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PhD in Finance

  • Dubai Business School
  • Phd

PhD in Finance



Full time

Study Mode

60 hours

Total Credit Hours

4 Years




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A Ph.D. in Finance is a terminal research degree that equips individuals with advanced knowledge and skills in the field of finance. It is designed for individuals who aspire to pursue careers in academia or research, as well as for those seeking senior-level positions in the financial industry or government agencies. Here is an overview of what you can expect during a Ph.D. program in Finance:
  1. Prerequisites: Most Ph.D. programs in Finance require a strong foundation in mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance at the undergraduate and/or master’s level. Prior work experience in finance or related fields may also be beneficial.
  2. Coursework: The program typically starts with a series of rigorous courses to provide a solid theoretical and empirical foundation in finance. The coursework covers topics such as financial theory, asset pricing, corporate finance, econometrics, research methods, and specialized areas like investments, derivatives, or financial econometrics. The specific courses may vary depending on the program and your research interests.
  3. Research: A significant portion of the Ph.D. program is dedicated to conducting independent research under the guidance of faculty advisors. You will work on identifying research questions, reviewing existing literature, collecting and analyzing data, and developing theoretical models. This research culminates in a doctoral dissertation, which is a substantial piece of original research that contributes to the existing knowledge in the field of finance.
  4. Teaching Assistantships: Many Ph.D. programs require students to serve as teaching assistants (TAs) to gain teaching experience. As a TA, you may assist faculty members in undergraduate or master’s level finance courses, grading assignments, leading discussions, or even delivering lectures. This opportunity allows you to develop your teaching skills and gain practical experience in the classroom.
  5. Seminars and Conferences: Ph.D. students are encouraged to participate in research seminars and conferences where they can present their work, network with other researchers, and receive feedback from experts in the field. These events provide valuable exposure to cutting-edge research and facilitate collaborations with fellow researchers.
  6. Comprehensive Exams: Some programs may require comprehensive exams to assess your knowledge and understanding of key finance concepts and theories. These exams usually take place after completing the coursework and before advancing to the dissertation stage.
  7. Dissertation Defense: The culmination of the Ph.D. program is the defense of your doctoral dissertation. You will present your research findings to a committee of faculty members and defend your methodology, results, and conclusions. Successful completion of the defense leads to the awarding of the Ph.D. degree.
The duration of a Ph.D. program in Finance varies but typically takes around four to six years to complete, depending on factors such as the program structure, research progress, and individual circumstances. It requires a high level of dedication, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to work independently. Earning a Ph.D. in Finance can open doors to various career paths. Many graduates pursue academic careers as professors or researchers in universities and research institutions. Others may join financial institutions, consulting firms, or government agencies in senior research, policy, or executive positions.

Admission Requirement

Each year, candidates are admitted as a cohort limited to a maximum of 10. Candidates must demonstrate the potential for sustainable success in the PhD program. The admission process consists of four phases – eligibility, application, assessment and registration, and orientation.
CGPA English Other
Master’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a discipline appropriate for the doctoral degree, or academic distinction in a discipline appropriate for the doctoral degree at the baccalaureate degree with a CGPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale EmSAT 1400 or Academic IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL (PBT 550 or lBT 79 or CBT213) A master’s degree from a recognized and accredited university An equivalency letter from MoE (degrees not from UAE)

Who is the program for?

A Ph.D. in Finance is primarily designed for individuals who have a strong passion for research and a desire to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of finance. Here are some categories of people who might pursue a Ph.D. in Finance:
  1. Aspiring Academics: Many individuals pursue a Ph.D. in Finance with the goal of becoming professors or researchers in academic institutions. They have a keen interest in teaching finance at the undergraduate and graduate levels and conducting independent research to advance the field.
  2. Research-oriented Professionals: Professionals already working in the financial industry, such as investment analysts, portfolio managers, or economists, may choose to pursue a Ph.D. to deepen their knowledge, develop advanced research skills, and contribute to the theoretical understanding of finance.
  3. Policy Analysts and Government Officials: Individuals working in government agencies or policy research organizations may pursue a Ph.D. in Finance to gain a deeper understanding of financial markets, institutions, and regulations. This knowledge can be applied to shape policies, conduct economic analysis, and make informed decisions related to financial systems.
  4. Corporate Finance and Strategy: Some individuals working in corporate finance, strategic planning, or consulting roles may pursue a Ph.D. in Finance to enhance their expertise in financial theory, valuation techniques, and empirical analysis. This can provide them with a competitive edge and enable them to tackle complex financial challenges in their organizations.
  5. Entrepreneurial Pursuits: Individuals interested in starting their own business ventures or working in fintech and innovation may pursue a Ph.D. in Finance to develop a strong foundation in financial theory, empirical analysis, and research methods. This knowledge can be valuable in designing and implementing innovative financial solutions.
It’s worth noting that a Ph.D. in Finance is a highly specialized and research-intensive degree. It requires a significant commitment of time, intellectual rigor, and dedication to independent research. As such, it is best suited for individuals who are deeply passionate about the subject and have a genuine interest in advancing the field of finance through scholarly research.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a Ph.D. in Finance have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. Here are some common career paths pursued by Ph.D. in Finance graduates:
  1. Academia: Many Ph.D. graduates choose to pursue academic careers as professors or researchers in universities and research institutions. They can conduct independent research, publish scholarly articles, teach finance courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and mentor students. Advancement in academia often involves gaining tenure and becoming department heads or research center directors.
  2. Research and Policy Institutions: Ph.D. graduates in Finance may work in research-oriented organizations such as think tanks, policy institutes, or central banks. They can contribute to research projects, provide insights on financial markets and policies, and influence decision-making processes related to financial regulations, risk management, or economic development.
  3. Financial Industry: Ph.D. graduates can find opportunities in the financial industry, including investment banks, asset management firms, hedge funds, and consulting companies. They may work as quantitative analysts, financial economists, or researchers, using their expertise to analyze complex financial models, develop investment strategies, or conduct market research.
  4. Government and Regulatory Agencies: Ph.D. graduates may work in government agencies such as treasury departments, regulatory bodies, or financial supervision agencies. They can provide expertise in policy formulation, economic analysis, and financial risk assessment. They may also contribute to shaping financial regulations and conducting research on financial stability and systemic risk.
  5. International Organizations: Ph.D. graduates may find employment in international organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), or United Nations (UN). They can work on research projects, provide policy advice on financial matters, and contribute to economic development initiatives in different countries.
  6. Corporate Finance and Strategy: Some Ph.D. graduates choose to work in corporate finance departments or strategic planning roles within corporations. They can apply their research skills and financial knowledge to make informed business decisions, conduct financial analysis, evaluate investment opportunities, and manage corporate risk.
  7. Entrepreneurship and Fintech: Ph.D. graduates with an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation can start their own businesses or join fintech startups. They can leverage their deep understanding of finance to develop innovative financial products or services, analyze market trends, and implement advanced data analytics techniques.
It’s important to note that the career paths available to Ph.D. in Finance graduates can vary based on individual interests, skills, and the specific focus of their research. The ability to conduct independent research, analyze complex financial problems, and contribute to the theoretical understanding of finance opens up diverse career opportunities across academia, industry, government, and international organizations.

Estimated salary range

The salary range for Ph.D. in Finance graduates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can vary depending on factors such as the specific job role, level of experience, location within the UAE, and the industry sector. Salaries in the UAE are generally competitive due to the country’s strong economy and presence of multinational corporations. Here is a general overview of the salary range for Ph.D. in Finance graduates in the UAE:
  1. Academia: In academic positions such as professors or researchers in universities, the salary range can vary. Entry-level positions for assistant professors can range from AED 20,000 to AED 30,000 per month. As you gain more experience and advance in your academic career, the salary can increase significantly, reaching AED 40,000 or more per month for associate professors and full professors.
  2. Financial Industry: Salaries in the financial industry can vary greatly depending on the specific job role, level of experience, and the organization. For entry-level positions in financial analysis, research, or quantitative roles, the salary range can be around AED 15,000 to AED 25,000 per month. With more experience and expertise, salaries can reach higher levels, potentially exceeding AED 40,000 per month for senior positions or leadership roles in finance.
  3. Government and Regulatory Agencies: Salaries in government and regulatory agencies can vary depending on the specific role, level of responsibility, and the agency. Entry-level positions in research or policy-related roles may range from AED 15,000 to AED 25,000 per month. With experience and higher-level positions, salaries can increase, potentially reaching AED 30,000 to AED 40,000 per month or more.
  4. Corporate Finance and Strategy: Salaries in corporate finance and strategy roles can vary depending on the industry, company size, and the level of responsibility. Entry-level positions in corporate finance or financial analysis roles may range from AED 15,000 to AED 25,000 per month. With experience and seniority, salaries can increase, potentially exceeding AED 40,000 per month for managerial or executive positions.
It’s important to note that the above salary ranges are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances and market conditions. Additionally, the cost of living in different regions of the UAE should be considered when evaluating salary ranges. It’s advisable to research specific job opportunities and consult salary surveys or recruitment agencies for more accurate and up-to-date information.

Study Plan

Core Courses
 No.  Course code  Credit  Course title  Requisite 
1  MGM 700  3  Evolution of Management Thought  None 
2  STA 701  3  Business Statistics  None 
3  MKT 710  3  Marketing Management  None 
4  RES 712  3  Qualitative Research Methods  None 
5  RES 708  3  Quantitative Research Methods  STA 701 
6  BECON 702  3  Business Economics  None 
8  RES 704  3  Advanced Quantitative Analysis  None 
9  FIN 714  3  Empirical Finance  None 
10  SCL 716  3  Operations and Supply Chain Management  None 
10  BUS 718  3  Business Strategy  None 
 Thereafter students choose ONE of Four Specializations 
Finance Specialization
 Finance Specialization No.  Course code  Credit  Course title  Requisite 
1  FIN 735  3  Investment Analysis and Asset Pricing  FIN 714 
2  FIN 740  3  Financial Market Microstructure  FIN 714 
3  FIN 745  3  Current Research Issues in Finance  FIN 714 
4  FIN 750  3  Corporate Finance  FIN 714 
No. Course code Credit Course title Requisite
1 PhD 755 0 PhD Comprehensive exam 42 Ch
PhD Thesis
No. Course code  Credit  Course title  Requisite 
1  DISS 760  18  Doctoral Dissertation  PhD Comprehensive exam 

Course Descriptions

Core Courses MGM 700       Evolution of Management Thought

This course focuses on critical and analytical review of the management theories over the years from pre-Scientific Management era, to the present day. Students are encouraged to compare and contrast management theories and to examine them critically in light of their environmental context.

STA 701        Business Statistics

In this course students will learn statistical concepts used in business research situations. It is well known that any academic career involves research based on data analysis or empirical work. In today’s knowledge society there are huge amount of data and available information that can be used as part of the research process. But it is crucial to use data intelligently and correctly and extract from them significant information. During this course student will examine the most important and fundamental statistical techniques and tools that are required to support the research process. Topics include descriptive statistics and numerical measures, statistical inferences, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression models, and forecasting models.

MKT 710    Marketing Management

The course focuses on understanding, implementing and critically evaluating the marketing concepts. The objective is to provide comprehensive explanation of the marketing concepts including target marketing, segmentation, positioning, and the marketing strategy encapsulating product, promotion place, and price strategies, and implement them in the UAE context. The core focus of the course is to develop students’ skills in critically evaluate the existing literature, identify gaps and develop conceptual framework.

RES 712    Qualitative Research Methods

The purpose of this course is to provide doctoral students with an understanding about the conceptual foundations of qualitative research methods in business studies. In this course students will be prepared in obtaining the skills, techniques and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research in qualitative business research.

RES 708    Quantitative Research Methods

This course will cover the fundamental concepts and theories of quantitative research methods as applicable to the investigation of organizational phenomena. The students will critically evaluate the various models, designs, principles and statistical skills necessary to independently perform an empirical study. Upon completion of the course, students will gain critical skills relevant to research methodologies applied in business administration research as well as being able to differentiate between a variety of models and statistical methods used in business studies.

BECON 702     Business Economics

In this course provides deeper insights in macroeconomic theories and how to apply it in current macroeconomic problems in the UAE or GCC countries. The main topics covered in this course include income determination, determination of employment and price; fiscal and monetary policies; various theories of business cycles and economic growth. At the end of this course, students should have more understanding of macroeconomic theories and how macroeconomists address the country’s economic issues from a policy perspective.

RES 704        Advanced Quantitative Analysis

This course prepares students to gain advanced quantitative skills necessary to analyze research data. It helps students grasp a multitude statistical models that are tailored to answer particular research question. After introducing these advanced techniques such as 2SLS, time series analysis, panel data analysis, forecasting and programing models, the course will focus to provide the students with the ability to evaluate recent empirical studies and develop practical skills which are necessary to perform independent research using statistical packages such as STATA and Smartplus.

FIN 714       Empirical Finance

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to empirical finance and financial markets landscape, instruments, structure, and valuation. The essential topics of the course include portfolio selection, equilibrium asset pricing, stock valuation, arbitrage pricing, fixed-income securities, derivatives, and foundations of behavioral finance. The classes will cover the central themes of modern finance including individual investment decisions under uncertainty. Upon completion of this course, students should have a clear understanding of the major concepts in finance and financial economics. The relevant tools for problem-solving will be developed and practiced in the homework assignments. All the models considered have immediate applications for real-world finance and investment decisions. The course will focus on empirical evidence and research applications and could be utilized and extended in future studies.

SCL 716      Operations and Supply Chain

The main purpose of this course is to help students gain knowledge in the theoretical and substantive areas of operations and supply chain management in order to develop mastery of rigorous methods of reasoning and experimentation, to understand and evaluate the scientific literature related to its research project, and to contribute to the advancement of theoretical and applied knowledge. In sum, this course provides an introduction to the key conceptual skills and methods of supply chain management which involves the application of frameworks and mathematical modelling tools to supply chain management problems.

BUS 718     Business Strategy

In this course students will learn the core elements of Business Strategy with the underlying theoretical rigor of economic theories. Competition lies at the heart of business, and doctoral students after studying this course will have the knowledge to undertake research in areas related to businesses conducted locally, regionally or globally. A selection of key areas on which students could focus their research themes for doctoral thesis could be: entry and exit strategies in a variety of markets, sources and strategies to cope with competitors, sources of competitive advantages and their sustainability, links between the strategy and structure of firms, and conducting industry analysis. This Course will also expose students to the elements of game theory principles of modern global business.

Specialization in Finance FIN 735     Investment Analysis and Asset Pricing

This seminar focuses on major theoretical models in discrete-time Asset Pricing. While some mathematical derivations are necessary, the emphasis will be on understanding the intuition underlying the model, and what it means for asset pricing in reality. Each session is meant to introduce students to some classic and current pieces on the topic, and to point out some additional research in the MENA region that would be valuable to students with a greater interest in topic.

FIN 740     Financial Market Microstructure

The field of market microstructure is concerned with how markets operate and how transaction dynamics influence security price behavior. Market microstructure has quickly rapidly as an important subfield of finance. The studies in this are concentrate on the relationships between liquidity, volatility, market design, price discovery, and ultimately also social welfare. Different models in market microstructure offer a framework for the investigations of trading volume and price momentums. The course covers the canonical models in the field of microstructure and how they can be adjusted to investigate the effects of recent changes in market structures and trading technologies (e.g., high frequency trading). They students will also learn various relevant econometric models and how they can be applied in practice.

FIN 745      Current Research Issues in Finance

This course is designed to help students to critically review a wide variety of current research in finance. The course takes an attempt to find answers to questions such as: What is the anatomy of a scholarly contribution and how does one conduct research in the field of Finance? What are some of the challenges of conducting research in the field of finance?  Each session is meant to introduce you to some classic and current pieces on the topic, and to point out some additional research in MENA region that would be valuable to students with a greater interest in the topic.

FIN 750      Corporate Finance

This course will provide a theoretical and empirical treatment of major topics in corporate finance including capital structure, IPO (SEO), market timing, payout policy, internal capital market, CEO compensation and the market for corporate control. The purpose of the course is to acquaint students with critical issues in corporate finance and help students developing their own research topics in this particular field of finance.


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