Doctoral Program in Accounting and Finance 2023–2024


The PhD Programme in Accounting and Finance has been continuously available at the University of Zaragoza with highly positive results for over 25 years. The Programme’s focus on promoting quality and excellence in the Financial Economics and Accounting field has been a constant throughout. Besides offering scientific and social research lines, the Programme always strives for excellence through its international dimension and its research results.

Program Objectives

The main objective of the PhD Programme in Accounting and Finance is for students to conduct successful research in accounting and finance that adds value in the current socio-economic context.

The Programme’s goals are to:

1) Add to students’ academic development.
2) Address the problems companies, governments, local authorities and NGOs have by means of university research in Financial Economics and Accounting.
3) Train highly qualified PhD graduates to conduct specialised research at the University or elsewhere.
4) Achieve a positive effect on university teaching as a result of the PhD graduates who join the university.

Outgoing Student Profile

After completing their doctoral thesis, the command students have of their research subject is expected to suffice to enable them to work in the field of financial economics and accounting in academia and/or business.

The PhD Programme in Accounting and Finance at the University of Zaragoza leads to excellent opportunities to work in a variety of areas related to research in Accounting and Finance or the start of an academic career in this field. Specifically, students can work professionally:

- At any university or higher education centre in the European Higher Education Area or internationally.
- At a research or study centre in financial economics (Bank of Spain’s Central Balance-Sheet Data Office or any study centre at a financial institution, CENFI, FEDEA, ICAC, FUNCAS, CECA, etc.).
- In any international organisation (European Union, OECD, International Monetary Fund, IASB, etc.).
- In companies, public entities and organisations requiring specialised professionals in the field of accounting and financial research.



The academic committee will assign one of the department members to be a provisional tutor. This tutor will have a PhD, accredited research experience and will fulfil the same requirements as a thesis supervisor within the Programme. The Programme’s academic committee will appoint a thesis supervisor to each PhD student. The choice of supervisor will be based on an analysis of the PhD student’s profile and their research topic to ensure maximum compatibility.


Administrative Support:

Secretary’s Office of the Accounting and Finance Department

Faculty of Economics and Business

Doctor Cerrada, 1–3, 50005 Zaragoza


Academic Queries:

Phone: 876554724 - Ext. 844724


Administrative Queries:

Phone: 876554644 - Ext.: 844644


Website (including detailed information about research fields and faculty of the programme):

Basic Skills

The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:

  1. Systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  2. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  3. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  4. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  5. Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  6. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal Abilities and Skills

The RD 99/2011 highlights the high professional training of doctors in various fields, especially those that require creativity and innovation. Therefore, the doctors of the program will have acquired, at least, personal skills and abilities to:

  1. Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  2. Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  3. Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  4. Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  5. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgements with limited information.
  6. The criticism and intellectual defence of solutions.

Other Specific Program Competences

There are not specific program competences

General Information

The requirements for access to doctorate studies are set in RD 99/2011 and can be consulted in the corresponding Instruction of the Doctorate School (pdf). In general, an official Spanish Bachelor's and Master's degrees or equivalent are required, with a minimum global extension of 300 ECTS credits.

Candidates with university degrees issued by a country of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may request admission directly (info). If the degree is issued by a country outside the EHEA, the application for access with a non-homologated foreign degree must be submitted (info).

Those interested can expand their information in the administrative section of the Doctoral School (web) or the administration of the program (see contact data in the program general information section).

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 18

Number of places: 20


Admission to the PhD Programme in Accounting and Finance

The Programme’s academic committee must admit the PhD student before they can begin their doctoral studies.


Preferred Profiles:

Official university master’s degree, preferably in Accounting and Finance or another master’s degree in the same field from any higher education institution in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) or from other countries if they allow access to doctoral studies in the country of issue. Additional training may be required.

Students who have passed at least 60 ECTS at master’s degree level, preferably a master’s degree in Accounting and/or Finance, and who have an official university degree in Finance and Accounting, Business Administration and Management, Economics, Economics and Business Studies, Public Accountancy or similar.


Selection Criteria:

The academic committee of the PhD Programme in Accounting and Finance will make the selection.

The academic committee will assess candidates’ suitability based on: 1) their academic background (75%); 2) their research in the field (20%); and 3) their professional activity in the field (5%). The minimum grade required for admission to the Programme is five points. Besides the above, the student’s personal statement will be assessed (it is highly recommended the inclusion of an endorsement of this proposal by one of the Programme's supervisors), specifically: 1) explanation of why the proposed line of research is of interest; and 2) endorsement of this proposal by one of the Programme’s supervisors. The committee may reject a student’s application if the personal statement has not been sufficiently substantiated.

If there are more applications than places available, priority will be given to the total score achieved.

Adaptation for students with specific needs due to disability:

The academic committee of the PhD Programme will consider adapting admission requirements and the curriculum for students with special educational needs arising from disability.

There is also a University Disability Office at the University of Zaragoza (

As stated in the Statutes (Chapter I, Art. 3), the University of Zaragoza:

‘(h) shall facilitate the integration of persons with disabilities into the university community;

(i) shall ensure full respect for the principles of freedom, equality and non-discrimination, and promote values such as peace, tolerance and coexistence among groups and individuals, as well as social integration.’

These principles, which are already provided for in regulations of higher rank (articles 9.2, 10, 14 and 49 of the Spanish Constitution; Organic Law 3/2007, of 22 March, for the effective equality of men and women; Law 51/2003, of 2 December, on equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for persons with disabilities; Law 7/2007, of 12 April, on the basic Statute of Public Employees; Law 6/2001, of 21 December, on Universities (BOE—Official Gazette of the Spanish State—24/12/2001), modified by Organic Law 4/2007, of 12 April (BOE 13/04/2007), are effectively applied in recruitment processes for teaching and support staff. There are also bodies at the University of Zaragoza that ensure compliance and deal with any complaints in this regard (guarantees committee, recruitment committees, selection boards and the University ombudsman).

Specific Training Activities

Students admitted onto the Programme on the condition that they undertake additional training must complete these courses during their first year while conducting their research, unless the academic committee deems there are exceptional circumstances. In that case, student should undertake this additional training during their second year conducting their research. Consequently, additional training must be detailed in the application for admission to PhD supervision. This additional training must have been established previously by the relevant body for admission to the doctorate.


Profile: Students with a pre-EHEA bachelor’s degree , three-year engineering degree or equivalent, with fewer than 240 ECTS.

Additional training required: Prior to admission to the doctorate, students must apply for admission to and pass the Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Zaragoza, and the course to adapt their credits to the bachelor’s degree or other master’s degree studies with similar characteristics until they have amassed 240 credits.


Profile: Students with an official EHEA university master’s degree other than Accounting and Finance, but whose qualifications the academic committee deems to be largely similar.

Additional training required: At least some subjects of the Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance up to a maximum of 20 credits may be required, depending on the student’s profile.


Profile: Students with an official master’s degree from outside the EHEA and who meet the conditions established in the general regulations for admission to the PhD Programme.

Additional training required: At least some subjects of the Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance up to a maximum of 20 credits may be required, depending on the student’s profile. However, the academic committee may require completion of the entire Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance prior to admission to the Programme.

Enrolment Dates, Deadlines and Procedure

Doctoral students, as researchers in training and students of the University of Zaragoza, have to formalize every year the enrollment with the corresponding rights to the academic tutorship while continuing their doctoral training. The enrollment period will be set  in the academiccalendar approved each year by the Doctoral School. 

As a general rule, enrollment will be done online through the Secretaría Virtual ofthe University of Zaragoza. Previously a personal identification number (NIP) and password will have been obtained in the identity management service. Face-to-face registration will be allowed to those who cannot do it online, by going to the doctoral school during public service hours. PhD students must submit every year in which they enroll, documentation about their previous studies, depending on whether they have been taken in countries of the European Education Area or outside that space.

Full and up-to-date information on the enrollment procedure, including key points, is provided on the website of the Doctoral School, as well as prices, discounts and insurance, legalization and translation of documents and some others practical details.

Thesis Supervision

The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies and the rules about Thesis (Reglamento sobre Tesis Doctorales de la Universidad de Zaragoza)The doctoral student admitted to the program has to enrol each academic year in academic tutelage at the University of Zaragoza. The Academic Committee of the program will assign a Thesis Director and a tutor, who may or may not be the same. The Thesis Director will be the person in charge of the overall management of the doctoral student's research tasks, of the coherence and adequacy of the training activities, of the impact and novelty in his/her field of the subject of the doctoral thesis and of the guide in other projects and activities where the doctoral student is involved. The tutor is responsible for the adaptation of the training and the research activity to the principles of the program and the Doctoral School and will ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the Academic Committee of the program, the body responsible for supervising the progress of the research and training and the authorization of the thesis presentation of each doctoral student of the program.

The supervisory functions of the doctoral students will be documented in the Doctorate Letter which, once the registration is made, will be signed by the doctoral student, its tutor and its director, the program coordinator and the director of the Doctoral School. Those interested can expand the information on the thesis supervision in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Student's Follow-up and Evaluation

The follow-up of the training process leading to the presentation of the doctoral thesis is carried out through the research plan and the doctoral student's document of activities. The research plan is presented before the end of the first year of enrolment and includes, at least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved, as well as the means and the temporal planning to achieve it. The plan may be improved and detailed later and must be endorsed by the Director and the tutor. The document of activities is the register of all the activities -research stays, courses, attendance to congresses, or others- that the doctorate carries out from his enrolment until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. Annually, the Academic Committee of the program will evaluate the follow-up of the research plan together with the document of activities. The positive evaluation will be an essential requirement to continue in the program. In the case of a negative evaluation, the doctoral student must be evaluated again within a maximum period of six months. Those interested can expand this information in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Once the thesis is concluded, the doctoral student must proceed to deposit and defend it according to the dispositions included in the thesis regulation of the University of Zaragoza and its procedure (info).

Other Specific Program Procedures

There is no specific procedure for supervising and monitoring the doctorate other than the possibility of students publicly presenting their research results during activities the Programme is involved in directly or indirectly.

Transversal Training Activities

The Doctoral School offers an annual series of voluntary activities for all doctoral students. This formation has a transversal and interdisciplinary nature. The offer is dynamic and covers the following formative aspects: communication (oral and written), access and information management, and skills for a future social and professional performance.  Information about the activities, admission and enrolment can be found in the website of the Doctoral School  (info).

Additionally, other formative activities of interest for a wide range of our doctoral students are disseminated through our web (info).

Specific Training Activities

Title: Research Seminars (Brown Bag Seminars)

Duration: 15 hours

Control procedures: This activity is supported by the Faculty of Economics and Business. Although it is not an exclusive activity of our Programme, some of our students are directly involved in its organising committee, as are students from other PhD programmes based in the faculty. The Programme’s students are informed of these seminars to encourage them to attend. Participation in these seminars is subject to the criteria and control mechanisms established by the organising committee of the brown bag seminars (BBS).

More detailed information can be found at


Title: Public Presentation of the Research

Duration: 1 hour

Control procedures: Besides posting a research plan in the SIGMA application, which must be endorsed by the thesis supervisor and the academic committee before thesis submission, the Programme gives students the opportunity to present their work at public events the Programme is directly or indirectly involved in. This type of participation is strongly encouraged. Students can send their work to the above-mentioned brown bag seminars and to other activities that are specific to the Programme, such as the Scientific Poster Conference (referred to below).


Title: PhD Scientific Poster Conferences

Duration: -

Control procedures: These conferences are supported and financed by the doctoral school. It is a joint activity with other doctoral programmes based in the faculty and its aim is twofold: 1) To showcase the doctoral theses being researched in our programmes, informing the university community of their main objectives, methodological tools and results of the theses in progress; 2) For students in our PhD programmes to receive potential feedback from faculty members interested in making a contribution/suggestion to the proposals included in the posters. Contact details are included in all posters.


Title: Student Mobility

Duration: -

Control procedures: As part of the Programme’s strategic innovation and improvement objectives, internationalisation of the Programme is encouraged by supporting student mobility. Where applicable, it is understood that international mobility should form part of the student’s learning. In accordance with regulations, the academic committee will assess whether the mobility placement is appropriate and monitor its progress.

Although the Programme does not directly help with student mobility, it will facilitate placements in accordance with regulations in force and its resources.

These activities, even though they are not mandatory by the Programme, are highly recommended and encouraged by the Programme for an appropriate development of the doctoral thesis.


Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programs benefit from mobility aids established in various national and international calls. The calls for the Erasmus + program stand out.

In the Erasmus + Studies mode, doctoral students can choose a wide range of destinations, since most of the agreements signed by the University of Zaragoza with other universities include places for PhD students of all branches.

In the Erasmus + Stays / Practices in companies modality, PhD students access two calls: the one from the University of Zaragoza and the one carried out by the Iberus International Campus of Excellence for the universities that comprise it, the one from Zaragoza among them.

Other mobility calls are specifically designed for Latin American students and for international stays of students with predoctoral contracts. The mobility of doctoral students of the University of Zaragoza is also encouraged with cotutela agreements signed with foreign universities.

Research Lines

  • Electronic administration (e-government)
  • Analysis of financial information using multivariate techniques
  • Financial and non financial information in public administrations
  • Quality of financial information
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Business combinations
  • Accounting and management in non-profit organizations
  • Performance audits and efficiency in public administrations
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Social finance and microcredits
  • Mutual funds and pension funds
  • Sustainability reporting
  • International financial reporting
  • Financial information and capital markets
  • Corporate governance and gender diversity
  • Market microstructure
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Socially responsible investment

Research Teams

Contabilidad pública

Nuevas tendencias en contabilidad empresarial

Mercados financieros y Finanzas sociales

Academic Regulations

The Doctoral School of the University of Zaragoza has rules and procedures to achieve its various goals, which have been written with the agreement of the different levels of the Doctoral School, and are published on its website.

The regulations section of the Doctoral School website contains other important regulations, both national and of the University of Zaragoza, such as RD 99/2011 por el que se regulan las enseñanzas oficiales de doctorado, el Reglamento de los Estudios de Doctorado (2012) y el Reglamento sobre tesis doctorales (2014).

PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

Rules of duration and permanence in the doctorate are established in Instrucción de23 de mayo de 2018 de la Escuela de Doctorado relativa al acceso, admisión,dedicación y permanencia en los estudios de doctorado de la Universidad deZaragoza (R.D. 99/2011).

Full-time thesis should be complete in three years, from the date of admission to the doctoral program, although the Academic Committee of the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year. Part-time doctoral students will have five years from their admission to the presentation of the thesis, and the Academic Committee may authorize an extension for two more years. Exceptionally, an additional year of extension can be added.

PhD candidates may request a change in dedication (full-time / part-time) as well as the temporary withdrawal for justified reasons of the Academic Committee. They can cause a definitive withdrawal and see their file closed in these cases: if the available time to deposit the thesis is exceeded or if they receive two consecutive negative evaluations of the research plan.

These processes are explained in detail on our website (info) and the doctoral students are told how to proceed in cases of temporary withdrawal (info).

Academic Calendar

The academic year is governed by the deadlines established in the specific Doctoral School´s academic calendar.

This calendar sets the periods of request for entry, admission to the programs, enrollment at the University of Zaragoza, as well as how the students must present every year the research plan and the activities document, deadlines for defending doctoral theses, etc.

The Doctoral School website publishes the calendar of the current course as well as the two previous courses (info).

Learning Resources

The PhD Programme provides appropriate resources and services to complete doctoral theses properly.

The above-mentioned resources include:

General - Library and Documentation Service

The University has its own libraries that are easily accessible and have extensive opening hours. The libraries provide the University community with a wide range of services such as book lending, access to paper and electronic collections, areas with computers and areas for individual and group work.

The library of the Faculty of Economics and Business, which is the administrative home of the Programme in Accounting and Finance, provides access to document collections, bibliographic databases and scientific publications on subjects included in the Programme.

The library has around 85,000 monographs (including manuals, specialised bibliography of the departmental collections, yearbooks, work documents, reports by institutions and companies, reference works and doctoral theses), 1,639 different journals and special materials.

In the reading room, which can seat 290, students can freely access physical copies of several manuals and scientific journals, classified by topic and recommended for consultation throughout their PhD thesis.

The library also has its own web page ( through which students with a password can access the catalogue of journals and electronic books, and databases of financial information on national and international companies such as Amadeus (a database with economic and financial information on 19,415,307 companies from 43 countries) and Sabi (which provides the financial statements, ratios, business activities, shareholders and affiliates of over 1,080,000 Spanish and 320,000 Portuguese companies). Electronic access is also available to the eIFRS database, which includes the standards and interpretations issued by the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB).


Specific - Computer Room (Gran Via Campus)

The Programme’s students can use a computer room that is exclusively for postgraduate and PhD students. It contains 19 computers equipped with specific programs and statistical and econometric packages students need to perform their work.

The Faculty of Economics and Business (and the University of Zaragoza as a whole) is supported by the IT and telecommunications department, which is responsible for the maintenance, servicing and updating of the computer equipment and software programs ( More specifically, the tasks they perform are as follows:

          Providing support for the installation and use of the University’s personal computers for the administration and services staff, the teaching and research personnel and the students.

          Installation and maintenance of computer rooms and classrooms open to the entire University community.

          Managing the equipment that allows users to print over the network, exchange information (data and programs) through servers and access corporate, public domain and free software.

          Customised advice for users who request it.

          Training the University community (students and teaching and research personnel, among other groups) to use tools that make it easier for them to use their personal computers.

          Producing technical documentation, procedures and information to enable users to be self-sufficient in the use of their equipment.


Specific - Databases

The Accounting and Finance Department allows PhD students to use its specific accounting and financial databases subject to availability and their supervisors’ authorisation.