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Research overview

With an international reputation for business research excellence, Nottingham University Business School offers a superb opportunity to develop your research skills through PhD study. 

You will be assigned two supervisors appropriate to your field. Please make sure that we have a supervisor who shares an interest in your proposed area of research before applying. 

Research areas

We offer PhD pathways in: 

  • business and management 
  • business and society 
  • finance and risk 
  • industrial economics 

Our research areas include: 

  • accounting 
  • behavioural economics 
  • business and management 
  • corporate social responsibility and sustainability 
  • finance, banking and risk
  • healthcare management and leadership 
  • human resource management/organisational behaviour 
  • industrial economics 
  • innovation and entrepreneurship 
  • international business 
  • marketing 
  • operations management/information systems 
  • strategy 

Course content

To help you in the transition to independent research, you will normally be expected to complete several assessed taught modules during your first and second year of study. These are designed to provide generic, as well as subject specific training for relevant pathways. 

You may also be required to take up to 20 credits of other modules within the school/faculty. 

PhD in Business and Management

Year one

This module covers:

  • philosophical foundations of research – ontology and epistemology
  • critical issues relating to the conduct, context and impact of research

This module considers in detail 'academic practice’. It explores the underlying practices that support academic research, and developing academic citizenship, broadly speaking, involves ‘being an academic’ and ‘reflecting on being an academic’ in a challenging yet supportive environment.

It will:

  • explore academic practices (critiquing, synthesising, presenting, reflecting)
  • expose you to academic practices, encouraging engagement in the intellectual life of the school and participation with the wider faculty outside your supervisory team
  • challenge you to ‘practice’ your academic practice, with your peers, and within the wider academic community of the school

The module introduces qualitative and quantitative research designs covering a range of data collection techniques. The module introduces you to the use, interpretation and presentation of an appropriate selection of techniques for the analysis of interview data, and other qualitative data sources.

In terms of quantitative research designs, the module covers measurement issues - validity and reliability issues, descriptive analysis and techniques to test for differences and for relationships.

Year two

50% advanced qualitative research methods, covering key aspects of qualitative data collection, management and analysis. Potential topics include:

  • Handling Data for Qualitative Analysis
  • Coding and Categorisation
  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Grounded Theory
  • Narrative Analysis

50% advanced quantitative research methods, including:

  • Factor Analysis
  • Reliability Analysis
  • Multivariate Regression Analysis
  • Moderation and Mediation Effects
  • Partial Least Squares Modelling
  • Experimental Design and Testing

PhD in Finance and Risk

Year one

This module covers:

  • philosophical foundations of research – ontology and epistemology
  • critical issues relating to the conduct, context and impact of research

This module covers:

  • building time series models
  • forecasting time series
  • modelling volatility
  • multivariate time series analysis
  • instrumental variables and GMM estimation
  • panel data analysis
  • discrete choices models
  • limited dependent variables models
  • conducting empirical econometric research

This module covers:

  • corporate financing and investment decisions
  • takeovers and mergers and acquisitions
  • board structure and corporate governance
  • the role of asymmetric Information and agency costs in corporate finance
  • asset pricing models and the valuation of securities
  • measuring portfolio performance
  • market microstructure
  • behavioural Finance
Year two

This module covers:

  • multivariate time series models
  • matching techniques
  • difference-in-differences
  • regression discontinuity design
  • event studies

PhD in Industrial Economics

Year one

This module covers:

  • philosophical foundations of research – ontology and epistemology
  • critical issues relating to the conduct, context and impact of research

This module covers:

  • building time series models
  • forecasting time series
  • modelling volatility
  • multivariate time series analysis
  • instrumental variables and GMM estimation
  • panel data analysis
  • discrete choices models
  • limited dependent variables models
  • conducting empirical econometric research
Year two

This module covers:

  • multivariate time series models
  • matching techniques
  • difference-in-differences
  • regression discontinuity design
  • event studies

You should select one of the following modules which are delivered by the School of Economics. Attendance will be subject to meeting any pre-requisites and at the discretion of the Module Convener.

This module covers the following:

  • Dynamic general equilibrium models: Focus: How the time path of consumption, and saving, is determined by optimising agents and firms that interact on competitive markets
  • Growth in dynamic general equilibrium: Focus: The Solow model and the data, and the role played by accumulation of knowledge (endogenous innovation) in explaining long run growth
  • Growth and Inequality: Focus on the two major changes in the economic landscape over the past 40 years, particularly the US and the UK: Increase in household income inequality and slowdown in aggregate growth
  • Real Business Cycles (RBC): Focus: How the RBC approach account for business cycle fluctuations, and what links short run fluctuations and growth processes

This module examines central theoretical aspects from modern microeconomic theory, paying particular emphasis on game theory, imperfect competition and incomplete information.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

QualificationPhD
Degree

Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with a taught module average of 65% or above as well as a dissertation/thesis grade of 65% or above; plus 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline at undergraduate level

QualificationPhD
Degree

Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with a taught module average of 65% or above as well as a dissertation/thesis grade of 65% or above; plus 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline at undergraduate level

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.

Applying

Find a supervisor

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply

Fees

QualificationPhD
Home / UKTo be confirmed
InternationalTo be confirmed

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Support

Seminars and workshops

All PhD students are expected to attend our seminar programme and relevant research workshops. Seminars take place regularly, usually on Wednesday afternoons, and are given by a range of internal and external speakers. Research workshops occur on an ad hoc basis and you will be advised by your supervisors about attendance. 

In addition to the seminar programme, we offer a doctoral seminar programme that focuses specifically on the needs of PhD students. The focus of the programme is on the research process, particularly the more informal aspects of doing research and getting it published. 

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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Where you will learn

Jubilee Campus

Jubilee Campus has eco-friendly buildings, alongside green spaces, wildlife and a lake. 

This campus is home to our business, education and computer science schools, as well as a sports centre and student accommodation.

You can walk to University Park Campus in around 20 minutes or catch a free hopper bus. Nottingham city centre is 20 minutes away by public bus.

Careers

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Career destinations for our research postgraduates include:

  • higher education teaching professionals
  • university researchers
  • accountants
  • finance and investment analysts
  • investment bankers
  • IT business analysts
  • management consultants
  • marketing and public relations professionals

88.8% of all postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £41,001.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Hang Lee
I am Director of the PhD Programme and Associate Professor in Finance. I am very passionate about building a programme that attracts the very best talents, delivers rigorous and high-quality training, and offers a vibrant, diverse and collegial community to help our doctoral researchers pursue their research and prepare for their future career.
Dr Hang Le, Director of the PhD Programme

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • The Business School is ranked 6th in the UK for research power
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 02 July 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.