Cass Business School PhD Programs 2017, UK

Publish Date: Jan 31, 2017

Deadline: Feb 28, 2017

About the program

As a PhD student you want to conduct your research in a world-class business school and an intellectually stimulating environment.

Benefit from comprehensive research training, including intensive courses in the core topics of your discipline, advanced courses and development workshops, and training designed to prepare you for the academic workplace throughout the programme.

Cass Business School's faculty comprises over 100 research-active scholars. Many of our faculty hold impressive academic credentials – they are editors of influential journals,and highly-cited researchers. We draw our PhD supervisors from this pool of research talent. Each student is allocated two or more dedicated supervisors who will guide their research and foster their development as academic researchers.

PhD in Accounting

The Accounting Group at Cass Business School offers an internationally recognised PhD in Accounting programme. We offer a stimulating learning and research environment and the PhD programme is supported by leading experts in areas of financial accounting and capital market research. Our researchers routinely publish in top accounting journals including the Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting ResearchReview of Accounting Studies and Contemporary Accounting Research, and the research is often quoted in the financial press (e.g. The Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal).

PhD students have access to the state of the art research infrastructure, computing equipment, and extensive library resources. Cass Business School offers access to a wide range of databases, including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters EIKON, Factset, WRDS, DataStream, Thomson One, and other. As a PhD student, you will be encourage to present your research at leading international conferences in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia. As part of the PhD programme, we also encourage research visits to top US and European business school, including Harvard Business School, New York University Stern School of Business, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Cambridge. Cass Business School's most recent graduates have been hired by Penn State, London School of Economics, University of Paris and the Bank of England.

Research Areas 

We encourage applications for topics in the areas such as accountability and governance, corporate communication and disclosure, investment banking relations, analyst research, financial reporting, audit, security valuation, and financial statement analysis. Please visit the websites of individual members of the Accounting Group for more information on the potential research topics they are willing to supervise.

Programme structure

You will work alongside a diverse faculty of PhD students and international academics to develop cutting edge research with impact on the academic and practitioner communities. You will develop high-level skills of analysis and appraisal, learn to use a range of research methodologies, and participate in leading international research training programmes and conferences. Detailed information on the structure of the programme is available under the heading “Programme Structure”.


We invite outstanding students to apply for the full-time PhD Programme in Accounting. A scholarship will be offered to successful candidates covering full fees and living expenses. For questions, please contact Dr Pawel Bilinski or individual academics. 

PhD in Actuarial Science

The Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance is one of the leading academic actuarial departments in the world, with highly respected degree courses and research. It comprises 29 staff, including 8 qualified actuaries.  The Faculty makes use of its position close to the heart of the City of London to enhance its research, teaching and external profile.

Its research considers a range of theoretical and applied issues in pensions, life and general insurance, and health care. Particular avenues of research include insurance solvency, mortality and longevity modelling, risk management, pricing in competitive markets, dependency between risks, the impact of fair value accounting on insurance and the funding of social care.

  • Further information on current research projects can be found on the Research Areas
  • Research interests of individual members of the Faculty

PhD in Finance

The Cass Finance Faculty is one of the largest in the world.  It comprises over 50 full-time faculty conducting state-of-the-art research in all key areas of finance and it is located within the City of London, the world's most prominent financial centre.  The unique and direct access to leading figures from the real world of finance enables us to blend the latest theory and thinking with the latest real-world experience and developments.

Our research covers all the core areas of finance – asset pricing, corporate finance and financial markets - but also reflects our strengths in accounting, banking and international finance, mathematical finance and financial econometrics, and real estate and shipping finance. 

We take pride in producing research of the highest academic standard, and our research is published routinely in the top finance journals 

  • Faculty members involved in research areas
  • Recent publications from the Faculty of Finance

PhD in Management, Marketing and Operations Management

At Cass, the PhD in Management covers the three broad domains of Management, Marketing, and Operations Management.

The Faculty includes an outstanding array of scholars, influential thinkers and active experts in their own fields. It combines more mainstream researchers with scholars adopting less conventional perspectives – all of them at the forefront of the academic debate in their areas:

  • Organisational Behaviour
    Nick Bacon, Laura Empson, Amanda Goodall, Cliff Oswick, Amit Nigam, Jo Silvester, Andre Spicer, and Hugh Wilmott
  • Marketing 
    George Balabanis, Fleura Bardhi, Ko de Ruyter, Vince Mitchell, Tom van Laer, and Caroline Wiertz
  • Strategy 
    Charles Baden-Fuller, Laure Cabantous, Paula Jarbzakowski, Gianvito Lanzolla and Davide Ravasi
  • Information Systems and Knowledge Management
    Ajay Bhalla, Stefan Haefliger, Feng Li, and Harry Scarbrough
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
    Bobby Banerjee, Peter Fleming, and Jean Pascal Gond
  • Corporate Governance
    Igor Filatotchev and Jenny Harrow
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Costas Andriopoulos, Stefania Zerbinati and Vangelis Souitaris
  • Operations Management
    Lilian de Menezes and Mohan Sodhi

Together, they form a vibrant and well-integrated intellectual community, where collaborations and exchanges across fields are common. This community regularly gathers in different seminar series, where well developed and less developed work is presented and discussed in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.

Doctoral students are warmly encouraged to be an active part of this community. We closely follow them, from the start of their programme until the completion of their dissertation, to support the development of their ideas and their integration in the international research community, and to ensure they can complete effectively in the academic job market.

How to apply

The PhD application process

Applications close on 28th February 2017 but high quality applicants may be made fast-tracked offers before that date.

The final decision of admission is made by the PhD Co-Directors of the programme. If your application is successful we will inform you by the end of March 2017.

To apply you must hold a first degree with top grades (a first or equivalent) in a subject related to your proposed research topic.The following qualifications are highly desirable, and would enhance your likelihood of being accepted:

  • A masters degree from a leading institution with a top grade (distinction or equivalent)
  • A top GMAT score (700 or more)

Our students have a variety of academic backgrounds ranging from Accounting, Actuarial Science and Economics to Engineering, Finance, Management and Mathematics. We are looking for mature, highly-motivated individuals with excellent analytical, problem solving and verbal skills.

Research proposal

Please provide details of your intended research proposal in support of your application. This is an important part of your application in which you outline up to two research directions you would like to pursue in your PhD.

Before preparing your proposal you should familiarise yourself with the research interests of Cass academics (refer to Cass Experts) to make sure that your research is aligned with their expertise.

The research proposal should include

  • an abstract
  • the research objectives
  • the proposed research methodology
  • a summary review of the relevant literature and current understanding or knowledge
  • an indication of how the proposed research will contribute to the discipline.

You should also provide an outline work plan for the period of research including consideration of approval of any research ethics implications. You are also asked to comment on why you wish to pursue this research and what you feel you will bring to it. The research proposal should be a maximum of three sides of A4.

In addition, if you wish to be considered for a University studentship, you should provide a non-technical summary of your proposed research. This summary should be no more than 400 words.

Academic references

You will need to provide names and e-mails of two referees who know your work well and can comment on your aptitude for critical thinking and original research within a well-defined framework. We will contact the referees once you have submitted you application.

English language requirements

For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will normally meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the Institution as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum
  • Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above
  • An overall minimum score of 8.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) in all 4 areas (IELTS scores are only valid if they are less than two years old on the programme start date)
  • Warwick English Language Test (WELT) with pass grades of BBC minimum.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

In addition to the above, we will also monitor your English language skills throughout the admissions process.

Please note, at the initial stage of your application we will accept electronic copies of your official transcripts. If your application is successful we will require you to send us the original hard copies before a final offer of place is made.


We accept attachments in doc, pdf and jpeg formats only. Please make sure all attachments are less than 1MB in size (the smaller the better) and filenames are no longer than 32 characters containing only English letters and/or numbers, otherwise, depending on your internet connection speed, you might not be able to complete your application and will need to re-apply.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees for 2016/17

UK/EU (Home) Students

  • Full-time: £4,500 per year

Non UK/EU (Overseas) Students

  • Full-time: £9,500 per year

Your classification for fees purposes - whether you pay fees as a home or overseas student - will be determined in accordance with UK Home Office guidelines.

As a full-time student, you will spend the majority of your working time in research at the University. You are expected to dedicate yourself full-time to your research.

Students wishing to pursue part time distant study should look at the PhD Executive programme.

Funding and support

The Cass PhD provides funding, research and travel support to PhD students.

Each year several four-year scholarships are available. These are allocated on a competitive basis across the School. Scholarship students receive a tax-free living support of £16,057 per annum and a full tuition waiver, guaranteed for four years.

All Cass students can apply for travel funding for academic conferences if their research paper is accepted for presentation.

Students also have the opportunities to teach courses or act as teaching or research assistants to earn extra income and gain valuable experience.

15 Cass PhD Studentships Available

We are offering 15 PhD studentships comprising tuition fees and maintenance grant of £16,057 per annum for four years, starting in October 2017. Studentships also offer funding for conference attendance throughout the four year period.

Applications close on 28 February 2017 but high quality applicants may be made fast-tracked offers before that date.

1x Ana Timberlake Scholarship in Econometrics

The PhD Studentship in Memory of Ana Timberlake is a scholarship lasting up to 4 years, offered by the Centre for Econometric Analysis at Cass with the generous support of Timberlake Consultants.

The "Ana Timberlake" Award Holder is expected to undertake a research project on a theoretical/applied/financial econometrics and/or quantitative finance topic under the supervision of Professor Giovanni Urga

The scholarship offers a bursary of £16,000 per annum in addition to the payment of the tuition fees for up to 4 years.

Applications close on 28 February 2017.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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United Kingdom