EDHEC PhD in Finance - Curriculum

A well-structured and rigorous programme

The PhD in Finance offered by EDHEC Business School balances coursework and the dissertation to help participants acquire the tools, attitudes, and experience to develop into autonomous researchers and innovators.

The five core courses impart a thorough knowledge of financial theory and its literature and a solid comprehension of advanced analytical and research methods in financial economics. PhD candidates select five or more elective seminars and attend research workshops and presentations to acquire an intimate and detailed understanding of the most recent theoretical and modelling advances in their field of specialisation. Working closely with faculty, participants author insightful dissertations that advance financial knowledge and practices and are worthy of publication in scientific journals.

The presential requirement of the programme is limited to around forty days and can be completed in eight residential weeks over three years with the bulk of courses taken during the first two years of the programme. Core courses are structured into weekly blocks and should be completed over the first academic year of the programme; electives should be concentrated over the second year. Elective seminars are offered over three consecutive days in six-day blocks to give participants flexibility in scheduling and ease management of the demands of work, programme, and personal life. In addition, PhD candidates may choose from the electives offered in London and Nice. Classes, research workshops and presentations take place in the School's e-learning classrooms to allow remote and asynchronous access.

Work on the dissertation should begin in the second half of the first year and the dissertation proposal should be completed at the start of the second year. All PhD candidates are required to present the progress of their dissertation research to faculty and peers at two formal presentations before oral defence. Candidates work closely with their adviser during all phases of the dissertation process.

Programme core courses and elective seminars are concentrated into residential weeks, the classroom is extended over the Internet for research workshops, and dissertation supervision is adapted to individual circumstances. This creates a rich collaborative environment amongst all the participants and close working relationships between PhD candidates and faculty.

Timely completion of this challenging and rewarding programme demands that participants commit approximately twenty hours per week to readings, assignments, and independent research.



The programme requires significant academic background in economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics (Master's level). PhD in Finance candidates who may be lacking in these fields will be asked to complete remedial courses prior to joining the programme.


Core Courses

Core courses offer PhD in Finance candidates sound training in financial theory and analytical methods so that they can take on a broad variety of research assignments. Core courses are delivered in the first year of the programme to provide candidates with the methodological tools and necessary conceptual breadth required to decide upon a field of specialisation and refine their research projects.

Each course is of 15 or 25 hours’ duration and is offered in Europe, from London and/or Nice. All five courses are mandatory.

The EDHEC PhD in Finance requires five core courses:

Discrete-time Financial Economics (25 hours)

This course looks at the theoretical foundations of modern financial economics. Its main themes include individual consumption and investment decisions under uncertainty, mean-variance theory, the consumption-based capital asset pricing model, long run risks and term structures of equity premia, empirical asset pricing models, and term structure of interest rates. It covers both traditional theories and recent advances and applies basic concepts in the discrete time framework to risky assets valuation.

Foundations of Econometrics (15 hours)

This course provides a solid understanding of some of the most used econometric methodologies in academic research in Finance, and focuses on linear models for time-series, cross-sectional, and panel data.

Advanced Corporate Finance (15 hours)

This course is the starting point to carrying out research in theoretical or empirical corporate finance. The course will provide a framework to understand and further develop the determinants of corporate policies, including financing, investment, risk management and dividends. We will analyze the economic determinants of corporate policies and discuss the quantitative implementation.

Continuous-time Financial Economics (25 hours)

This course covers continuous-time tools for pricing financial derivatives, modelling the term structure of interest rates and valuing interest-rate sensitive claims, optimal consumption and portfolio choices, and dynamic asset pricing in equilibrium.

Empirical Methods in Finance (25 hours) 

This course focuses on the empirical aspects of asset pricing and on the econometrics of financial markets. Topics include modelling of asset returns, return predictability in time-series and cross-sectional data, estimation and testing of asset pricing and inter-temporal equilibrium models, econometrics of fixed income securities, and econometrics of option pricing.


Elective Research Seminars

Elective research seminars expose PhD candidates to the latest research advances in specific fields, providing them with opportunities to develop a specialisation and acquire additional knowledge and skills necessary for their dissertation work.

For 2021 and 2022, the catalogue of elective research seminars is as follows:

  • Financial Econometrics (testing and calibrating continuous-time models to data)
  • Empirical Asset Pricing (introduction to the active research area of investment-based asset pricing)
  • Household Finance  
  • Fixed Income Securities and Credit Risk 
  • Data Science and Analytics 
  • Empirical Asset Pricing (fundamental concepts and recent advances) 
  • Financial Econometrics (methods for forecasting and risk management)
  • Asset Management: Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds 
  • Behavioural Finance and Asset Management
  • Climate/Sustainable Finance

Each elective research seminar is of 15 hours’ duration. PhD candidates need to take a minimum of five electives and are free to participate in additional electives. They have access to electives offered in London and in Nice. 


Research Presentation Series 

Over the course of the programme, each PhD candidate is required to make two research presentations of his/her work and to provide comments and feedback to other candidates presenting their newly developed theoretical insights and original empirical findings. The Research Presentation Series is designed to provide peer and faculty support and advice to PhD candidates working on their dissertations as well as to hone research presentation skills. The series is of thirty hours’ duration. 


Research Workshop 

PhD candidates have the opportunity to attend the doctoral research workshops at which faculty and guest scholars present and discuss their ongoing research work. PhD candidates participate actively in the doctoral research workshop to further their knowledge of current research and prepare for future research presentations. The doctoral research workshop is accessible on campuses when it is scheduled and PhD participants enjoy full access to multimedia recordings of past sessions. 



All candidates work individually with programme faculty on dissertation topics selected for their academic and industry relevance and according to each candidate’s research interests and professional goals. The dissertation should make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and practices in the field and should be of sufficient originality and quality for publication in leading peer-reviewed journals.

Dissertation work starts in the first year of the programme with the drafting of a proposal to be submitted at the beginning of the second year and intensifies as course requirements wane. PhD candidates are required to communicate the progress of their dissertation research to faculty and peers at two formal presentations scheduled in the second and third years of the programme. The dissertation should be completed and defended at the end of the third year of the programme. During all phases of the dissertation process, candidates work closely with their adviser.



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