Postgraduate study

Financial Technology PhD

Awards: PhD

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Financial Technology

Based in the central campus at the University of Edinburgh, the Business School seeks to set the agenda across a wide range of business disciplines, with our research areas staffed by teams whose work has real influence in business, government, and the public sector.

The School has significant research expertise in the following subject areas:

We aim to provide a highly dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community.

The Business School has received full research training accreditation both from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

The industry-funded PhD in Financial Technology programme trains students as researchers, allowing them to develop advanced techniques and in-depth knowledge in the financial technology area and solve real-world problems.

The programme is underpinned by year 1 training courses which you will use to develop an all-round knowledge of your discipline, enhance your research abilities and gain a broad range of transferable skills. With the exception of one core course, you will be able to tailor your course selection under the direction of your supervisory team.

From year 2 onward you will have the opportunity to study at the industrial partner’s location. Working under the guidance of supervisors located both with the University of Edinburgh and an appropriate industrial partner, you will carry out independent research to address a complex industrial challenge, resulting in an original contribution to knowledge to the field of financial technology.

To successfully progress and continue on the programme, you will undertake an annual review which consists of a written and oral component, where you must present your work to date and plans for the upcoming year of study.

The industry-funded PhD in Financial Technology programme offers a range of year 1 foundational courses. You will have the opportunity to tailor your course selection with your supervisory team using options from across the University.

Further training is available by EIT Digital; whereby you will study innovation and entrepreneurship modules delivered at partner universities (or the University of Edinburgh). Funding for travel along with living allowances for study as a visiting research student is provided.

The programme also encourages and supports training in transferable skills and personal development. While the development of such skills is an integral element of the courses offered through the programme, the School and the wider University provide numerous additional opportunities. Optional courses and learning opportunities are available and details are provided to new and returning students at the beginning and throughout each academic year.

The University of Edinburgh library has one of the largest and most important collections in Britain. It has some two million items including the latest publications, key texts, and rare books. The Business School has its own library located within the building, well stocked with specialist literature and subscription databases for which students will have access.

The Business School's location, right in the heart of Edinburgh, means you will be based close to the city’s cultural attractions, including a wealth of libraries, archives, museums and galleries. As a PhD student within the Business School, you will be able to make use of the modern facilities, resources and study spaces at the Business School, similar to academic and support staff.

In addition, in the first two years of the programme, you will have a base at the Bayes Centre, whereby you will also have access to facilities as granted to PhD students at the Schools of Informatics, Mathematics and Edinburgh College of Art.

The Business School offers training events and support for all our postgraduate research students in both academic and key life skills. In addition, you will have the opportunity to study at the industrial partners’ premises in your second year of study which, in addition to getting real-world experience, will give you unique networking opportunities.

Entrance to the Business School PhD programmes are competitive. While academic credentials are important for a successful application we also pay great attention to the fit of students with the proposed project and to the research expertise and interests of our academic faculty.

Minimum academic requirements

For entry to the PhD programme applicants must meet the following minimum academic qualifications:

  • Normally a postgraduate master's degree from an accredited institution in the UK or overseas. Applications may be accepted from those still currently studying for a Master’s degree; however, any offer will be conditional on the successful completion of the degree at the required standard.
  • Applicants must have evidence of above-average academic achievement (equal to or more than 70% overall) and normally a postgraduate Master's dissertation with distinction (or UK equivalent) in finance, economics, informatics, physics, mathematics, engineering and other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, informatics, physics, mathematics, engineering or other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements will be given due consideration on a case-by-case basis, providing they have significant finance and technological industry experience, or relevant professional qualifications.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional programme costs are currently £200 per year full-time students. This covers printing costs, library costs and miscellaneous research-related opportunities.

This unique PhD opportunity is fully funded by both the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Digital and our industrial partners. Tuition fees fully paid and students on projects may be granted additional awards of approximately £20,000 which can be used for living costs.

Each project will be advertised alongside the programme on the Business School website. If you are interested in applying please get in touch with the Research Support team using the contact details provided on this page.

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Research Support and Development Officer, Mrs Lindsey Singleton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5337
  • Contact: phd@business-school.ed.ac.uk
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS

Please find guidelines on how to apply for this programme on the Business School website.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Research Support and Development Officer, Mrs Lindsey Singleton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5337
  • Contact: phd@business-school.ed.ac.uk
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS