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PhD (School of Management)

Duration: 3-4 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: Doctorate
Suitable for international students
Start date: September, February
Faculty of Management & Law
Apply Download PhD Brochure


Our PhD programme offers both full-time and part-time research opportunities in a range of business and management subject areas.

You’ll conduct research under the supervision of our international, experienced, and highly committed faculty. In addition to being supervised by two well-established researchers, you will take part in research training which provides you with the knowledge and skills to design and carry out rigorous research.

We encourage and support you to prepare and submit papers to academic conferences and journals. We also encourage you to engage in teaching activities which enables you to gain valuable experience of higher education teaching and prepare you for job market.

Upon completion, you will have become an independent researcher with the ability to pursue varied career opportunities in academia, research institutions or management consultancy.

90% our graduates have taken up positions in UK/international teaching and research institutions or consultancy-based organisations upon completion of a PhD.

Professional Accreditation/Recognition

We are proud to be in an elite group of business schools to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "Triple Crown".


‘In my search for an international business school with a strong academic reputation I came across Bradford and had a strong chemistry with the academics there.

These human relationships are particularly important for PhD students, as we work very closely with supervisors on our research and this relationship is likely to go beyond the PhD experience.’



PhD, 2015. Lecturer in Marketing at the York Management School

Why Bradford?

Pioneering research has always been at the heart of all of Bradford's teaching and learning. We are one of the oldest university-based business schools, with one of the longest-established management PhD programmes in Europe.

We have earned an enviable reputation for both academic and practice-oriented work that is valued by policy-makers, businesses and industry worldwide.

In the 2014 Research Assessment Framework, 65% of our research was judged internationally recognised or world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. Almost 90% of our research demonstrated very considerable impact on business practice and policy.

Find out more about our research.

About the School of Management

The School of Management has been an international leader in education, research and knowledge transfer for more than 50 years.

We are proud to be in an elite group of business schools in the world to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "Triple Crown”.

Our courses are shaped by the School of Management International Advisory Board, made up of leading figures in industry who advise our management team on the skills and competencies needed in the current and future workplace. This feeds into the design and delivery of our courses, ensuring our students gain knowledge and experience that is valued by employers. Members of our International Advisory Board include individuals from organisations such Google, the BBC, KPMG and Harvard Business School. Our visiting lecturers include directors from well-known companies who provide first-hand experience of management decision-making at a strategic level.


Financial Times rankings for the School of Management:

  • Our Distance Learning MBA ranked 11th in the world, 3rd in the UK in Online MBA rankings
  • Our Distance Learning MBA is also ranked 1st in the world for salary increase (percentage) and 2nd in the world for value for money

Entry requirements

All candidates must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. A good honours UK Bachelor's degree (a first or upper second class honours) or equivalent qualifications
  2. A Master’s degree in Management or related subjects with average marks of 60% or equivalent
  3. A professional qualification of degree standard obtained by examination

English language requirements:

All candidates whose first language is not English must meet one of our English Language requirements specified below:

  1. IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 with no sub-test less than 6.5.
  2. TOEFL Internet based test: an overall test result of 94 (minimum scores apply for each subtest)

Please note the English test score only has a fixed two-year validity period. If you don’t have a current English test score, please indicate the date that you will be taking the English test in your application.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy undertake independent research in the form of a PhD thesis that meets the award’s learning outcomes. 

First year: Research training stage

During the first year (or first two years for part-time students), all PhD students undertake the taught Research Methods modules as the foundation of their development as a professional researcher.  The training is intended to help you develop your research, both conceptually and operationally, and to manage your project effectively.

All students study these modules in block teaching weeks.

Second/third year: The PhD research project stage

From your second year onwards (or third year if you are part-time) you will focus on your research project. This typically involves

  • conducting the literature review
  • developing research instruments
  • carrying out fieldwork and data collection
  • analysing the data
  • interpreting the findings

In your second year (or third year if you are part-time), you also need to go through a formal progress review and this requires you to submit a progress report and present a fully developed research proposal to the review panel. After the review, your registration to the PhD degree will be confirmed (or you will be transferred to the MPhil programme if your progress is not satisfactory).

Final year: The writing-up stage

You move to the writing up stage in your final year. All research students should aim to submit their thesis within their minimum period of registration (4 years for full-time and 6 years for part-time). At this stage, the tasks involved are

  • producing a final version of your thesis
  • presenting your thesis
  • defending your thesis in an oral examination

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

Training Modules consist of:

  • lectures
  • discussion
  • group exercises
  • class projects
  • other online (WRDTP) and face-to-face delivery modes

Assessment strategies include individual papers, individual projects and reflective essays.

The development of the doctoral thesis will be guided by two supervisors and the assessment includes Viva Voce.

Career support and prospects

During your time studying at the Faculty of Management and Law you will have the opportunity to take part in our distinctive career booster programme throughout the duration of your course. The programme is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and graduate attributes to be job-ready when seeking employment with leading innovative organisations. The Career Booster Programme offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:

  • The European Computer Driving License (EDCL) - the benchmark for digital literacy
  • Sage 50 Accounting and Sage 50 Payroll - training that will allow you to develop leading accounting and payroll software skills
  • Project Manager Professional certificates - giving you the edge when seeking to become a Certified Project Manager
  • Big Data analysis and reporting skills - using Software and Services (SAS) that will lead to certification.

In addition, the programme will also include activities to promote teamwork, confidence, communication and many other skills sought by employers.

Developing a portfolio of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificates will demonstrate to employers that you are not only ambitious but also take responsibility for your own professional development.

Career support

The School of Management supports students on the PhD programme in a variety of ways; those on campus can attend workshops but for the most part support to PhD students is via one-to-one guidance - in addition there are training and development opportunities.

Participants on the PhD programme are in the main usually seeking a post in academia and so careers and academic staff are able to provide guidance. For those who may be looking to develop a career in the commercial world the careers coaches are able to support, students are often looking to develop their careers in consultancy and research based posts.

Study Support

The School supports PhD students in a variety of ways. Most importantly, student support is via one-to-one guidance.

The Effective Learning Service is a dedicated facility within the Faculty of Management and Law, supporting our students to maximise their academic learning as well as help overseas students adapt quickly to UK education requirements.


Research-active staff undertake world leading research addressing management and organisational issues.

In the 2014 Research Assessment Framework, 65% of our research was judged internationally recognised or world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. Almost 90% of our research demonstrated considerable impact on business practice and policy.

We promote interdisciplinary research and we work together in themed research centres, collaborating with colleagues around the world. Currently we have four research centres:

  • Accounting, Finance and Economics (AFE)
  • People, Organisation and Entrepreneurship
  • Logistics, Supply Chain and Technology (LogiST)
  • International Business, Marketing and Branding (IBMB)

Find out more on our research website.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees

2017/18 UK/EU

  • Full-time: £4,195
  • Part-time: £2,800

2017/18 International fee

  • Full-time: £14,900
  • Part-time: £7,450

* Fees are per year and increase with inflation.

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

WRDTP ESRC Studentships

Funding available from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. Find out more on the Scholarships website.

Alumni Discount

All alumni of the University of Bradford, regardless of when they have graduated will receive a discount on their tuition fees if they achieved a 2:2 or above in their undergraduate degree. Find out more

Postgraduate Bursary

Students applying to study a full-time Master's or research postgraduate programme, who have recently graduated from an undergraduate programme in England, and have received support towards their fees from the Local Authority or the Student Loans Company in their final year of undergraduate study at their previous university may be eligible for a Postgraduate Bursary of £500. Please visit the Fees and Financial Support website for full details.

Country specific scholarships

World Bank low-income or low to middle income economy countries - £2,000 scholarship

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

Contact our PhD team.

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. We encourage you to get in touch with us early, so we can guide you through the application process.

You should indicate your:

  • motivation for joining the programme
  • academic and professional qualifications
  • career history
  • positions of responsibility held
  • areas of professional interest

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.