Management PhD/MPhil/MSc (Research)

The PhD programme in Management will facilitate the creation and interpretation of new knowledge by the research student, demonstrated through the thesis. The Departments of Business and Labour Economics, Entrepreneurship and Local Economy, Organisation Work and Employment, Procurement and Operations Management, and Strategy and Business Management all contribute to the PhD programme in Management.

The programme comprises a short taught component followed by a longer research phase. Taught modules allow the students to broaden, as well as deepen, their knowledge of research methods at the same time as undertaking their own research and developing a set of transferable professional skills. The taught component is designed to ensure that doctoral researchers understand the breath of techniques used in modern social science research.

Doctoral researchers will be capable of analysing a range of data using a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques. They will be able to explain theories underlying different approaches to social science research. Doctoral researchers are expected to participate to the fullest possible extent in the life of the Business School. This means attending seminars organised by the Business School thereby helping expose doctoral researchers to new ideas emanating from outside their own area of specialisation. It also requires actively participating in PhD workshops and conferences organised by the Business School and Graduate School as well as institutions outside the University of Birmingham.

Ultimately all doctoral researchers will have the ability to characterise and solve business and management problems using advanced research tools. They should be able to derive policy implications from their research and communicate these to policy makers, practitioners and other academics in a manner which is comprehensible. They will also be able to peer review others’ research and offer constructive criticism; and to extend the frontiers of the discipline through their own innovative research.

Doctoral researchers may choose to become academics, work in Government, businesses, supranational organisations or in the research arms of major financial institutions. They are expected to achieve a substantial understanding of contemporaneous management and business issues enabling them to take a lead in ongoing debates within society. They will be aware of and understand the function of related institutions at both a national and international level.

Birmingham Business School has been placed 17 out of 101 business schools in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, according to the ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS.. 68 percent of our research activity was judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*) according to the national REF results. This ranking puts us ahead of Aston, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Oxford and a range of other UK Schools. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF) assesses the quality and impact of research conducted at universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which was last carried out in 2008. Recognition in the REF as a leading, research-led organization concludes a successful year in which Birmingham Business School joined the 1% of business schools worldwide awarded ‘triple crown accreditation’ from the international ranking bodies, AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. 

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: Full-time – 3 years; part-time – 6 years

Start date: September

Contact

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need.

Doctoral Programmes Office Administrator: Marleen Vanstockem
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3498
Email: m.h.l.vanstockem@bham.ac.uk

Details

Doctoral researchers in Management are registered for a full time 3-year PhD or a part-time 6-year PhD. In the first year of the programme (first two years for those registered part-time) students are required to take 60 credits of core Research Methods modules from the MA Social Research programme. They are also recommended to take Advanced Training Modules from the MA Social Research Programme as appropriate to their research and training needs. Depending on their needs and accredited prior learning and subject to supervisory approval doctoral researchers can substitute 20 credits of the introductory MA Social research modules for Advanced Training Modules. By the end of their first year doctoral students will have completed an 8,000 word research proposal that they will present at the first annual review.  This forms the basis for supervised research over the remaining two years of the programme and the production of an 80,000 word thesis.

Admissions Advice for PhD Management

In addition to our academic and English language requirements, applications to study a PhD in Management are judged on the quality of the research proposal submitted.

Writing your Research Proposal

Your research proposal should illustrate your ability to plan an independent research study and the relevance of your topic to the research interests and expertise of Birmingham Business School.You need to demonstrate that you understand the field that you plan to research, identify an interesting and original research question, and develop a tentative plan of study. It's critical that your research proposal is written to the guidelines specified below.

Guidelines for the Research Proposal

Title

 

Title of your proposed research.

Specialism

Identify the Department you want to join.

You may also identify potential supervisors at this stage if you wish.

Research question

Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and/or practical importance.

Objectives

 

Describe the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects.

Literature review

 

Discuss the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area.

Research techniques

State the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modeling etc.) and data collection procedures you might use.

Timeline

 

Outline your proposed timetable of activities.

References

 

List the works you have cited in your proposal.

Word Limit

Your proposal should be no more than 1,500 words, excluding references.

 

Common mistakes made in a research proposal

  • The research topic is too general - you need to clearly identify what you plan to research, why and how.
  • The proposal may identify a real-world business or management problem but it does not demonstrate its analytical importance. Your proposal must identify the critical insight your research will bring to a discipline. What will be the significance of your work? Why is your research question original and interesting?
  • The research focus does not fit with our academic expertise – to study for a PhD in Management at Birmingham you need to find a supervisor whose research interests align with yours.

Related links

Birmingham Business School website: www.birmingham.ac.uk/business

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

The Business School and the University provide some scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate research students.For details of these, please contact the Business School's Research Office at pgrbusiness@bham.ac.uk.

For further information contact the School directly or email financialsupport@bham.ac.uk

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in a relevant subject from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university overseas. In some situations we will accept a good Honours degree (first- or upper second-class) or equivalent. This will depend on the quality and/or originality of your research proposal.

An outline proposal for the research you wish to undertake. The outline proposal should be about three sides of A4 in length, preferably typed, describing the nature of the proposed study. The School attaches great importance to the quality of this outline research proposal, and in some cases you may be asked to rewrite the outline proposal so as to be eligible for the programme.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements 

English requirement - IELTS 7 with no less than 6.5 in any band or equivalent. 

How to apply

Learn more about applying 

If you are interested in applying, please contact Marleen Vanstockem

Doctoral Programmes Office Administrator: Marleen Vanstockem
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3498
Email: m.h.l.vanstockem@bham.ac.uk

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Contact

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need.

Doctoral Programmes Office Administrator: Marleen Vanstockem
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3498
Email: m.h.l.vanstockem@bham.ac.uk

Research interests of staff

The diversity of our research strengths at Birmingham Business School means we cover a wide range of management specialisms and if your application is successful you would join one of the five departments that collectively contribute to the PhD programme in Management.

Business and Labour Economics  - Research interests include labour markets, employment regulation and incentives, international trade, piracy and production and global value chains.

Entrepreneurship & Local Economy  - Research interests include leadership, local and regional economic development and entrepreneurship.

Organisation, Work and Employment  - Research interests include work and employment in contemporary organisations in the public and private sectors, human resource management and employment relations.

Procurement and Operations Management  - Research interests include organisational buying behaviour, supplier relationship management, public sector contracting, project management, small firm operations and high value engineering management.

Strategy and International Business  - Research interests include corporate social responsibility and sustainability, internationalisation and China, knowledge and innovation and also resilience and extreme events.

Follow the link to the various departmental websites to read more about the research interests of individual members of staff.

Writing your Research Proposal

Your research proposal should illustrate your ability to plan an independent research study andthe relevance of your topic to the research interests and expertise of Birmingham Business School.You need to demonstrate that you understand the field that you plan to research, identify an interesting and original research question, and develop a tentative plan of study. It's critical that your research proposal is written to the guidelines specified below.

Guidelines for the Research Proposal

Title

 

Title of your proposed research.

Specialism

Identify the Department you want to join.

You may also identify potential supervisors at this stage if you wish.

Research question

Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and/or practical importance.

Objectives

 

Describe the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects.

Literature review

 

Discuss the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area.

Research techniques

State the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modeling etc.) and data collection procedures you might use.

Timeline

 

Outline your proposed timetable of activities.

References

 

List the works you have cited in your proposal.

Word Limit

Your proposal should be no more than 1,500 words, excluding references.

 

Common mistakes made in a research proposal

  • The research topic is too general - you need to clearly identify what you plan to research, why and how.
  • The proposal may identify a real-world business or management problem but it does not demonstrate its analytical importance. Your proposal must identify the critical insight your research will bring to a discipline. What will be the significance of your work? Why is your research question original and interesting?
  • The research focus does not fit with our academic expertise – to study for a PhD in Management at Birmingham you need to find a supervisor whose research interests align with yours.

Related links

Birmingham Business School website: www.birmingham.ac.uk/business

Contact

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need.

Doctoral Programmes Office Administrator: Marleen Vanstockem
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3498
Email: m.h.l.vanstockem@bham.ac.uk

Employability

If I gain a postgraduate research degree from Birmingham Business School, what are my career prospects?

The University of Birmingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK, and 55th in the world, for post-qualification employability in a global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Birmingham’s Business graduates are sought after by a wide range of financial, commercial and public sector employers. They can typically offer a wide range of skills including analytical & research, numeracy, communication, team working and political & commercial awareness.

For those entering employment after graduating, traditionally popular areas include banking, accountancy/professional services and financial services. Many of our programmes involve studying towards a professional qualification. Outside of these areas, options include teaching abroad and retail management. Many PhD graduates also go on to forge successful academic careers of their own in teaching and academic research.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in Birmingham Business School?

The University of Birmingham has invested heavily in careers and employability support.  The Careers Team have been praised for enhanced developments within their team and for adopting a model of integrated employability and internship support; something that has been rolled out and implemented across all Schools and Colleges at the University.

Doctoral researchers at Birmingham Business School will benefit from this additional investment; the school  now has its own well qualified dedicated Careers Team to support students with employment opportunities, work placements, internships and how to succeed at interview. In addition, a range of career management, personal development and employer events are run each year by the Careers in Business Team to help you make the most of the opportunities available. 

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.

Contact

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need.

Doctoral Programmes Office Administrator: Marleen Vanstockem
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3498
Email: m.h.l.vanstockem@bham.ac.uk