The PhD is the highest academic degree and as such Durham graduates are in demand for academic posts in leading universities and top business schools; for business and management consultancy in commerce and industry; and for senior management roles in private sector organizations and government institutions.

Whatever your goals, the Durham PhD gives you the opportunity to combine rigorous academic theory with research to influence the world of business and make a unique contribution to your field of study. It attracts exceptional students of the highest caliber, and in conjunction with scholars internationally-renowned for their research and thought leadership, the PhD programme at Durham University Business School is both challenging and stimulating.

As part of our vibrant and welcoming research-led community, you will work alongside a diverse faculty of research students and international academics to develop a critical command of your subject. You will cultivate high-level skills of analysis and appraisal, be able to use a range of research methodologies, and will work independently.

As the Financial Landscape shifts, we are looking for ways to

Over the past few years, our research has been published in a range of quality journals. Subjects include financial reporting and disclosure, auditing quality, corporate governance, corporate ownership structure, public accounting, management accounting, social and environmental accounting, the accountancy profession, accounting history, Islamic accounting and finance and accounting education.

We also look to increase understanding of the social, economic and political interactions arising from the practice of accounting and auditing. And, through collaboration with leading firms, we are closing the gap that has emerged between academic accounting research and the real world of accountancy practice.


  • Omneya Abdelsalam Professor of Accounting & Islamic Finance
  • Carol Adams Professor of Accounting
  • Danny Chow Lecturer in Accounting
  • Gavin D'Northwood Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting, MSc Accounting Programme Director
  • Rob Dixon Professor of Management Accounting
  • Laurence Ferry Senior Lecturer in Accounting
  • Stuart Green Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Anne Hall Teaching Fellow - Accounting
  • Terry Harris Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Nor Kadir Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Francine Le Saint Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Jan (Sarah) Loughran Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting and Employability Co-ordinator
  • David Mccollum-Oldroyd Head of Department of Accounting
  • Tom Mclean Senior Lecturer in Accounting
  • Amir Michael Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting/Course Director BSc Accounting
  • Anthony Miller Lecturer in Accounting
  • Beth Picton Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Riham Rizk Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting
  • Richard Slack Professor of Accounting
  • John Zhang Lecturer in Accounting

PhD: Take the next step

We have two intakes each year, in October and January. Closing dates for applications are:

  • January 2017 intake: 31 October 2016
  • October 2017 intake: 31 July 2017

For PhD Integrated Studies (full time) there is one intake per year in October. The closing date is 31 July.

What do I need first?

English language requirements:

  • If English is not your first language you will need IELTS 7.0 (no element below 6.5) or Pearson Test of English Overall Score 70+ (No element below 62). Please note that these can be no more than 2 years old at the month the programme starts, eg. for a programme commencing in October 2014 the IELTS or PTE test must have been taken in or after October 2012). Further information about acceptable tests.

For UK students:

  • A Masters degree, normally with a mark of at least 65% in your Master's dissertation.

For non-UK students:

  • A degree that is equivalent to a UK Masters. You also need to have completed and passed (at a level equivalent to at least 65%) a dissertation module. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.
  • It is important that your general research interests match those of at least one member of our academic staff. For information on the range of expertise and experience of our academic faculty and details of their research interests, see Our People.

If you have any questions about finding a potential supervisor, we’re happy to help. Please get in touch with the Research Admissions Team.

The Application Process

  • A successful application is based on your ability to meet the entry requirements, your research proposal and the School's capacity to provide relevant supervision for your research.

Our admissions process follows three stages:

Stage One

Please ensure that:

  • you meet our entry requirements (above)
  • you can meet the financial requirements of the programme
  • you have your research proposal ready.

Stage Two

Applications should be made using the online application form. You will be asked for the following information:

  • academic qualifications and career to date
  • an outline of your research interests
  • the names and addresses of two academic referees
  • any specific support needs you may have (see Disability Support)
  • your chosen College. (If you wish to read for a full-time programme you must become a member of one of our Colleges as well as being accepted by a department.

The following documents should also be submitted online as part of your application. Without these documents your application cannot be processed:

  • Research proposal of 1500-2000 words. Please submit your proposal within the section of the online application entitled 'Other Relevant Experience'. However, if your research proposal contains tables or equations, please upload your document via the 'supporting documents' section under 'Scholarships/Other'. Advice on writing a research proposal.
  • A 300-500 word abstract giving a summary of the Research Proposal
  • Copies of certificates of degrees awarded (up to 3 may be uploaded)
  • Copies of transcripts of modules studied (up to 3 may be uploaded)
  • Evidence of proficiency in English (where this is not your first language)
  • Two references, one of which must be academic.(Reference letters should be emailed directly to us by your referees using the downloadable reference form.) Download the reference form
  • Your Curriculum Vitae.

If you have any problems attaching your supporting documents to your online application, you may email them to us.

Stage Three

We will process your application on the basis of all the information provided and will normally let you know our decision within four to six weeks. In certain circumstances, we may need to request further information.

A successful application will be sent to Durham University's Student Recruitment and Admissions Office (SRAO) with a recommendation for approval. (We will contact you directly if we are unable to recommend your application for approval.)

The SRAO is responsible for approving all postgraduate applications. You should be aware that approval by the SRAO is not a formality and that in some cases where we recommended approval, the SRAO will be unable to support this. Until you receive an offer from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, you have not received a formal offer of a place.

Program taught in:
  • English
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