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.

Join our global research community

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

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.

You will join one of our leading research groups to carry out your doctoral research under the supervision of our experienced academic staff and you'll become a member of one of the UK’s youngest, most dynamic business schools.

At Essex Business School we train you to think critically about business and encourage you to make a positive impact on society. Undertaking a research degree will develop the skills you'll need to achieve your potential and set you up for a rewarding career, whether in industry or academia.

What you can study

Find out more about our subjects and explore which PhDs you can study with us.

Professor Martyna Sliwa poses inside the Essex Business School building.
"Doing things differently is a very Essex message and I do believe that we represent this in the Business School. If somebody comes to us to do a PhD, and we are able to supervise, then we will help you do your research rather than telling you that you need to do it in a particular way."
Martyna Sliwa Director of Postgraduate Research at Essex Business School

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. Some 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. Some 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

Our research centres

Essex Business School is home to a number of world-leading research centres, covering a wide range of topics.

Student on laptop and phone in lecture theatre
How to apply

Applying for a research degree at Essex is a simple process. We've got all the information you need to make your application, find out more in our step-by-step guide.

Find out more