As a PhD student in accounting, you will work with and learn from our inspirational and diverse faculty of leading researchers. Our faculty offer a wealth of knowledge on fundamental issues in accounting, including management control, capital markets accounting, accounting for sustainability, taxation and corporate governance and auditing.
You can find out about potential topics for PhD research that our faculty are offering here
You can also find out more about the department’s faculty here
We train our PhD students to conduct world-class research by designing a bespoke programme of advanced graduate training that all our students undertake as they progress in their degree. Our PhD students also participate in the department’s research seminars and have opportunities to attend international conferences to present their research. We also provide regular opportunities for our students to develop their teaching skills and contribute to the department’s teaching.
We provide our students with the resources that they need to succeed. This includes funding to support their research and further development, access to core research facilities, databases and funding to present their work at leading international conferences.
To be considered, PhD applicants need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A good undergraduate degree (in the UK, at least an upper second class honours) in a relevant subject
- A taught Masters degree in a relevant subject
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
International students will also need to demonstrate that they meet our English language requirements:
- IELTS (Academic): Overall score 6.5, no less than 6.0 in any section
- TOEFL IBT*: Overall score of 90, no less than 21 (writing, listening), 22 (reading), 23 (speaking)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 58, no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
- Information on other acceptable tests can be found on our English language requirements page.
Finance: fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2022/23
- UK: £4,596 full-time; £pro-rata part-time
- International: £19,000 full-time
For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.
Tuition fees per year 2021/22
- UK: £4,500 full-time; £pro-rata part-time
- International: £18,100 full-time
Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.
Current available funding
For questions about the application process
Postgraduate programmes based in Exeter
University of Exeter
Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)
+44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
Web: Enquire online
Postgraduate programmes based at the Penryn Campus, near Falmouth
Student Recruitment and Admissions
Phone: +44 (0) 1326 371801
Web: Enquire online
Visit the Postgraduate Admissions pages for information and advice.
For questions about the programmes and supervision
Business School Postgraduate Research Administration Team
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 726255
How to apply
Please note: In order to submit an application you must have had a prior dialogue with an academic at the University who is interested in supervising your research. Full details below:
We typically consider applications to our PhD programmes twice a year (usually in January and May). In 2022, our deadlines are:
- 21 January
- 6 May
- 30 September
To be considered for our PhD programme, you need to submit the following documents by either of the above deadlines (incomplete applications will not be considered):
- A research proposal that you have developed with a member of our faculty (no more than 2000 words)
- A letter from this member of faculty stating that they are willing to supervise you
- A personal statement that explains why you wish to complete your PhD in our department and why you think you are well suited to this programme of study (no more than 600 words)
- Academic transcripts from your relevant studies to date (see entry requirements below)
- Two academic letters of reference from teaching staff at your previous institutions
- If necessary, evidence of English language ability (see entry requirements below)
- If you have them, results from a GMAT or GRE test that are not more than 5 years old.
Preparing your Proposal
You cannot apply until a member of faculty has stated that they are willing to supervise you and provided you with a letter to this effect. To achieve this, you will need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words.
To find a potential supervisor, refer to the Supervision tab on this page.
We recommend that you start this process 3 months before the application deadline. There are three possible outcomes to this process: (1) potential supervisors state that they are willing to supervise you, (2) potential supervisors request further revisions on your proposal or (3) they are unable to provide supervision.
Applicants will be invited to interview with a panel who will assess their application. Applicants who cannot provide results from the GMAT or GRE will be asked to complete an online psychometric test.
You can expect:
- High-quality research supervision to develop and nurture your potential
- A tailored supervision approach to help best suit your requirements
- Accessible supervisors who are enthusiastic about working directly with postgraduate research students
- Regular timetabled meetings with your supervisor
- 'Open door' policy to all postgraduate students - instant access to world-leading researchers who will share their expertise and ideas with you
- Regular meetings with your supervisory team, other members of your research group, and mentors
You will only be able to apply for a PhD when you have received a letter from potential supervisors stating that they are willing to supervise your PhD thesis. You therefore need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words. To find a potential supervisor, please click on the link below.