Research is of central importance within the accounting and finance subject areas at the University of Bristol. The 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rated 88 per cent of the research in Business and Management as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent.'

Candidates entering the PhD programme are required to take 60 credit points of taught units in their first year and to participate in PhD workshops and reading groups. Students are also encouraged to undertake further training in agreement with their supervisor for the duration of their studies.

The main research training is taken from among two categories of units, with separate lists for Accounting and for Finance students. The units are chosen in consultation with the supervisors to suit the student’s PhD research. The pass mark set by the University for any level 7(M) unit is 50 out of 100.

Entry requirements

The applicant must have an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or an equivalent qualification, and either have completed or be completing a master's qualification from a UK university (or equivalent). The master's requirement does not apply to applications made to SWDTP-funded scholarships although commencement of the PhD remains conditional on the completion of the associated master's.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£4,665 per year
UK: part-time
£2,332 per year
Overseas: full-time
£20,100 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2023/24

Students applying to research programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law may apply for funding from a range of sources. Applicants can find details about applying to these scholarships and deadlines for applications on our Faculty of Social Sciences and Law webpage.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

The primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare for a career in research.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.


Research groups

The main research themes reflect the interests of staff members. The particular strengths of the school lie in applied financial econometrics (including big data analysis), empirical finance (including aspects of fintech), corporate finance, financial reporting and auditing, management accounting, public sector accounting and accounting for sustainability.

The school currently has 12 research groups with six specialising in core areas in both accounting and finance: accountability, sustainability and governance; banking; corporate finance; financial markets; financial reporting; and management accounting.

Details of the current research and supervision interests of individual members of staff are available on the school website.

When writing the research statement to accompany your application, the primary requirement is to define and situate your research within an academic/disciplinary context. You should remember that people in the academic community are the main audience or readership for postgraduate research. This means that you will need to identify:

1. The research questions or problems that you intend to address;
2. The research context for your project/programme of work;
3. The methods you think you will use to pursue the key questions;
4. Two potential supervisors for your research – please refer to the staff profiles as listed by research group/interest.

In considering your application, significant weight will be given to the extent to which you can demonstrate a clearly thought out and specific interest in research and how this would fit into the wider context of research undertaken in the department.