Business PhD


Fact file

3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Entry requirements
Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with a taught and dissertation average of 65% or above; plus a 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Other requirements
You will need a research proposal, two academic references and academic transcripts

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.

A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, verbal examination and final thesis.

We offer four PhD pathways:

  • Business and Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Finance and Risk
  • Industrial Economics

Business 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

Taught modules

To help you in the transition to independent research, you will normally be expected to complete a number of 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.

Find out how to apply

Key facts

  • Part of an elite group of EQUIS and AMBA accredited business schools
  • 6th in the UK for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework, with teaching informed by the latest developments


School facilities

Full-time business PhD students have access to a dedicated desk, computer and locker space throughout the three years of study. You will be given a doctoral research account of £750 to support your studies, and there is also funding available to support your participation in conferences and doctoral associations.

Library facilities

The school has a bespoke Business Library that combines multimedia technology with traditional information resources. It houses key references, a short loan collection, past PhD dissertations and a wide range of online resources.

Graduate School

Representing the needs of postgraduate students across the University, the Graduate School provides research training and development for postgraduates and early career researchers.

You will have access to a dedicated space on Jubilee Campus, which includes a seminar room, lounge area, Wi-Fi, networked computers and a well-equipped kitchen.


Research 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 both 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.

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support and information to enhance your student experience. They are part of a comprehensive network of University services that includes academic and disability support, counselling, financial support and childcare services.

International Office

The International Office ensures EU and international students have all the information they need to live and study at Nottingham. It offers a welcome programme just before the start of the academic year.

Centre for English Language Education

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and English language support, as well as a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre and dedicated postgraduate officer.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their researcher development programme.

As well as helping you to develop your research skills, this offers you opportunities to enhance your communication skills, career prospects, time management and entrepreneurship, as well as meet and work alongside researchers from other disciplines.


Find a supervisor

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. Details of research supervisors at the University can also be found on our research A to Z.



There are many ways to fund your research study including studentship opportunities. Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

Midlands Graduate School

Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year.

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government plans to introduce doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes from 2018. Applicants must ordinarily live in England and more details are expected to be announced in due course.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



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, and marketing and public relations professionals.

Postgraduate careers team

Research students benefit from the support of our postgraduate careers team to explore and develop career options. Support in planning a career in academia or industry is through individual careers consultations, skill development events, guest lectures and an online careers resource area.

The University's award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Employability and average starting salary

82.1% of postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,500 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £50,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Nottingham University Business School
Jubilee Campus
NG8 1BB 

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The University of Nottingham
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