PhD Management

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Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time;
seven years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date Most students will start in October 2020, however other dates can be considered.

Programme overview

Research is central to the activities of the Department of Management at the University of Bristol. The department comprises a group of academic staff with a variety of interests and a focus on research that has practical relevance. The results of the most recent UK-wide research assessment, REF2014, rated 78 per cent of the research activity in business and management as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

The department encourages interdisciplinary research, drawing on a range of theories and methodologies. We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We encourage applications from strong candidates from disciplines outside the social sciences, management and business studies who wish to convert, and from candidates with organisational or commercial experience.

Candidates entering the PhD programme are normally required to take 60 credit points of taught units in their first year. Students are also encouraged to undertake further training in agreement with their supervisor for the duration of their studies.

Postgraduate Research

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class or first-class honours degree in a related subject (or equivalent) and a merit or equivalent master's qualification in a related subject.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Challenge-led interdisciplinary research themes

Learn more about the Department of Management challenge-led interdisciplinary research themes:

Inclusive Economy

We research how to create an inclusive and fair low carbon economy. This means sustainable business practices; diverse patterns of employment; and fairer and more democratic forms of business ownership and control. We work to understand the forms of regulation, finance and economic participation which can tilt us in the direction of inclusive, fair and low carbon business. We partner with large and small businesses, government, trade unions and third sector and civil society organisations.

Sustainable Consumption & Production

Our research explores the sustainability of how goods and services are produced and consumed. Examining interactions within systems of production and consumption (e.g. food, water, energy, mobility), our research focuses on the changing ways in which goods and services are distributed, accessed, used and disposed of. Drawing on understandings of innovation, consumption and everyday lives, our aim is to identify sustainability transitions that are ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just.

Innovation and Digitalisation

We research innovation as a future-creating activity with political and ethical implications. We consider this across individuals and organisations and from innovation systems to knowledge regimes. We take a critical, interdisciplinary approach to our research that aims to inform theory development and deliver practical value in policy and practice. We explore innovation in relation to advisory systems, policy and international development, smart cities, digital systems of knowledge production, and governance and ethics of emerging technologies.

Public Services Governance and Management

Our research focuses on governance at all levels of institutions operating in the public sector, especially education and healthcare. We explore public sector management and how governance, management structures and issues of accountability affect organisational performance, including service quality,

efficiency and user experience. We analyse public sector reforms and their implications across social class and resulting outcomes. We also investigate public sector reforms in relation to the changing role of professions and professional organisations.

Global Political Economy

Our research focuses on critical approaches to globalisation and the role of different firms, labour, regulators and the nation-state in the reproduction of capitalism. The theme brings together staff across disciplines such as economic sociology and geography, politics, migration and global studies. We explore the organisation of production and consumption, uneven economic development, labour mobilities and exploitation, financialisaton, super-rich capitalism and the internationalisation of knowledge-intensive organisations. We also research transnational corporations, workers and institutions.

Work Futures

Placing work in its social context, we undertake a radical rethinking of the possible futures of work in an age of technological transformation. We believe that the fate of those who work is not set in stone. Between automated luxury and alienated redundancy, we can shape the future of work as it unfolds. Our research is grounded in a commitment to better work as the road to better lives, stronger communities and stable democratic institutions.

Academic Groups Research Themes


Previous graduates have gone on to careers in academia as well as to a variety of employers across the world such as: Honda, Bank of China Hong Kong, and Chinese Academy of Science. Another popular route for graduates is to pursue post-doctoral research, consultancy or enter policy-based institutions.

Staff profiles

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year; early application is advised.

The closing date for ESRC studentship applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 21 January 2020. For further details on applying for ESRC funding, please visit the SWDTP website.

Get in touch

Graduate Studies PGR Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1511 Email:

School website: School of Economics, Finance and Management
Department website: Department of Management

Open days and visits

Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2014 results

  • Business and Management Studies:
  • 24% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 54% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 22% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 0% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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