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PhD: Doctoral Research Programme

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Course structure

As a doctoral student, you will be working closely with your supervisor and will undertake a focused programme of original research. A range of seminars, meetings and presentations provide support and encouragement for the candidate throughout the whole period of study. In addition, students are given every opportunity to meet with colleagues from other universities, and to share experiences and present at seminars, workshops and conferences. At the end of the three or four-year period if full time (six to seven years if UK-resident part-time), a well-developed thesis is submitted for examination by experts in the appropriate field of research. The examination, by viva voce, represents the culmination of the candidate's scholarship and effort. It is not uncommon that candidates, by the time of their examination, will have already presented papers from their research to academic conferences or be in the process of submitting papers for publication in peer reviewed journals.

Why study at St Andrews?

As Scotland's First University, one of the most successful research institutions in the world, and one of the oldest and most attractive Universities, St Andrews offers a postgraduate experience of remarkable richness. We support a vibrant and diverse community of post-graduate students through St Leonard's College, which offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and support across a range of issues for post graduate students.

The School of Management at the University of St Andrews is a research intensive environment, operating under the overarching theme of "responsible enterprise". This theme reflects a set of values that shape what we research, the manner in which we undertake research, how we manage the School, and how we work with one another. We undertake research on structures, strategies and practices that can help organisations, industries and government agencies to operate more effectively and responsibly. We also seek to expose and challenge irresponsibility, hidden discourses and inequities in organisations, industries and government agencies. We believe that our research should be of demonstrable benefit to society. This benefit is realised via regular and open engagement with potential beneficiaries (including policy makers, organisation leaders, professionals and practitioners in local communities and the wider private, public and third sector). The School's highly collegiate research is organised into five thematic groups, which are central to the activities of the School, organising, for example, seminars, visiting speakers and reading groups. You are embedded in a group from arrival and this relationship is central to your intellectual and academic development.

Alumni from the School of Management have found employment in the fields of general management, marketing and brand management, accountancy, investment analysis, fund administration and other aspects of the financial services industry. Recent PhD graduates have taken up teaching and research positions at universities around the world.

Entry requirements

We would usually expect a First class or 2.1 degree in a relevant subject, and a distinction at Masters level with a significant component of advanced study in the intended area of specialism. However, qualifications are less important than the proposed topic, the quality of a research proposal, and the identification of an appropriate supervisor.

Language Requirements

Doctoral students will be expected to present fluently in English, and to have a solid command of written academic English.

International students who do not have English as their first language must meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS score of 7.0 or above, with a minimum score of 6.5 in every section of the test.

Term details

Applications can be made throughout the year for September entry. If you intend to self-fund your studies or have funding in place from another source then you can apply at any time to commence studies at any time. Please note that there is intense academic competition for places at St Andrews and only a limited number of spaces is available.

Key dates can be found at

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How to apply

Student testimonial

Tiffany - PhD Candidate

Tiffany - Candidate for PhD
"Before studying for a PhD in Management Studies, I completed an MLitt in International Business in the School of Management at the University of St Andrews. This allowed me how to move from being a student to a researcher. The University's great learning environment gave me the opportunity to meet, discuss, and exchange ideas with leading academics, visiting scholars and researchers. The School organised a series of seminars and workshops for us to have professional research training. I have been delighted to meet national and international PhD students with a range of research interests to broaden my research area, build my network, and more importantly, provide emotional support. During my time in St Andrews, I have made many friends from different countries. This has been the most important journey of my life."



University Accommodation


If you have any further questions that have not been answered on our website, please contact:
Administrative Assistant for Postgraduate Research
School of Management
Gateway Building
North Haugh
University of St Andrews
St Andrews KY16 9RJ
Scotland, UK