PhD (School of Management)


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

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

Professional accreditation

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".


The University of Bradford is ranked 301-400 in the world for Business and Economics in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Entry requirements

All candidates must meet one of the following conditions:

  • A good honours UK Bachelor's degree (a first or upper second class honours) or equivalent qualifications.
  • A Master’s degree in Management or related subjects with average marks of 60% or equivalent.
  • A professional qualification or 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:

  • IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 with no sub-test less than 6.5.
  • 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.

What you will study

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: a 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: 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: writing-up stage

You move to the writing up the 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.

Learning 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

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 - also there are training and development opportunities included in our unique and flexible Postgraduate Research Framework.

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.

Career 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 (PDF, 2.8 MB) offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:

  • The European Computer Driving License (ECDL) - 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.

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 a 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)
Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

At the University of Bradford, you’ll benefit from - and be a part of – teaching and research that harnesses technology for the good of society. You’ll learn from academic and industry experts who are ... Read More

At the University of Bradford, you’ll benefit from - and be a part of – teaching and research that harnesses technology for the good of society. You’ll learn from academic and industry experts who are shaping the future of their sectors in world-class facilities. We’ve invested millions of pounds in high-tech learning environments, such as our motion capture studio and new School of Management facilities. During your time with us, you can become the very best version of yourself. The University is a place where you can expand your mind and make lifelong friends; where you can grow, learn, experience. Where you can belong, and where we support you every step of the way. Read less