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PhD in Accounting

The ANU Research School of Accounting (RSA) offers suitably qualified candidates the opportunity to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting within RSA's vibrant research community.

The Higher Research Degree (HDR) programs draw upon the supervision expertise of researchers that are located within the Research School of Accounting, and HDR candidates become active participants in the various research activities in the school.

Career options

  • The PhD program in Accounting at ANU is focused on developing students for a career primarily within academia.
  • Skills developed in the PhD program are however readily transferable. Roles may include senior positions in professional services, business analysis, accounting, finance, auditing, tax, commercial law, or quantitative analysis.

CRICOS #: 048345A

Duration: 2 to 4 years full time (4 to 8 years part time)

Before you Apply

Before you Apply

All applications need to be submitted via ANU Apply Online in order to be assessed.

Before you apply, please ensure that you meet the admission requirements and have followed the guidelines below.

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Potential Supervisor

Before you apply, you should identify suitable supervisor(s) that conduct research in your research topic. Information on researchers and their research areas can be found on the ANU Researchers DatabaseRSA People or the RSA Research page.

Note that even though other ANU webpages may recommend that you contact potential supervisors before submitting your application, contacting the researchers directly is not required or encouraged for applications with RSA – you only need to list the name(s) of potential supervisors in your online application form.

Supporting Documentation

To complete your application for assessment, the following supporting documents are required and will need to be uploaded during your online application process or submitted shortly after your online application.

  • Your Research Proposal (see guidelines on how to prepare a competitive research proposal)
  • Example(s) of your written work; e.g. thesis abstract and chapter, research project, or published work
  • Transcripts from all your university degrees (colour scans - please include grade explanation)
  • Completion or graduate certificates from all your university degrees (colour scans)
  • A one-page personal statement/statement of purpose
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS results to demonstrate that you meet the ANU English Language Requirements for Admission
  • Current Resume – please list your research experience and if you have previously been awarded a scholarship
  • Three referee reports - the referee report form will automatically be sent to the referees you listed in your online application

Application Deadlines

Domestic applicants need to submit their application before 31 October.

International applicants who wish to be considered for an ANU Scholarship for the following year, need to submit their application before 31 August.

In order for an application to be considered, all supporting documents, as listed above, should be received by the ANU before the respective application deadlines.

If you are currently completing an honours or masters degree, and final transcripts and results are not available before the application submission deadline, you should submit all available documents prior to the deadline, and you will be asked to submit the remaining results before a final decision on admission is made.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

The minimum qualification requirement for admission to the program for a Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting is:

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  • a degree of bachelor with first class honours or upper second class honours in accounting (or a closely related discipline) from an Australian university; or
  • another qualification (for example, a Masters degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification) that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in point (a); or
  • a combination of qualifications and professional experience that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in point (a).

Please note that there are other admission criteria that students must also satisfy. Admission is competitive and only a limited number of students are admitted to the PhD program each year.

In addition to the standard information required in the online application, please note the following:

  • Applicants are required to prepare a one-page statement of purpose, and
  • Short-listed applicants may be required to sit an interview.

Applicants who do not satisfy the minimum entry standard for the PhD program may be offered entry conditional on satisfactory completion of a preparatory program.

Scholarships

Scholarships

Find out what scholarships are available to you.

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Program Structure

Program Structure

The program is broken into coursework and research components.

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Coursework

Candidates are typically required to undertake up to eight semester-length courses over the first twelve months (when studying on a full time basis) of the candidature. These eight courses include five core courses and up to three elective courses. The minimum coursework for students having completed equivalent courses includes four core courses and two elective courses. The coursework provides training in research in accounting, research methodology and statistics. The coursework also equips candidates with knowledge and skills specific to their PhD topic area as well as broader research training to foster high quality research.  The required courses are listed below.

Core courses

  • BUSN8007 Analysis of Financial Reporting
  • BUSN8013 Seminar in Research Methods in Commerce
  • BUSN8200 Judgement and Decision Making Research in Business
  • STAT6038 Regression Modelling, EMET 6007 Econometric Methods, or EMET 8005 Economic Models and Introductory Econometrics; or a higher-level statistics or econometrics course
  • BUSN8100 Empirical Research in Financial Accounting

Electives

Additional more specialised courses can be selected from advanced RSA courses when offered, including BUSN8145 Corporate Governance: Research Preparation; BUSN8056 Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services; or BUSN8101 Special Topics in Commerce (studying financial accounting, management accounting, public sector accounting, or taxation); or advanced courses from other disciplines deemed of appropriate level (e.g., finance, econometrics, management, psychology, statistics or sociology). Electives are determined in consultation with the candidate's supervisory panel.

Candidates must complete the coursework with at least a 70% average in each semester before they can progress to the thesis stage.

Research seminar program

The RSA research seminar program consists of weekly seminars presented by national and international researchers. PhD students are expected to attend and participate in the seminars throughout their candidature.

Thesis proposal and defence

In addition to the coursework component, each candidate must develop and defend a detailed thesis proposal in consultation with their supervisory panel. To proceed with the thesis, the candidate must successfully defend the proposal. The proposal defence is presented to the School after 12 or 18 months of commencement (or 24 months on part-time basis), at which time it is formally assessed by a review panel.

Thesis

Candidates proceed to the thesis component following completion of the coursework at the required standard and successful defence of their proposals. Students are expected to consult widely with their supervisory panel, which can assist, advise and provide support for a timely and successful completion. Students are also required to present their research three to six months prior to the submission of their thesis for examination.

Annual progress review

In each year of their candidature, PhD students are required to submit an annual plan and progress report as a basis for periodic progress review. The annual plan details the coursework and research intended to be undertaken in the following twelve months. The annual progress report provides a report on work completed by the students, current progress and any problems that may impact on their research.

Please see Research Student Milestones for further details.

Research integrity training

All Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates must complete the Research Integrity Training (RIT) course and pass the Research Integrity Milestone exam, within 3-6 months of enrolment. Completion of the course and test is a compulsory milestone for all HDR students.

Thesis submission and examination

Information on the process of thesis submission and examination can be found here: Submitting a thesis.

Job Placement

Job Placement

Find out more about the career placements for alumni of the Actuarial Studies PhD program.

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Current PhD candidates

Current PhD candidates

Here is a list of current Actuarial Studies PhD candidates.

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Yue Cai

Thesis Topic: Subordinate relative compensation and managerial risk taking

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Mark Wilson

Achmad Fauzi

Thesis Topic: Individual and Instiutional Influences on Managers' Use of Accrual Accounting for Decision Making in Indonesian Public Sector

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Janet Lee

Ziqi Julian Gao

Thesis Topic: The Impact of Lenders' Reputation Loss on Corporate Disclosure

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Rui Summer Huang

Thesis Topic: The Impact of Sustainable Buildings on Management Forecasts

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Guqiang Luo

Thesis Topic: The role of news media in the Chinese capital market

Supervisory Chair: Dr Tracy Wang

Yoon-jing Park

Thesis Topic: Risk culture and the Use of Risk Management in the Australian Public Sector

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Janet Lee

Aditi Shams

Thesis Topic: The impact of institutions on the regulation of corporate governance

Supervisory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Jia Wei

Thesis Topic: The Economic Consequences of the New Lease Accounting Standard

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Mark Wilson

Huan Noleen Yin

Thesis Topic: Application of Benford's Law to Financial Statements

Supervisory Chair: Prof Neil Fargher

Fangshu Skye Zhu

Thesis Topic: Audit Work by Overseas Geographically Distributed Auditors

Supervisory Chair: Prof Neil Fargher

Leofo Romalani

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Li Kenuo

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Dai Jiaxi

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Ping Helen Yuan

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Wang Yi

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Wang Chen

Thesis Topic: The impact of information consistency on employee performance: evidence from internal awards and relative performance information

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Wang Steven Weixiao

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Lijuan Zhang

Zhang Zoe Yangfan

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Updated:   23 July 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team