PhD in Finance London UK


Our world-class researchers engage with and disseminate research to practitioners, policy-makers and academic colleagues to develop a more robust financial system. Our faculty regularly publish in the top financial economics journals and participate actively in world-renowned academic, industry and policy conferences.

A number of high-level academic and practitioner conferences take place at the Business School, offering students, alumni and faculty the opportunity to network and shape the future of finance. Our well-cited academic research has international impact, while our students are regularly placed in top finance jobs in the private sector, international organisations and academia.

Finance welcomes applications from excellent candidates with a background in quantitative subjects including mathematics, statistics, economics and finance. As a PhD student in the Department of Finance, you will work closely with faculty members and are encouraged to think creatively. The programme offers specialist courses to build your knowledge of theory and technical skills and equip you with the tools to carry out high quality theoretical and empirical research.

Research areas

The world-class research undertaken by our finance faculty spans four core themes – Innovation and Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance, Finance and Risk Management, and Financial Analysis – engaging with and disseminating research to practitioners, policy-makers and academic colleagues to develop a more robust financial system. Research has covered derivative pricing and hedging, quantitative risk management and asset allocation, financial econometrics, stochastic volatility modelling, credit risk modelling, catastrophe risk analysis, M&A and private equity.

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Research Centres and Partnerships

The Department of Finance houses research centres that undertake advanced study in specialist areas and include the The Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis, where Imperial College London finance faculty collaborate with external academics and industry professionals to develop cutting edge research, influencing global industry practice and public policy. 

The Centre dramatically enhances Imperial College Business School’s expertise in financial economics and strengthens ties with other disciplines, including engineering and computational finance. 

The Department also works collaboratively with faculty in other departments at Imperial College London such as Mathematics, Computing and Medicine, on research including the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, whose research aims are for a sustainable, resilient, zero-carbon future and the London Graduate School in Mathematical Finance, a consortium of researchers from institutions across London. 

Other Centres within the Business School include Financial Technology, which acts as a hub for the interdisciplinary research that is needed to develop innovations, reveal insights and answer questions; bringing together the activities of academics, startup companies, established industry and governmental organisations. Climate Finance and Investment, works to unlock solutions within capital markets to address the challenges posed by global climate change.

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Doctoral Theses in Finance


Name Thesis title Supervisors(s)
Kumushoy Abduraimova Contagion and Tail Risk in Complex Financial Networks Professor Rustam Ibragimov, Professor Franklin Allen
Daniela Alifano Essays in Finance Professor Walter Distaso, Professor Rustam Ibragimov
Adelina Barbalau Essays in Financial Economics Professor Franklin Allen, Dr Savi Sundaresan
Davide Benedetti Essays on corporate risk management and insurance Dr Enrico Biffis, Dr Mario Ghossoub
Robert Czech Essays in Empirical Market Microstructure Professor Marcin Kacperczyk
Hsuan Fu International monetary policy and Stock Market Returns Dr Pasquale Della Corte, Professor Marcin Kacperczyk
Edward Golosov The Term Structure of Risk Premia with Heterogeneous Preferences and Beliefs Dr Harjoat Bhamra, Professor Walter Distaso
James Grant Trading Strategies in Future Markets Professor Walter Distaso, Dr Enrico Biffis
Mobeen Iqbal Essays in Financial Economics Professor David Miles, Dr Chris Hansman
Engin Iyidogan Essays on the Economics of Cryptocurrencies Professor Robert Kosowski, Dr Andrei Kirilenko
Oleg Komarov Empirical Asset Pricing in High-frequency Markets Professor Walter Distaso
Aleksejs Krecetovs Essays on Empirical Asset Pricing Professor Walter Distaso, Dr Pasquale Della Corte
Caterina Lepore Essays in Financial Economics Dr Enrico Biffis
Jian Xun Li Three Essays in Financial Econometrics Professor Walter Distaso
Valentina Lorusso Market Making and Dealer Markets Professor Gilles Chemla, Dr Pasquale Della Corte
Niklas Neumann Post-crisis Banking in the US Professor Marcin Kacperczyk, Professor Robert Kosowski
Valentina Raponi Cross-sectional Methods for Empirical Asset Pricing Professor Paolo Zaffaroni
Jialu Shen Lifecycle Portfolio Choice Professor Alex Michaelides, Professor Rustam Ibragimov
Yining Elaine Shi Media Content and Credit Risk: Empirical Analyses Based on Credit Default Swap Market Dr Enrico Biffis, Dr Lara Cathcart
Jingjing Ariel Sun Three Essays in Financial Economics: Systemic Risk; Pension Economics and Income Inequality Professor Rustam Ibragimov, Dr Enrico Biffis
Tianyu Wang Essays in Empirical Asset Pricing Professor Robert Kosowski, Dr Pasquale Della Corte
Daren Wei Macro-prudential Policy and Asset Pricing Dr Harjoat Bhamra, Professor Paolo Zaffaroni
Yangshen Yang Essays on Imperfect Information in Financial Markets Professor Gilles Chemla
Chao Zhang Theses on Investment and Portfolio Management of Hedge Funds Based on 13F Holdings Professor Robert Kosowski, Professor Marcin Kacperczyk
Jingyu Zhang Applications of Endogenous Information Acquisition by Institutional Investors Professor Marcin Kacperczyk, Professor Alex Michaelides, Professor Franklin Allen
Yang Stephen Zhang Counterparty Credit Risk, Funding Risk and Central Clearing Dr Enrico Biffis
Yuxin James Zhang Essays in Life Cycle Portfolio Choice Professor Alex Michaelides, Professor Robert Kosowski
Yu Zheng Machine Learning and Option Implied Information Professor Alex Michaelides
Adam Denny Essays on Empirical Asset Pricing Professor Robert Kosowski
Adrian Lam Three Essays on Sustainable Finance Dr Claudia Custodio
Can Gao New Perspectives on the Axiomatic Frameworks of Asset Pricing Professor Franklin Allen
David Elliott Three Essays on Financial Intermediation Dr Raj Iyer
Federica Zeni Essays in Climate Finance Professor Tarun Ramadorai
Hormoz Ramian Essays on Asset Pricing and Financial Regulation Professor Alex Michaelides
Nikolaos Rapanos Essays on Short Selling Professor Robert Kosowski
Oren Schneorson Essays on Systemic Risk Professor Franklin Allen
Zaici Li Essays on Financial Intermediation Professor Gilles Chemla

Practical experience

The Finance Department also offers PhD in Finance students the opportunity to engage in teaching activities on the suite of Finance Master’s programmes.

Administrative label
Doctoral CTA - finance

Master's in Research

If you pursue the Doctoral programme and choose a research area within Analytics & Operations or Marketing, you will pursue a one year MRes, followed by four years of independent research. For all other research areas you will pursue a two year MRes followed by four years of independent research. 

Find out more about the programme structure.