Skip to content

Research degrees at Nottingham Business School PhD

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate research
  • Start Date(s): October
  • Duration: 4 / 8 / 2 year(s)
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


The Nottingham Business School (NBS) offers a robust research-led PhD programme that is embedded in a highly dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community. As a PhD candidate you will have the opportunity to pursue original research and make a significant contribution to your chosen field.

As a world leader in experiential learning and personalisation, joining NBS as a researcher is an opportunity to achieve your potential. We have an unrivalled level of engagement with business, public and voluntary organisations and thus we are known as the "business school for business". We are accredited by EQUIS and AACSB, which are internationally recognised hallmarks of excellence and quality for business education. NBS is one of only six UK business schools recognised as a PRME Champion, which underlines our status as an exemplar in embracing the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Further, NBS PhD Programme offers a bespoke Research Training programme (consisting of two levels: introductory and advance), an annual Doctoral symposium and several opportunities to engage in specialised training and research workshops to help you advance in your area of interest and topic. These platforms will provide for a supportive environment to grow and develop as a researcher and receive feedback from peers and subject experts. In addition, we recognize the importance and significance of having a community to belong to, and we are proud to have a large, vibrant and an international PhD community who meet regularly, and where new candidates will feel very welcomed.

Pathway, Bursaries and Entry points

The PhD programme can be undertaken either full-time or part-time, where the maximum registration period for a full-time PhD student is four years, and part-time students may be registered for a maximum of eight years.

Please note, part-time option is available only for home students, and NBS does not offer an ‘at-distance’ PhD option.

PhD applicants can either apply for the standard PhD route (i.e., PhD via monograph) or PhD via Published works (i.e., for this pathway, you ought to already have published 4-6 journal articles).

Applicants have the option to either apply for the VC Studentships (covers tuition fees and stipend) or for the NBS PhD Bursary (covers tuition fees only).

Currently we have only one starting date: October. However in exceptional circumstances, we may allow for applicants to start in January too.

For further information about the NBS PhD Programme or to discuss any aspect of it, please contact the Director of Doctoral Programmes and PhD Course Leader: Dr. Ishan Jalan

Course accreditation

  • EQUIS logo

What you’ll study

We will support you from the time you make your initial enquiry, through the application process and the various stages of your degree, until your viva voce examination and subsequent graduation. Once you begin your studies, induction sessions will introduce you to the programme and its various stages, expectations, and milestones, and help introduce you to our thriving community of research students in NBS. You will find a very welcoming and supportive environment that places highest attention to student wellbeing and mental health.

You will be allocated a supervisory team consisting of your Main/First Supervisor (also known as Director of Studies) and a co-supervisor. You would be expected to attend mandatory monthly supervision meetings. Additionally, an ‘independent assessor’ will be appointed to give you, and your supervisory team, support, and guidance at certain key stages during your studies. You will be encouraged to join one of our NBS research centres/groups based on your subject area. The centres will also help support you with subject specific wider engagements through research seminars, workshops, and networking events.

PhD Course learning outcomes*:

  • The creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research … of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication.
  • A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge.
  • The general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge
  • Make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data
  • Able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

*adopted from QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, section 4.18

NBS Research centres and research groups

We are committed to excellence in research that combines academic rigour with beneficial impact on social, economic, and societal welfare, and is facilitated and defined by our research centres. Our PhD programme is supported by 12 internationally leading research centres and research groups comprising the expertise of world class academics across a breadth of subject expertise such as Management and Organisation Studies, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Human Resource Management, Economics, Sustainability, International Business, Entrepreneurship, Behavioural Sciences, and Health & Wellbeing. Nottingham Business School has 9 research centres and 3 research groups that are currently in operation:

Please see the bottom of this page to find details on how to apply.

Staff Profiles

Alistair Bruce

Associate Dean for Research

Nottingham Business School

Alistair Bruce is the Associate Dean for Research at Nottingham Business School.

Careers and employability

Nottingham Trent University prides itself on the real-world relevance of its courses. We place particular emphasis on helping students to develop the academic and practical elements of know-how that encourage initiative, innovation and academic excellence.

All of our research degrees incorporate a programme of supporting studies designed to develop knowledge of and skills in all aspects of the research process, including the funding and dissemination of research. This will ensure that you have the necessary expertise to both complete your doctoral programme and to lay solid foundations for your future career.

Participation in academic conferences, seminars and external networks will cultivate the contacts, skills, and knowledge essential for successful research practice. These abilities are transferable to a wide range of other careers. Researchers are invited to take part in our own Research Conferences, giving you the opportunity to present your work to and have discussions with other researchers at NTU.

There are specific opportunities for research students who may wish to prepare for an academic career by undertaking part-time teaching duties in NBS; you may also take part in the Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education training programme.  Furthermore, although formal placements are not a requirement of PhDs, the University has strong links with professionals in business and industry.

Several of our recent PhD graduates have taken up academic positions at NTU and other top universities, alongside senior industry positions.

Campus and facilities

Find out more about our facilities at NTU

Fees and funding

Please visit the Doctoral School website.

Please visit the Doctoral School website.

How to apply

Entry requirements

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a Distinction or a First-class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification. International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0).

Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement will normally be asked to complete an English Language course.

Application process

To apply for a PhD please submit a research proposal (maximum of 2,000 words) which addresses the following points:

  • Provisional title and summary
  • Introduction:
    • Overview of the topic or the subject that you are going to investigate.
    • What is the proposal about? Why is it important?
  • Main Body:
    • The research questions, including clear research objectives.
    • An indication of the contribution to knowledge that the thesis is anticipated to make (what you hope to find out)
    • The relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the field (how your project relates to other work)
    • What is your theoretical framework?
  • Methods:
    • The methods and techniques to be used in the research (how you propose to go about the research)
    • What is your unit of analysis?
    • Do you have access to your data already?
  • Bibliography of sources already consulted or identified as of relevance to your proposal
  • Plagiarised research proposals will not be accepted for review.
  • Please attach the proposal as a separate word document with your application.

How to apply

Visit the Doctoral School's step by step guide to make an application.

More from Nottingham Business School