PhD Management Studies (at our Colchester Campus) gives you the opportunity to interrogate issues surrounding the contemporary workplace and how these relate to wider society on a local and global level.
This programme attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, with wide ranging social science research interests. Our current students range from recent graduates from a variety of disciplines to experienced practitioners, professionals and policy makers, exploring areas such as perceptions of luxury branding, the limitations of the business case for gender equality at work, the impact of change programmes within the NHS, and spatial technologies of control within the retail industry.
You can tailor your work to a profession or sector of your choice and may choose to pursue research in one of the following areas:
You study at Essex Business School, the largest department at the University of Essex, at our Colchester 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). Essex is proud to be ranked 25th in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019).
Our Management and Marketing Group, are a group of international researchers aiming to understand the role of the consumer, the value of the employee and the importance of the responsible management practices. They explore topics such as organisational behaviour, business ethics, historical aspects of management, corporate marketing and corporate communication, business model innovation and intersectionality.
Recently published research “A century of change on the London Underground” – looks at ways that commuting on the London Underground has, or hasn’t, changed in over the past century. The research delved into the available data and focused on understanding how the customer experience, rather than the organisation’s internal operations, has been affected by change. Analysis like this helps organisations to understand their customers and to compete against the competition.
Essex Business School provides a highly flexible and supportive PhD experience, where your supervisors develop your professional skills and research expertise in your chosen area. We are the largest department at the University of Essex, with more than 100 doctoral students from more than 40 different nationalities. Essex is are proud to be ranked 25th in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019). Our Centre for Work, Organisation and Society, organises regular events, which provide you with access to academic and industry expertise, as well as the opportunity to network with scholars from around the world.
We encourage you to attend international conferences and you will have the opportunity to present your work at our PhD conference each year.
You can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis, and we also offer an integrated (or 1+3) PhD Management 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 also be eligible for a scholarship.
At Essex Business School, you benefit from world-class supervision and research training conducted by our senior academic staff such as Dr Louise Nash. Louise is a lecturer in Management and Marketing and completed her PhD Management at Essex. She has extensive management and marketing experience which has influenced her research interests – these focus on interpretative, qualitative studies of the lived experience of work, including: the spatial and temporal rhythms of everyday life; the culture, aesthetics and symbolism of organisational life; gender in the workplace and exploring and developing sensory and embodied methods for researching organisations.
Our department boasts eight research centres across our two campuses. 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 before 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.
You are based at our Colchester Campus, in the UK’s first zero carbon business school building, reflecting our commitment to sustainability and business ethics; we are proud to be a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).
You have access to excellent research facilities, such as:
The University library is a short walk from our building and our Colchester Campus has ample IT labs.
Across the road from our building, buses take you to Colchester town centre and the railway station, where you can take trains directly to London. London Stansted airport is just over an hour away, providing connections to mainland Europe.
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 public sector roles 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.
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.
You begin your studies by meeting with your supervisors and undertaking an intensive induction 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. Our finance students are also expected to have made substantial progress on their first research paper. Those studying via the integrated PhD route (or 1+3) will have completed an additional year to obtain a Masters before beginning their research.
In your second 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. Our finance students are also expected to make substantial progress on their third research paper.
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.
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.
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 hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
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.
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