University of Sydney Handbooks - 2016 Archive

Download full 2016 archive Page archived at: Fri, 13 May 2016 14:40:30 +1000

Subject areas


The Discipline of Finance provides PhD supervision in both theoretical and applied research in finance. The PhD cohort is about 35 to 40 students. We rarely offer places in the MPhil program because demand for the PhD program is so strong that we need all of our supervisors for PhD students.

The main research strengths of the Finance Discipline are in security market microstructure, corporate finance, and modelling in relation to financial time series, volatility and risk. There is also a limited capacity to supervise topics in behavioural finance, decision theory, and quantitative finance.

Prospective students should review the publications of Finance Discipline staff members on the Business School website. This should be done in order to ensure that there is a correspondence between the student’s research interest and the research interests of potential supervisors.

Through links to the Securities Industry Research Centre (SIRCA), the Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre (CMCRC), and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), the Finance Discipline has access to exceptionally rich financial databases.

Industry contacts also provide opportunities to undertake industry linked research, which may provide very generous scholarship opportunities for exceptional students.

Securities Market Microstructure

The Finance Discipline is widely recognised for its research in security market microstructure. This research looks at how securities markets operate and examines ways of increasing their efficiency, liquidity, and integrity. Research in security market microstructure also assists in understanding the behaviour of security prices.

Corporate Finance

The Finance Discipline offers opportunities for research in areas of corporate finance such as, capital budgeting, valuation, the cost of capital, capital structure, dividend policy, takeovers, and financial distress.

Modelling Financial Time Series, Volatility and Risk

The Finance Discipline has research expertise in modelling financial times series. This expertise extends to risk management, modelling volatility in asset prices, the term structure of interest rates, and exchange rate behaviour.

Other areas

The Finance Discipline offers supervision of topics in mathematical and econometric modelling in finance, in behavioural finance, and in statistical decision theory applied to finance. However, only a very small number of places are available for these topics.

Other research activities

The Discipline of Finance, in association with SIRCA, the CMCRC, and the ASX, has attracted considerable research funding, amounting to many millions of dollars. This money is used to fund generous scholarships and research infrastructure. The discipline runs an active seminar and research workshop series, which attracts distinguished scholars both from Australia and abroad.

Competitive entry

Entry to the Finance Discipline's PhD program is highly competitive. Several hundred students make enquiries to the PhD coordinator each year but only five to ten places are available annually. Consequently, a first class honours degree is a minimum requirement for entry to the finance PhD program.

Full-time study

The Finance Discipline only offers places for full-time study.

Advice to overseas students

In assessing applications from overseas students we are looking for excellent grades from quality institutions, and excellent written and spoken English, We also want the student to be research-ready. Being research-ready means that the student already has the skills and understanding necessary to undertake a PhD thesis, and hence the entry requirement that the student has already completed as substantial research thesis. Overseas applicants need to pay particular attention to demonstrating how they meet these requirements.

Further enquiries

Associate Professor Maurice Peat
Postgraduate Coordinator (Research)
T +61 2 9351 6466