Key information



Types of study

Full time / Part time


Full-time: normally 3-4 years / Part-time: normally 6-8 years

Start date

February or September each year

Programme overview

Nottingham School of Economics has a reputation for producing internationally excellent, high-impact research. The School includes a number of research centres and groups, with their own research staff, active international networks and programmes of visiting researchers. These centres include The Centre for Globalisation and Economic Policy, which has a presence at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC).

Students will be registered at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, and graduates will be awarded a University of Nottingham (UK) degree, which is also recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Research interests

The PhD programme offers flexible supervision between the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and the University of Nottingham (UK). Students have opportunities to doing research with expert supervision in the following areas:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • International trade
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Economics of regional integration
  • Tourism economics
  • Development economics
  • Economics of emerging economies (e.g., China & African countries)
  • Mathematical economics
  • Game theory
  • Financial economics
  • Public economics
  • Health economics
  • Education economics
  • Environmental economics
  • Labour economics
  • Behavioural economics

For research proposal discussion, Associate Professor Michael Chua: 

How to find a supervisor

Staff in the School of Economics at UNNC are willing to supervise topics in a wide range of fields of economics. Below are some of the specific research interests of our staff, but they are open to supervise other topics as well. Supervision teams at UNNC will also include a supervisor or reviewer based in the UK School of Economics, further widening the pool of expertise available.

Staff Supervision Areas

Zhuo Chen
  I am interested in supervising graduate research in the area of labor/health economics, applied econometrics, and economics related to emerging economies. I have a particular interest in policy and program evaluation, economics related to precision medicine, economics of prevention and public health, mental health, health disparities, and gender economics.
Paolo Epifani
  I am happy to supervise research in the field of theory and empirics of international trade. Specially, research topics include effects of globalization and trade policy on: domestic and international institutions, international specialization and the geography of economic activity, market structure and mark-ups, the organization of firms and export behavior, income distribution and wage inequality.
Chang Liu

I am interested to supervise graduate students in broad areas like the tourism economics, health economics, urban economics focus on urban planning and urban renewal; I am also interested in topics around Belt and Road initiative under the FDI context.

Yifei Cao

I am keen to supervise PhD and Master students in empirical banking studies, including but not limited to the following topics: bank lending, banking stability, macro-prudential policies, sovereign-bank nexus and Chinese banking sector.

Chew Lian Chua 

I am keen to supervise students in the areas of applied economics and applied econometrics. In particular, in time series econometrics and applied macroeconometrics.  

Jingong Huang

I am interested in supervising students on topics on economic growth, firm productivity, financial and sovereign risk spillovers, international trade, labor market dynamics and any other areas broadly defined as macroeconomics.

Chee Kian Leong

I am happy to supervise research in the field of computational economics and econometrics. In particular, I am interested in agent-based modelling and the applications of data mining techniques in economics.

Zhenjiang Lin 

I would be happy to supervise graduate research in the area of both theoretical and applied macroeconometrics. I am particularly interested in simulation-based and irregular inference methods and numerical optimization methods. 

Wai-Heng Loke

I am keen to supervise PhD and Master’s students in empirical research in International Economics, including international trade, trade policy, trade costs, economics of regional integration, particularly related to the East Asia region, China and Southeast Asia, China’s Belt Road Initiatives.

Xuyan Lou

I am happy to supervise graduate research in topics related to the field of labour economics, health economics and development economics. I am particularly interested in household-related issues, such as education, marriage, and financial decisions.

Stuart McDonald 

I am an applied theorist. My research currently focuses on topics to do with industrial organization (anti-trust and competition policy, innovation policy, price discrimination, mixed public/private ownership of companies) and environmental economics (the impact of emissions taxes, standards, permits and quotas on oligopolistic markets and optimal enforcement of environmental regulation). I am will to supervise PhDs and masters students in any of the topics listed above. I prefer theory, but I have worked theses combining theory with experiments and econometric analysis, but such theses require co-supervision with a behavioral economist or an applied microeconomist.

Xuewen Qian

My main research is in game theory and its applications in economics. In particular, I would be happy to supervise the following areas: rationalizability, implementation theory, mechanism design, network games, matching theory.

 Chen Qu

 I am interested in graduate research in theoretical game theory and its applications in different fields of economics. My current research focuses on solution concepts defined by using iterated elimination procedures in normal form and extensive form games. I'm also willing to investigate topics in matching and coalition formation with my students. In terms of applications, I would be happy to supervise topics in theories of industrial organization, particularly, cooperative behaviors like patent pooling. I expect to supervise graduate students who have a certain level of mathematical sophistication and abstract reasoning.

Chaoyan Wang

I am happy to supervise research students in the broad area of financial economics and asset pricing. I am particularly interested in the topics which related to behavioral finance and the topics incorporating the application of machine learning and big data.

Entry requirements

If you apply to a PhD programme, you will generally need to hold a bachelor degree at Upper Second Class level and a masters at merit level or above in a relevant subject (or international equivalent). 

The following will be considered when making an offer: 

  1. academic performance during the undergraduate and postgraduate study
  2. research papers published in international academic journals
  3. quality of the research proposal
  4. research potential and attitude
  5. English proficiency  

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all elements)
  • PTE Academics: 71 (minimum 65)
  • TOEFL (IBT): 87 (minimum 20 in Speaking and 19 in all other elements)

* Grades/scores are valid for a maximum period of two years prior to the date of registration.

Applicants from the following countries or have studied for a degree there (excl. split site degree programmes) are NOT required to submit any further evidence of English language ability:

  • Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica;
  • New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States of America.

How to apply

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.


Our PhD students have gone on to a wide range of careers, including academic positions in many famous universities. Below are some of the career destinations of our latest completed PhD students.

  • Zhang Hanyuan (2022), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Assistant Professor
  • Samuel Ampaw (2022), Northwestern University, Postdoctoral
  • Chunfei Weng (2022), University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Teaching Fellow
  • Zhangfeng Jin (2018), Zhejiang University, Postdoctoral researcher
  • Feicheng Wang (2017), University of Göttingen, Postdoctoral researcher
  • Shubin Yang (2017), Central China Normal University, Lecturer
  • Zhaohui Niu (2016), Beihang University, Postdoctoral researcher

Fees and funding


Tuition fees are adjusted annually and are set for each individual degree. Please follow the Gradaute School's fee information for details.


The School awards a full PhD scholarship once a year. Note that competition for this scholarship is very strong and students are advised to explore additional external sources of funding. Please see the University's PhD scholarships pages for further information. 

More information

For more details about our staff supervision areas, please click here

Student Recruitment and Admission Office (before application submission)

Room 231, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China

T. +86 (0) 574 8818 0182

Graduate School (after application submission)

Room 451-2, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China