MRes/PhD Accounting (Economics of Accounting)

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Accounting
  • Application code N2ZE (EA track)
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The Department of Accounting at LSE is one of the leading groups in the world for teaching and research on the economic, institutional and organisational aspects of accounting and financial management. Our PhD programme provides rigorous academic training aimed at preparing students to undertake research of the highest international standards.

You will benefit from a truly international and interdisciplinary environment. You will have access to a wide range of taught courses and research seminars across different departments and research centres within the School. You will work closely with faculty in the Department throughout the programme, and you will interact with leading scholars from other universities thanks to our active external workshop series. All students admitted to the programme are fully funded, and financial assistance is also available for you to present your work at conferences.

You will be expected to complete the programme within five years. In the first two years, you will take a set of core and elective courses in accounting and related fields and complete a research paper. After the second year, you will focus on your PhD thesis.

Our programme is structured in two tracks: The Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (AOI) track, which is devoted to the study of interrelationships between accounting, organisations and institutions, and the Economics of Accounting (EoA) track, which primarily examines accounting and financial reporting issues from an economics perspective. Below you find more information about the EoA track. For information about the AOI track please click here.

The emphasis of the Economics of Accounting (EoA) track is on building a good foundation in theory and research methods in economics, finance, and accounting. In the first two years, students take core courses in microeconomics, econometrics, finance, and accounting, as well as elective courses in related fields.

Research by faculty members in the EoA group covers a wide range of topics, including: the use of financial and non-financial information in internal and external decision making; the role of accounting information in financial and non-financial (e.g., labour) markets; corporate governance; budgeting, performance measurement, and incentive systems; disclosure regulation; the interaction between financial reporting and legal and economic institutions; corporate social responsibility; the role of information intermediaries; financial risk management; auditing. 

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MRes/PhD Accounting (Economics of Accounting track)
Start date Late August (EoA track students are required to begin pre-sessional course in August)
Application deadline 19 June 2020. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Five to six years full-time: two year MRes, three to four years PhD
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,435 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas £19,368 for the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadlines 10 January 2020 and 27 April 2020)
ESRC funding (deadline 10 January 2020)
Departmental scholarships
Minimum entry requirement Merit in a taught master’s degree in a relevant discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (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.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MRes/PhD Accounting EoA track

To be considered for admission, you should have a substantial academic background in accounting, finance, economics or another subject with a strong quantitative component.

Students are normally required to have prior training at master’s level. We may exceptionally accept students with outstanding performance in their undergraduate degree.

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.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

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)
- statement of academic purpose
- 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 19 June 2020. 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.

Programme structure and courses

A PhD in Accounting 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.

Economics of Accounting (EoA) Track

This track primarily examines accounting and financial reporting issues from an economics perspective. You 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 you with the essential mathematical, statistical, economic and econometric background.

First year

In your first year, you take courses in Microeconomics, Econometrics and Financial Economics. You will also take transferable skills courses which are not examined.

Introduces you to the basic analytical tools that are necessary to conduct research in any field of economics.

Introduces you to modern, technical tools for empirical analysis in economics, for cross section, time series and panel data, focusing on the properties of different estimation models as well as on the illustration of the use of these techniques in practical problems.

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

Further training and transferable skills courses:

Topics in Accounting Research (EoA)
Focuses on studying accounting and financial reporting issues from an economics perspective. This course is not examined in the first year, but you are required to attend. The course is examined in the second year.

Department of Accounting Research Forums (ARFs)
Economics of Accounting (EoA) Research Seminars and Workshops

Second year

Topics in Accounting Research (EoA)

Research Paper in Accounting
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.

You will also be required to complete elective courses to the value of 1.0 unit in relevant fields, e.g.:

 Or any other graduate- or research-level course available in the School with permission. 

Further training and transferable skills courses:

Accounting Work in Progress Seminars
This is a non-examined course which all PhD students in Accounting (AOI and EoA tracks) are required to take from Year 2 onwards. You present your work in progress to fellow students and faculty, including drafts/outlines of your Year 2 research paper, and ongoing PhD work thereafter.

Department of Accounting Research Forums (ARFs)
Economics of Accounting (EoA) Research Seminars and Workshops

PhD programme

After meeting the progression requirements, you progress to PhD registration and begin to work on your thesis. You will continue to attend the following seminars and workshops:

Topics in Accounting Research (EoA)
Accounting Work in Progress Seminars
Department of Accounting Research Forums (ARFs)
Economics of Accounting (EoA) Research Seminars and Workshops


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 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


Successful applicants will be supervised by the PhD Director of the track for the duration of the MRes period (first two years of study).

During the MRes period you will have the opportunity to meet and discuss your research interests with a range of faculty members to help ensure you have the right fit with your supervisors for your PhD. This is designed to expose you to various faculty members within the academic group on a rotation basis and also to provide a more integrated experience where you will have the chance to develop your ideas with junior faculty.

On progression to PhD registration, you will be assigned a principal and secondary supervisor whose research interests will be a close fit to your own. Usually, because of the close relationship between the supervisor and their subject area, you will be able to develop a solid intellectual relationship with an experienced researcher who is directly engaged with, and interested in, your research progress. The direction and guidance you are given occurs through frequent student/supervisor meetings and reviews, as well as discussions of relevant academic issues during seminar presentations by faculty and visiting academics. 

Progression and assessment

To progress at the end of each year, you must pass your examined courses at grades specified by the Department and make satisfactory progress in your research. Progress is regularly monitored by the Department's PhD Assessment Review Committee.

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.

In each year of the programme, you are required to do a presentation in a seminar attended by fellow students, supervisors and other members of faculty. This provides a source of academic feedback on your work and helps to develop your presentation skills. 

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

More about progression requirements

Student stories

Rodney Brown (2018, University of New South Wales)

Rodney 170x230

Completing a PhD in Accounting at LSE was incredibly challenging but extremely worthwhile. The world-renowned faculty provided tremendous support and encouragement and the Department of Accounting provides considerable resources to ensure the success of PhD students. I was able to undertake world-class courses in financial accounting, econometrics and quantitative methods. The programme also provides opportunity to gain teaching experience. Students gain invaluable training from the weekly research seminars designed to help them come up to speed with the accounting literature, critically examine key papers, and improve presentation skills. PhD students also receive exposure to some of the world’s leading accounting academics through attendance at regular research seminars. Overall, LSE’s Department of Accounting PhD Programme has an international reputation for excellence and prepared me well for an academic career.

Take a look at the department webpages for further student stories.


Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. See 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

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee in line with the fee structure for 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 2020/21 for MRes/PhD Accounting (Economics of Accounting)

UK/EU students: £4,435 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £19,368 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, studentships 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 £13 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 first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 10 January 2020
The deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 27 April 2020

The Department of Accounting 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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