Postgraduate study

Finance PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Finance

As part of a world-renowned University, triple accredited (AMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS) and ranked 5th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, 2022) within Business and Management, our Business School provides a dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community.

The Business School's research mission is to produce theory-led, practically relevant research that addresses contemporary organisational and management challenges faced by businesses, public organisations, regulatory bodies, and policy-makers.

Our research subject groups

The School has significant research expertise in the following disciplines:

Our research themes

Staff across these six disciplinary subject groups work together to carry out research under the following themes:

Research centres and networks

Our Centres and Networks bring together established and new researchers to develop and disseminate new knowledge:

Interdisciplinary research

The Business School has capitalised on opportunities afforded by our Edinburgh location and cultivated links with other parts of the University to develop and lead new areas of expertise, in financial services and FinTech, creative industries, and digital tourism.

The School has links with other schools at the University, including Social and Political Studies, Mathematics and Law, allowing students with cross-disciplinary interests to find expertise, support and supervision.

Your research

As a doctoral researcher, you will have the opportunity to pursue original research and make a significant contribution to your chosen field.

The strength of your application for our programme depends on the fit of your proposal with the School’s research mission and themes, and particularly how it fits with the research interests of our academic staff.

We therefore strongly recommend you make contact with a potential supervisor before applying. Check out the links to our research disciplines and themes above to find one of our academic colleagues you would be interested to work with, who would have the expertise to support your studies.

When approaching a potential supervisor please ensure you give them an up-to-date CV and a draft research proposal. If you are not sure who to approach, please contact our admissions team (contact details can be found in the ‘Further information’ section).

The PhD in Finance is 3 years full-time with an additional year at the end to allow you to complete the writing up of your thesis.

You will take four compulsory taught courses during your first year to build your research skills and the knowledge required for your area of study.

To be awarded a PhD, you will need to defend your written thesis in an oral examination called a viva.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest course descriptor information available at the time this page was published. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered as a guide.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDFinance3 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

Your supervisory team will be made up of at least two members of academic staff who will meet with you regularly to discuss your research progress and plans.

You will be assigned to one of our research subject groups as relevant for your topic, who will host regular research activities.

Our doctoral training programme will allow you to pursue research and professional skill training alongside your subject-specific taught courses.

There will be a variety of seminars and workshops delivered by international experts throughout the year, providing further opportunities for advanced learning and networking.

Another way the Business School supports your individual development is through dedicated funding. Doctoral researchers can apply to use this funding for further opportunities such as attending international conferences or professional body membership fees.

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 doctoral researcher at the Business School, you will have access to our PhD study spaces, as well as the staff lunch room and kitchen.

The Business School has its own postgraduate library and study centre (The Hub), a Finance Computer Lab, and Librarian who can help you find the information you need throughout your studies.

Our world-class research programmes offer:

  • supervision from acclaimed academic faculty within a wider range of subject areas
  • courses designed to expand your knowledge base and develop your research strategies
  • dedicated, modern facilities with state-of-the-art databases and specialist resources
  • a peer network of students and inspiring alumni from across the globe
  • a vibrant research environment with regular seminars, masterclasses, and events allowing you to connect and learn from experts across the business world

The Business School offers training events and support for all our postgraduate research students in both academic and professional skills – we support a diversity of career pathways.

There are opportunities for doctoral researchers to be employed as our Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants.

Graduates from our postgraduate research degrees often pursue further careers at internationally renowned universities or become senior consultants for private and public bodies.

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

Entrance to the Business School PhD programmes is competitive.

While academic credentials are important for a successful application, we also pay great attention to the fit of students with the proposed project, as well as 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.

A postgraduate masters degree from an accredited institution in the UK or overseas, showing evidence of above-average academic achievement. This includes:

  • a degree classification with a mark of 65% or more overall (University of Edinburgh level, or overseas equivalent)

  • normally a masters dissertation at the distinction level (University of Edinburgh level, or overseas equivalent) in finance, economics, informatics, mathematics, engineering or other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements.

Applications may be accepted from those still currently studying for a masters degree; however, any offer will be conditional on the successful completion of the degree at the required standard.

Applicants with significant finance and industry experience, or with relevant professional qualifications will be given due consideration on a case-by-case basis. However, these applicants must also have a minimum of a bachelors degree in one of:

  • finance

  • economics

  • informatics

  • mathematics

  • engineering

  • other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDFinance3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees

There are various scholarship opportunities. For those joining in September 2023, the Business School scholarships will be advertised late 2022 on our School website.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • PGR Support Team
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS
Programme start date Application deadline
11 September 2023 31 May 2023

Supervisors can accept students on a first-come, first-served basis and the programme may close early if it reaches capacity.

You must submit two references with your application.

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

Further information

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • PGR Support Team
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS