Essex Business School

PhDs and other research degrees

An Essex Business School student wearing a blue hijab headscarf sits in a classroom with a pen in her hand.

A global research community

Challenge conventional thinking and become a leader in your field by exploring your doctoral thesis at Essex Business School.

You will join one of our leading research groups in accounting, finance, management, entrepreneurship and human resource management and you will become a member of one of the UK’s youngest, most dynamic business schools.

Our researchers produce cutting-edge research that helps organisations innovate and economies flourish, you could join them and help champion a more responsible approach to management for the benefit of organisations and society.


Explore our postgraduate research degrees

So, what do we have to offer?


Essex Business School is a research intensive school where you are supervised by internationally recognised academics, in a collaborative, welcoming and supportive environment. Our academic team includes leading journal editors and our research has been cited by the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve.

You are normally assigned two supervisors in your chosen research area. You work closely with your supervisors, who offer regular feedback on your ideas and findings.

We encourage you to contact our academics directly to discuss your ideas, or our Postgraduate Research Academic Services Administrator can put you in touch with staff in your proposed research area. 


Find potential supervisors

Research community

At Essex Business School, you become a member of a lifelong, international, community of researchers. Our research centres host regular seminars, giving you the chance to network with students and academics from around the world. Our students organise social and educational events, including the annual PhD conference where you can showcase your work to colleagues.

You may have the opportunity to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and gain valuable experience for your CV.


Follow us on Twitter to discover our research community

Data, software and digital learning resources

We give you access to a wide range of databases and software packages to support your research, such as:

Most databases and learning resources can be accessed via the Library Services portal.

Build your own research degree

Throughout your PhD, you undertake a progress board every six months. At this meeting, 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.

Year one

Your studies begin with an intensive induction programme. You attend advanced research methods training and undertake compulsory modules tailored to your individual research needs.

By the end of your first year, 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.

Year two

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.

Final year

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. 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.

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.


Contact our research administrator for more information
Alison Clark in the winter garden of Essex Business School
"Essex has been fantastic to me. I’m 64 and when I got to my 50’s I found the most amount of age discrimination. I’ve been involved in law for a long time and eventually I thought I’ll do a PhD. My supervisors were fantastic and encouraged me to apply for funding. Lo and behold I got the funding and just thought, this is meant to be. My PhD is about the gender composition of women on corporate boards."
Alison Clarke PhD Management Studies
Postgraduate Research students sit in discussion around a computer in Essex Business School.
Discover our research opportunities

Find out more about the live research opportunities, potential supervisors and the research currently in progress at Essex Business School by searching for your theme of exploration in Research Finder.

Research Finder

Research at Essex Business School

Our research is world leading and by choosing to explore your thesis with Essex Business School, you will be exposed to an interdisciplinary group of research areas and supervisors who will be able to guide and evolve your own research and study.

Our research areas


Accounting at Essex is about accountability - not just to financiers and investors, but increasingly to a wider range of stakeholders and to sustainability concerns.

Our teaching and research are grounded in how accounting is practised globally in all of its multiplicity, whether in commercial, public sector or not-for-profit settings. Our research includes social performance and business ethics in accounting, and gendered practices which segregated women within the accounting profession in developing and non-Western countries.

Our accounting programmes are accredited by the major professional bodies. We aim to inspire a business-minded and socially driven Essex accounting researcher.


Discover our accounting PhDs and research degrees


Our research centres


Essex Accounting Centre (EAC)


BAFA Accounting and Finance in Emerging Economies Group


Centre for Accountability and Global Development


Our teaching and research reflects the breadth of contemporary banking, finance and economic issues facing organisations today, such as: predicting trends in global commodities shortages and financing SMEs and financial inclusion.

We focus on training our students to become skilled finance practitioners, informed by our expert academic and consultancy work and supported by our industry-standard facilities. Our Bloomberg Trading Floor allows out of hours access to researchers who wish to explore deeper the financial data they are working with.

Our work is internationally oriented and professionally accredited.


Discover our finance PhDs and research degrees


Our research centres


Essex Finance Centre (EFiC)


Essex Centre for Macro and Financial Econometrics

Business management and marketing

Management and marketing at Essex is not just about driving profit for big business. We want our students and researchers to understand the role of the consumer, the value of the employee and the importance of responsible management practices.

Our aim is that students learn to become independent thinkers and drivers of change, creating a positive impact not just on the bottom line but on the world around them. 

Our research includes: the science and technology surrounding environmental issues, corporate marketing and corporate communication, business model innovation and the influence of social media influencers.


Discover our management and marketing PhDs and research degrees


Our research centres


Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS)


Essex Critical Diversity Research Group

Business analytics and entrepreneurship

Our expertise in quantitative management science includes data analytics, supply chain management and international business.

Alongside this we aim to use our research and teaching to support small and medium enterprises, to explore the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and to consider the disruptive potential of intrapreneurship.


Discover our entrepreneurship PhDs and research degrees


Our research centres


Management Science and Entrepreneurship Group


Research on Entrepreneurship Innovation Management and Internationalisation

Organisation and human resource management

Our teaching and research considers the relationship between work, organisation and society in order to understand the nature of contemporary working life.

In addition to drawing on traditional approaches to business, our perspective is enriched by cultural studies, history, literary theory and philosophy. This enables our colleagues and students to think critically about business and its role in today's global society.

Our research covers areas such as: feminist perspectives on work and organisation, the organisational and economic dimensions of Christmas and other festivities and leadership development.


Discover our management PhDs and research degrees


Our research centres


Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS)
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