start of page content

PhD: Doctoral Research Programme

How to Apply

Application procedures will differ according to the funding requirements of the student. Self-funding students may apply at any time, although in most cases we will recommend a September starting date. Those applying for funding will need to meet closing dates for ESRC studentship competitions and for the School of Management's own competition. For more details on these competitions and closing dates see Funding and FAQs.

In all cases, potential students should decide on their research topic and develop a research proposal based on the academic literature in that area. This research proposal forms the basis for all applications, and allows applicants to assess their fit with the research areas and supervisory expertise available in the School.

The Research Proposal

The PhD programme in the School of Management is closely tied to the School's research thematic groups: Accounting, Governance and Organistions Group; Financial Institutions and Markets; Knowledge and Practice; Organisations and Society. PhD proposals will be expected to complement the research agendas of one of these groups, a fit which should be evident in the application.

Full details of the research thematic groups and associated faculty can be accessed via the School's Research pages. Within these groups, individual faculty members have widely varied research interests. You must seek support from a prospective supervisor within the School prior to submitting an application. For more information about our Staff and their research areas please refer to Management Academic Teaching and Research Staff. Once you have identified a prospective supervisor you can complete the online application at

Please ensure that you upload the following documentation and information:

  • Covering letter stating: research area, motivation for the project and its relevance to a particular thematic group.
  • Research proposal, 1500 words excluding references.
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae.
  • Details of two academic referees.
  • Academic transcripts.
  • A piece of coursework by you in the area in which you intend to study (max 3,000 words).
  • IELTS/TOEFL certificate, if English is not your first language.

Failure to upload supporting documents may result in your application being withdrawn.

All applicants will be required to complete a formal application to the University. For those seeking funding, this will be done after acceptance is given at School level. For self-funding applicants, this will be done after appropriate supervisory arrangements have been identified with the School.