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About the Programme

We welcome applicants who want to undertake challenging and innovative doctoral research and be part of Leeds Business School's research community. The PhD programme is suitable for Home/EU and International applicants with an excellent academic record to-date, and who have a desire to undertake high-level academic research with leading academics in their fields.

PhD researchers will make a unique contribution to knowledge in their field of interest; potentially impact on practice, policies and knowledge; and become expert researchers in either academia or elsewhere. The programme supports research students with the skills to undertake research, offers training in a wide range of methodologies and develops them into becoming independent researchers.

Our students are provided with excellent facilities, including desktop computers and networked printers, together with library facilities and academic and personal support at one of the UK's best universities. We also offer networks to other universities and research institutions. The normal length of a PhD full-time registration is three years, with an additional year being allowed for writing up one's thesis. Part-time registration is for six years, also with a year for thesis completion. 


As a PhD student you will be supported by a supervisory team comprising a Director of Studies (DoS – main supervisor) and a further supervisor, with whom you will be expected to meet regularly (equivalent to once per month – pro rata part-time) where you will discuss your progress and research.

Confirmation of registration (CoR) is at the six-month stage of year one. At this juncture you will be expected to demonstrate your research is a strong proposal and that you have made sound progress for the University to allow you to progress any further. Annual progressions will then ensue, that are based on evidence that academic progress is occurring and regular meetings are being held with your supervisory team.

Research and Related Training

The first year or more will focus on a supporting you in research methodology training. You will be required to attend, in discussion with your supervisory team, graduate training. These can be both short events that cover a wide range of skills, and more intensive interventions that may be in advanced research approaches and methodologies. Leeds Business School and Leeds Beckett Graduate School also offer relevant activities and seminars that are part of your support as an advanced researcher.

Leeds Business School is also a member of the Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative (NARTI), which is a network of leading research-based university business and management schools in the North of England. Providing you with the potential opportunity for advanced research training in methods, methodologies and related research skills, with a focus on early career academics and doctoral researchers. Learn more about NARTI:

Entry Requirements

A relevant Masters' Degree. For entry on to the PhD programme, applicants normally need to hold a UK recognised Masters level degree, with a good mark on their master's dissertation. If you do not possess a Masters' degree or appropriate research training, you may be required to take an additional conversion year, generally our Masters programme.

Research Proposal. This is how we can assess your suitability. While we understand that the initial project may vary to some extent over time as result of further research, a well-structured, clear and focused proposal is the starting point for a PhD application. See the section below on how to structure a proposal.

English Language competence. Completing a PhD research programme and writing a thesis of 80,000-100,000 words is extremely demanding, and so requires understanding of advanced material and accomplished academic written style. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of English language excellence, e.g. IELTS with overall score of 7.0, or above (with no element below 6.5).

We have two entry points for our PhD programme each year: September and February

Research proposal guidelines
Candidates who enrol on our PhD will be expected to start their research journey with a specific problem in mind. This will require candidates to initially submit a 2000 word (references not included) research proposal on a topic they will investigate to make a novel contribution to knowledge.

Structure of Research Proposal
For more information on how to develop your proposal, please contact Joanne Burgess

We would welcome application from the following research areas:
1. Accountancy & Finance
2. Business Strategy, Operations & Enterprise
3. Economics, Analytics & International Business
4. Leadership, Governance & People Management
5. Marketing (Branding, Strategy, Innovation, etc.)
6. Public Relations, Communications & Journalism

Other management and business-related topics will also be considered.

Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.

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