PhD Programme Structure

The first year of the programme combines taught courses, ‘research topics’ seminars, and independent research. The ‘research topics’ seminar continues throughout the programme with a change in emphasis in the second year, when the focus moves from training towards workshop style discussion of research in progress – both of students and visiting faculty – see

Year 1

Term 1 (September – December) Students attend the Advanced Topics in Finance course (weekly two-hour seminars). This is a staff-guided course in research methods, where students are evaluated on their presentations of seminal research papers. The content of this course may vary from year to year to cover the interests of the current PhD students. The final mark is based on the student’s own presentation, participation to class discussion, and a literature review paper.

Term 2 (January – March) Students are required to take 40 credits of approved MSc part 2 courses at the ICMA Centre and pass the exams with a mark not lower than 60%. Criteria for approval include relevance to the student’s research and novelty of the material to the student (students are not allowed to take courses identical or very similar to those already taken at MSc level).

Students are also required to work on an original research paper and give presentations on their progress to a committee, which includes their supervisor and an additional member of the academic staff. The final paper is submitted by the end of the summer term and the student gives a 30-minute presentation on their progress.

Subject to satisfactory progress during the first year, the PhD Programme Director will make recommendation to the School Research Committee that the students’ registration is changed from Higher degree to the PhD degree (if progress is not satisfactory the student will be registered to the MPhil degree).

Years 2, 3 (and above)

All students registered for a PhD degree attend two seminar series: the ICMA Centre research seminars in every term and, between January and June the PhD seminar series where each gives a seminar on their current research. Presentations are evaluated by two academic members of staff. Feedback is provided to students and to their supervisors.