phd in accounting and finance in australia

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Degree overview

  • UniSA Business is ranked in the top one per cent worldwide1 and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2020.
  • Study a PhD in business and explore research topics and projects across areas in commerce, management, marketing and more.
  • Join a community recognised for world-class research – our research is rated above world-class in marketing, tourism, and business and management, and world-class in accounting and applied economics2.
  • Develop the skills to independently design and execute original research, and create new knowledge with impact.
  • Learn from experienced and highly qualified research supervisors, and renowned academics – experts who will support, mentor and guide you through your studies.
  • Undertake exciting and innovative research across a range of business disciplines, with a focus on finding practical solutions and solving real-world problems.
  • Partner with industry, government, communities and education providers to influence decision-making and challenge current thinking.
  • Benefit from strong links with global research institutions across Asia, North America, Europe and the UK.
  • Over 200 external partners support our research, which is inspired by the contemporary challenges of our region and the world..
  • Be mentored by a senior business leader through the Executive Partners Program.
  • Ranked No. 1 in SA and Top 10 in Australia for Business and Management3.

1UniSA Business is one of just 11 institutions in Australia and 191 globally to be accredited by EQUIS (from over 16,500 worldwide). EFMD, February 2021. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 32021 QS Subject Rankings.

What is a research degree?

A research degree is an advanced program of study allowing you to investigate a topic relevant to your field. Under the supervision of world-class researchers, you will learn and apply advanced research methodologies to produce new knowledge and provide solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. Completing a research degree means becoming an expert in your field. It’s your opportunity to take a topic that interests you, explore it in depth, tackle intellectual, creative and practical challenges, and communicate your findings.

Depending on your area of interest, you can study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Professional Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications) or Masters by Research.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (up to four years full-time equivalent) provides you with advanced training and education, and the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality.

By the end of your program, you will be capable of independently designing and executing original research that generates new knowledge.

Professional Doctorate

A rigorous program of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of industry, end-users and professional groups. Professional doctorates usually consist of a blend of coursework and research (three to four years full-time equivalent), encouraging close cooperation across university, industry and the profession, as well as providing a framework for integrated professional expertise and scholarly inquiry.

Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

Allows formal recognition of established researchers and/or scholars who do not already hold a PhD qualification, and who have produced research of international standing in their field with an ongoing record of academic publication (work).

Masters by Research

A Masters by Research (two years full-time equivalent) enables you to analyse your thesis topic at an advanced level, and apply research methodology and techniques to contribute new knowledge in your field, under appropriate supervision.

Please note, a master by coursework (such as an MBA) involves enrolling in selected courses and participating in lectures and tutorials (online or on campus). It is different to a masters by research.

Find out more about our research projects. 

Why do a research degree?

UniSA research is inspired by the challenges and opportunities of today. In the 2018 Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation of Australian universities, all of our assessed research was rated at world class or above. We are vibrant, outward-facing and responsive. We partner with industry, government and communities to seek answers to questions that arise in the real world. Our research themes are:

  • An age friendly world
  • Transforming industries
  • Scarce resources
  • Cancer
  • Healthy futures
  • Transforming societies

The transformed PhD

UniSA intends to deliver industry and end-user informed research that supports employer-relevant curriculum. To achieve this, and to produce entrepreneurial and business-aware graduates, we have developed the transformed PhD.

We have added a structured component to research degrees including enhanced skill development, supervisory panels and a technology-enabled oral defence of the thesis. Through these activities you will develop a set of professional, transferable skills relevant to our knowledge-based enterprise economy.

The aim of the transformed PhD is to increase your employment prospects in any career path. You will possess the knowledge, expertise and confidence to meet the emerging needs of academia, industry, government and the community.

Four good reasons to do a research degree

  1. Challenge yourself. You will need to work hard, be dedicated and think analytically at a high level. You will tackle completely new research and different research methods, or extend research already undertaken.
  2. Increase your career opportunities. A research degree provides evidence of independent thought and the ability to manage a research project in a given timeframe. Your research could allow you to develop a new specialisation, academic field or career. A research degree at UniSA will also allow you to develop a skillset which sets you apart, putting you at the centre of your professional development.
  3. Make your ideas public. Your research findings may be published, presented at conferences, provide a commercial return and have a positive impact on society.
  4. Contribute to society. Discover new methods, understandings and techniques, and solve a real-world problem.

A research degree is suitable for someone who has completed a previous degree, often with a research component. Note that eligibility for entry into a research degree does not guarantee that your application will result in an offer.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Admission requires applicants to hold or be eligible to hold:

  • an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with Honours of at least class 2a standard in an appropriate discipline; or
  • a relevant Masters degree; or
  • satisfy the Dean of Research that their previous education, relevant professional experience and published research work is of sufficient quality and relevance to prepare the applicant for a research degree

Masters by Research

Admission requires applicants to hold or be eligible to hold:

  • an Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with honours; or
  • a relevant Bachelor degree (or equivalent) of at least 3 years with a minimum credit average; or
  • a relevant Masters degree; or
  • satisfy the Dean of Research that their previous education, relevant professional experience and published research work is of sufficient quality and relevance to prepare the applicant for a research degree

Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

Generally applicants for this degree should have produced research of international standing in their respective fields on the basis of their ongoing record of academic publication, and should not already hold a PhD. View the full admission criteria.

Professional Doctorate by Research

Generally applicants for this degree should meet the requirements for entry to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and normally show that they have at least five years experience of practice in their relevant field, normally within the last 10 years. View the full admission criteria.

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