PhD Programmes in Accounting and Finance

We recruit the finest calibre PhD students of all backgrounds from across the world.

About the programme

Do you want to join a quadruple-accredited, world-ranked Management School? We are the UK’s most research-intensive business school according to the latest Research Excellence Framework. Our programme will provide you with the skills to become outstanding researchers who can thrive in the world’s leading business schools.

Our internationally-respected 4-year PhD programmes in both Accounting and Finance take place in a friendly international community. Our department includes editors of leading journals with academics operating an open-door policy for our doctoral students. You will also have access to cutting-edge databases, scientific computing facilities, IT support, dedicated office space, workshops, conferences, a vibrant seminar series, and an opportunity to spend a semester abroad at one of our U.S. partner schools.

Find a PhD topic

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"Throughout my PhD I discussed and debated research thinking with my supervisors, who are excellent and outstanding scholars."

Chi-Hsiou Hung, PhD Accounting & Finance, 2004

Programme Structure

During your first year, you will be required to complete modules including accounting and finance theory, econometric and statistical methods and research methodology. Explore our module listings in the tabs below.

Tab Content: PhD in Accounting

Below is an overview of the modules you will study in your first year:

Term One  
Advanced Financial Accounting (Theory) 15
Advanced Accounting (Theory) 15
Quantitative Methods 15
Corporate Finance I (Theory) 15
1 Elective 15
Teaching Skills Attendance
Term Two  
Advanced Accounting (Empirics) 15
Econometric Topics in Accounting and Finance 15
Advanced Accounting Seminar II  15
Data and Programming for Accounting Research 15
1 Elective 15
Teaching Skills Attendance
Term Three  
Pilot study (draft 1st paper)   40
Teaching Skills Attendance
  Total: 190 credits

Tab Content: PhD in Finance

Below is an overview of the modules you will study in your first year. 

Term One  
Quantitative Methods 15
Corporate Finance I (Theory) 15
Asset Pricing I (Theory) 15
2 Electives 30
Teaching Skills Attendance
Term Two  
Econometric Topics in Accounting and Finance 15
Corporate Finance II (Empirics) 15
Asset Pricing II (Empirics) 15
2 Electives 30
Teaching Skills Attendance
Term Three  
Pilot study (draft 1st paper)   40
  Total: 190 credits

Tab Content: Research Training Seminars

These seminars are open to PhD students from all programmes, with two compulsory seminars in the first term. All PhD students are strongly encouraged to attend the seminars that you think will aid your study.

Term One  
Strategies for Success: Managing your PhD - Getting Started Optional
Plagiarism Compulsory
Ethics and Research Compulsory
Evaluating Academic Literature & Writing Your Literature Review Optional
Managing Writing Optional
Career Planning Part 1 - preparing to secure an academic post Optional
Writing retreat Optional
Career Planning Part 2 - Developing an online Academic Portfolio Optional
Term Two  
Career Planning Part 3 - Applying for Academic Jobs Optional
Nvivo Training 1 Optional
Establishing an Intellectual Identity Optional
Strategies for success: Managing your PhD - Staying Focused, Getting Finished Optional
Panels and Reviews Optional
Enjoying your Viva Optional
Writing for Academic Journals in the Context of your Career Optional
How to Write a Thesis Optional
Writing Retreat / Nvivo training 2 Optional
Term Three  
How to Present your Work in Public and at Conferences   Optional
Getting an Academic Job and Managing your Career Optional
How to get your book published / Atlas Session 1 Optional
Postdoc Funding Optional
Atlas Session 2 Optional
Writing Retreat Optional

Tab Content: Databases

Throughout your studies, you will have access to a wide range of leading databases and other resources to enhance your learning. These include our department-based databases, and those based in our library.

In Department   In Library  
Audit Analytics CRSP Fama French Perfect Information Business Insights SourceOECD
Bank Regulatory CSMAR FDIC PHLX Datamonitor (DBIC) UKDA
Bankscope Datastream Federal Reserve Bank Reports SNL Financial ESDS  
Bloomberg Professional DealScan I/B/E/S TAQ Euromonitor (GMID)  
BoardEx Eventus ISS (formerly RiskMetrics) Thomson Reuters Eikon FAME  
Compustat Execucomp OptionMetrics TRACE  

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Financial Databases

Developing your practical knowledge in preparation for your future career is an essential element of your degree, so the Department of Accounting and Finance provides you with access to a number of leading financial databases. This valuable resource enables you to acquire crucial skills that are highly desirable to employers, making you stand out in the competitive job market.

AuditAnalytics CRSP IBES Institutional (13f) Holdings Boardex
Bank Regulatory CSMAR Institutional Shareholder Services DealScan Filings Expert
Blockholders Eventus Option Metrics TRACE SNL Financial
Compustat Fama French & Liquidity Factors TAQ Datastream/Worldscope Bloomberg Professional
Execucomp GSIOnline Mutual Fund Holdings (s12) Thomson Reuters Financial HFR Database

For more information, please contact Justin Chircop

Studentships and Funding

Our studentships and funding opportunities for PhD study are available through Lancaster University, through the UK's research councils, and through various other organisations. We provide below the details of four different types of studentships, which include fees and a living allowance, and further links for other funding opportunities.


  • Studentships and Loans

    LUMS Scholarships - All students

    A number of LUMS Studentships are available which include a fee waiver and a stipend of approximately £14,777 per annum. Applicants should indicate that they wish to be considered for a Doctoral Studentship on their application form (under the section on proposed source of funding and in the personal statement) so that they can automatically be considered: there are no separate studentship application forms.

    These studentships are available for all the PhD programmes offered by LUMS and for students of any nationality. This is a generous programme of awards, allocated on a competitive basis, which is intended to support promising researchers to undertake their PhD studies in LUMS. Students receiving these studentships will be required to undertake some teaching and/or marking activities.

    Eligibility: all students
    Deadline for applications: 17th April 2020. Please note if you are planning to apply for an ESRC award the deadline for this is the 3rd February 2020.

    Programme Studentships - Management Science only

    Currently, the Department of Management Science offers programme-specific funded studentships aimed at high achieving applicants. 

    Eligibility: Management Science applicants only

    Interests: Our interests cover information systems and the digital economy; operational research; and operations management, including supply chain and logistics. Supervision is available in all these areas.

    More Details: We have a large group of PhD candidates and are seeking others to join them. The funding covers fees and living costs and are currently only available for full time study. Details of potential PhD topics can be found on the Management Science PhD page. For more details, please contact Ms Gay Bentinck.

    Deadline: There are two deadlines for 31 December 2019 and 15 February 2020.

    Commonwealth Scholarships

    Commonwealth Scholarships are prestigious awards and are very valuable for international students. They are available on a competitive basis.

    Eligibility: overseas students

    Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

    If you’re starting a doctoral degree on or after 1 August 2018, you could get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,000 to help with course fees and living costs. It isn’t based on your income or your family’s and it’s paid directly to you. You’ll be able to apply from summer 2018. Please visit the website for more information.

    Additional Information

    Plenty of websites provide information about funding opportunities. We would suggest overseas applicants to consider the website of the British Council for helpful information. Among the many other sources, we suggest the following links:

  • ESRC Awards

    Lancaster University forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), which offers a large number of studentships covering tuition and providing a living allowance. Details of the provision and funding offered by the NWSSDTP are available on the NWSSDTP website.

    • Eligibility for UK students: no restrictions 
    • Eligibility for EU students: restrictions apply; please check the ESRC website or contact us for details
    • Eligibility for overseas students: eligible to apply for a full award in Economics and topics classed as Advanced Quantitative Methods. For other pathways restrictions apply; please check the ESRC website or contact us for details.

    If you are interested in applying for an ESRC Studentship, please contact Sarah Patterson.

    Deadline for applications: 3rd February 2020

     ESRC logo

  • STOR-i

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistics and Operational Research in partnership with industry (STOR-i) is a collaboration between Lancaster's Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Management Science. STOR-i's goal is the development of international research leaders through a programme in which industrial challenge is the catalyst for mathematical innovation. The Centre's distinctive mission is based on a partnership with several of the UK's leading companies across a range of sectors, including AstraZeneca, BT, IBM, Shell and SSE. We are currently recruiting for entry onto the programme in 2020.

    Further details can be found on the STOR-i website.



    The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) provides funding opportunities to support world-leading research. We are looking to recruit researchers in the Department of Management Science who will:

    • Be based with the Department of Management Science
    • Be excellent doctoral students with a strong quantitative background (including mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering)
    • Satisfy the UK residency requirement for full EPSRC support (usually met by EU students whose undergraduate studies were in the UK) for PhD study in any area of the department's OR research portfolio.

    Application Details

    To apply you will need to provide your full CV and a covering letter in which you should indicate which area is of interest to you (and why) and some possible topics for research.

    If you are short-listed, we will contact you to put you in touch with potential supervisors for the development of a fuller research proposal. For more information contact Gay Bentinck: e-mail  or phone +44 (0)1524 592408. Applications will be processed as soon as they are received, and short-listed candidates will be invited to interview.


    4-Year PhD studentships in Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Managing Airport Capacity

    “Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Allocating Scarce Airport Resources” (OR-MASTER) is a six year Programme Grant funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  OR-MASTER aims to develop new mathematical models and algorithms for solving complex, large-scale resource allocation problems, with the ultimate goal of developing innovative decision support capabilities for airport capacity allocation and management. These studentships provide great opportunities for individuals to develop their mathematics/computer science skills while making a contribution to an area of immense importance to society.

    The Programme represents a strong partnership between academia and the air transport industry.  Over the six years of the Programme, OR-MASTER will involve close collaboration with a host of international organisations (including airports, air traffic management organisations, airlines, ground handling services providers and global security organisations; international research centres and research networks) that will support the project, providing real-world data, insights and expertise.  There will be opportunities to work closely with our partners.

    For further information, please download our ORMASTER 2020 document.

    The complete application consisting of a cover letter (that includes a statement of your understanding of the project), curriculum vitae, transcripts and a recommendation letter needs to be sent to the indicated contact address.

    ORMASTER logo

PhD students

Job Market Candidates

Our Accounting and Finance job market candidates are listed below. For a full list of LUMS candidates, please visit our PhD Job Market Candidates page. For further details, please contact the Doctoral Office.

Alumni Profiles

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