The PhD programme is aimed at individuals who wish to become professional researchers or academics. The programme ensures individuals develop a range of skills in social science research methods and are conversant with the philosophy of the social sciences. Students explore their own chosen topic through personal research with guidance from their supervisors.

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The PhD by thesis is studied either  full-time, part-time or by distance learning. . PhD research is conducted with the support of a supervisors.  Full-time students are expected to be based in Leicester. For more information about the research training go to Research Programmes

Enrolment Dates

We have two intakes per year – September and May. The respective deadlines are mid-July and mid-February.


There are six monthly progress meetings with the Programme Directors throughout the degree. Distance learning students have to come to Leicester for the Probationary Review examination after two years of study.  They also have to come to the campus for the viva examination. The programme is assessed at the end of the programme by the thesis (80,000 words) during a viva in the presence of two examiners. More information can be found at Supervision and Monitoring.

Subject areas

The School offers study in the following broad areas: Organisation Theory, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Marketing and Consumption, Accounting and Finance, Knowledge and Innovation, Economics and Political Economy and Human Resource Management.

Read about our current PhD students' research topics...


Entrance is open to those who have a relevant first and Masters degree, preferably at distinction level, and who can demonstrate the capacity to undertake independent research of a high academic standard. We welcome applications both from recently graduated individuals as well as from mature professionals wishing to return to higher education. Applicants are expected to have developed their ideas to proposal stage with regards to the topic for the thesis and submit a proposal at the application stage. Information about How to Apply is here

For other information about our PhD Programmes go to these Research Programmes pages.

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