Programme outline


Our DPhil offers students the opportunity to engage with internationally renowned faculty who are here to help you become an academic scholar.

Courses are typically taught in lectures and seminar-style classes, with some assessed work. In addition, you are encouraged to seek out and take courses in other departments especially when your work has interdisciplinary elements. This breadth of research training is essential if you are to progress in an academic career. You need to be able to make informed choices about the methods you employ in your research.

From the second year of your DPhil, while you may still have some coursework, you will concentrate primarily on your thesis, working closely with leading academics in their field and exploring their own interests in greater depth. Our student-to-faculty ratio means there is plenty of interaction and individual attention, and students are encouraged to co-published with their supervisors.

There are two pathways you can take to achieve your doctorate.

Financial Economics pathway

Financial Economics students take core courses from the MSc in Financial Economics (MFE) and MPhil Economics. In special circumstances, where a student has taken a substantially similar course prior to enrolment, they may apply for exemption from a core course. Both the pathway convenor and the student's supervisor must agree any substitution. Students may be exempted from these courses if they have completed an MPhil at University of Oxford or an equivalent institution, please contact us for further information and to obtain approval.

The MFE core courses are:

  • Asset Pricing
  • Corporate Finance
  • Economics
  • Financial Econometrics

All students are then required to take four courses from the list of MPhil Economics modules, one of which must be Financial Economics I or Financial Economics II. Examples of available course are:

  • Econometrics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Financial Economics

Management Research pathway

Management Research core and elective courses develop students in theories of organisations, institutions, strategy, and markets as well as advance research methodology, both quantitative and qualitative training.

Students may also conduct research and projects with academics in our research centres.

Core courses

You are required to take three core courses in quantitative and qualitative aspects of research methodology during their first term:

  • Introduction to Management Research Methods
  • Statistical Research Methods
  • Management and Organisation Theory

Elective courses

During second and third terms, doctoral students will undertake advanced research methods training and, in consultation with their supervisor, select specialist courses, available from a choice of topics relevant to area of interest.

Specialist elective courses currently available are:

  • Innovation, Organisation and Markets
  • Organisational Theory
  • Foundations of Strategy
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Marketing

Advanced methodology courses:

  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

Students from either pathway

Following successful completion of all necessary courses, and by the end of their 4th term, students are expected to have successfully submitted and been assessed for their Transfer of Status. The transfer process provides the opportunity for the student to discuss their work with two independent members of staff under examination conditions and to receive feedback.

By the end of their 9th term student will be due to complete their Confirmation of Status. This process allows the student to have an assessment of their work by two assessors, to give a clear indication of whether it would be reasonable to consider submission within the course of a further three terms, if work on the thesis continues to develop satisfactorily.

Students will be expected to attend training, workshops and seminar on job applications, teaching, learning and assessing, interviewing and presentations skills. Students will also be given the opportunity to improve their teaching and research skills by applying for remunerated positions as teaching and research assistant positions within the school or at colleges.


The doctoral thesis should not exceed 100,000 words. It must be a significant and substantial contribution to the field of learning in management studies. As a rule of thumb, it should be good enough to be published in book form or as a series of academic articles. Indeed, you may even adopt a range of different methodologies and approaches. Your contribution can be in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results.

Contact us

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Fill out our contact form or call us on +44 (0)1865 288871.