About the course
The University of Oxford's doctoral programme at the Saïd Business School offers high-calibre finance researchers the chance to work closely with faculty at the forefront of their fields, to be part of a vibrant research community and to benefit from the resources and reputation of the University.
The Saïd Business School is a young school in an ancient university, but it has already generated outstanding research strengths and our DPhil, which is known internationally as a PhD, offers you the opportunity to engage with internationally-renowned faculty and access our specialist research centres and facilities.
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 their first year, Probationer Research Students will be required to attend taught courses where foundational economic and financial theory will be studied. Based on prior experience, these may include, but not be limited to modules that cover subjects such as financial economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.
Current DPhil projects and faculty areas of interest are available on the Saïd Business School website.
The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Saïd Business School and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. A supervisor may be found outside the Saïd Business School.
Each student has two supervisors. Supervisors oversee students’ study and research as well as advise them on the preparation of their thesis through regular meetings. Whilst there is no prescribed frequency for supervisor meetings, supervisors and students should work together to establish mutually convenient regular meeting times.
All students will be initially admitted to the status of Probationer Research Student (PRS). Normally by the fourth term you will be expected to apply for and achieve transfer of status from Probationer Research Student to DPhil status.
A successful transfer of status from PRS to DPhil status will require students to have passed the appropriate assessment requirements and a substantial piece of written work relevant to the proposed thesis as specified in the Course Handbook. Students who are successful at transfer will also be expected to apply for and gain confirmation of DPhil status within nine terms of admission, to show that your work continues to be on track.
Both milestones involve an interview with two assessors (other than your supervisor) and therefore provide important experience for the final oral examination.
You will be expected to submit a thesis which provides a substantial contribution to finance research, which should not exceed 100,000 words, usually after four years from the date of admission. To be successfully awarded a DPhil in Finance you will need to defend your thesis orally (viva voce) in front of two appointed examiners.
You may choose from a range of methodologies and approaches, but your contribution in the field of theory, methodology or in terms of your empirical results should be relevant enough to be published as a book, or as a series of academic articles. Students can choose to submit a single monograph or integrated thesis (a hybrid of conventional chapters and papers, or be fully article-based), and will also be expected to complete a oral examination.
It is anticipated that graduates from this course are likely to be recruited to tenure track or research positions in leading business schools, as well as research positions within the finance industry or research institutions.
Saïd Business School Alumni Relations Team
The OBA Network is the School’s alumni community, which is open to students and alumni of our degree, diploma and open on-campus executive education programmes, plus other Oxonians from across the University that share an interest in business.
With over 24,000 members in 150 countries, the network offers an excellent opportunity to make useful business connections across different sectors and geographies including 23 city based OBA Chapter groups and 60 Ambassadors who provide an active regional alumni community. Members also receive invitations to in-person and online OBA events, plus access to benefits that will support lifelong learning and development.
Changes to this course and your supervision
The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.
Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.
Other courses you may wish to consider
If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.
All graduate courses offered by the Saïd Business School
Entry requirements for entry in 2022-23
Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:
The Saïd Business School is one of the most modern, state-of-the-art business schools in the world. Facilities include seven horseshoe-style lecture theatres and a 300-seat lecture theatre opened by Nelson Mandela in 2002 to cater for larger-scale lectures and events.
A key feature of the building is the provision of informal working areas. There are numerous open spaces throughout, including cloistered walkways and a large internal courtyard, all of which help to foster interaction between students, faculty and visitors.
The Sainsbury Library at the heart of the School has more than 30 public PCs and 100 networked study desks, a collection of course texts and general reading material spread over two well-appointed floors, and an impressive array of powerful electronic databases covering business, management and adjacent fields.
Specialist research centres at the Saïd Business School mirror the knowledge-intensive end of a creative economy. They are helping particular sectors to wrestle with the challenges they face and to discover new directions through research. These centres include the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, amongst others.
The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2022-23. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential.
For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.
Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:
Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.
Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the school's website.
Annual fees for entry in 2022-23
Annual Course fees
Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.
Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.
Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.
Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges 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, please note that, 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.
In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2022-23 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,215 and £1,755 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2022-23, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.
All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs).
For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges.
The following colleges accept students on the DPhil in Finance:
How to apply
Admission to this course is administered directly by the Saïd Business School. For further details about the course, its requirements, deadlines and how to apply, please see the course page on the Saïd Business School website (see How to Apply below).