UQ Finance Empirical PhD Course

Advanced PhD course presented by Frank Finn Professor of Finance Tom Smith at The University of Queensland Business School.

Tom’s research interests are in the areas of Environmental Finance; Asset Pricing Theory and Tests; Design of Markets - Market Microstructure; and Derivatives. His articles have appeared in leading journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Business, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research. Tom is particularly proud of all of his PhD students and the fact that they have more than 50 tier 1 publications in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and Journal of Business. Tom’s students credit the PhD course work in Finance Theory and Finance Empirical as providing a great base for their research careers.


  • Module 1 Saturday/Sunday 23rd-24th July
  • Module 2 Saturday/Sunday 20th-21st August
  • Module 3 Saturday/Sunday 29th - 30th October

Knowledge Level and Prior Course Requirements

It would be a good idea to brush up on their matrix algebra and calculus.

A useful reference book here is Chiang, Alpha C. "Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics" McGraw Hill 2004 but a quick read through on the subject using Wikipedia should be enough. Other course readings can be downloaded from this webpage (see bottom of page for full list of files).

Room Location and Venue Map

Building 39A,
Room 209,
Business Faculty Building
Click here to download a UQ campus map.


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the empirical methods of modern Finance. Time does not permit the covereage of all topics or papers in this field, however, the subset of topics and papers which are covered by this course are chosen because they highlight some of the key concepts involved in current empirical work in Finance. Assignments are an important part of this course and re-enforces the knowledge imparted during the course. This sort of learning is an integral part of internalising new ideas and concepts. In these assignments you will be asked to test some of the models that are studied during the course with the idea being to reproduce (or otherwise) the results reported in these studies. There will be two assignments. These assignments can be done either individually or in groups. Group work is encouraged as this helps students to develop a cohort which is very valuable as your research career progresses. Each group will be given a chance to present solutions to the problems in class. This allows other students in the class to see how a particular group approached probelms, and also provides members of the presenting group with an opportunity to develop presentation skills. In addition to the assignments, there will be a closed notes, closed book final exam.

Statement On Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a broad term referring to the practice of appropriating someone else's ideas or work and presenting them as your own without acknowledgment. Plagiarism is literary or intellectual theft. It can take a number of forms, including:

Whatever the form, plagiarism is unacceptable both academically and professionally. By plagiarising you are both stealing the work of another person and cheating by representing it as your own. Any instances of plagiarism can therefore be expected to draw severe penalties.

Cheating means to defraud or swindle. Students who seek to gain an advantage by unfair means such as copying another student's work, or in any other way misleading a lecturer about their knowledge or ability or the amount of work they have done, are guilty of cheating. Students who condone plagiarism by allowing their work to be copied will also be subject to severe disciplinary action.

For more information please email Professor Tom Smith t.smith@business.uq.edu.au