Research course

PhD without residence - Ahlia (Brunel Business School)

Brunel University, London · Brunel Business School

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold a good honours degree in a relevant academic discipline. Ideally you should also have successfully completed a Master's degree. Applicants who do not meet these academic requirements but who have significant occupational experience will be considered on a case by case basis. If English is not your first language you will be required to demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency. Anyone who has not studied for either of their degrees in English will need to be achieved an IELTS score of 7 (min 6 in all areas). Please note that in order for your application to be considered, you will need to have already met the Business school’s English language requirements at the time of application. Should a candidate submit an application without having already achieved the English language entry requirement, the application will be declined automatically. For further details, visit our website. Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline.

The result of a collaboration between Ahlia University Bahrain and Brunel Business School, part of Brunel University London, a world renowned research-led university in the UK. Up until very recently, studying for a UK doctorate meant spending up to three years in the UK and anyone who was unable to do this simply had to forego the opportunity. Fortunately, thanks to Ahlia's collaboration with Brunel, this is no longer the case.

  • Unrivalled opportunity of a PhD from a prestigious UK university.
  • Exceptional chance to work alongside top business and management researchers.
  • Full support and excellent facilities provided by Ahlia University Bahrain.

Find out more about: The role of women in research

What are the main benefits of this research degree programme?

  • It represents a unique opportunity for anyone who is unable to spend three years abroad – maybe due to work or family commitments – to be awarded a PhD by a UK university with an international reputation.
  • It has been judged to meet the standards set by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (the organisation responsible for upholding academic standards and quality of higher education in the UK).
  • You can choose from a wide range of research topics – research interests of academic staff span all the main areas of business and management research (for further information, please download the brochure).
  • You will have access to the research expertise of Brunel Business School academics without having to leave Bahrain: members of Brunel Business School have published extensively and are recognised as leaders in a range of research fields.
  • You will receive support from academics at Ahlia and be entitled to make full use of Ahlia's excellent facilities.

How does it work in practice?

  • You will be based for your studies at Ahlia University Bahrain and have full access to all of Ahlia's facilities including its extensive library.
  • You will be assigned two academic supervisors who will support and guide you over the course of your PhD: your first supervisor will be based at Brunel University London and your second/local supervisor will be based at Ahlia University Bahrain.
  • You will also be encouraged to attend conferences and to disseminate your research.
  • Brunel Business School regularly runs seminars and workshops in Bahrain to help you with your study and research skills.
  • You are strongly encouraged to visit Brunel wherever possible throughout your studies, your Viva will take place at Brunel University London.

Your research proposal

To support your application you should include a research proposal. This should detail the proposed area and structure of your research and should extend to about 1,000 words. Your proposal will be used to assess how consistent your research interests are with the School's current research activities, to judge whether the research is possible, necessary and timely and to decide whether you have the appropriate skills to carry out your proposed study.

Please describe your research area and research issues of interest and also the rationale for your research. You should also identify the relationship between the literature and your proposed research and discuss the importance of your research interest: is it something that is absent from the current literature or something that needs further development? Please also provide information about your proposed methodology and specify any conceptual or technical limitations.

Please send your initial queries to Please upload the completed application form and supporting documents in the links provided on the right hand side.

You will also need to support your application with a detailed research proposal and two references. Please take particular care to ensure that your personal statement (Section 19) fully explains why you are interested in studying for a PhD, how a PhD will contribute to your future career plans and why you have chosen Brunel’s PhD without residence programme at Ahlia University.

Supporting documents:

  • Your research proposal
  • Your CV
  • Your Passport
  • Authenticated copies of your academic qualifications
  • (Master’s and Bachelor’s degree certificates and transcripts)
  • Proof of English Language proficiency
  • Two references, one of which must be from an academic

Information for international students

English Language Requirements: IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas); Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores); BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas).

Fees and funding

UK students
Full-time fees per year: £17,200
International students
Full-time fees per year: £17,200

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Course enquiries
+973 1731 3524, +973 17 298999.