Nottingham University Business School
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How to apply for a PhD

We welcome applications from suitably qualified students to undertake research at the Business School.

We have an annual intake of new PhD students in October each year.

Entry requirements for a PhD

Applicants should normally hold:

  • a Masters qualification in a relevant subject (with an average over 65 per cent in the taught modules and 65 per cent in the dissertation, or its equivalent)
  • a good honours degree in a relevant discipline (minimum 2:1)

In exceptional cases, substantial professional, business or industrial qualifications/experience may also be taken into consideration.

English Language requirements

You will be expected to fulfill certain English language and other academic requirements.

If your first language is not English, we may require evidence of your competence in English. Please see our guidance for information about exemptions. If evidence of competence is required we will accept either:

  • IELTS 7.0 with 6.0 in each element or
  • PTE (Academic) 67 (minimum 55 in the communicative skills elements).

IELTS is administered through British Council offices in many countries. For information about your local test centre contact the British Council in your own country.

Information is available at

or telephone the UK helpline on +44 161 9577755. Please note that you should apply to do the Academic version of the test.


You can apply for the PhD online

Research proposal

Your application must include a research proposal*. This must indicate the area in which the research will be conducted and the key issues that you want to examine in more detail.

*Please note that all research proposals will be screened for originality using Turnitin software as a matter of course.

In addition, please also enclose the following with your application form:

  • transcripts of all your academic qualifications. If you have not completed your masters degree you should include a transcript of the marks received to date. Any offer is conditional upon achieving the required standard
  • two academic references
  • English language test result, if English is not your first language.

Entry onto our PhD programme is very competitive. If you fulfil all of the admissions requirements it does not guarantee that you will be offered a place.

We also consider:

  • the quality of your research proposal 
  • the fit of your research area with potential supervisors
  • your average grade
  • the ranking and reputation of the institution where you studied 
  • references
  • a personal statement
  • your potential for success in your chosen programme as evidenced, for instance, by your grades in modules of particular relevance to your chosen research

There is no set closing date for applications, but we recommend you apply no later than June for an October start.


Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6667