the last few years shows that most graduates from this programme go on to pursue an academic career. A large number of these graduates are currently employed as lecturers and researchers at different research centres and universities in Spain and abroad. It is worth pointing out here that the department provides support to candidates in the economists' Job Market.

Secondly, several graduates from the programme are working in different areas of public administration (Generalitat, Ministries, CTESC, etc.) and national and international organisations, both public and private (World Bank, European Union, Central Banks in different countries, etc.), mainly in research but also in management roles.

Objectives and justification

The objective of the PhD in Applied Economics is to prepare students to carry out an original, complex and innovative research project that makes a significant contribution to the discipline and is of great practical use to economic actors, the government and the markets.

The research is to be presented in a doctoral thesis. The programme therefore seeks to train up PhD graduates who conduct high-quality research and can disseminate it widely amongst the scientific community through presentations at international conferences and publication in high-impact journals. In addition to its academic importance, the research should be useful to society, providing options for decision-makers in politics and business.

In their theses, students must display knowledge of the main scientific debates and contributions, especially in the particular research area, mastery of cutting-edge tools for quantitative and qualitative analysis, and the ability to present research results with scientific rigour and in accordance with the canons of the discipline.

The programme promotes the internationalisation of studies and to this end a PhD studies network involving other European and American programmes is being constituted. In addition, there is a history of collaboration with researchers from different institutions: special-topic courses delivered by prestigious international researchers, thesis co-supervision, weekly seminars, etc.

Finally, there is an annual monitoring session, in the shape of a doctoral workshop since 2013, which helps to track the quality and timing of research projects.

Research infrastructure

Besides the physical resources for teaching and research that the UAB provides for all its PhD programmes, students on this programme can also make use of the following research infrastructures.

Physical resources available to the programme.

  • Fully-equipped seminar room. Room for postgraduate training activities, seminars, presentations, etc.
  • Study room with 16 individual booths. Wi-Fi.
  • Fully-equipped computer room, with 16 computers that are renewed regularly and which have the general and specific software (statistics and econometrics programmes) needed for research.
  • Other physical resources: projector, two laptop computers, fax, noticeboard etc.

Support services for students on the programme.

  • 4 UAB administrative and service staff members belong to the department: a departmental manager, 2 clerks and a research support specialist.
  • Website of the Department of Applied Economics and website of the PhD programme. Publication of the Working Papers on the department's website and publication in RePEc.

The services and physical resources of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies are also available.


Rosella Nicolini

Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

  • Rosella Nicolini
  • José Luis Roig Sabaté
  • Miquel Àngel García López
  • Ángel Luis López Rodríguez
  • Francesc Trillas Jané




Contact person: Imma Ruano (departmental manager)
Deparment of Applied Economics
Building B, Bellaterra Campus, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 581 22 75
Fax: +34 93 581 22 92


Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Preferably in English, but Catalan and Spanish are also allowed
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Applied Economics

Collaborating institutions:

Cooperation agreement of graduate programmes:

  • Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Universidad de la República (ULARE). Uruguay

Conventions of joint supervision:

  • Université de Paris X Nanterre

The program has submitted an application to the European call ERASMUS + to set up a collaborative network between the PhD programmes of City University London (UK), Queens College City University of New York (CUNY. United States), Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), Universiteit Gent (Belgium), University of Groningen (Netherlands). The company ENT Consulting and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona will also participate in this network.

Social Sciences and Law

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