Research is central to the activities of the University of Bristol Business School. The school comprises several groups 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, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, rated 88% of the research activity in business and management as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

The Business School encourages interdisciplinary research, drawing on a range of theories and methodologies. We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. You will be joining a thriving PhD community. We run a programme of activities to enable PhD students to network with each other.

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

Entry requirements

The applicant must have an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or an equivalent qualification, and either have completed or be completing a master's qualification from a UK university (or equivalent). The master's requirement does not apply to applications made to SWDTP-funded scholarships although commencement of the PhD remains conditional on the completion of the associated master's.

Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis. Aptitude test results such as GMAT and GRE can be submitted as evidence of PhD-level analytical and verbal abilities.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

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

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£4,758 per year
UK: part-time
£2,379 per year
Overseas: full-time
£20,700 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Students applying to research programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law may apply for funding from a range of sources. Applicants can find details about applying to these scholarships and deadlines for applications on our Faculty of Social Sciences and Law webpage.

Applicants can also find the latest funding information on the Business School website, via Business School PGR contacts (business-school-pgr@bristol.ac.uk) or through the Business School's social media channels (Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter).

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

Career prospects

The primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare for a career in research. Another popular route for graduates is consultancy or enter policy-based institutions.

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 in Hong Kong, and the Chinese Academy of Science.

Research groups

Find out more about the University of Bristol Business School research groups.

Details of the current research and supervision interests of individual members of staff are available on the school website.

When writing the research statement to accompany your application, the primary requirement is to define and situate your research within an academic/disciplinary context. You should remember that people in the academic community are the main audience or readership for postgraduate research. This means that you will need to identify:

1. The research questions or problems that you intend to address;
2. The research context for your project/programme of work;
3. The methods you think you will use to pursue the key questions;
4. Two potential supervisors for your research - please refer to the staff profiles as listed by the school website.

In considering your application, significant weight will be given to the extent to which you can demonstrate a clearly thought out and specific interest in research.