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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting

Achieve excellence – study for the University’s highest level supervised research degree

The Department of Accounting and Finance at Otago produces high quality, internationally renowned research – be part of it. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the University’s highest level supervised research degree and is awarded on successful completion of a doctoral thesis.

Programme requirements

An Otago PhD is based solely on completion of a thesis. However, if a candidate is deemed to require additional tuition in a particular area, completion of an advanced Accounting paper(s) may be an additional requirement.

The expected length of study for a PhD is three years for full-time candidates and six years for part-time candidates.

The role of the supervisor

Each PhD student will be appointed a primary and secondary supervisor, who will assist in:

  • Directing the student’s reading
  • Refining the research proposal
  • Offering guidance on executing the research plan and comments on chapters of the thesis while the work is in progress

Admission to the PhD

A prospective candidate for Doctor of Philosophy is expected to have either:

  • A Bachelor's degree with first or upper second class honours or equivalent (including a research component) OR
  • A Master's degree (including an appropriate research component)

Possession of a Master's degree or other postgraduate qualification (such as a professional diploma) which does not have a substantial research component will not automatically be regarded as a qualification for entry to the PhD programme.

Special circumstances

In special circumstances, a prospective candidate who does not have these formal qualifications, but can demonstrate appropriate equivalent research experience, will also be considered for admission. It is also possible to upgrade an Otago MCom to a PhD, with approval from the Head of Department.

Instructions for prospective PhD candidates

When seeking entry to a PhD in Accounting, please email the Department Coordinator of the PhD programme, for the Department Guidelines for prospective candidates for Doctoral (PhD) studies.

Prospective candidates should send the following information to the Department Coordinator.

  1. A research proposal, which provides a clear statement of the research question(s), cites relevant and appropriate literature, describes the likely sample, and presents a time line for the research
  2. A full and current CV
  3. A complete set of academic transcripts
  4. Evidence of proficiency in English (international students)
  5. Masters Thesis (electronic copy, written in English)

Note that admission is subject to suitable supervision being available in the department. Please contact the department for more details about potential areas of supervision.

Further information: PhD Candidates

The University of Otago website contains comprehensive information for potential PhD candidates:


For further information about the PhD in Accounting please contact:
Stephen Hall-Jones
Tel +64 3 479 8060
Office CO 3.01a
Department of Accountancy and Finance

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