How to apply

The PhD application process

The application deadline for intake in October 2020 are specified below:

  • Applications for a Doctoral Studentship closes on 28th February 2020 and applications after this date will be considered as self funded.
  • The final decision of admission is made by the PhD Co-Directors of the programme. If your application is successful we will inform you by the end of April 2020.
  • All PhD applications close on 30th April 2020.

To be eligible to apply you must hold a first degree (a first or equivalent) in a subject related to your proposed research topic. The following qualifications are highly desirable, and would enhance your likelihood of being accepted:

  • A masters degree from a leading institution with a distinction or equivalent
  • A GMAT score (700 or more) if you do not have UK and EU degree

Our students have a variety of academic backgrounds ranging from Accounting, Actuarial Science and Economics to Engineering, Finance, Management and Mathematics. We are looking for mature, highly-motivated individuals with excellent analytical, problem solving and verbal skills.

Apply for PhD in Accounting
Apply for PhD in Actuarial Science
Apply for PhD in Finance
Apply for PhD in Management

Research proposal

Please provide details of your intended research proposal in support of your application. This is an important part of your application in which you outline up to two research directions you would like to pursue in your PhD.

Before preparing your proposal you should familiarise yourself with the research interests of Cass academics (refer to Cass Experts) to make sure that your research is aligned with their expertise.

The research proposal should include

  • an abstract
  • the research objectives
  • the proposed research methodology
  • a summary review of the relevant literature and current understanding or knowledge
  • an indication of how the proposed research will contribute to the discipline.

You should also provide an outline work plan for the period of research including consideration of approval of any research ethics implications. You are also asked to comment on why you wish to pursue this research and what you feel you will bring to it. The research proposal should be a maximum of three sides of A4.

In addition, if you wish to be considered for a Cass Doctoral Training Fellowships, you should provide a non-technical summary of your proposed research. This summary should be no more than 400 words.

Academic references

You will need to provide names and e-mails of two referees who know your work well and can comment on your aptitude for critical thinking and original research within a well-defined framework. We will contact the referees once you have submitted your application.

Please note: the email account of referees are required to be a professional email account. We cannot accept references emailed from web-based email accounts such as, or because we cannot confirm the provenance of these. Please bear this in mind when you fill in their email address on the application.

English language requirements

For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will normally meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study and to apply for a Tier 4 visa:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the Institution as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum
  • Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above
  • An overall minimum score of 8.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS *Academic) in all 4 areas (IELTS scores are only valid if they are less than two years old on the programme start date)

Due to changes in the UKVI 's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS).

In addition to the above, we will also monitor your English language skills throughout the admissions process.

Please note, at the initial stage of your application we will accept electronic copies of your official transcripts. If your application is successful we will require you to send us the original hard copies before a final offer of place is made.


We accept attachments in doc and pdf formats only. Please make sure all attachments are less than 1MB in size (the smaller the better) and filenames are no longer than 32 characters containing only English letters and/or numbers, otherwise, depending on your internet connection speed, you might not be able to complete your application and will need to re-apply.