Accounting and Finance and Economics

Accounting - PhD


The Kent Business School Accounting Group has a strong international reputation for its research on public sector or critical accounting and accounting history. Group members have published many scholarly papers in highly esteemed journals and a number of influential books.



The group’s research interests include:

  • problems with privatisation
  • the National Health Service (NHS)
  • New Public Management (NPM)
  • the social and political importance of accounting
  • public sector audit and accountability.

Exchange partners

Kent Business School (KBS) has excellent links with business schools globally, including in China, USA, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Italy. Our wide array of exchange partners gives you the opportunity to gain international experience. Our partners are committed to enhancing their international outlook while providing excellent teaching. You will gain invaluable work experience, develop your understanding of a new culture and improve your language skills.

Our exchange partners include these top-ranked institutions among others:

  • University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  • Renmin Business School, Renmin University of China
  • The University of Hong Kong (HKU)
  • ESSEC Business School
  • NEOMA Business School
  • Freie Universitat Berlin
  • University of Florence
  • IE University, Madrid
  • Stockholm Business School
  • Georgetown University, USA.

About Kent Business School

Kent Business School (KBS) is a world-class business school combining rigorous teaching with real-world relevance and strong links to the business community.

With over 25 years’ experience delivering business education, our portfolio of postgraduate programmes demonstrates the breadth and depth of our expertise. Academic research and links with global business inform our teaching, ensuring a curriculum that is relevant and current. We are ranked as a top 30 UK business school for the standard of our teaching and student satisfaction. We are also accredited by a number of professional bodies.

Studying at KBS gives you the opportunity to increase your employability with real-life case studies, a student council and a business society. We have strong links to local and national organisations providing opportunities for projects, internships and graduate placements. The School attracts high-profile speakers from industry including visits and lectures from staff of the Bank of England, BAE Systems, Barclays, Lloyds Insurance, Cummins, Delphi and Kent County Council.

The School currently has 60 PhD students, who form a dynamic and close-knit research community.

National ratings

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), we were placed 25th (out of 101 institutions) in the UK for research intensity in business and management studies and 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

The School was also ranked 24th for its breadth and depth of research across the whole community of research active staff by the Association of Business Schools.


The KBS PhD programme is designed to provide a thorough training for research careers in academia or industry. Our students generally take up academic appointments in UK or international higher education institutions or work in policy or industry settings.

Professional recognition

KBS is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS); and the Kent MBA is an Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredited programme.

In addition, KBS has accredited programmes with the following professional bodies:

  • The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)
  • The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)
  • The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • The Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA)
  • The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • CFA Institute

KBS is a signatory of the United Nation's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which provides a global network for academic institutions to advance corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

Study support

Each research student is supported by a supervisory team (usually two members of academic staff) who give guidance about the nature of the research, the standard of work required, and about the relevant literature and sources that should be consulted.

Students meet with supervisors each month to agree upon a schedule of work, and bring written work for comment and discussion. The co-supervisor provides additional input and ensures continued support. You have formal progression reviews at key points in your programme.

All KBS PhD students receive:

  • access to office space with a laptop for the duration of their studies
  • funds for conference attendance and research expenses
  • research methods training
  • full access to the Graduate School facilities.

All first year PhD students take a mandatory research training programme which covers:

  • relevant research methods
  • theory of management and specialist management topics related to your research
  • skills-based courses in areas such as statistics, computing, electronic literature searching and languages.

Additionally, you can attend research seminars and postgraduate training events run by the Graduate School. PhD students with scholarships or part-time teaching commitments also take modules from the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.

KBS students benefit from training and development opportunities made available through our membership of NATCOR, the ESRC’s South East Doctoral Training Centre, and the European Doctoral Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA).

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a 2.1 at undergraduate level and a Merit at Master’s level in a relevant discipline, from a UK or other approved university and/or equivalent. You must submit a research proposal of approximately 1,500 words on your intended topic.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research activities at Kent Business School are broadly organised into six areas:

Our Accounting Group has an international reputation for its research on public sector critical accounting and accounting history. Recent topics include privatisation, health and New Public Management.

Staff research interests

Our world-class academic staff provide research students with excellent supervision.

Kent Business School has over 30 eligible research degree supervisors. Postgraduate research can take place in any subject area where they have expertise.

Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Accounting - PhD at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £4327 £15200
Part-time £2164 £7600

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


Take a look at the KBS website for possible funding opportunities or search our scholarships finder.