How to apply

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with the School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation (UNSW Business), you will need to receive an Invitation to Apply from the School.

To receive an Invitation to Apply, you should: 1) self-assess your eligibility, and 2) then submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Details of what to include in your EOI can be found here.

About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Accounting

UNSW Business School’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting (Program code 1521) will prepare you to become a globally focused and socially engaged research leader. You’ll be joining a cohort of high-achieving research students in tackling modern-day challenges at the forefront of Accounting, working alongside leaders in the field (ranked 20th in the world, QS Subject Rankings 2022 for Accounting and Finance). This is your opportunity to become integrated into the UNSW Business School’s community of scholars.

You’ll first undertake rigorous coursework covering research methods and key research topics in auditing, financial accounting, and management accounting. As part of your Doctoral Program, you’ll also be involved in research projects from an early stage. This training will equip you with the skills required to identify, analyse, and solve problems in the field.

You’ll then pursue full-time research under the supervision of high-profile UNSW academics, culminating in a doctoral thesis. There will also be exciting opportunities to develop your teaching portfolio. 

Your PhD thesis will showcase your research skills and enable you to make an original contribution to the field of Accounting. While your PhD degree is geared toward preparing you for a career in academia, other career paths (e.g., consulting, government, industry, non-profit) are also enabled.

PhD program structure

Year One: Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS)

Your first year of study is designed to provide a rigorous foundation to conduct independent research. You’ll learn a range of methodologies and build your communication and presentation skills. You will also work as a research assistant on research projects and start working on your own research as your skills develop. The first year will also help you to identify your potential doctoral thesis supervisors.

The MPDBS (Year One) is a fully funded program, which includes a tuition waiver and stipend for all accepted applicants. Upon completion, you’ll be awarded a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS) degree.

The vast majority of students have historically then moved on to Year Two of our Doctoral Program with a scholarship covering tuition and a stipend. 

Year Two: Specialised Coursework & Identification of Thesis Topic

During the second year, you’ll continue to undertake advanced coursework in the Accounting stream. You’ll choose up to eight additional research courses in consultation with your supervisors and the postgraduate research coordinator, with an opportunity to take at least one course outside of your specialised discipline.

Your second year is also when you’ll identify your specific thesis topic with your supervisors. You’ll engage in literature review and research design and present your research proposal to the School at the end of the year for confirmation of the candidature.

Years Three – Four: Original Research & Your Doctoral Thesis

The final two years of the program are focused on conducting full-time research and completing your doctoral thesis. This is your opportunity to address some of the biggest challenges in Accounting and make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. Your research will offer new critical thinking and withstand critical analysis from expert researchers in the area.

  • Your PhD thesis will set you on the path to a career in a premier research institution, anywhere in the world. Throughout your research degree, you’ll also have many opportunities to develop your teaching portfolio.

    Beyond academia, there is also significant demand in the private and public sectors for people with deep knowledge and sound research and analytical skills*.

    Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in academia, or take your research skills out to industry, a PhD in Accounting from UNSW will get you there.

    * Source: 2019 Advancing Australia’s Knowledge Economy Report

Degree type

Postgraduate Research


4 years full-time, 5-8 years part-time

Commencing terms

Term 1 – February

Program code


Delivery mode

On Campus

Domestic / International




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