Key information

Start date
October 2024
4 years
Application deadline

About the PhD in Accounting programme

An internationally recognised PhD programme in Accounting offered by the Accounting Group at Bayes Business School.


We offer a stimulating learning and research environment and the PhD in Accounting programme is supported by leading experts in areas of financial accounting and capital market research.

Our researchers routinely publish in top accounting journals including:

  • The Accounting Review
  • Journal of Accounting and Economics
  • Journal of Accounting Research
  • Review of Accounting Studies
  • Contemporary Accounting Research.

The research is also often quoted in the financial press (e.g. The Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal).

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 rated Bayes 5th in the UK for Business and Management research. In total, 92% of our research was rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) – up from 84% in REF 2014.

Bayes - a global business school with a global PhD programme

As a PhD student at Bayes, you will be encouraged to present your research at leading international conferences in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia.

As part of the PhD in Accounting programme, we also encourage research visits to top US and European business schools, including Harvard Business School, New York University Stern School of Business, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Cambridge.

Bayes Business School's most recent graduates have been hired by Penn State, London School of Economics, University of Paris and the Bank of England.

Research Areas

We encourage applications for topics in areas such as:

  • Accountability and governance
  • Corporate communication and disclosure
  • Investment banking relations
  • Analyst research
  • Financial reporting
  • Audit
  • Security valuation
  • Financial statement analysis.

Please visit the webpages of individual members of the Accounting Group for more information on the potential research topics they can offer to supervise.

You do not need to find a potential supervisor before you apply, but it is useful to indicate in your application the member of academic staff with research interests similar to your own. The final decision on supervisors is made by the PhD Director.

Programme structure

The PhD in Accounting is usually a four year programme. You are registered on the MPhil degree for the first two years during which you will follow a programme of taught courses and prepare your first research paper.

Year 1 - Theory and Methods

In the first year you will attend a comprehensive set of courses designed to train you in the theory and methods necessary to conduct high quality finance research. These courses are academically rigorous and you will be examined in each of them. Upon successful completion of all first year courses you will progress to year two. In exceptional cases, students that have completed a research-oriented advanced level masters degree are exempted some or all of the first year courses.

First term:


  • Financial Econometrics
  • Corporate Finance Theory
  • Topics in Finance

Second term:


  • Empirical Corporate Finance
  • Topics in Banking
  • Empirical Financial Accounting Research

Third term:

  • Research Project
  • Faculty workshop & seminars

Year 2 - Research and Teaching Skills

Your research training continues in this second year with workshops focused on developing specific skills such as academic writing, advanced level reading groups where we delve deeply into key current research papers, and courses introducing you to the practice of learning, teaching and assessment. Alongside this, you will commence research in your chosen topics and the year culminates with the defence of your first research paper before a transfer panel committee. After the successful defence of your transfer panel paper you will move onto the final two years of the PhD programme.

First term:


  • Literature reviews
  • Reading groups
  • Learning, teaching and assessment

Second term:


  • Academic writing
  • Reading groups
  • Advanced seminars

Third term:

Faculty workshop and seminars

Year 3 - Professional and Career Skills

You complete your remaining research papers in years three and four and will defend your work in the viva voce exam soon after completion of your thesis. Training continues in the final two years but the focus shifts towards preparing you for an academic career. You will attend workshops designed to help you to publish your work and to introduce you to the academic job market.

First term:


  • Reviewing and publishing
  • Advanced seminars

Second term:


  • The job market
  • Advanced seminars

Third term:

  • Faculty workshop and seminars

Year 4

In the final year we devote a lot of time to both viva and job market preparation with the aim of you successfully defending your thesis and taking up academic positions in leading business schools or universities, or research jobs in policy institutions.

First term:

Career talks

Second term:

Job market preparation

Third term:

Viva preparation

Fees and Funding

UK (Home) Students

  • Full-time: £4,690 per year

Non UK/EU (Overseas) Students

  • Full-time: £12,000 per year

Facilities and research

PhD students on the Accounting course have access to the state of the art research infrastructure, computing equipment, and extensive library resources.

Bayes Business School offers access to a wide range of databases, including:

  • Bloomberg
  • Thomson Reuters EIKON
  • Factset
  • WRDS
  • DataStream
  • Thomson One and many others.