How to apply

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with the School of Banking and Finance, then 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 meet academic entry requirement and English language requirement, and 2) submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Details of entry requirement and what to include in your EOI can be found here.

PhD students in our school normally commence their study in Term 1 (around the beginning of February) each year. Interested candidates should submit EOI by the end of July to be considered for admission in the next year. Out of round EOIs submitted after the deadline could be considered only for interested candidates with a strong prior research experience, e.g., with a masters by research degree from a leading global institution.

The school’s PGRC will review the application once receiving an EOI and, if the application is sufficiently strong to pass the preliminary screening, issue an “Invitation to Apply”, with which the interested candidate can then proceed to formally apply through the UNSW online application portal. Detailed instructions about the formal application will be given in the “Invitation to Apply” email.

PhD students are generally supported by scholarships with a tuition waiver and a generous stipend. All applications will be assessed for potential scholarships. 


About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Banking & Finance

UNSW’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Banking & Finance 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 Banking & Finance, working alongside leaders in the field (ranked 20th in the world, QS Subject Rankings, 2022). This is your opportunity to become integrated into the UNSW Business School’s community of scholars.

You’ll first undertake rigorous coursework covering relevant theories and research methods. As part of the 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 independent research under the supervision of high-profile UNSW academics, culminating in a doctoral thesis. Your PhD thesis will showcase your research skills and enable you to make an original contribution to the field of Banking & Finance.

There will also be exciting opportunities throughout to interact with industry leaders, and to develop your teaching portfolio. The training is geared toward preparing you for a career in academia, although other career paths (e.g., consulting, government, industry, non-profit) are also enabled.


PhD program structure

Most students complete the overall PhD study (including the MPDBS year as illustrated below) in four to five years. For candidates with a strong prior research experience, e.g., with a masters by research degree from a leading global institution, it is possible to complete the study in three to four years without the MPDBS year. Admitted students will be notified in the admission offer about the need of completing the MPDBS study. 

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

The 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.

Your first year of coursework study will cover fundamental research methods. You’ll also start developing key research skills such as identifying, framing, presenting, and writing academic contributions. You’ll work as a research assistant on faculty research projects and start working on your own research as your skills develop.

The first year will help you identify your potential thesis supervisor for the PhD component of the program. Upon successful completion of the first year, you’ll be awarded a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies. A brief overview of the first year is presented below.

  • Program Core Course: Foundations of Business Research; Econometric Analysis; Business Research Project Seminar
  • Stream Core Courses: Microeconomic Theory I; Mathematical Economics; Asset Pricing Theory; Research Methods in Finance 2; Empirical Corporate Governance
  • Research Assistance Work
Year Two: Specialised Coursework & Thesis Work

During the second year, you’ll continue in the Banking & Finance stream with a further year of advanced coursework.

You’ll take up to eight additional research courses, with an opportunity to take at least one subject outside of your specialised discipline. Those courses include the following:

  • Empirical Corporate Finance; Microstructure of Markets; Corporate Finance Theory; Empirical Asset Pricing; Continuous Time Finance; Research Workshop in Finance 1; Research Workshop in Finance 2; Elective

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

Years Three Onwards: Thesis Work

The final two or three 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 Banking & Finance 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.

For more details about the School of Banking & Finance and our PhD program, check out our home page, people page and research students page.

  • Your PhD 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’s 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 Banking & Finance 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