MRes/PhD Accounting (Accounting, Organisations and Institutions)

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Accounting
  • Application code N2ZD (AOI track)
  • Starting 2021
  • Home 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 AOI track. For information about the EoA track please click here.

Research in the AOI track is mainly qualitative in approach, focusing on the accounting process within and across organizations. Our intention is that your chosen topic will involve the investigation of how accounting practices are shaped by their institutional contexts, have behavioural consequences and can be vehicles for operationalising different values. Efforts to design internal and external accounting practices are both a function of specific economic and political interests, but are also shaped by social and political aspirations. Research in this track can potentially embrace a wide variety of accounting areas, such as studies in management accounting and organisational control processes, analyses of the impact of new accounting systems in the private and public sector, event-based work on transformations of auditing and risk regulation regimes, historical studies of accounting, as well as broader contributions to social theory.

Faculty supervising students in the AOI track have close links with LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR).

Teaching and learning in 2021 

LSE is committed to offering you the best possible teaching and learning experience within the constraints of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our expectation for the 2021-22 academic year is that all LSE students will be in London and studying on campus, where we will provide flexible teaching and learning which blends both in-person and online elements. This flexible approach has been informed by our student and academic community and builds upon the innovations and improvements we have put in place over the past year. If, due to events outside of our reasonable control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to make any changes to the delivery of the programme in the 2021/22 academic year, we will provide as much notice as is reasonably practicable by updating this page and sending an email to all offer holders/students. 

For more information about LSE's teaching plans for 2021 and our Coronavirus FAQs for prospective students please visit our website.

Programme details

Key facts

MRes/PhD Accounting (Accounting Organisations and Institutions track)
Start date 27 September 2021
Application deadline 27 May 2021. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Five to six years full-time: two year MRes, three to four years PhD. 

Please note that LSE allows part-time PhD study only under limited circumstances. Please see for more information. If you wish to study part-time, you should mention this (and the reasons for it) in your statement of academic purpose, and discuss it at interview if you are shortlisted.

Tuition fee Home: £4,500 for the first year 
Overseas £20,136 for the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadlines 14 January 2021 and 29 April 2021)
ESRC funding (deadline 14 January 2021)
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 AOI track

To be considered for admission, you should have a substantial academic background in accounting or a cognate area (for example, economic sociology, organisation studies or economic history).

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 27 May 2021. 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.

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 2021/22 for MRes/PhD Accounting (Accounting, Organisations and Institutions)

Home students: £4,500 for the first year 
Overseas students: £20,136 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges home 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 or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

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 generous 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: 14 January 2021
The deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 29 April 2021

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

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page. 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page 

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. 

Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (AOI) Track

This track is devoted to the study of interrelationships between accounting, organisations and institutions.

First year

Foundations in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions
Emphasises the inter-relations between technical, organisational and institutional issues. While some technical accounting knowledge will be helpful, it is not essential and each lecture will provide the necessary technical foundations.

You will also be required to take a number of courses in Methodology.

Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design
Explores design considerations and options across quantitative and qualitative research, including issues of data quality, analysis, reporting and reproducibility.  At the end of the course, you will be able to read a wide variety of empirical social science with a critical and balanced perspective and you will be better equipped to implement and make arguments defending the methods you use in your research.

Qualitative Research Methods (or equivalent with permission)
Presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. It prepares you to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects.

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (or equivalent with permission)
An intensive introduction to quantitative data analysis in the social sciences.

Depending on the previous methods training you have undertaken, you will be allowed to replace one or all of the above listed methods courses with more advanced courses.

In addition, you will 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:

Topics in Accounting Research (AOI)
Focuses on the institutional and organisational context of accounting practices in their broadest sense. Seminars are generally based on key readings at the interface between accounting, organisation studies, regulation and management. 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)
Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (AOI) Research Seminars and Workshops 

Second year

Topics in Accounting Research (AOI) 

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, including more specialised methods training if not taken above, 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)
Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (AOI) 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 (AOI)
Accounting Work in Progress Seminars
Department of Accounting Research Forums (ARFs)
Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (AOI) 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 support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries. 

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops. 

IT help– support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in 9 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy - is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients. 

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters. 

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Student stories

Nadine De Gannes (2018, Ivey Business School)


The PhD journey for me was one of discovery. Personally, I unearthed the depths of my work ethic and perseverance. In focusing intently upon a particular area of study and questioning what was known and puzzling over what remained unknown, I discovered the types of questions I wanted to ask, and how I wanted to go about finding the answers. Both methodology and methods training are central pillars in doctoral research, and the Department of Accounting enabled these in spades. I was never left wanting for opportunities to enhance skills that were critical to the successful completion of my thesis. There was also no shortage of outstanding academics to challenge and inspire critical thinking and discussion. The PhD was not an easy road, but undoubtedly one that I believe was worthwhile.​

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


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 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.

Find out more about LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home. 

Experience LSE from home

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus. Experience LSE from home

Visit LSE

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour. Find out about opportunities to visit LSE

LSE visits you

Student Marketing and Recruitment travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders. Find details on LSE's upcoming visits

Request a prospectus

  • Name
  • Address

Register your interest

  • Name

Speak to Admissions

Content to be supplied