Staff member? Login here

Course overview
(PhD) Doctor of Philosophy
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
PHD N30048

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

you will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well developed research proposal is also essential.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

External Examiners for research degrees are appointed student by student due to the highly specialised nature of the awards. The names and institutions of External Examiners for research degrees are therefore not published on the programme specification. Supervisors discuss with students appropriate External Examiners and nominees are appointed in accordance with the University’s Ordinances. More information can be found in the Principal Regulations for Research Degrees and the accompanying Code of Practice.

External examiners

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 BE983-7-FY EBS Integrated Programmes: Dissertation Core 60
02 BE351-7-SP Derivative Securities Compulsory 20
03 BE352-7-AU Asset Pricing Compulsory 20
04 BE354-7-AU Portfolio Management Core 20
05 BE951-7-AU Research Methods in Accounting Core 20
06 BE953-7-AU Research Methods in Finance: Empirical Methods in Finance Core 20
07 Option from list Optional 20
08 BE399-7-AU Postgraduate Mathematics Preparation Compulsory 0

Year 1 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 BE999-8-FY Essex Business School - Research Compulsory 0

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The Integrated PhD Finance has been designed for students who wish to undertake doctoral studies in the field of Finance with little or no prior research training experience. Students undertake the MSc in Finance in the first year of the Integrated PhD. The MSc degree aims
To provide students with the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of advanced concepts in finance.
To provide students with the opportunity to analyse the role of financial information and data.
To equip students with a knowledge of advanced research methodologies covering both quantitative and qualitative approaches to empirical research.
To provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills to enable them to proceed to independent, self-directed research.
To develop students critical and analytical skills which will prepare them for employment in the financial or business sector or education environment.
The MSc will teach students advanced research training skills which crucial for undertaking PhD research. In year 2 students take a further 60 credits of taught courses addressing subject specific and generic skills during the autumn term. In the spring term, students prepare an extended research paper which they will present to the School. This extended research paper will demonstrate the research skills aquired during the first 18 months of the Integrated PhD programme. Progression to year 3 will only be granted if the milestones have been met and the the supervisory panel, Research Student Progress Board and Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education is convinced that the student will be able to complete studies within the registration period of 3 years.
During year 3 and 4 students will be exposed to further generic and subject specific training according ot the students needs and training plan. The training plan will run alongside frequent supervisory team meetings which will continue throughout the programme.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Role and nature of advanced concepts and theoretical models in finance

A2: Competing perspectives and associated empirical evidence relating to finance and data analytic issues

A3: Epistemological and social scientific influences and interpretations of finance and data analytics

A4: An in-depth understanding of the various research methodologies available to investigate finance and data analytics issues and the influences of these methods on the understandings generated.

A5: In-depth understanding of particular areas in which the student has chosen to specialize

A6: Distinguish between different epistemological positions which provide the context for research

Learning methods

Outcomes A1-A5 are acquired through lectures, seminars, individual tasks, and directed independent study.

The development of the dissertation in consultation with a supervisor provides an additional opportunity for achieving learning outcomes A1-A5.

Lectures and seminars introduce the required theories and understanding to facilitate exploration of the character, contexts, practices and interpretations of finance related issues while demonstrating and encouraging a critical and reflexive approach.

Directed independent study and reading, along with individual tasks, facilitate further exploration of the relevant areas.

Students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from lectures and classes by regularly consulting library and journal materials relating to course.

Assessment methods

Informal: Outcomes A1-A5 are informally assessed via oral presentations.

The associated informal feedback provided enable students to explore and enhance their understandings and develop presentation skills.

Formal outcomes A1-A5 are formally assessed via unseen written examinations and coursework assignments.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

C: Practical skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

D: Key skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: