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Research degrees in Business Management


Programme description

See also: the website for the School of Business and Management

Our Doctoral Programme is one of the most vibrant and intensive research degrees in London. Students become members of an internationally recognised research community in which scholarly excellence and innovative training are highly valued. We attract students from around the world who benefit from the School's expertise, energetic research culture and excellent work facilities.

Research degrees normally consist of four years of full-time study in which an original contribution to an academic field is made. We have an excellent record for attracting College Studentships, and have placed PhDs in academic positions in top ranking UK and international universities. Former students have also been recruited to influential positions in the business, corporate and governmental sectors. Our taught programme covers all research methodological approaches and equips all first year PhD students with a wide range of knowledge and skills needed to complete their independent social scientific research. This programme is interdepartmental, involving departments from other Queen Mary and University of London faculties.

At Queen Mary, you will work with two supervisors who together will provide you with clear guidance and support throughout your studies. Over the years you can expect to form a close working relationship with your supervisors, meeting regularly during your time with the School. They will also closely advise and prepare you for the formal progression meeting that takes place after 9-12 months of research.

Applications are accepted based on the candidate's previous academic performance, the quality of their research proposal and the availability of two members of staff to supervise the chosen topic. The School also encourages applications from those whose topic might best be supervised jointly with another department within the College. Applicants are asked to submit a proposal of around 1,500 words, outlining the research that they hope to undertake, providing key references. A full academic transcript (a record of courses taken and grades achieved) and two academic references should also be included. Applications for PhD stud beginning in September should be submitted no later than March of that year.

Research areas

The School has a strong research focus and has quickly established itself as a centre of excellence for research, attracting a solid core of international scholars with world-class reputations and a diverse range of interests. Academic staff also undertake consultancy activities internationally.

The School currently has four Research Centres:

The Centre for Globalisation Research (CGR) aims to be a leading academic centre for research on globalisation. Its research, dissemination and user engagement activities are structured around three research programmes, linked by the common theme of the analysis of globalisation:

  • Economic Systems and Development
  • Knowledge, Organisation and Social Networks
  • Multinationals.

It is a multidisciplinary project with its fellows and associates being drawn from the fields of economics, history, law, management, politics and sociology.

The Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) is at the leading edge of equality and diversity research nationally and internationally. The research is focused on employment relations policies and practices, global diversity management, labour force and sectoral studies, migration, professional and low paid work, career studies, marketing and organisational aspects of equality and diversity and draws on the intersecting nature of inequalities including gender, ethnicity, religion, age and class. The Centre has received in excess of £750,000 in grants from European and UK bodies and has built strong alliances with international universities and institutions.

The Centre for Research in Management and Organisational History (CMOH) was established in the summer of 2010. Its members are engaged in research in diverse historical subjects ranging chronologically from McCartney's research into corporate financial reporting in the Eighteenth Century to Maielli's work on the introduction of robots at Fiat. Research also goes beyond the confines of what has been traditionally understood by 'business history', with for example, Rowlinson's analysis of the (mis)use by corporations of their own history as part of their public relations, and O'Shaughnessy's study of the marketing methods of the Nazis.

The Centre for Ethics and Politics (CfEP) fosters postdisciplinary research, teaching, and public engagement regarding the ethical and political dimensions of global business discourses, practices, and architectures. It provides an open institutional framework for scholars and postgraduate students in the School of Business and Management working together with scholars in other disciplines to collaborate on investigations, projects, and pedagogy addressing the ethical and political dimensions of new forms of work and emerging workplaces, as well as the ethics and politics of global tendencies in business and the environment, logistics and energy, finance and property, and regulation and governance.

Research is currently focused in these areas:

  • Globalisation
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Management and Organisational History
  • Ethics and Politics
  • Business Eco-systems
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Organisational Management and Leadership Learning
  • Public Management
  • Behavioural Finance

Entry requirements

The School is committed to appointing only the very best candidates to our PhD programme.

To apply you will normally have a first degree with first class honours (or equivalent) and a masters degree at distinction level, in business/management or a discipline related to your research topic. We do not normally accept an MBA. Relevant experience is also taken into account. Applicants are required to have an IELTS overall score of 7 at the time of application. In some circumstances the requirement will be applied flexibly and applicants will be assessed on a case by case basis. For example if an applicant has performed to distinction level in a dissertation although they have a grade below that specified above or if an applicant has an excellent proposal and relevant work experience for a considerable period of time.

Please note that you are strongly encouraged to contact a member of staff with interests in your area - or the PhD Programme Director - to discuss your proposed research before making a formal application.

For information on which member of academic staff you might best approach to discuss your ideas, please see:

Further information

For more information please contact:
Wahida Khanom
PhD Programme Administrator

Dr Ahu Tatli
PhD Programme Director

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