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.
There are a number of key themes underpinning research in Birmingham City Business School:
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,
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.
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.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Birmingham City University has been awarded silver status for its quality of teaching in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
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.
Birmingham City Business School, has academics specialising in:
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.
Starting: Sep 2020
Starting: Feb 2021
Starting: Sep 2020
Starting: Feb 2021
If you’re unable to use our online application form for any reason, please email Research.Admissions@bcu.ac.uk.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 up to a maximum of five per cent.
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.
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Your research proposal should be no more than 1500 words excluding bibliography.
Your research proposal should address the following areas:
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.
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
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).
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 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 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.
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.
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 be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 36-43 months.
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.
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.
For the first six months of your PhD you will undertake the PGCert in Research Practice, which is a taught and compulsory part of the PhD programme. You will meet with your supervisors and attend classes every week. This is an essential part of the PhD which will help you to get your research started and set you up for the rest of your PhD journey. The PGCert programme covers literature review and research methods which are specific to your faculty.
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.
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: 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:
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 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.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.
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 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.
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.