PhD Human Resource Management and Organisation Studies gives you the opportunity to interrogate the theories and practice of organisation in relation to work, management and the experience of employment.
We welcome applications from students from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, with wide ranging social science and interdisciplinary research interests, including recent graduates from a range of disciplines, experienced practitioners, professionals and policy makers.
We welcome theses exploring research that considers the historical, socio-economic, cultural, and political context within which work and its organisation takes place, as well as that which has critical implications for contemporary organisational and management practices.
You can tailor your research to a profession or sector of your choice and may choose to pursue research in one of the following areas:
Essex Business School, where this course is based, 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 a large research community, including more than 100 doctoral students from more than 40 different nationalities.
You will join our Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management Group and will participate in the research activities of the group and its primary research centre, the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society This will provide you with access to academic and industry expertise, as well as the opportunity to network with scholars from around the world.
You may be eligible for funding from the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS).
You benefit from world-class supervision and research training. Essex Business School is home to several leading journal editors and eight research centres across our two campuses. Our researchers are highly regarded for their work on:
Essex is home to word renowned academics in the field of organisational studies and leadership, like Professor Elisabeth Kelan whose research explores the future of work, digitalisation, and gender. Her research is regularly featured in the media such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph and HR Magazine. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch.
You are allocated two supervisors during your studies. They provide you with guidance and support to help you achieve your individual research goals and produce a high quality piece of doctoral work.
Your supervisors help you to develop your research topic and create your personalised training plan. You meet with them at least once a month and are usually required to submit work beforehand to gain feedback in these meetings. Twice a year, you have a supervisory board meeting when you discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
We recommend that you make contact with potential supervisors before making your application. You can find supervisors who are open to supporting supervision in your area of research by searching for your research terms in the Research Finder search function on the University of Essex website.
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.
PhD Human Resource Management and Organisation Studies is based at our Colchester Campus, in the UK’s first zero carbon business school building This reflects our commitment to sustainability and business ethics and we are proud to be a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).
You have access to excellent research facilities, such as:
Our PhD community offers opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations as well as being a strong social group for our students to engage with.
Essex Business School fosters the business leaders and researchers of the future. Our PhD graduates use their creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to meet the many challenges facing the international business world.
Many of our graduates enjoy careers in academia and organisations in the public and private sectors, including at some of the world’s most well-known organisations and exciting SMEs, such as:
PhD Human Resource Management and Organisation Studies students can also take advantage of the services offered by the Student Development Team, including: careers advice; work experience; internships; placements; and voluntary opportunities.
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. 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 an approximately 50-80k words thesis
You may attend a number of conferences in your final year to test out your research findings and thesis on an international stage.. 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 the University. A viva voce examination usually takes place within three months of submission of thesis.
£5,103EU students commencing their course in the 2020-21 academic year will be liable for the Home/UK fee.
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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