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 the Faculty of Business and Law and will be supervised by Dr EY Oh, Dr Georgios Magkonis and Professor Lester Hunt.

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 involve:

  • Research design
  • Theoretical modelling
  • Cutting-edge methods to support research design
  • Implementation and analysis of a large-scale development project

New financial technologies (FinTech) have erupted around the world. It has been transforming the world by employing the block chain, artificial intelligence, internet of things and machine to machine supporting automation. Traditional financial systems are modernised with FinTech features, which also contribute to the development of digital money. Understanding the benefits and risks of FinTech is important as it can influence the monetary and financial stability. We welcome research proposals in the following areas:

  1. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – What are the benefits and costs of the implementation of CBDC? What is a policy framework for the central bank to determine whether to issue digital currency? What are the implications of CBDC on the monetary transmission mechanism?
  2. Cryptocurrency – Is there any potential competition between CBDC and cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin? What are the monetary policy implications of the future existence of private digital money? What are the challenges and opportunities of the use of cryptocurrency?
  3. Alternative Finance (P2P lending and equity-based crowdfunding) – Is P2P lending complementary to traditional bank loans? How does alternative finance help the SME funding gap? What are the challenges that alternative finance poses to regulators?


Barrdear, J., and Kumhof, M., 2016. The macroeconomics of central bank issued digital currencies, Bank of England Staff Working Paper No. 605.

Kumhof, M., Noone, C., 2018. Central bank digital currencies design principles and balance sheet implications, Bank of England Staff Working Paper No. 725.

Corbet, S., Lucey, B., Urquhart, A., and Yarovaya, L., 2019. Cryptocurrencies as a financial asset: A systematic analysis. International Review of Financial Analysis, 62, pp. 182–199.

Walther, T., Klein, T., and Bouri, E., 2019. Exogenous drivers of bitcoin and cryptocurrency volatility – A mixed data sampling approach to forecasting. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 63, pp. 101133.

Tang, H., 2019. Peer-to-Peer lenders versus banks: Substitutes or complements?, The Review of Financial Studies, 32, pp. 1900 –1938.

Bruton, G.D., Khavul,S., Siegel, D.S., and Write, M., 2015. New financial alternatives., In Seeding Entrepreneurship: Microfinance, Crowdfunding, And Peer‐To‐Peer Innovations., Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 39, pp. 9–26.

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 or 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.

We are especially seeking applicants with strong quantitative skills: programming, statistics, and/or mathematics. We welcome applicants who have experiences in using software packages such as Stata, MATLAB, R, Python etc.

An economics or finance background (eg. MSc level topics in monetary policy or financial economics) is desirable.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr EY Oh ( 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: ECFN4641020


October start

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February start

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