MSc/PhD programme

Durham University Business School

Program Description
EFMD Equis Accredited

MSc/PhD programme

Durham University Business School


  • Intellectual freedom
  • Natural curiosity
  • Critical thinking to the highest level
  • A unique contribution to your field
  • Self development

The term PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy. It is the highest academic degree and as such Durham graduates are in demand for academic posts in leading universities and top business schools; for business and management consultancy in commerce and industry; and for senior management roles in private sector organisations and government institutions.

Whatever your goals, the Durham PhD gives you the opportunity to combine rigorous academic theory with research to influence the world of business and make a unique contribution to your field of study. It attracts exceptional students of the highest calibre, and in conjunction with scholars internationally-renowned for their research and thought leadership, the PhD programme at Durham University Business School is both challenging and stimulating.

As part of our vibrant and welcoming research-led community, you will work alongside a diverse faculty of research students and international academics to develop a critical command of your subject. You will cultivate highlevel skills of analysis and appraisal, be able to use a range of research methodologies, and will work independently.

You can study the Durham PhD via the following routes:

If you have a UK Masters qualification or international equivalent

  • Three years full-time
  • Six years part-time

If you do not have a UK Masters qualification or international equivalent

  • Four years full-time (PhD with Integrated Studies route)


Each student will experience a period of study that in many ways will be unique to them. But there are similarities in terms of key milestones throughout the PhD programme structure and timeframe.

During your studies you will have two supervisors who are experts in your area of study.

By the end of your research period you will complete a thesis of up to 100,000 words, the aim of which is to demonstrate your capacity to pursue scholarly research independently. It must make an original contribution to knowledge and be of a standard appropriate for publication in high quality, peer-reviewed academic journals of international standing. It is usual for a PhD thesis to contain the equivalent of at least three articles which are eligible for publication in such journals.

Once you’ve submitted your thesis and it has been read by two examiners, you’ll take an oral examination or ‘viva’ during which you’ll be expected to show mastery of your topic.


Doctoral study is demanding. To succeed, you need a clear understanding of your discipline and how you would like to contribute to it. Whatever your chosen field, you’ll require research skills, particularly research method skills, and a wider range of personal transferable skills.

The University offers a Researcher Development Programme designed to get you off to a good start.

It will continue to support you throughout your studies and complements the discipline-specific training provided by the School.

Students following the standard 3-year PhD route can also attend the research training modules provided by the School and relevant Masters modules, subject to agreement with the supervisors.

The School also supports students to attend special training events and national and international research conferences.

The programme is open to all students registered for higher degrees by thesis. The skills you acquire will not only help you research at Durham, but also enhance your employability.

The programme is made up of a series of courses, online study and developmental opportunities throughout the year covering:

  • Research skills and techniques
  • The research environment
  • Research management
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Communication skills
  • Networking and teamworking
  • Career management

As a member of the School’s research community, you will also have the opportunity to attend our regular Doctoral Seminar Series and the Research Seminar Series held by each department. The Doctoral Seminar Series provides you with unique opportunities to develop your knowledge, research and writing skills, and is specifically designed to up-skill your soft skills in this respect. Each academic department in the Business School also offers its own Research Seminar Series where guest speakers from around the world come to present their work, giving you a valuable opportunity to view the latest research and network with renowned scholars.


To apply for a place on the Durham PhD you will need to be focused and ambitious, aspire to a career in management research and be able to analyse complex scenarios.

Specifically, you will need:

  • Typically a relevant undergraduate degree of an upper second class (2:1) classification.
  • A Masters degree, normally with a mark of at least 65%
  • in your Masters dissertation (or an equivalent) and at least 60% in your taught modules.
  • All applications must be accompanied by the submission of a research proposal, the strength and fit of which will serve as a further mechanism to determine eligibility

We have two intakes each year, in October and January. Deadlines for applications are:

  • October intake: end of July of the same year
  • January intake: end of October of the previous year
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 22, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
Jan. 2017
3 - 6 years
Part time
Full time
Start date Oct. 2016
United Kingdom Durham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 3 - 6 years
Price Request Info
Start date Jan. 2017
United Kingdom Durham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 3 - 6 years
Price Request Info