Programmes

MRes/PhD Finance

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Finance
  • Application code N4ZC
  • Starting 2019
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: London

This programme offers the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to the financial markets industry. You will begin on the MRes, and will need to meet certain requirements to progress to the PhD.

Our programme is unique in its integration of finance and economics. You will take first-year microeconomics and macroeconomics courses together with PhD students in economics, but will differentiate by taking advanced courses in financial econometrics, asset pricing and corporate finance during the first two years of the programme. You will leave with a broad understanding of finance and its relations to other fields in economics.

As one of the largest finance departments in the world, we are able to offer opportunities for research in virtually any field in finance. We have strengths in theory and empirics, asset pricing and corporate finance, as well as financial econometrics, behavioural finance, macro-finance, and microeconomic analysis of financial markets and institutions. 

The Department has close links with the Financial Markets Group and Systemic Risk Centre, enabling you to attend regular seminars, workshops and conferences given by internationally renowned speakers.

Programme details

Key facts

MRes /PhD in Finance
Start date Late August 2019
Application deadline 26 April 2019. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Four to six years full-time: one to two year MRes, three to four years PhD
Availability UK/EU: Open from October
Overseas: Open from October
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,366 (for the first year) - provisional
Overseas: £18,624 (for the first year)
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadlines 7 January and 26 April 2019)
ESRC funding (deadline 7 January 2019)
Departmental scholarships
Minimum entry requirement Merit in a taught master’s in finance, economics or another subject with a strong quantitative component
GRE/GMAT requirement GMAT or GRE is required for all applicants (GRE is preferred)
English language requirements Standard (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

A PhD in Finance from LSE consists of six coursework units, completed over two years, followed by a thesis which is usually expected to take a further three years.

We encourage our research students to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Department, and in the research seminar and workshop programmes of the Department and related research centres such as the Financial Markets Group (FMG). The weekly Capital Markets Workshops provide exposure to the work of leading academics from the UK and overseas. In addition, the FMG hosts a number of conferences each year with leading researchers and practitioners.

Students will normally commence in late August, by attending an introductory course before the start of the academic year.

Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics
Provides students with the essential mathematical, statistical, economic and econometric background for the core Economics courses of these programmes.

First year

During their first year, students take courses in Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics and Advanced Financial Econometrics to build their core knowledge in these areas. They will also take two transferable skills courses which are not examined.

There is also the option to take non-examined workshops or seminars in relevant areas. Students also attend a PhD seminar in Finance throughout their MRes/PhD studies.

Microeconomics for MRes Students
Introduces the basic analytical tools that are necessary to conduct research in any field in economics.

Macroeconomics for MRes Students
Covers topics in advanced macroeconomics with emphasis on fundamentals and applications to recent theoretical advances.

Financial Econometrics for Research Students
Covers probability, mathematical statistics, and asymptotic theory, and theory and application of regression analysis. Provides a survey of the theory and application of time series methods in econometrics.

Financial Economics
This non-examined course provides an in-depth introduction to the theories of asset pricing and corporate finance.

Capital Markets Workshop  

Second year

Students take courses in Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing, in addition to completing a research paper. They can also choose to take relevant seminars in related areas.

Corporate Finance for Research Students
The first half of this course focuses on the theory of corporate finance. The second half of the course will consider empirical research in corporate finance.  

Asset Pricing for Research Students
Covers asset pricing theory, empirical asset pricing, as well as empirical evaluation of asset-pricing models.

Research Paper in Finance
A research paper of between 6,000 and 8,000 words, related to your designated major field, to be submitted at the end of August of the second year.

PhD Seminar in Finance
A seminar course for PhD students in the early stages of their research to present their work in progress.

Capital Markets Workshop

PhD programme

After meeting the progression requirements, students progress to PhD registration and begin to work on their thesis

PhD Seminar in Finance
A seminar course for PhD students in the early stages of their research to present their work in progress.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Supervision, progression and assessment

Supervision

You will be assigned a lead supervisor (and a second supervisor/adviser) who is a specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies.

Progression and assessment

To progress at the end of each year, students must pass their examined courses at grades specified by the Department and make satisfactory progress in their research. Progress is regularly monitored by the Department's Postgraduate Assessment Review Panel.

You will also need to meet certain criteria to progress to PhD registration, such as achieving certain grades in your coursework, and earning a minimum mark on your research paper.

Your final award will be determined by the completion of an original research thesis and a viva oral examination.

More about progression requirements. 

Careers

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. See a list of past placements.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations in the field give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications)
- personal statement
- references
- CV
- outline research proposal
- sample of written work.

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 26 April 2019. However to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MRes/PhD Finance

Merit in a taught master's degree in finance, economics or another subject with a strong quantitative component.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

See international entry requirements

GRE/GMAT requirement

GRE or GMAT is required from all applicants (GRE is preferred)

Find out more about GRE/GMAT

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee for each year of their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2019/20 for MRes/PhD in Finance

UK/EU students: £4,366 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £18,624 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

Funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding7 January 2019.
Second funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships: 26 April 2019.

The Finance Department may also offer departmental scholarships.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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