This PhD will give you the opportunity to engage with debates surrounding entrepreneurship, such as knowledge production, organisational development and innovation in the new economy. Our PhD candidates explore issues such as:
Our Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship Group, based at our Southend Campus, are a group of international researchers with an entrepreneurial focus. The group organises regular research seminars, giving you the chance to hear cutting-edge research and network with scholars from the School and the wider academic community.
Their research is multi-disciplinary and falls within two broad and interrelated streams – management science and entrepreneurship and SME management. Current research projects include exploring “Autism and the world of work” – looking at the challenges faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the workplace and how they can be offered better support and understanding; and “Accelerating women’s enterprise” – research in partnership with the Accelerating-womens Enterprise (AWE) project exploring the challenges and barriers faced by disadvantaged women entrepreneurs.
You study at Essex Business School (EBS), the largest department at the University of Essex, at our Southend Campus. We are a business school with an international outlook. Our doctoral students join us from all over the world and we are committed to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).
We encourage you to develop connections with practitioners and policy makers and draw on these insights to develop new approaches to the study of entrepreneurship and innovation. We also offer you opportunities to work alongside social enterprises to inform your doctoral research.
You can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis, and we also offer an integrated (or 1+3) PhD Entrepreneurship programme that provides a route to doctoral study in this area if you do not have a Masters degree, or only have limited research training. You may be eligible for a scholarship.
At Essex Business School, you benefit from world-class supervision and research training conducted by our senior academic staff, like Professor of Technology Strategy Suma Athreye. Her teaching is informed by her work around the evolution of technology markets, inclusive innovation and international R&D management. She has consulted to the World Intellectual Property Organisation and is on the Editorial Board of the Innovation and Development and Multinational Business Review. She also advises the Big Innovation Centre.
Our department boasts eight research centres across our two campuses and we are home to several leading journal editors. Professor of Management and Director of Postgraduate Research at Essex Business School Martyna Sliwa, oversees and leads on the provision of our graduate research programmes and ensures that we create an environment where our doctoral students can flourish as researchers in a thriving and mutually supportive PhD community. Martyna talks more about her role, why Essex Business School is unique and offers advice to prospective PhD students here.
You work with two supervisors during your studies. They provide guidance and support to help you achieve your individual research goals, develop your research topic and create a personalised training plan. You meet with your supervisors at least once a month and are usually required to submit work in advance for feedback. Twice a year, you have a supervisory board meeting to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
As well as supporting you to complete your thesis, your supervisors can help you to plan your career development. Our academics often co-author publications with doctoral students and can help you to develop the transferable skills needed for the jobs market.
Take a look at our staff pages to find out more about our areas of supervision.
This PhD is based at our Southend Campus, just 40 minutes from London and in the heart of the Thames Gateway - one of the Government’s priority areas for economic growth, it is a fitting location for entrepreneurial study. Essex has the highest number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, meaning you are ideally located for networking, launching a business or gaining inspiration to take back home.
Southend-on-Sea combines the charms of a traditional seaside resort with the attractions of a vibrant, modern town and our campus sits right at the centre. With seven miles of coastline, a thriving arts and cultural scene and a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife all on your doorstep, it’s the perfect place to live and study. Our town centre location has excellent transport links and London Southend Airport is just five minutes away by train, offering flights to over 50 destinations across Europe.
When you choose our Southend Campus for your studies, you’ll have access to excellent facilities to help you conduct your research including:
A short walk from campus is The Hive Enterprise Centre - a dedicated business hub that hosts networking events and provides finance and marketing support to start ups and growing businesses.
Our PhD programmes are designed to foster the business leaders and researchers of the future. Our graduates use creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to meet the many challenges facing the international business world.
Our doctoral graduates have secured roles in academia at some of the best international universities, as well as organisations in the public and private sectors. Recent examples include careers with Leeds University Business School, Cambridge Education, EY (Ernst and Young) and the public sector around the world.
Our University Student Development Careers Services are on hand to provide careers advice and help you make the most of your Essex experience. You will also have access to CV workshops, one-to-one advice and career resources.
“I get to work with people from all over the world, each bringing fresh perspectives and experiences. I love being able to share ideas with people from so many different backgrounds. After I complete my PhD, I’d like to continue in academia and work closely with practising entrepreneurs.”
Bahar Afrahi, PhD Entrepreneurship
You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well developed research proposal is also essential.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
You begin your studies by meeting regularly with your supervisors and undertaking an intensive study programme. You attend advanced research methods training and undertake compulsory modules tailored to your individual research needs.
Throughout your PhD, you have regular meetings with your supervisors. You are often asked to write up your ideas or reading notes to help establish good writing practices. By the end of your first year of research, you should have a solid understanding of the key debates in your field and have defined your research questions, outlining your original contribution to knowledge.
In your second PhD year, you are likely to finalise the design of your own research project and either collect primary data, or access and analyse large scale datasets. You may also make progress on your second research paper. You receive regular feedback on your ideas and findings from your supervisors and are encouraged to develop your own research ideas independently during this year. If you are undertaking fieldwork in another location, your supervisors will still be in touch via email or Skype.
In your final year, you continue to analyse your own research data and further refine your original contribution to knowledge. You will collate your work into a approximately 50-80k words thesis.
Creating a 50-80k word thesis is a significant task. To help you finalise your PhD and produce high quality doctoral research, we have a number of support mechanisms.
You undertake a progress board every six months, where you, your supervisors and an independent chair mark your progress and set objectives for the next period. You are also encouraged to take part in peer group debates and discussions.
Our full-time doctorates are 36 month programmes. At the end of this time, you may be allowed up to 12 months to finish writing up your PhD.
You may attend a number of conferences in your final year to test out your research findings and thesis on an international stage. Your attendance may be funded by Essex Business School. As well as advising on how to prepare your thesis for examination, your supervisors can advise on future career plans in academia or industry.
You can choose to follow a traditional thesis approach, where you write a dissertation, or follow a 'three paper' thesis, where you produce three research articles, framed by an introduction and conclusion.
Once you have submitted your thesis, you will be asked to attend a Viva Voce examination with examiners from within and outside of the University. A viva voce examination usually takes place within three months of submission of thesis.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and a close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
If you're joining our School of Health and Social Care, East 15 Acting School, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, the city of Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline, providing plenty of opportunities for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Check out our website to find out more information about our Southend Campus, watch videos and view our campuses.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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