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PhD/MPhil/MSc Management (Research)

Start date
Full-time – 3 years; part-time – 6 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research
For 2024-2025
£4,778 (UK)
£23,520 (International)
Funding opportunities are available

Our PhD in Management comprises a short taught component followed by a longer research phase. The programme will allow you to broaden and deepen your knowledge of research methods whilst undertaking your own research and developing a set of transferable professional skills.

The PhD programme in Management will facilitate the creation and interpretation of new knowledge by the research student, demonstrated through the thesis. 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.


Fees 2024 - 2025

  • Code 8169 - £4,778 (UK) PhD Full time
  • Code 8171 - £2,389 (UK) PhD Part time
  • Code 8169 - £23,520 (International) PhD Full time

  • Code 698B - £2,389 (UK) Distance Learning 8 Years Part time
  • Code 8165 - £4,778 (UK) MPhil Full time
  • Code 8168 - £2,389 (UK) MPhil Part time
  • Code 8165 - £23,520 (International) MPhil Full time
  • Code 8176 - £4,778 (UK) MSc (Research) Full time
  • Code 8179 - £2,389 (UK) MSc (Research) Part time
  • Code 8176 - £23,520 (International) MSc (Research) Full time

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

For further information contact the School directly or email

How To Apply

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

The Business School's entry requirement is a good honours degree (first or upper second class honours) awarded by a recognised University in an appropriate subject, and a merit in a relevant Master’s degree. We usually ask students for an average of 65 in the taught component of their Masters. All international students also need to show that they have adequate knowledge of written and spoken English.

Learn more about entry requirement

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 of your proposed research.


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.



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.



Outline your proposed timetable of activities.



List the works you have cited in your proposal.

Word Limit

Your proposal should be no more than 5,000 words, excluding references.


International Requirements

International Students

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

  • IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 76 with no less than 67 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced or Proficiency – minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in any component

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.

>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.

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

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.