Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Entrepreneurship

PhD Entrepreneurship

Overview

The details
Entrepreneurship
October 2021
Full-time
5 years
Southend Campus

Our Integrated PhD Entrepreneurship provides a route to doctoral study if you do not have a Masters degree, or have little to no research training. It enables you to spend your first year completing a full-time Masters-level qualification, which will equip you with the business knowledge and research skills needed to begin PhD study the following year. Your PhD will then be studied full time, over the next three years.

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. Your supervisors support you to submit these papers to conferences and for publication in international journals, so you can begin to build you research portfolio well before graduation.

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:

  • entrepreneurial disengagement
  • co-creation in social entrepreneurship
  • cognitive entrepreneurship and over-optimism

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.

If you already have a Masters degree or previous relevant research training, we also offer a PhD Entrepreneurship that you can study on a full-time or part-time basis.

Why we're great.
  • Limited research training or don't have a Masters? You can still gain a PhD with this programme.
  • Essex Business School is ranked in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence and intensity (REF, 2014)
  • Our doctoral students join us from more than 40 countries
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

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.

Specialist facilities

This integrated 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:

  • our award-winning The Forum building, with a library and café
  • 24-hour learning hub, with study spaces, PC access and quiet places for conducting research
  • access to databases such as Bloomberg, Compustat, Passport GMID, Bankscope and Datastream
  • e-book finance and business packages to support part-time and distance learning (including Ebrary, NetLibrary, Oxford Scholarship Online, Palgrave Connect and SpringerLink)
  • study skills support for postgraduate students such as help with the University library, research databases, literature reviews and presentation skills

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.

Your future

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

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a 2:2 degree or equivalent, in a related subject.

Our four year integrated PhD, allows you to spend your first year studying at Masters level in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills and to start your independent research in year two.

International & EU entry requirements

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.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with a minimum score of 5.5 in all other components.

Structure

Course structure

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 of your subject. 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.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

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
Core
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.
Compulsory
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.
Optional
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

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:

HR 100  4  FY

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.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Essex Business School - Research
(0 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: CORE WITH OPTIONS

BE958-7-PS or BE984-7-PS
(60 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

International Business and Strategy
(15 CREDITS)

Achieve an advanced understanding of international business and strategy, and the content and processes of different international expansion modes. You examine why firms enter international markets, and explore different forms of international growth by observing current business practice, case study evidence and theory.

View International Business and Strategy on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Theories and Practice of Entrepreneurship
(15 CREDITS)

This module equips you with a critical understanding of a range of economic, sociological, psychological and managerial theories of enterprise creation and development. Live examples, case studies and journal articles show how these theories apply in practice to real business situations. Working in groups and individually, you have the opportunity to suggest strategies for responding to the issues raised in these case studies. Topics include new business creation, innovative growth and the impact of entrepreneurship on economic and social development.

View Theories and Practice of Entrepreneurship on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Global Supply Chain and Operations Management
(15 CREDITS)

Matching the ability to supply a product or service with customer demand is vital for any organisation. Excess supply can lead to wastage and increased costs, but too little can irritate customers and result in lost revenue. Supply chain management is a complex and challenging task, but, done right, it can create significant competitive advantage. This module explores how organisations manage their product range and operations to best align supply with demand in a global environment, categorised by expanding product variety, increasing outsourcing, and continuous advances in business analytics. You explore areas such as industry competition, resource allocation, organisational learning and competitive dynamics.

View Global Supply Chain and Operations Management on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Research Methods
(15 CREDITS)

Gain the key skills and competencies to carry out management research or prepare a comprehensive business plan, suitable for the completion of a Masters level programme. You address the philosophical issues underlying management research, and discover how to select methods and judge the quality and value of research outcomes.

View Research Methods on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Managerial Economics
(15 CREDITS)

Managerial Economics applies economic theory to business management, decision making and forward planning. This module explores how economic concepts, such as profit, demand, cost, pricing production, competition and business cycles, can be used to solve business problems.

View Managerial Economics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

The International Business Environment
(15 CREDITS)

Gain an advanced understanding of the external context within which international businesses operate, and the opportunities and challenges this poses to entrepreneurial firms, large and small. You are introduced to key international trade theories and practices, and the application of these to the study of entrepreneurship. You also discuss the external challenges facing international firms, particularly economic, financial, political-legal, technological and cultural challenges.

View The International Business Environment on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 08: OPTIONAL

Options from list
(30 CREDITS)

Assessment

You spend your first year of your Integrated PhD completing a full-time Masters-level qualification, which will equip you with the business knowledge and research skills needed to formally begin PhD study the following year. Your PhD will then be studied full time, over the next three years.

Throughout the following year you meet regularly with your supervisors and undertake 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.

Dissertation

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 and funding

Home/UK fee

£5,360

International fee

£16,230

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

Our Southend Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2016 we have a fortnight-worth of activities for postgraduates (in February and March). These events give you the opportunity to discover what our Southend Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing southend@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor and to share 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.

Southend Campus

Visit Southend Campus

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, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.

Famous for its beach resort and pier, 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.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.


Find out more

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.

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