School of Economics and Finance

Business, Economics and Accounting History Network (BEAN)

The Network

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand is a leading research and learning centre in the Asia-Pacific region for the study of economic, accounting and business history.

A total of 10 academics staff working in these areas are to be found in the School of Economics and Finance (SEF); the School of Accounting and Commercial Law (SACL); and the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations (History).

The university offers Master's and PhD degrees in economics, history, accounting and history. Students can choose topics in economics accounting and business history for those degrees, or opt to take an interdisciplinary approach. The network members are keen to attract postgraduate students from around the world.

Our teaching and research has generated an impressive record of research articles in leading academic and professional journals, books, reports and theses.

As the capital city, Wellington has excellent library and archive facilities. Apart from the university library, scholars have access to the National Library (which has significant holdings of business archives), National Archives (with large amounts of material relating to British imperial history, as well as New Zealand and Maori history), and the Parliamentary Library (which includes official documents from overseas governments). We also have close links to a number of government institutions, such as the Reserve Bank, Treasury and other agencies.

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The Advisory Board

The network is assisted by external advice from an Advisory Board.  Current members are:

Associate Professor Jayne Bisman, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia

Professor Michael Bordo, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, United States of America

Professor Kris Inwood, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Dr Malcolm McKinnon, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, New Zealand

Dr John Singleton, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Professor Simon Ville, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

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Victoria Associates

School of Economics and Finance (SEF)

Professor Morris Altman, address
Development economics, behavioural economics (with some emphasis on experimental economics), economic history (staple theory and export-led growth, and cliometrics) and the history of economic thought.

School of Accounting and Commercial Law (SACL)

Professor Rachel Baskerville, address
Accounting history

Dr Carolyn Cordery, address
Not for profit accounting and accountability, incorporating international financial reporting, regulation and governance.

Dr Carolyn Fowler, address
Accounting and professional education, accounting history especially 19th Century New Zealand, and developments in management accounting and the impact of information technology in accounting.

Dr Philip Colquhoun, address
Accounting history, especially archival research, and the history of public sector accounting, focusing particularly on New Zealand and the importance of public sector/constitutional conventions and the setting of government accounting policies.

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations (History)

Dr Steve Behrendt, address
Transatlantic slave trade, maritime history, Atlantic history, pre-colonial African history, Caribbean history, medical history, British Empire, business history, quantitative methods.

Associate Professor Jim McAloon, address
Business, farming, and immigration history, regional development, and history of economic policy principally but not exclusively with New Zealand focus

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Associated Networks

BEAN also has links with the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand (EHSANZ). To learn more about the society and their activities, see the website.

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2012 Study Brochure

Document File size File type
PDF icon2012 Study Brochure 228 KB PDF

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PhD Study with BEAN

The aim of a PhD course of study is to develop a student's research skills and provide an enhanced understanding of historical trends, with a view to career enhancement. A PhD can be undertaken either as a full time course of study (over three or four years) or part time (over five to six years. The PhD involves independent research which is undertaken under the guidance of one or more supervisors. New Zealand PhD's follow the British model of being awarded on the thesis along; the thesis will be 100,000 words and must make a significant and original contribution to the discipline.

Our academic staff have specialist knowledge in a number of areas including:

  • International economic and business history including the Asia-Pacific region
  • Staple and export led growth
  • New economic history
  • Accounting history including international financial reporting; regulation and governance and public sector accounting
  • Developments in management accounting and the impact of such phenomena as information technology
  • Maritime history, the transatlantic slave trade, the British Empire, settler societies, Atlantic history, Caribbean history, the history of immigration
  • The history of economic thought
Entry Requirements

To gain admission as a PhD candidate will normally require a first or second class pass in an Honours or Master's degree (or equivalent).  You may also be admitted if you are currently enrolled in a master's degree by thesis or if you can demonstrate sufficient knowledge and ability. There is more about converting from a master's on

International students will be expected to have equivalent qualifications to those required of New Zealand students. There are strict and non-negotiable English language requirements to be accepted as a PhD candidate. Requirements can be found at

In addition to formal qualifications and competence in English, various qualities will help ensure success:

  • A strong interest in a substantial research project
  • Self-discipline
  • Persistence in the face of setbacks
  • Willingness to respond effectively to advise and criticism
  • Ability to work independently
  • Willingness to work within the scholarly tradition
  • Stable financial and personal circumstances
  • Good writing ability

Full-time students can expect the workload to be equivalent to 40 hours per week.

Further Information

For general information on Victoria's PhD programmes see

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Masters Study with BEAN

The aim of the master's programme is to provide students with an opportunity to develop their research skills in economic, accounting or business history, with a view to career enhancement or as preparation for doctoral study, either at Victoria University of Wellington or elsewhere.

Students can work towards a Master's programme in Economics, Accounting or Business History in one or two ways :

  1. By Coursework and Thesis (Option available in Economics)
    This option is suitable for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in economics. Most overseas students will take this route to a master's degree. Students will only be admitted once a year in February/March, and will normally finish in June the following year.
  2. By Thesis Only
    This option is only suitable for students who have already completed an Australian or New Zealand-style "honours" year (400-Level). Students may be admitted at any time of the year.

Entry Requirements
For Master's by Coursework or Thesis

A good undergraduate degree in economics, finance, accounting or history (at least a B average in the final year of study) is required, as well as satisfaction of the University's English language requirements for International students.

For MCA or MA by Thesis

An honours degree (or equivalent) in Economic History, Economics, Finance, Accounting or History, with 2nd class division 1 honours or better (2/1).

Assessment consists of a 120 point thesis (usually 30,000 to 40,000 words)


Full-time students can expect the workload to be equivalent of 40 hours per week.

Further Information

For general information on Victoria's masters programmes see

For discipline and degree specific information see the specific discipline website or prospectus at:

MA. Economic History or Economics (within SEF)

MCA, Accounting (within SACL)

MA. History (within History)


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BEAN Seminar Series

The Business, Economics and Accounting History Network runs a seminar series in conjunction with the School of Economics and Finance seminar series. Current and upcoming seminars are advertised widely through various media. If you would like to be notified of our upcoming seminars, please join our email list by contacting us or if you are interested in presenting, please contact our Network Coordinator, Dr Larry Lepper.

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BEAN Working Paper Series

The Business, Economics and Accounting History Network has established a working paper series.  These papers are available for free download.

Document File size File type
PDF iconBEAN Working Paper: 01/2011

Lytton Strachey and other Cultural Influences on Keynes's Communications of Economic Ideas in Economic Consequences of the Peace

641 KB PDF
PDF iconBEAN Working Paper: 02/2011

Middle Class Scots and Colonial Economic Success: Thoughts and Comparisons

686 KB PDF

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