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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Taxation & Business Law

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the fields of Taxation or Business Law under the tutelage of high profile academics.

The School of Taxation and Business Law offers a choice of a 3- or 4-year PhD program.  The 4-year Business School Doctoral program is offered full-time and includes an extended coursework program and the opportunity to participate in training for future academic roles.  The 3-year PhD may be taken full-time or part-time. 

4-year Program Overview

The aim of the UNSW Business School's Doctoral Program in Taxation and Business Law is to train you with the skills to identify, analyse and solve problems using original academic research in this field.

Rigorous coursework will be undertaken dealing with a range of research methods, and the theoretical foundations of tax policy or business law policy and regulation. This is followed by full-time research culminating in a doctoral thesis.

You will be involved in research projects from an early stage and enjoy the interdisciplinary engagement with a high-quality cohort of research students across the whole Business School. There will also be exciting opportunities to develop your teaching portfolio.

Ultimately, your PhD thesis will showcase your research skills and contributions your research makes to knowledge by offering original insights into the field.

3- year Program Overview

This program may be taken full-time or part-time.

Taxation and Business Law: Structure Overview
4-year Doctoral Program


Year 1

The first year of study is designed to provide a rigorous foundation to conduct research in Taxation and Business Law using a range of methodologies, as well as helping to build your communication and presentation skills. 

Common core coursework will cover fundamental qualitative and quantitative research methods, and key research skills such as identifying, framing, presenting, and writing academic contributions.

You will also work as an assistant on faculty research projects and start working on your own research as your skills develop.

Throughout the first year, there will be invaluable ongoing engagement with a cohort of high-achieving research students, as well as integration into the community of scholars in the Business School.

Under the new UNSW3+ academic calendar, introduced in 2019, you will study one of the three common core courses in each trimester as well as additional Taxation and Business Law stream electives.

On successful completion of the first year, you will be awarded a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies and continue into the PhD, Taxation and Business Law stream.

Program typeTerm 1Term 2Term 3
Program CoreCOMM8100 COMM8101 or
COMM8102
COMM8103
Stream Core TABL5805 or
TABL5584 or
TABL5575
TABL5805 or
TABL5584
Research assistance work
TABL5805 or
TABL5584 or
TABL5575
Stream Electives Elective 1 Elective 2 Elective 3

Program Core Courses


The following courses are completed in your first year of study.

COMM8100 Foundations of Bus Research

This course covers the foundations of research for business research. In the first part of the course topics will include intellectual foundations of research, research methods and academic reading and writing. In the second part students will move into qualitative research design. The third and final part contains statistical methods and cover probability models, estimation, hypothesis testing and regression analysis.

COMM8101 Stats for Business Research

This course aims to provide a strong background in statistical methods.

It covers the foundations of statistical methods for business research and includes topics such as quantitative research methods, experimental design and analysis, survey design and analysis, linear and multiple regressions and discrete choice models, as well as case study research.

or

COMM8102 Econometric Analysis

This course aims to provide a strong background in advanced statistical methods.

Students will focus on advanced econometrics such as time-series econometrics and application to financial data, as well as field interventions and policy evaluations.

COMM8103 Research Project Seminar

This course aims to help students develop their skills in writing and presenting their own research.

The course includes topics on research integrity and ethics, how to develop research questions and conduct literature surveys, and how to present and provide feedback on research. Students will undertake an individual major written research project, a research presentation, and provide feedback on other students' research.

Stream Core Courses

TABL5575 Tax Policy

to be taken by students specialising in taxation

This course develops an intensive, 'hands on' approach to tax policy and gives you an insight into the tax issues which will be of concern in the new millennium. It offers systematic immersion in the techniques of practical, policy driven, tax problem solving. This course exposes participants to a bird's eye view of major policy questions like the balance between government and the market, the mix of the Australian tax structure and key tax design options. But the main emphasis is on enhancing your ability to actually use policy tools for systematic analysis. To this end, we will be re-visiting much of what you have already learnt in your economics related courses. However, now we will require you to take those tools and apply them specifically to a range of tax policy problems.

TABL5584 Special Topic in Business Law

to be taken by students specialising in business law

This course comprises a specially assigned project, program or set of readings relating to research in business law.

TABL5805 Research Methods in Taxation and Business Law

This course provides an introduction to the research process and analytical skills with particular reference to postgraduate tax research. The aim of the course is to assist students in developing a broad understanding of research processes in general, and taxation research skills in particular. These research skills, which include legal, qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches, will enable students to successfully complete their research projects.

Stream Electives


You must also choose three elective courses in the first year from the following list or from other advanced courses as recommended by the School's Research Committee and approved by the Stream Convenor:

  • TABL5503 - Taxation of Corporations (6 UOC)
  • TABL5504 - Asia Pacific Tax Regimes (6 UOC)
  • TABL5505 - Taxation of Trusts (6 UOC)
  • TABL5506 - Tax Litigation (6 UOC)
  • TABL5507 - Taxation of Corporate Finance (6 UOC)
  • TABL5508 - International Tax: Anti-Avoidance (6 UOC)
  • TABL5510 - Taxation of Superannuation (6 UOC)
  • TABL5515 - Taxation of Capital Gains (6 UOC)
  • TABL5517 - Intellectual Property for Business (6 UOC)
  • TABL5518 - Consolidations and Group Structures (6 UOC)
  • TABL5520 - Principles of Australian International Taxation (6 UOC)
  • TABL5521 - E-Business and the Law (6 UOC)
  • TABL5522 - Goods and Services Tax: Design and Structure (6 UOC)
  • TABL5523 - Principles of Goods and Services Tax Law (6 UOC)
  • TABL5524 - Legal Environment of Asian Business (6 UOC)
  • TABL5525 - Taxation of Employee Remuneration (6 UOC)
  • TABL5526 - Taxation and Investment Regulation in China (6 UOC)
  • TABL5527 - Taxation Strategies in Financial Planning (6 UOC)
  • TABL5528 - International Tax: Design and Structure (6 UOC)
  • TABL5531 - Principles of Revenue Administration (6 UOC)
  • TABL5533 - Competitive Business and Legal Strategies (6 UOC)
  • TABL5537 - Double Tax Agreements (6 UOC)
  • TABL5538 - Tax Planning and Anti Avoidance Provisions (6 UOC)
  • TABL5540 - Self Managed Superannuation Funds Law (6 UOC)
  • TABL5544 - Comparative Tax Systems (6 UOC)
  • TABL5550 - Principles of Tax Transfer Pricing (6 UOC)
  • TABL5551 - Taxation Law (6 UOC)
  • TABL5555 - Taxation of Property Transactions (6 UOC)
  • TABL5557 - Corporate Law, Tax and Strategy (6 UOC)
  • TABL5562 - Business Law in a Global Economy (6 UOC)

 

Year 2

During the second year, you continue in the Taxation and Business Law stream, identifying your thesis topic with your supervisor and engaging in literature review and research design.


Years 3 - 4

In the last two years in the program, you will primarily conduct full-time research and work towards completing your doctoral thesis.

Your thesis gives you the chance to address some of the biggest challenges in Taxation and Business Law and make a significant contribution to research and practice in these areas.  You will conduct original research to explore ideas and generate new knowledge that contributes to ongoing academic debate in your field.

It will offer new critical thinking and withstand critical analysis from expert researchers in the area, setting you firmly on the path to a potential career in a high quality academic institution anywhere in the world.




Taxation and Business Law: Structure Overview
3-year PhD


Year 1

This year includes a combination of coursework (with an emphasis on research methods) and formulation of the research question for the doctoral dissertation.

Courses

The following courses are completed in the first year of study.

Study two compulsory core courses

TABL5805 Research Methods in Taxation and Business Law

This course provides an introduction to the research process and analytical skills with particular reference to postgraduate tax research. The aim of the course is to assist students in developing a broad understanding of research processes in general, and taxation research skills in particular. These research skills, which include legal, qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches, will enable students to successfully complete their research projects.

TABL5810 Dissertation Proposal

This course will instruct and guide students in the appropriate preparation and presentation of their proposed thesis and will assist them in identifying their research questions and the methodologies to be used. The course will be delivered by means of a series of meetings between an academic supervisor and the student. Where possible, one or more workshops will be run for group of students at an appropriate venue or by means of electronic conferencing media. Examples and guides will be provided as appropriate for various aspects of the course.

At the end of the course students will have developed:

  • a statement of their dissertation topic;
  • a statement of the contribution their topic will make to the subject area;
  • a concise statement of the research objectives;
  • a thorough literature review;
  • a short explanation of the methodology to be used;
  • a research plan setting out the timetable for research and writing; and
  • a draft outline of chapters to be written and of structure of the thesis.

Students must also choose two elective courses in the first year as recommended by the School's Research Committee and approved by the Stream Convenor:

Years 2–3

In years 2 and 3 you will conduct research and work towards completing your doctoral thesis.

Your thesis gives you the chance to address some of the biggest challenges in Taxation and Business Law and make a significant contribution of new knowledge to your chosen area. You will explore ideas and generate new knowledge, using original research to contribute to ongoing academic debate in your field.

4 Year Business School Doctoral Studies Program

  • The equivalent of a three-year undergraduate degree plus an equivalent postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline with an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction).
  • OR
  • The equivalent of multiple undergraduate degrees (e.g. a dual degree) with at least one in a relevant discipline and an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction).
  • OR
  • The equivalent of a four-year degree of Bachelor with first or upper second-class Honours in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements also apply.

NOTE: These are the minimum requirements for admission. Admission will ultimately be at the discretion of the UNSW Business School and will rely on the Business School having appropriate research supervision capacity and resources available for the applicant’s research interests.

3 Year PhD

  • A four-year undergraduate degree with honours class IIA or higher in a related discipline; or
  • A strong masters by research degree in a related discipline; or
  • An equivalent academic qualification or level of experience

English language requirements also apply.

NOTE: These are the minimum requirements for admission. Admission will ultimately be at the discretion of the UNSW Business School and will rely on the Business School having appropriate research supervision capacity and resources available for the applicant’s research interests.


Information on how to apply for this degree is available at How to apply for a research degree.

While the UNSW Business School is at the heart of the Kensington campus 'village' that is bustling with cafes, bars and retail, the whole of Sydney is right on our doorstep - including world-famous beaches, a wide variety of food, entertainment and culture, plus stunning scenery to enjoy and explore for free.

There are more than 300 clubs and societies at UNSW covering social activities such as music, movies and sport, but also academic interests including an Actuarial Society, a Business Society, an Economics Society and a Society of Financial Technology amongst many others. Joining a student club is a great way to meet new friends and broaden your experience. But as well as that, you may also make potentially important research or academic connections with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Find out more about UNSW’s Clubs and Societies

Stay active

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with UNSW’s state of the art sporting facilities on campus in Kensington, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Find out more about the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre

Explore

While the UNSW Business School at the heart of the Kensington campus ‘village’ that is bustling with cafes, bars and retail, the whole of Sydney is right on our doorstep including world-famous beaches, a wide variety of food, entertainment and culture, plus stunning scenery to enjoy and explore for free.

Find out more about UNSW Campus Life

Strong support

When you join the UNSW research community, you join a passionate collective of people who are using research to transform minds, transform lives, and transform the world.

We want all our research students to reach their maximum potential and to achieve this we offer in-depth faculty supervision and support, as well as study skills workshops and mentoring programs.

Our ‘Meet the CEO’ series offers unique behind the scenes business insights, and there are a number of orientation, leadership and mentor programs specifically designed for postgraduate students.

Find out more about student support


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Quick facts for students

Program code
1535
Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Assumed Knowledge
Taxation or Business Law, Research experience
Study Mode
Face to face
Duration
4 years full-time; 5-8 years part-time
Commencing semesters
Term 1 – February

​​​​​​​​Research Study Options

Browse the list of study options available for research students

 ​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest