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Masters and PhD: Postgraduate Economics in Nigeria

Last Updated on November 25, 2023


Postgraduate education refers to advanced academic studies pursued after completing undergraduate degrees.

It provides students with in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific field of study.

In Nigeria, postgraduate economics education holds significant importance for various reasons.

Firstly, postgraduate economics education equips individuals with specialized knowledge and skills required for economic analysis and policy formulation.

With Nigeria’s developing economy and the need for effective economic management, there is a growing demand for professionals who can provide expert guidance in economic decision-making.

Secondly, postgraduate economics education enables students to conduct research and contribute to the existing body of economic knowledge.

Nigeria faces various economic challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and income inequality.

Through research, postgraduate students can identify and propose solutions to these critical issues, thereby facilitating the country’s overall development.

Furthermore, postgraduate economics education opens doors to rewarding career opportunities.

Graduates can pursue careers in academia, research institutions, government agencies, or multinational corporations.

Their specialized knowledge allows them to take on roles such as economists, financial analysts, consultants, or policymakers, contributing to the economic growth and stability of Nigeria.

In essence, postgraduate economics education in Nigeria plays a crucial role in shaping the country’s economic development.

It equips individuals with specialized knowledge, enables research, and opens doors to rewarding career opportunities.

As Nigeria strives for sustainable economic growth, investing in postgraduate economics education is essential for a brighter future.

Masters in Economics in Nigeria

Eligibility criteria for pursuing a master’s degree in economics

  1. A bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field is typically required.

  2. Some universities may have specific grade requirements for admission.

  3. Relevant work experience can be beneficial for admission into a master’s program.

Admission process and requirements

  1. Prospective students need to fill out an application form for their desired program.

  2. Applicants are usually required to submit their academic transcripts and a statement of purpose.

  3. Some institutions may also require letters of recommendation or a resume/cv.

  4. Students may be asked to sit for an entrance examination or attend an interview.

Duration of the program

  1. The duration of a master’s program in economics in Nigeria typically ranges from 1 to 2 years.

  2. The length can vary depending on whether the program is offered on a full-time or part-time basis.

Coursework and curriculum

  1. Students can expect to take courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and economic theory.

  2. Other subjects like public finance, development economics, and international economics may also be included.

  3. Some programs allow students to choose elective courses to tailor their studies to specific areas of interest.

Opportunities for specialization

  1. Students can specialize in various areas within economics, such as financial economics, agricultural economics, or industrial economics.

  2. Specialization allows students to develop expertise and conduct research in their chosen field.

Career prospects after completing a master’s degree in economics

  1. Graduates can pursue careers in government agencies, financial institutions, research organizations, and multinational companies.

  2. Job roles may include economic analysts, policy advisors, financial consultants, or research economists.

  3. Some graduates may choose to further their studies by pursuing a Ph.D. in economics for academic or research-oriented careers.

Read: Importance of Policy Planning in Nigerian Education

PhD in Economics in Nigeria

  1. Eligibility criteria for pursuing a PhD in economics: To pursue a PhD in economics in Nigeria, candidates must have a master’s degree in economics or a related field.

  2. Admission process and requirements: The admission process for a PhD in economics typically involves submitting an application and relevant documents, such as academic transcripts and recommendation letters.

  3. Duration of the program: The duration of a PhD in economics in Nigeria varies, but it generally takes around 4-6 years to complete the program.

  4. Research proposal and thesis requirements: As part of the program, students are required to develop a research proposal and complete a thesis based on original research.

  5. Coursework and research components: PhD students in economics are typically required to take advanced coursework in economic theory, econometrics, and research methods.

  6. Opportunities for specialization: Students pursuing a PhD in economics have the opportunity to specialize in various subfields, such as monetary economics, development economics, or international economics.

Career prospects after completing a PhD in economics Graduates with a PhD in economics in Nigeria can pursue careers in academia, research institutions, government agencies, or international organizations.

Read: Graduate Stories: Thriving with an Economics Degree in Nigeria

Accredited Institutions Offering Postgraduate Economics Programs

Reputable universities in Nigeria offering master’s and PhD programs in economics

  1. University of Lagos

  2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka

  3. University of Ibadan

  4. Ahmadu Bello University

  5. University of Benin

Overview of their program offerings, faculty, and facilities

  1. University of Lagos offers both master’s and PhD programs in economics. They have a strong faculty with expertise in various areas of economics.

    The university provides state-of-the-art facilities for research and learning.

  2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka has a well-established economics department offering master’s and PhD programs.

    The faculty consists of experienced professors who are actively involved in research. The university provides excellent research facilities.

  3. University of Ibadan has a renowned economics department that offers both master’s and PhD programs.

    The faculty is composed of highly qualified professors who are respected in the field. The university has modern facilities for research and teaching.

  4. Ahmadu Bello University offers master’s and PhD programs in economics. The faculty is comprised of experienced economists who have published extensively.

    The university provides adequate facilities for research and learning.

  5. University of Benin has a reputable economics department that offers master’s and PhD programs.

    The faculty consists of dedicated professors who are actively engaged in research. The university provides well-equipped facilities for students.

Ranking and reputation of these institutions

These universities are highly regarded in Nigeria and have a strong reputation in the field of economics.

They are consistently ranked among the top institutions for postgraduate economics programs.

The faculty members are well-respected experts in their respective areas of specialization.

The universities provide excellent research and learning facilities, creating a conducive environment for academic growth.

The University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and University of Ibadan are particularly recognized for their contributions to the field of economics through research publications and collaborations with international institutions.

Ahmadu Bello University and University of Benin have also produced notable economists who have made significant contributions to the country’s economic development.

Employers in both academia and industry highly value graduates from these institutions, as they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the field of economics.

Students who pursue postgraduate economics programs in these accredited institutions can expect a comprehensive curriculum, distinguished faculty members, and state-of-the-art facilities, which will greatly enhance their learning experience and future career prospects.

In short, the accredited institutions offering postgraduate economics programs in Nigeria provide students with excellent opportunities for advanced studies in the field.

The universities have established themselves as leaders in economics education and research, attracting top faculty and producing highly skilled graduates who contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.

Read: Nigeria’s Top Universities for Ed. Administration

Masters and PhD: Postgraduate Economics in Nigeria

Funding Opportunities for Postgraduate Economics Students

Scholarships and grants play a significant role in alleviating the financial burden and allowing students to focus on their studies.

Funding opportunities are crucial for postgraduate economics students in Nigeria as pursuing a master’s or PhD program can be financially challenging.

Scholarships and grants available for master’s and PhD students in Nigeria

Scholarships and grants offer financial support to deserving students.

The following scholarships and grants are available for master’s and PhD students:

  1. PTDF Scholarship Scheme: This scheme provides funding for Nigerian students to pursue their postgraduate studies in specific fields, including economics.

  2. NDDC Postgraduate Foreign Scholarship Program: This program offers scholarships to Nigerian students for studies abroad in various disciplines, including economics.

  3. Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan: Nigerian students can apply for this scholarship to study in the UK under various postgraduate economics programs.

  4. TETFund Academic Staff Training and Development: This fund provides support for academic staff members pursuing postgraduate degrees in Nigeria, including economics.

  5. MTN Foundation Scholarships: MTN Foundation grants scholarships to Nigerian students for various courses, including economics.

Research and teaching assistantship opportunities

Research and teaching assistantship opportunities are another way for postgraduate economics students to secure funding.

These opportunities provide financial support while gaining valuable research and teaching experience:

  1. Research assistant positions in universities: Many universities offer research assistant positions to postgraduate students in economics departments.

  2. Teaching assistant positions in economics departments: Students can serve as teaching assistants, helping professors with course-related tasks and receiving financial compensation.

  3. Research projects funded by international organizations: Students can participate in research projects funded by international organizations, gaining financial support and valuable research experience.

Government funding schemes for postgraduate education

The government also offers funding schemes for postgraduate education in economics:

  1. Nigerian Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) Scholarship Programs: These programs provide scholarships to outstanding Nigerian students pursuing postgraduate studies in various fields, including economics.

  2. Nigerian Economic Society (NES) Grants: NES offers grants to researchers and students conducting research in economics-related areas.

  3. National Research Fund for Advancement of Knowledge (NRF-AoK): This fund supports research projects in various disciplines, including economics, to promote knowledge advancement in Nigeria.

  4. Nigeria Scholarship Award Scheme: The Nigerian government awards scholarships to students pursuing postgraduate studies, including economics, both within and outside the country.

  5. National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) Research Grants: NCCE provides grants to researchers conducting studies related to education at the college level, which could include economics education.

It is important for postgraduate economics students to explore various funding options to ensure a smooth and financially manageable academic journey.

Scholarships, grants, research, and teaching assistantships, as well as government funding schemes, are valuable resources that can support students in achieving their educational and career goals.

Read: Comparing Nigerian Economic Syllabuses: Which Stands Out?

Challenges and Solutions in Pursuing Postgraduate Economics Studies in Nigeria

Limited availability of research resources and data

  1. The scarcity of up-to-date research materials and data poses a significant challenge for postgraduate economics students.

  2. This limited availability hampers the ability to conduct comprehensive and innovative research in Nigeria.

  3. To address this challenge, universities and research institutions should invest in expanding their libraries and databases.

  4. Collaborations with international institutions can also facilitate access to a wider range of research resources and data.

  5. Efforts should be made to establish partnerships with foreign universities that possess extensive research databases.

Infrastructure and technological challenges

  1. Inadequate infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, poses a major hurdle for postgraduate economics students.

  2. Poor internet connectivity and unreliable power supply limit access to online resources and hinder research progress.

  3. By investing in infrastructure development, such as better internet connectivity and stable power supply, these challenges can be mitigated.

  4. Government assistance and collaboration with private entities can help in improving infrastructure in educational institutions.

  5. Efforts to provide funding and support for research on technology integration in economics studies can also be beneficial.

Brain drain and attraction of international opportunities

  1. The brain drain phenomenon, where talented individuals migrate abroad, is a significant challenge faced by postgraduate economics studies in Nigeria.

  2. The allure of better opportunities and superior academic environments abroad acts as a magnet for talented students and researchers.

  3. To combat brain drain, Nigerian universities should focus on creating an environment conducive to learning and research.

  4. Attracting and retaining qualified faculty members can also strengthen the academic ecosystem, making it more appealing for students.

  5. Enhancing funding opportunities and scholarships for postgraduate economics students can help in retaining talent within the country.

Capacity-building initiatives and collaborations

  1. Insufficient capacity building initiatives can pose a challenge for postgraduate economics studies in Nigeria.

  2. Collaborations between universities, research institutions, and relevant industries can enhance the quality of education and research.

  3. Establishing partnerships with international universities can facilitate faculty exchanges and support knowledge transfer.

  4. Capacity building programs aimed at enhancing research skills, critical thinking, and data analysis should be introduced.

  5. Encouraging active participation in conferences, seminars, and workshops can also contribute to the growth of postgraduate economics studies.

In review, pursuing postgraduate economics studies in Nigeria comes with its own set of challenges.

However, by addressing these challenges through increased availability of research resources, improving infrastructure and technology, combating brain drain, and implementing capacity building initiatives, the Nigerian academic landscape can be transformed.

With collaborative efforts and a conducive learning environment, postgraduate economics studies in Nigeria can thrive and contribute to national and global development.


Postgraduate economics education is crucial in Nigeria as it equips individuals with advanced knowledge and skills necessary for economic development.

For aspiring students, pursuing higher studies in economics offers numerous opportunities to contribute to the economic growth and policy-making in Nigeria.

The future prospects of postgraduate economics in Nigeria are promising, with increasing demand for economists in both public and private sectors.

Students should take advantage of this and pursue higher studies.

With their expertise, they can address the economic challenges Nigeria faces and contribute to its growth.

As Nigeria continues to strive for development, a strong foundation of skilled economists is essential for sustainable progress and prosperity.

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