DPhil in Finance

​In-depth training in academic research skills to develop you as a productive scholar

Start date:


  • 4 years

Time commitment:

  • Full time


  • Oxford

About the programme

Our doctoral training will immerse you in all aspects of academic life.

You will be both a student and a junior research colleague. We provide courses in a wide variety of research methods and you will work closely with your supervisors to define your research question and develop your thesis. In addition, you will have opportunities to gain teaching and research assistant experience and become involved with the intellectual community within both Saïd Business School and the wider University. You will attend academic conferences, make presentations, organise lectures and seminars and contribute to management and academic decisions.

Both of our doctoral programmes run in parallel, with only differences in taught courses and preparation for writing in relevant journals to your subject of choice.

We have deliberately kept the programmes small which means that in the vast majority of cases, students are fully funded to allow them to devote their energies to research. The DPhil corresponds to a PhD degree offered at most other universities.

Supervision in Finance


As a doctoral candidate you will be assigned two initial supervisors who will guide you through your first year.

They will help you to identify your specialist area of interest and further suitable advisers in that field. You will work closely with them to define your research question and develop your thesis. It is an important relationship and also a very personal one: it is shaped by you, your supervisors and the ways you interact.

You do not need to contact any faculty in advance of making your application but you can review the profiles of our faculty to look for at the areas of research covered at the School. You can note within your application if you feel that you are interested in a particular research area and working with a specific faculty member. 



Review some current research taking place around the school as well as from some of our alumni

Review articles and podcasts written by our researchers at Oxford Answers

Learn more about becoming a researcher from Andromachi Athanasopoulou, who graduated in 2007 and is now an Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour at Queen Mary University London and an Associate Fellow at Oxford Saïd.

View Professor Renée Adams' discussion on Women on boards: The superheroes of tomorrow? 

View Dr Amir Amel-Zadeh discussion on (Mis-)information in financial markets.

Programme milestones

Our DPhil offers students the opportunity to engage with internationally renowned faculty who are here to help you become an academic scholar.

The DPhil in Finance embraces subjects such as asset-pricing and corporate finance, the design and regulation of securities markets, corporate financial policy, and the impact of financial markets on real economic activity. During your first year, you will be required to attend taught causes where foundational economic and financial theory will be studied. Based on previous years, these may include, but are not limited to, modules that cover topics such as financial economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

Following successful completion of all necessary courses, and by the end of your 4th term, you are expected to have successfully submitted and been assessed for your Transfer of Status. This process provides the opportunity to discuss your work with two independent members of staff under examination conditions and to receive feedback.

By the end of their 9th term you will be due to complete your Confirmation of Status. This process allows you to have your work reviewed by two assessors, to give a clear indication of whether it would be reasonable to consider submission within the course of a further three terms, if work on the thesis continues to develop satisfactorily.

You are expected to attend training, workshops and seminars on job applications, teaching, learning and assessing, interviewing and presentations skills. You'll will have the opportunity to improve your teaching and research skills by applying for remunerated positions as teaching and research assistants within the school or at colleges.


The doctoral thesis should not exceed 100,000 words. It must be a significant and substantial contribution to the field of learning in finance. It should be good enough to be published in book form or as a series of academic articles. You may even adopt a range of different methodologies and approaches. Your contribution can be in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results.

I think the most important issues in the supervisor relationship are communication and trust. You need a supervisor who can tell you the things you need to hear even if you don’t want to hear them, and who can nudge you back on to the right track.

Alexander Montag

Current DPhil in Finance student

Benefits and opportunities


  • Engage with internationally renowned faculty
  • Conference and research funding
  • Training in principal research methods at both at Saïd Business School and wider University.


  • Paid teaching and research assistant opportunities
  • Contribute to management and academic programme decisions through student representation on committees
  • Postgraduate careers resources

Job market candidates and placements


Review our doctoral and post-doc candidates currently on the job market and institutions of successful placement.


Who can apply

Our candidates are passionately intellectual people who have a superlative academic record and are committed to a career in academia.

DPhil in Finance

You will require:

  • a good undergraduate degree: 2.1 (GPA 3.5 or its equivalent)
  • GMAT or GRE test results
  • TOEFL or IELTS test results (If you are not from an English speaking majority country)
  • three pieces of written work, including a well-developed research proposal
  • three academic references

Dates and deadlines


The application portal for 2022 is now closed.

The deadline for submitting an application was Monday 10 January 2022. 

The application portal will re-open in September for 2023 admission.

Admissions process

Candidates who are shortlisted are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process three to four weeks after the application deadline.

Interviews are conducted by members of faculty and will take place in person in Oxford or via Zoom if you are unable to travel to the School.

Interviews can last up to 60 minutes and you will be asked questions about your background and aspirations. You should also expect to elaborate on your research proposal.

Final decision

The Admissions Committee will decide which candidates receive an offer to join the DPhil programme. Final decisions will be emailed to all candidates by Friday 11 March 2022.

There are three possible outcomes:

  1. You are made an offer to join the programme
  2. You are put on a waiting list
  3. You will be advised that you have not been successful this year

Details about any funding received through the School are included in the offer letter.

Having received an offer, a candidate's application is forwarded to a college to be considered for membership. We will guide you through this process.

Graduate access programme: UNIQ+

Applications will open soon for the University's 2022 graduate access programmes.

Our graduate access programmes are designed to encourage and support talented undergraduates who would find continuing into postgraduate study a challenge for reasons other than their academic ability.

UNIQ+ remote internships offer paid summer research experience over six weeks during the summer. Participants will work on research projects with regular support and supervision from Oxford students and staff, as well as training in key research skills.  

From July to October, UNIQ+ Digital will also offer students from under-represented groups a flexible, free and fully online programme of mentoring, events and digital content to support them all the way through from considering graduate study to submitting an application.


Annual fees

The course fee in 2022-2023 is £21,800

Fees usually increase annually, please see the University's guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Course fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability. Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a continuation charge. Information regarding continuation charges is available on the University's continuation charges page. 

For more information about fees, fee liability and continuation charges, please see the University's fees page.

Cost of living

Please view the University's living expenses page.

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Scholarships and funding

In almost all cases, doctoral students admitted into our programme receive full funding over four years.

This includes course fees and a living expenses stipend. To maximise the overall availability of funding for candidates, we will identify suitable alternative scholarships and may ask you to submit funding applications. We also ask that you identify and pursue any other funding opportunities, including external funding.   

For some scholarships you are required to submit a scholarship essay and/or tick the relevant box in the Funding section of the application form.