Project code



Economics and Finance

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project, to commence in October or February.

The PhD will be based in Economics and Finance subject area and will be supervised by Dr. Alexis Stenfors (first supervisor), Professor Shabbar Jaffry (second supervisor) and Dr Oleg Badunenko (Brunel University, third supervisor).

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).

The work on this project will:

  • Review the banking competition policies in the developed countries in the last two decades;
  • Review the stability of the financial systems in the mentioned countries;
  • Investigate the potential of the banking system to grow and consolidate;
  • Analyze the non-linear nature of the relationship between competition and financial stability.

In the light of the importance of the banking system in the modern economy, it is essential to control its composition and growth. Hence the competition authorities regulate how a
banking system is developing. There are important factors to consider to ensure best practice, such as, the consolidation and expansion practices. In addition, the consumer well-being are closely monitored, and interventions are made to make sure that the disadvantages to all parties involved are minimized. This is especially important in the developed economies, where the banking systems are enormous, and where small regulations may have huge effects on banks and/or consumers and business.

Various measures of competition are proposed in the literature. The research will review their advantages and disadvantages and compare them using empirical analysis. Furthermore, the multivariate analysis of scale economies will be performed to investigate the potential of the banking industry to consolidate or expand. Finally, different measures of financial stability of a banking system will be reviewed and empirically estimated. In this part of the project it will be investigated if the nature between competition and financial stability is nonlinear.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only – eligibility criteria apply).

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start) 

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students
(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £17,000 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,500 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in Economics, Finance or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Prof Shabbar Jaffry ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.  

When applying please quote project code: ECFN4621020

October start

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February start

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