Accounting and Finance

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time;
seven years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date Most students will start in October 2021, however other dates can be considered.

Programme overview

Research is central to the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Bristol. The most recent UK-wide research assessment, REF 2014, rated 78 per cent of the school's research in business and management as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Candidates entering the PhD programme are normally 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.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

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

Entry requirements

An upper second-class or first-class honours degree in a related subject (or equivalent qualification), and a master's degree in a related subject either attained or underway at the time of application.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

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

Admissions statement

Research groups

The main research themes reflect the interests of staff members. The particular strengths of the school lie in applied financial econometrics, empirical finance, financial reporting and auditing, management accounting, public sector accounting and accounting for sustainability.

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.


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

Staff profiles

How to apply
Application deadline:

Applications will be considered in four rounds, with Round 1 closing on 30 November 2020; Round 2 on 22 January 2021 and Round 3 on 26 April 2021. Round 4 closes on 12 July 2021. Applications to begin study in September 2021 will not be accepted after that.

Applicants wishing to be considered for ESRC funding or China Scholarship Council funding should check the relevant websites for 2021/22 funding deadlines.

If you wish to be considered for ESRC scholarship, the final deadline for submitting your PhD application is 5th January 2021. If you are nominated for the scholarship, you will receive an email shortly after that about the ESRC studentship process. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Graduate Studies PGR Team Email:

School website: School of Accounting and Finance

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2014 results

  • Business and Management Studies:
  • 24% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 54% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 22% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 0% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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