Business Research Degrees - PhD

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time, Distance Learning
Starting:
February 2018
Campus:
Fees:
£4,195 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

Birmingham City Business School have a long and successful history in the field of business research. The wide range of experiences, skills and specialisms within the faculty allow us to have one of the most diverse business research degree portfolios in the country.

There are three entry dates to the programme each academic year, in September, February and May.

What's covered in the course?

There are a number of key themes underpinning research in Birmingham City Business School:

  • Change management and organisational development/transformation
  • Leadership and multi-unit management
  • Complexity, behavioural & neuroscience approaches to leadership
  • Exploration of contemporary issues in international and comparative human resource management
  • Financial management
  • Marketing Strategy & E-Marketing
  • Strategic Change & Strategy  Formulation
  • Strategic leadership and effective decision-making 

We work closely with all kinds of companies to produce collaborative and bespoke research projects and engage in knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs) throughout the UK and beyond. All of our research feeds back into our innovative undergraduate and postgraduate programmes,

Course Structure

PhD degrees extend Master's level study by making a significant contribution to academic understanding of a particular issue. The thesis explores current theories and frameworks and demonstrates how insights from empirical study or reasoning warrant a fundamental reconceptualisation. By the end of the programme students will have written a thesis of around 80,000 words. Students will be orally examined on their work by two or more examiners.

The Business School believes it is valuable for research students to undertake research which aligns very closely with the research strengths of the research groups within the school.

While personal research proposals will be considered, the School would welcome applications from students who wish to undertake specific research on proposals from one of our research centres.

Why Choose Us?

Research is a core component of what we do at Birmingham City Business School. Our researchers are committed to discovering new knowledge and delivering real benefit to culture, industry, society and the environment.

Our dynamic research community works across disciplines and with external companies to address local, national and global challenges

This course is open to International students

Teaching Excellence Excellence Framework

Birmingham City University has been awarded silver status for its quality of teaching in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

What is a PhD?

PhD degrees are research programmes. They allow you to learn as you work through the issues associated with solving a particular problem. Each research degree student is supported by a team of supervisors appointed for the particular study. In all years of study, students will be required to present their work in meetings of fellow students and staff conducting parallel research.

Work in this area is mainly directed through our Business School, which was recognised by REF 2014 as having significant impact. The Business School is engaged nationally and internationally through research to promote entrepreneurialism and social enterprise for the betterment of society.

Our long tradition of research in small business and enterprise has had considerable impact on aspects of entrepreneurship education, finance and marketing contributing significantly to the development of enterprising individuals across the world.

Current interests

Birmingham City Business School, has academics specialising in:

  • Business start-up and entrepreneurship,
  • Finance,
  • Management and governance,
  • Leadership
  • HRM & International HRM
  • Business strategy, and
  • Innovation

Past research projects

Our Business School has carried out focused research on entrepreneurship education and graduate entrepreneurship since 2004. Specifically, much of the research has sought to track the impact of entrepreneurship education on graduates over time. 

Past projects: Entrepreneurship Education

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PhD Feb 2018 FT 3-4 Years £4,195 per year
PT 4-7 Years £2,098 per year
DL 4-7 Years £2,622 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PhD Feb 2018 FT 3-4 Years £12,000 per year
PT 4-7 Years £6,000 per year
DL 4-7 Years £7,500 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for a PhD will usually need to have an MA, MSc or MPhil degree that has given them the specialist knowledge of the major academic literature, theories and frameworks and awareness of current business practice to enable them to challenge conventional wisdom in their proposed field of study. They also need to have experience of research methods and design.

EU / International students
English language requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page
International Students

Entry requirements here

Your research proposal should be no more than 1500 words excluding bibliography.

Research proposal guidance

Your research proposal should address the following areas:

The Working Title of Proposal
Justification for Study 

Why do you consider this subject worthy of study at PhD level? This should be considered in some detail providing sufficient background for the non-specialist to be able to gain an idea of the background to the study, its general purpose and its importance.

Outcome of the Study

How will the completed PhD contribute to the body of knowledge associated with this subject? Remember that we will expect a PhD to generate novel data and/or novel interpretations or ideas within a subject area and it must be made clear in your proposal how this will be attempted

Research Methodology

This should include an assessment of the physical, technological, human and literary resources required to undertake quantitative or qualitative research. The research committee is unlikely to look favourably on a proposal that fails clearly to demonstrate what the necessary resources are and that they are readily available (or will be).

Literature Review

This should include a summary of the current debates, areas of contention or controversy, the principal commentators and the seminal works within the subject area.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

A day in the life of a PhD student

If you're considering doing a PhD there's probably a lot of questions going through your mind: how am I going to pay for it? Should I quit my job? Will I cope with the workload? But most importantly, what is it really like? Karen Patel, a full time PhD student, shares her experiences of juggling life, a part time job and her studies. Read more in Karen's blog.

The PhD Journey

The nature of a research degree is such that it is not possible to state an exact timescale for the programme. A part-time PhD (for entrants with a relevant Master's qualification) could be expected to take 4-5 years.

In the case of full-time study, a PhD may require 30-36 months. Nevertheless, it should be noted that there is wide variation from these averages for individual students.

Modes of Study

Our PhD programmes are offered full-time or part-time. These modes of study ensure that we can create a PhD research plan around your lifestyle needs, even if you are in full-time employment or overseas.

Full-time PhD Research: three to four years

As a full-time PhD research student you will undertake much of your research on campus using the facilities at Birmingham City Business School.

You will usually spend at least 37 hours per week engaged in research.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 36-43 months.

Part-time PhD Research: four to seven years

You would chose part-time PhD research if you opt to study whilst in employment or if full-time study is impractical.

You will be encouraged to use the campus facilities when you can and may often work from home.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 48-72 months.

How the PhD is assessed

The criteria to be awarded a PhD is to make a ‘unique contribution to knowledge.’ Whether a student has achieved this is determined by a panel of experts, including internal and external academics. The panel will assess the student’s written thesis, and the student’s oral defence of that thesis in a viva voce.

Research Proposal Topics

The Business School believes it is valuable for research students to undertake research which aligns very closely with the research strengths of the research groups within the school.

While personal research proposals will be considered, the School would welcome applications from students who wish to undertake specific research on proposals from one of our research centres.

You can find out more about which research proposals are currently on offer below. 

Find out more

You will also be supported through the activities of our PGR Studio. The PGR Studio  seeks to promote an experimental, creative and practice-based space that resonates across all the academic Schools and disciplines in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media. A studio can be an artists’ studio, a design studio, a recording studio, a rehearsal studio or a writing studio.

The PGR Studio aims to enhance our postgraduate research (PGR) community and student experience through supporting routes into and out of PhDs through professional and career development within and beyond Higher Education as well as the transition throughout PhD study. We run workshops, training, social events and other activities in partnership with our PGRs for our PGRs

You can also strengthen your PhD research and personal/professional development by participating in wider international research communities and conferences, and by helping to teach degree modules to undergraduate students.

The value of a PhD to employability

The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is recognised worldwide and is often an essential requirement for those wishing to follow an academic or research or consultancy career in industry or commerce. Our Business Management PhD research degree has been designed to help you achieve a career in industry, research and/or academia. 

After the PhD

Research students are the lifeblood of our research community and we support them in all the subject areas through our network of research centres. After completing their studies, many go on to become academics in universities, or researchers in industry, business and the public sector, ensuring that the country can sustain a vibrant knowledge-based economy.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Staff

The Business Research College has more than 30 PhD supervisors, each working on their own groundbreaking research and have specialisms that they can utilise to help PhD students on their own research journey. 

Alexandros Psychogios Staff Profile Picture 100x150

Dr Alexandros Psychogios

Professor in International Human Resource Management

Dr Alexandros Psychogios is a Professor of International HRM in Birmingham City Business School at Birmingham City University. He is also a Research Visitor in South Eastern European Research Centre (SEERC) and Associate Researcher in GNOSIS Research Group of the Management School at the University of Liverpool.

Bruce Philp Profile Picture July 2016

Dr Bruce Philp

Head of Business School Research and Enterprise Activity

Having left school after his O-levels, Bruce Philp worked in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to education. After roles at several Universities, he is now the Head of Business School Research and Enterprise Activity at Birmingham City University.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295