Research course


University of Birmingham · Birmingham Business School
PhDMPhilMSc by research

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in a relevant subject from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university overseas. In some situations we will accept a good Honours degree (first- or upper second-class) or equivalent. This will depend on the quality and/or originality of your research proposal. An outline proposal for the research you wish to undertake. The outline proposal should be about three sides of A4 in length, preferably typed, describing the nature of the proposed study.

Months of entry


Course content

Research areas
  • Procurement and Operations Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • International Management and Organisation
Human Resource Management and Employment Relations:
specific research areas include income distribution; training and development; management development; leadership; shareholder value and the role of private equity firms in the market for corporate control; labour market regulation and the role of the state.
International Business:
research areas include Global Value Chains; corporate social responsibility; the internationalisation of firms and the international transfer of practices; innovation and international knowledge flows; the impact of national institutions on the emergence of new areas of science and technology; social capital and the internationalisation of SMEs.
Organisational Studies:
specific research areas include organisational transformation and the management of change; knowledge management; the changing nature of careers; new organisational forms; leadership and governance.
Learning and teaching
As a PhD student, you will begin working on your research project right at the start of the first year. With the support of your Research Supervisor, you will also go through a training analysis to identify any needs that you may have.
Most PhD students will be expected to take the core research methods training courses of the MA Social Research. Students will then be able to take more advanced training as appropriate on the basis of a training needs analysis conducted with their supervisor at the beginning of each year. Details of the courses taken by PhD students in the Department of Economics or by students who do their research in the area of Finance can be obtained from the Research Office.
One popular module is Postgraduate Teaching Assistant training, which students often take in year 2 or 3, enabling you to teach within the school, and ultimately making you all the more employable after your study.
For part-time students modules are flexible and can be studied in blocks, part time or weekends to fit your commitments.
The thesis
The thesis is an examined work of about 80,000 words, and an oral examination to defend the thesis is required. This thesis will be a work of original scholarship and be worthy of potential publication in a journal. Students are required to undergo research training, except where appropriate research training has already been undertaken.
PhD students are also encouraged to take part in a colloquium between the University of Birmingham, Aston University and Warwick University, where students present their work and receive comments and advice on subject matter and findings.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£15,030 FT

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Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005