Business Research Degrees - PhD
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.
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.
Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
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 this 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,
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.
Find out more
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:
- Business start-up and entrepreneurship,
- Management and governance,
- HRM & International HRM
- Business strategy, and
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.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Starting: Feb 2022
- Full Time
- 3-4 Years
- £4,500 per year
- Part Time
- 4-7 Years
- £2,250 per year
- Distance Learning
- 4-7 Years
- £2,815 per year
Starting: Feb 2022
- Full Time
- 3-4 Years
- £13,200 per year
- Part Time
- 4-7 Years
- £6,600 per year
- Distance Learning
- 4-7 Years
- £8,250 per year
If you’re unable to use our online application form for any reason, please email Research.Admissions@bcu.ac.uk.
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites and available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Applicants are required to hold a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree, in a discipline related to business, to be considered for a PhD. Some PhD opportunities, such as those funded by a particular research council, may additionally require a Masters level degree.
|English language requirements 2020/21|
6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each category
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|Other accepted qualifications||Visit our English language page|
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
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.
Course in Depth
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.
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 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.
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: 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:
Facilities and Staff
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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
Dr Alexandros Psychogios
Professor in International Human Resource Management
Prof. Alexandros Psychogios has a BSc in Political Science & Public Administration (University of Athens, Greece), MSc in Public Policy & Public Finance (University of Athens, Greece), MA in Services Management (University of York, UK) and a PhD in Industrial & Business Studies (University of Warwick, UK).More about Alexandros
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.More about Bruce