Doctoral Program in Finance
Overview
The Doctoral Program in Finance has the largest and most well-developed set of doctoral subjects on offer in Australia. Taught by the Department of Finance, which is internationally recognised for its world-class research and research training and augmented by visitors from the world's top finance programs.
Specialisations
Areas of specialisation include:
Asset pricing and portfolio/funds management | Corporate finance and corporate governance |
Derivatives and risk management | Financial institutions and regulation |
Market microstructure | Real estate finance |
Graduate Research candidates are provided with funding and encouraged to submit papers to prominent local and international finance journals and conferences. Students are also encouraged to apply for tutoring positions within the Department in the later stages of their candidature.
Additional Entry Requirements
An applicant who has written the GMAT exam must achieve a minimum score of 45 on the Quantitative section, 28 on the Verbal section and 4.5 on the Analytical Writing section. An applicant who has written the GRE exam must achieve a minimum score of 156 on the Quantitative section, 151 on the Verbal section and 4 on the Analytical Writing section, or equivalent scores under the scale used on the GRE exam prior to August 2011.
An applicant must have a four-year undergraduate degree in finance or a quantitative discipline, or equivalent, with at least H2A (75%) average including successful completion of subjects in Calculus and Linear Algebra.
CRICOS code: 092762G
Application Deadlines
Applications for this program close on:
31 March, 2018 (for both international and local students)
Entry to the program is for Semester 2 only (July)
Successful candidates for the five-year doctoral program are first admitted into the coursework program Master of Commerce (Finance). The coursework component consists of 16 subjects (200 points) over two years. Students who complete the coursework at the required level will proceed to the PhD degree where they will complete the thesis, typically in three years.
Please note the Master of Commerce (Finance) is offered on a full-time basis only
Structure | GMAT or GRE^{#} | Research Proposal^{*} | Supervision |
---|---|---|---|
| GMAT or GRE | 100-word proposal as part of CV | No need to locate a supervisor prior to applying |
^{#Completed within last 5 years at time of application.}
^{* Guidelines available online at fbe.unimelb.edu.au/phd}
The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded on the basis of a thesis of approximately 80,000–100,000 words, in which candidates report on an independent, sustained and academically supervised research project investigating a specialised topic.
Year One Master of Commerce (Finance)
Notes:
The Program Director may approve some credit or exemption into the course depending on academic background.
Students may choose alternative subjects with the approval of the Program Director.
Finance Subjects
Students must take all of the following subjects:
Foundations of Finance | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Foundations of Finance - FNCE90002Semester 2 This subject involves a study of the theoretical underpinnings of modern finance. Topics covered include choice under uncertainty, portfolio theory, asset pricing models, option pricing models, investment evaluation, corporate financial policy, agency theory. | |
Advanced Derivative Securities | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Advanced Derivative Securities - FNCE90005Semester 2 Arbitrage bounds, stock price dynamics, geometric Brownian motion and Itos Lemma, Cox-Ross-Rubinstein binomial model, Black-Scholes model, risk neutral valuation, forwards and futures, currency, stock index, futures and exotic options, Interest rate derivative securities. | |
Studies in Empirical Finance | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Studies in Empirical Finance - FNCE90007Semester 1 The subject involves a study of the principal empirical research papers that form the foundations of both asset pricing and corporate finance. Topics may include OLS, GLS, non-linear least squares, panel data models, maximum likelihood estimation, probit, tobit, logit, GMM, time series models, and endogeneity issues. | |
Research Report (Finance) | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Research Report (Finance) - FNCE90009Semester 1 The subject involves the development of students’ skills in accessing large financial databases, manipulating data using SAS, combining R and Latex, critical thinking, and writing skills. The required report should demonstrate mastery of the skills of accessing large financial databases, manipulating data using programs such as SAS and R, creating documents using Tex, and analytical writing. The 5000 word report is to take the form of a research paper. The topic of the report must be approved by the subject coordinator. |
Economics subject
Students must take one of the following subjects:
Behavioural Economics: Accounting & Finance | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Behavioural Economics: Accounting & Finance - ECON90062Semester 2 The subject informs students how behavioural economics extends traditional economics by incorporating insights into human behaviour derived from psychology, sociology and neuroscience and how these insights may be valuable for research into accounting. | |
Game Theory | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Game Theory - ECON90022Semester 2 The subject provides a rigorous introduction to non-cooperative game theory and the economics of asymmetric information. The equilibrium concepts covered include dominant strategy, Nash, subgame perfect, Bayesian and perfect Bayesian equilibrium. | |
Economics of Financial Markets | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Economics of Financial Markets - ECON30024Semester 1 The subject is a combination of principle and practice. It provides an overview of the economic principles governing financial markets; then provides insights into some important empirical and practical issues concerning the operation of financial markets; and concludes with a discussion of some practical issues associated with Australian financial markets. | |
Microeconomics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Microeconomics - ECON90002Semester 1 The subject is an advanced treatment of the Economics of Information and Game Theory. Students study the foundations of consumer and producer theory. Game theoretic interpretations of equilibrium are introduced including those appropriate for asymmetric situations. The concept of a Bayesian Nash equilibrium is applied to models of moral hazard and adverse selection and provides an introduction to auction theory and mechanism design. | |
Advanced Microeconomics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Advanced Microeconomics - ECON90063Semester 1 An introduction to advanced microeconomics and to the economics of information and strategic behaviour. Topics to be covered include decision making under uncertainty, the interaction of primal and dual methods of modelling producer and consumer behaviour, the existence and welfare properties of general equilibrium, the theory of market failure and public goods, models of strategic behaviour in oligopoly, an introduction to game theory. | |
Experimental Economics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Experimental Economics - ECON30022Semester 2 An introduction to advanced microeconomics and to the economics of information and strategic behaviour. Topics to be covered include decision making under uncertainty, the interaction of primal and dual methods of modelling producer and consumer behaviour, the existence and welfare properties of general equilibrium, the theory of market failure and public goods, models of strategic behaviour in oligopoly, an introduction to game theory. |
Econometrics subject
Students must take one of the following subjects:
Econometric Techniques | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Econometric Techniques - ECOM90013Semester 1 Experimental Economics is a branch of economics that uses controlled experiments to evaluate theories and behavioural assumptions, as well as to test policies and their implementation. The subject will introduce students to experimental methods as applied in economics and present key findings from laboratory and field experiments. The first lecture in most weeks will be devoted to running experiments where students will experience different economic situations. The second lecture will present the theories underlying the experimental games and will use the experimental data from the first lecture (as well as other experimental data) as a vehicle for discussion. By comparing actual individual behaviour to the theoretical predictions, the course aims to provide a deep understanding of individual behaviour and how economic science progresses. Topics that will be covered may include risk, time, and social preferences, trading in a variety of markets such as auction and markets with price controls and for trading long-lived assets, voluntary provision of public goods and cooperation enforcement, social norms and behavioural game theory. | |
Econometrics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Econometrics - ECOM90002Semester 1 Extensions of the multiple regression model are examined. Topics include non-linear least squares, maximum likelihood estimation and related testing procedures, generalised least squares, heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation and models with stochastic regressors. Limited dependent variable models and issues involving time-series data are introduced. Theoretical concepts are illustrated by applied examples. The computer software used is EVIEWS. |
Mathematics subject
Students must take one of the following subjects:
Mathematics for Economists | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Mathematics for Economists - ECON90053Semester 1 or 2 This subject introduces students to the use of advanced mathematics in economics. After reviewing basic concepts we will study in detail some of the classic existence proofs in game theory and general equilibrium theory. Students will be expected to solve problems and generate proofs, and will be assessed on this. | |
Real Analysis | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Real Analysis - MAST20026Semester 1 or 2 This subject introduces the field of mathematical analysis both with a careful theoretical framework as well as selected applications. Many of the important results are proved rigorously and students are introduced to methods of proof such as mathematical induction and proof by contradiction. | |
Elements of Probability | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Elements of Probability - MAST90057Semester 1 Randomness is inherent in biological data and the analysis of data arising in both Bioinformatics and Biostatistics requires knowledge of sophisticated probability models and statistical techniques. This subject develops the underlying probability theory that is necessary to understand these models and techniques. Computer packages are used for numerical and theoretical calculations but no programming skills are required. Elements of Probability will be co-taught with MAST20006 Probability for Statistics2 | |
Elements of Statistics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Elements of Statistics - MAST90058Semester 2 The analysis of data arising in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics requires the use of sophisticated statistical techniques and computing packages. This subject introduces the theory underlying modern statistical inference and statistical computation. Both classical and Bayesian statistical methods are developed and many standard statistical methods are included as applications of a common theory. This subject is co-taught with MAST20005 Statistics. | |
Stochastic Calculus with Applications | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Stochastic Calculus with Applications - MAST90059Semester 1 This subject provides an introduction to stochastic calculus and mathematics of financial derivatives. Stochastic calculus is essentially a theory of integration of a stochastic process with respect to another stochastic process, created for situations where conventional integration will not be possible. Apart from being an interesting and deep mathematical theory, stochastic calculus has been used with great success in numerous application areas, from engineering and control theory to mathematical biology, theory of cognition and financial mathematics. | |
Stochastic Modelling | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Stochastic Modelling - MAST30001Semester 2 Stochastic processes occur in finance as models for asset prices, in telecommunications as models for data traffic, in computational biology as hidden Markov models for gene structure, in chemistry as models for reactions, in manufacturing as models for assembly and inventory processes, in biology as models for the growth and dispersion of plant and animal populations, in speech pathology and speech recognition and many other areas. | |
The Practice of Statistics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
The Practice of Statistics - MAST90027Semester 2 This subject builds on methods and techniques learned in theoretical subjects by studying the application of statistics in real contexts. Emphasis is on the skills needed for a practising statistician, including the development of mature statistical thinking, organizing the structure of a statistical problem, the contribution to the design of research from a statistical point of view, measurement issues and data processing. The subject deals with thinking about data in a broad context, and skills required in statistical consulting. | |
Mathematics of Risk | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Mathematics of Risk - MAST90051Semester 2 Mathematical modelling of various types of risk has become an important component of the modern financial industry. The subject discusses the key aspects of the mathematics of market risk. Main concepts include loss distributions, risk and dependence measures, copulas, risk aggregation and allocation principles, elements of extreme value theory. The main theme is the need to satisfactorily address extreme outcomes and the dependence of key risk drivers. |
Plus one 12.5 pt elective from either the economics, econometrics or math subjects listed above.
Year Two Master of Commerce (Finance)
Progression from Year one to Year two of the MCom (Finance) requires an average of no less than 75% overall in the subjects taken during Year one.
Finance subjects
Students must take all of the following subjects:
Finance Thesis Workshop | Credit Points: 25 |
Finance Thesis Workshop - FNCE90059Year Long Students must enrol in this subject in two consecutive semesters. A number of seminars will be held during the year to discuss various aspects of the program including bibliographic and other resources available to students and a range of analytical and empirical research methods and techniques used in Finance. Among other things, the workshops provide a forum for students to discuss and develop their own research proposals, and to develop seminar and conference presentation ability. | |
Finance Theory – Investments | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Finance Theory: Investments - FNCE90041Semester 2 This subject provides an overview of capital market theory and evidence. Theoretical topics covered include asset pricing models, behavioural finance, general equilibrium models, models of the term structure of interest rates, models of the relation between forward and futures prices and option pricing models. Empirical topics covered include the time-series behaviour of returns, the impact of market microstructure on the behaviour of returns, event studies, tests of portfolio efficiency, tests of multifactor models and tests of intertemporal models. | |
Finance Theory - Corporate Finance | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Finance Theory: Corporate Finance - FNCE90042Semester 2 This subject will cover both theory and evidence. Topics covered will include raising capital, capital structure choice, dividend policy, mergers and acquisitions, contracting and incentives, game theory and signalling models, default and renegotiation and security design. |
Economics subject
Students must take one of the following subjects:
Microeconomics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Microeconomics - ECON90002Semester 1 The subject is an advanced treatment of the Economics of Information and Game Theory. Students study the foundations of consumer and producer theory. Game theoretic interpretations of equilibrium are introduced including those appropriate for asymmetric situations. The concept of a Bayesian Nash equilibrium is applied to models of moral hazard and adverse selection and provides an introduction to auction theory and mechanism design. | |
Microeconomics II | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Microeconomics II - ECON90012Semester 2 The subject is an advanced treatment of selected topics in Microeconomics. Topics will be drawn from the following: an introduction to dynamic games of complete and incomplete information, bargaining, general equilibrium theory, welfare analysis, aggregation and the analysis of incomplete markets. | |
Advanced Microeconomics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Advanced Microeconomics - ECON90063Semester 1 An introduction to advanced microeconomics and to the economics of information and strategic behaviour. Topics to be covered include decision making under uncertainty, the interaction of primal and dual methods of modelling producer and consumer behaviour, the existence and welfare properties of general equilibrium, the theory of market failure and public goods, models of strategic behaviour in oligopoly, an introduction to game theory. | |
Behavioural Economics: Accounting & Finance | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Behavioural Economics: Accounting & Finance - ECON90062Semester 2 The subject informs students how behavioural economics extends traditional economics by incorporating insights into human behaviour derived from psychology, sociology and neuroscience and how these insights may be valuable for research into accounting. | |
Economics of Financial Markets | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Economics of Financial Markets - ECON30024Semester 1 The subject is a combination of principle and practice. It provides an overview of the economic principles governing financial markets; then provides insights into some important empirical and practical issues concerning the operation of financial markets; and concludes with a discussion of some practical issues associated with Australian financial markets. | |
Game Theory | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Game Theory - ECON90022Semester 2 The subject provides a rigorous introduction to non-cooperative game theory and the economics of asymmetric information. The equilibrium concepts covered include dominant strategy, Nash, subgame perfect, Bayesian and perfect Bayesian equilibrium. | |
Experimental Economics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Experimental Economics - ECON30022Semester 2 Experimental Economics is a branch of economics that uses controlled experiments to evaluate theories and behavioural assumptions, as well as to test policies and their implementation. The subject will introduce students to experimental methods as applied in economics and present key findings from laboratory and field experiments. The first lecture in most weeks will be devoted to running experiments where students will experience different economic situations. The second lecture will present the theories underlying the experimental games and will use the experimental data from the first lecture (as well as other experimental data) as a vehicle for discussion. By comparing actual individual behaviour to the theoretical predictions, the course aims to provide a deep understanding of individual behaviour and how economic science progresses. Topics that will be covered may include risk, time, and social preferences, trading in a variety of markets such as auction and markets with price controls and for trading long-lived assets, voluntary provision of public goods and cooperation enforcement, social norms and behavioural game theory. |
Econometric subject
Students must take one of the following subjects:
Econometric Techniques | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Econometric Techniques - ECOM90013Semester 1 Estimation and inference techniques for models involving a single equation and systems of equations are introduced. Normally topics include asymptotic theory, maximum likelihood estimation, classical testing procedures, generalised least squares estimation, seemingly unrelated regression models, stochastic regressors, instrumental variables, generalised method of moments, simultaneous equations models (including VARs) and model-selection procedures. | |
Applied Microeconometric Modelling | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Applied Microeconometric Modelling - ECOM90003Semester 2 This subject examines estimation and testing of microeconometric models based on cross-sectional and panel data and quantitative and limited dependent variables. Illustrative application topics normally will include labour economics, consumer demand and finance. The computer software used is Stata. | |
Time Series Analysis and Forecasting | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Time Series Analysis and Forecasting - ECOM90004Semester 2 Normally topics will include current techniques used in forecasting in finance, accounting and economics such as regression models, Box-Jenkins, ARIMA models, vector autoregression, causality analysis, cointegration and forecast evaluation, ARCH models. The computer software used is EVIEWS. | |
Advanced Econometric Techniques | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Advanced Econometric Techniques - ECOM90005Semester 1 This course is designed to introduce you to the mathematical underpinnings of the main tools used in empirical economics. Special emphasis will be given to three topics: models of probability, methods of estimation, and methods of inference. Simple mathematical analysis, in particular both differential and integral calculus as well as linear algebra, will be used extensively throughout the course. In an effort to bridge the gap between analytic, closed-form methods and numerical methods, you will also be introduced to a high-level matrix and programming language, Matlab, to provide you with a basis to solve problems which have no closed-form solutions. | |
Financial Econometrics | Credit Points: 12.5 |
Financial Econometrics - ECOM90011Semester 2 Features of financial data require specific methods of analysis. Basic econometric tools are presented for the analysis of data such as stock exchange returns, exchange rates, bonds prices, etc. Applications of econometric models in finance include option pricing, extreme values and value at risk as well as financial assets portfolio selection. A special focus is put on modelling and forecasting of returns and volatility of financial assets. An up to date selection of time series econometric models and methods is presented. The computer software used is R. |
Plus either (a) two 12.5 point electives from the Year one or Year two Econ or Maths elective subjects listed above, or (b) one 12.5 point elective from the Year one or Year two Econ or Maths elective subjects listed above plus both 6.25 point electives listed below.
Special Topics in Finance A | Credit Points: 6.25 |
Special Topics in Finance A - FNCE90043Semester 1 or 2 | |
Special Topics in Finance B | Credit Points: 6.25 |
Special Topics in Finance B - FNCE90044Semester 1 or 2 |
Years Three, Four and Five Doctoral Program in Finance
Progression from Year two of the MCom (Finance) to the Doctoral Program in Finance requires that both hurdles below are met:
- An average of no less than 75 overall in the subjects taken in Year two
- An average of no less than 75 for the compulsory Finance subjects taken in Years one and two.
The final three years of the Doctoral program consists of PhD research and thesis writing.
CRICOS code: 092762G
Application Deadlines
Applications for this program close on:
31 March, 2018 (for both international and local students)
Entry to the program is for Semester 2 only (July)
Student Experience
I have always had a keen intellectual curiosity to explore and understand financial markets, and the Doctoral Program here has enabled me to independently research topics which I am passionate about. Here, I work alongside like-minded peers and supportive academic staff. Through a rigorous and challenging coursework program, I have been able to develop strong conceptual and computational skills, giving me the confidence to develop my own models and test their implications for our understanding of financial markets and corporate decision-making. Robert Manolache PhD candidate (Finance)
CRICOS code: 092762G
Application Deadlines
Applications for this program close on:
31 March, 2018 (for both international and local students)
Entry to the program is for Semester 2 only (July)