Oxford DPhil Programme in Management Studies, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #1 ,
Our DPhil, a degree that corresponds to a PhD, offers students the opportunity to engage with internationally renowed faculty who are here to help you become an academic scholar.


Our doctoral programme has two pathways for you to choose

Our DPhil, a degree that corresponds to a PhD, offers students the opportunity to engage with internationally renowed faculty who are here to help you become an academic scholar.

While there are variations according to your subject area and your own experience when you join the programme, you can expect to have extensive training in all the principal research methods. These are typically taught in lectures and seminar-style classes, with some assessed work. In addition, you are encouraged to seek out and take courses in other departments – typically offered by departments in the Social Sciences Division although courses in maths, computer science, and the natural sciences may also be valuable – especially when your work has interdisciplinary elements.

This breadth of research training is essential if you are to progress in an academic career. You need to be able to make informed choices about the methods you employ even at this early stage. And as your thinking develops and you begin to research more widely, you will naturally want to bring in other approaches.

From the second year of your DPhil, while you may still have some coursework, you will concentrate primarily on your thesis. This is for most students a hugely exciting and stimulating time, as they get to work closely with leading academics in their field and to explore their own interests in greater depth. The student-to-faculty ratio is such that there is plenty of interaction and individual attention, and many students have co-published with their supervisors.

Students are encouraged to go to academic conferences and to participate in research activities organised by the School’s research centres and other university departments and institutes. You can also take full advantage of the many resources available in Oxford, from the range of libraries to employment opportunities, funding, data, and mentoring.

There are two pathways you can take to achieve your doctorate:

Financial economics pathway

  • Choosing this pathway, you will focus your expertise in asset pricing and corporate finance, looking into the design and regulation of securities markets, corporate financial policy and the impact of financial markets on real economic activity.

Management research pathway

  • Choosing this pathway, you will carry out research under quantitative and qualitative aspects of research methodology under research management.

The DPhil thesis should not exceed 100,000 words and must be a substantial contribution in management studies and finance. Students may adopt a range of methodologies and approaches, but their contribution in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results should be relevant enough to be published as a book, or as a series of academic articles.

Support and guidance

Each student has a supervisor or supervisors. Supervisors oversee students’ study and research and help advise them on the preparation of their thesis through regular meeting sessions.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Financial economics pathway

The University of Oxford recruits exceptionally high-profile academics in finance research. Indeed, our research expertise at Saïd Business School ranges from mathematically technical to policy relevant in fields such as asset pricing and corporate finance. Our research is relevant to the design and regulation of securities markets, corporate financial policies and the impact of financial markets on real economic activity.

What can students expect for the overall course structure in our financial economics pathway?

Year one

Students can expect to take taught courses, which will vary depending on the nature of their previously completed degree.

Entry via MSc in financial economics course. In the first year, students are expected to study the following core courses from the MSc in financial economics:

  • Asset pricing 1 and 2
  • Corporate finance 1 and 2
  • Financial econometrics 1 and 2
  • Economics 1 and 2

Entry through a Masters programme. By following this route you may be required to take four of the courses from the second year in the MPhil in Economics, two of which should be financial economics.

Entry through MPhil in Economics Programme. At either University of Oxford or other equivalent institution. If admitted to the DPhil programme, students are exempted from PRS (Probationer Research Student) courses.

At the end of year one, students will have completed four core courses, four electives and submitted a satisfactory thesis proposal.

Year two

Entry through MSc in financial economics course. Students may take two of the courses from the second year in the MPhil in Economics, one of which should be financial economics.

Students will be required to submit a detailed description and preliminary draft of one chapter from their thesis. If successful, students will transfer from PRS to doctoral status.

Students in years two, three and four, are expected to attend a Finance Doctoral Research Workshop. These workshops will be organised around student presentations and subject-based discussions.

At the end of year two, students will have successfully completed two elective courses and submitted a satisfactory initial chapter from their thesis.

Years three and four

DPhil students are expected to submit two thesis chapters, one chapter should be their job market paper. Students also need to apply for confirmation of status at the end of their third year.

Training in job applications, interviewing and presentations will be provided at the end of year three. Students should also attend the Finance Doctoral Research Workshop for the opportunity to learn how to apply for teaching and research assistant posts.

DPhil students will be able to enter the job market and complete their doctoral thesis during year four.


The final examination of the doctoral thesis is at the end of their fourth year.

Management research pathway

What can students expect for the overall course structure in our management research pathway?

The management research pathway prepares you for entering an advanced research career at a top-tier academic institution, professional or government position. The DPhil programme offers an immersive research opportunity with an Oxford-challenging curriculm.

Year one

During your first year, students take courses in quantitative and qualitative aspects of research methodology.

In addition, you will need to take courses in your specialist subject of interest. Examples of these subjects include: decision science, information management, finance, marketing, organisational behaviour or strategic management. After preparing a survey of the relevant literature in your specific area, you will write a thesis proposal explaining the research you'll be working on over the next few years.

During the first year, each student must sit examinations in research methodology and their specialist subject of interest. Progressing to the research stage is based on three factors:

  • performance in the examinations
  • literature survey
  • thesis proposal

Years two and three

In years two and three, students undertake their own research in their area of specialisation. You will also want to apply for confirmation of your DPhil status. By the end of year three, you will need to submit your thesis.


The doctoral thesis should not exceed 100,000 words. It must be a significant and substantial contribution to the field of learning in management studies. As a rule of thumb, it should be good enough to be published in book form or as a series of academic articles. Indeed, you may even adopt a range of different methodologies and approaches. Your contribution can be in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

DPhil candidates at Saïd Business School are passionately intellectual people who have a superlative academic record and are committed to a career in research.

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

Financial Economics pathway

  1. A good undergraduate degree: 2.1 (GPA 3.5 or its equivalent).
  2. GMAT or GRE test result.
  3. English Test: we accept the TOEFL or IELTS (If English is not your first language).
  4. A well-developed research proposal.

Management Research pathway

In addition to the items listed above we will also require:

  1. A Masters degree in a relevant subject: We will usually seek a distinction.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 14415 International
  • GBP 14415 EU/EEA

All students are expected to pay University fees for a maximum of three years. In addition, you will also need to pay a college fee to your accepting college, which may vary. Lastly, it is strongly advised to budget for all other living expenses.


We grant scholarships and awards to support DPhil students

In fact, over 90 percent of DPhil students admitted into the programme receive full-funding over four years, which includes tuition fees and a living stipend. The admissions office will help identify a suitable scholarship for you during the course of your doctoral programme studies.

Please ensure you tick the boxes of the relevant scholarships on the finance section of you application form.

If you would like assistance in selecting the most appropriate source of funding, please contact us.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.