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Management (MPhil / PhD)

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

The MPhil/PhD Management is ideal for those who wish to pursue academic careers involving teaching and research in management, or to further careers in consultancy or policy work. You will be required to be highly motivated, well organised, prepared to learn your subject in depth, and able to engage constructively and critically with a range of academic research related to your topic to complete an independent research project. 

Birkbeck's Department of Management has particular strengths in the study of innovation and entrepreneurship; marketing; labour economics and industrial relations; international business; corporate governance and corporate social responsibility; strategy as practice, organisation theory, information systems strategy, social networks, and trust within organisations; corporate finance and financial reporting; and the management and regulation of sport. Our research draws on the methods and theories of various social science disciplines - principally economics, psychology and sociology, but also geography and political science. 

During the first year you are required to take four modules for credit: Research PhilosophyQualitative Research MethodsPerspectives on Organization and Statistical Methods for Business Research. After these modules comes completion of your Research Prospectus, which includes a preliminary literature review and a plan for the rest of your thesis research. This is due in June of the first year for full-time students, or of the second year for part-time students.

Satisfactory completion of the modules and the Research Prospectus is necessary for continuing with the degree. Following this you will proceed with data collection, analysis and writing your PhD thesis.

Highlights

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Usually, we require a high 2:1 or above for your undergraduate degree and a merit for your Master’s. At least one of your previous degrees should be in an area relevant to your proposed research. We will also need to see your degree transcripts, which provide a breakdown of your marks, in addition to your degree certificates. 

    In general, we do not admit, directly to the MPhil/PhD, students whose Master’s degree is an MBA; we instead recommend our MRes Management as preparation for the MPhil/PhD degree. 

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Academic calendar and application deadlines

    We generally admit students to begin at the start of autumn term (end of September). Occasionally, if circumstances require, we defer a student’s admission to the spring term (beginning of January), but the first year programme is structured around autumn entry.

    You should have met with your prospective supervisor and submitted your application online by 30 June. We will try to process later applications, but we need to allow time both for interviews and, where necessary, visa-related paperwork.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £2296 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £4327 pa
    Part-time international students: £6375 pa
    Full-time international students: £12625 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Fees and finance

    From 2018-19, PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of up to £25,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    The School of Business, Economics and Informatics attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a limited number of fully funded research opportunities.

  • Our Research Culture

    Our Research Culture

    Ideally, you should choose do a PhD in a department with fellow students doing research that is comparable to yours, and staff members who are specialists in areas related to your studies and in the methods you will be using.

    Like most university departments of business or management, we are a multidisciplinary group of social scientists. The theories used by the various staff members and research students come from various academic disciplines: principally, but not limited to, sociology, psychology, anthropology and economics; correspondingly, we employ a range of both quantitative (ie statistical) and qualitative research methods.

    We believe that the questions posed, and the methods used, by different social science disciplines can jointly contribute to a better understanding of the social world, including the problems of business and management; through our first-year research methods courses and our ongoing series of seminars, we encourage you to become familiar with a wide range of methods and research programmes. We believe that participation in this multidisciplinary research setting can help you become a better researcher.

    But to do a PhD is also to become a specialist. You will need to specialise, and to find your community of specialists. That community typically begins with your principal supervisor and second supervisor, and perhaps a few other members of the department staff and research students who are working on related topics or who are using the same methods as you.

    Within our Department there are several clusters of specialisation, most of them fitting within the following categories:

    • International business; international business and innovation; international business and economic development
    • Innovation: university-industry linkages; innovation policy; innovation measurement; technology management; local and regional economic development and regeneration
    • Marketing, in particular brand management, digital marketing, consumer behaviour, and services/retail marketing
    • Work: comparative employee and industrial relations; skills; labour markets in sport; executive pay; workplace learning
    • Comparative corporate governance; corporate social responsibility
    • Corporate finance; financial management; accounting
    • Strategy as practice, organisation theory, information systems strategy, social networks
    • Sport business management; the business and regulation of football; sport labour markets

    Training and methodology

    As a research student, you will follow an intensive research training programme during your first year of full-time study (first two years of part-time study). You will have the opportunity to present research papers in the research student seminars series.

    Unless you already hold a Master's degree approved by the Economic and Social Research Council for research training purposes, you will need to follow an intensive research training programme during your first year (full-time) or over two years (part-time), organised in collaboration with other Birkbeck and University of London departments which offer research degrees in the field of management.

    As your work develops, you should also be developing a network of others who work in the same areas: researchers in other departments at Birkbeck, and at other institutions, near and far. Central London is, of course, the home of many of Britain's, and the world's, leading universities: there is no better place to build such networks.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    Follow these steps to apply to an MPhil/PhD research degree at Birkbeck:

    1. Check that you meet the entry requirements, including English language requirements, as described on this page. 

    2. Find a potential supervisor for your MPhil/PhD research. You can look at the Find a Supervisor area on this page for an overview, search our Experts’ Database or browse our staff pages for more in-depth information. 

    3. Contact the academic member of staff - or the department they teach in - for an informal discussion about your research interests and to establish if they are willing and able to supervise your research. (Please note: finding a potential supervisor does not guarantee admission to the research degree, as this decision is made using your whole application.) Find out more about the supervisory relationship and how your supervisor will support your research.

    If you submit an online application without first contacting a potential supervisor, we may be able to find you a supervisor, but this is unlikely. Most students who apply without first getting the support of a potential supervisor are rejected. 

    4. Draft a research proposal of up to 1500 words. This needs to demonstrate your knowledge of the field, the specific research questions you wish to pursue, and how your ideas will lead to the creation of new knowledge and understanding. Find out more about writing a research proposal

    5. Apply directly to Birkbeck, using the online application link on this page. You will need to provide the names and contact details of two referees who can speak to your academic/research abilities.

    6. Our course team will be able to offer you advice and support, and guide you through your studies from application to graduation.

    All research students are initially registered on an MPhil and then upgrade to a PhD after making sufficient progress. 

    Find out more about the application process, writing a research proposal and the timeframe

    EXAMPLES OF RECENT RESEARCH TOPICS INCLUDE:

    • The management of military technology transfer to the UAE
    • Family firm governance
    • Corporate and non-profit organisational governance
    • The impact of new media/technology on cultural institutions: a comparative study of dance companies and museums
    • Collaborative behaviour of professional workers
    • Politics of investing during the 1997 East Asian financial crisis
    • The analysis of restructuring and performance of diversified business groups in South Korea
    • Co-evolution of IPRs regime and techological development in developing countries under the TRIPS agreement. 

      Application deadlines and interviews

      We generally admit students to begin at the start of autumn term (end of September). Occasionally, if circumstances require, we defer a student’s admission to the spring term (beginning of January), but the first year programme is structured around autumn entry.

      You should have met with your prospective supervisor and submitted your application online by 30 June. We will try to process later applications, but we need to allow time both for interviews and, where necessary, visa-related paperwork.

      If you wish to apply for funding, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.

    • Finding a supervisor

      Finding a supervisor

      A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in management is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the Department.

      Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff who may be available to supervise (either as principal supervisor or as co-supervisor) PhD theses:

      ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

      • Qian Guo, BSc, MSc, PhD: CAPM; stochastic differential equations; macro, international and financial economics; valuation of equity.
      • Panagiota Makrychoriti: monetary policy; international macroeconomics; credit risk; behavioural finance; financial econometrics; systemic risk.
      • Lorenzo Neri, BA, MSc, PhD: corporate governance; corporate disclosure strategy; earnings management; family business; risk reporting.
      • Grace (Bo) Peng, BSc, MPhil, PhD: entrepreneurial finance, entrepreneurial exit and international entrepreneurship.
      • Karin Shields, BA, MSc, PhD: International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); earnings management; insider trading; financial reporting; integrated reporting.
      • Julian Sims, BSc, PhD, CertEd, CPA, CITP: development and use of information systems; Web 2.0, social media, social commerce and communities of practice; strategic alignment; shared value as social construct; management accounting and control; integrated reporting; adaptive and distributed leadership; project management/leadership.
      • Ellen Pei-yi Yu, BSc, MSocSc, PhD: ESG topics (environmental, social responsibility and governance); ethical investment and asset management; financial institutions management such as hybrid bank capital securities and the design of executive compensation pay.

      CORPORATE GOVERNANCE/CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY/SOCIAL CAPITAL

      • Luca Andriani, BA, PGCert, MSc, PhD: informal institutions; pro-social behaviour; social capital; social trust and trust in public institutions; corruption; tax morale.
      • Ioanna Boulouta, BEng, MPhil, PhD: corporate responsibility and competitiveness; gender diversity and stereotypes on corporate boards; quantitative methods; social marketing campaigns.
      • Suzanne Konzelmann, BA, MIBS, MA, PhD: structuring the role of economic theory and policy; the interface between the financial and real sectors of the economy; industrial organisation and policy; corporate governance, restructuring and policy; the political economics of austerity.
      • Professor Klaus Nielsen, BA, MSc: innovation systems; institutional economics; industrial policy; social capital; varieties of capitalism; Brexit; the European Union as a business environment; Chinese economic development; elite sport systems.
      • Richard Tacon, BA, MSc, PhD: social capital, social interaction, social networks; sociology of sport; sport policy and development; corporate governance, especially in non-profit and sport organisations; organisational ethnography.
      • Geoff Walters, BSc, MA, PGCE: HE, PhD: corporate governance in sport; board processes; organisational responses to corporate responsibility and sustainability; the governance and management of social partnerships.

      EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS/HUMAN RESOURCES/LABOUR MARKETS/EDUCATION

      • Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick, BA, MA, PhD: international and European employment relations; international trade unionism and globalisation; equal opportunities and diversity management; employee participation and economic and industrial democracy.
      • Frederick Guy, BS, PhD: labour economics: risk, insurance and investment in human capital; surveillance technology and wages; CEO pay; economic geography: clusters, agglomeration economies, knowledge spillovers; retail, road traffic and competition: local and global environmental impacts of retail business models.
      • Ashok Kumar, MSc, DPhil: economic geography and international political economy; globalisation and global value chains; identity formation and social movements; industrial relations and Labour's bargaining power; land economics and urban subjectivity.
      • Giambattista Rossi, BA, MSc, PhD: labour and transfer markets in professional sport; role of sport agents, third party ownership in football; sport finance; sport corporate governance.
      • Horen Voskeritsian BSc, MSc, PhD: European and comparative industrial relations; collective bargaining and social dialogue; undeclared work and unlawful activities at work; industrial conflict; political economy of work and employment; history and theory of industrial relations.
      • Anita Walsh NTF, BSc, MSc (Econ), PhD: work-based learning; experiential learning; pedagogies to support experiential work-based learning; practitioner research.
      • Ellen Pei-yi Yu, BSc, MSSocSc, PhD: ESG topics (environmental, social responsibility and governance); ethical investment and asset management; financial institutions management such as hybrid bank capital securities and the design of executive compensation pay.

      INNOVATION

      • Professor Daniele Archibugi, BA, DPhil: innovation and technological change; global governance and its economic and political management; public policy for services, global commons and science and technology; international organisations and global democracy.
      • Muthu (Lasandahasi Ranmuthumalie) De Silva, MBA, PhD: entrepreneurship; co-creation and collaboration; university-business interactions; intermediation and intermediaries; knowledge-based interactions.
      • Marion Frenz, Dipl-Kffr, MSc, PhD: innovation, globalisation and economic recovery; the role of internationalisation in innovation; conceptualisation and measurement of absorptive capacity.
      • Frederick Guy, BS, PhD: labour economics: risk, insurance and investment in human capital; surveillance technology and wages; CEO pay; economic geography: clusters, agglomeration economies, knowledge spillovers; retail, road traffic and competition: local and global environmental impacts of retail business models.
      • Odile Janne, MA, PhD: multinational enterprises, innovation and economic development; corporate technological and innovation strategies; international patenting strategies; subsidiaries strategy; multinationals, location decisions, geography; regional innovation and growth; multinational networks.
      • Professor Helen Lawton Smith, BSc, DPhil: innovation; entrepreneurship; scientific labour markets; geographies of innovation; university-industry linkages; scientific labour markets; regional, national and international innovation policy frameworks.
      • Professor Klaus Nielsen, BA, MSc: innovation systems; institutional economics; industrial policy; social capital; varieties of capitalism; Brexit; the European Union as a business environment; Chinese economic development; elite sport systems.
      • Federica Rossi, BSc, MSc, PhD: economics and management of intellectual property rights; economics and governance of higher education; innovation activities of firms and networks of firms; science, technology and innovation policy; university-industry linkages and innovation.

      INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

      • Professor Daniele Archibugi, BA, DPhil: innovation and technological change; global governance and its economic and political management; public policy for services, global commons and science and technology; international organisations and global democracy.
      • Marion Frenz, Dipl-Kffr, MSc, PhD: innovation, globalisation and economic recovery; the role of internationalisation in innovation; conceptualisation and measurement of absorptive capacity.
      • Professor Kevin Ibeh, BSc, MBA, MSc, PhD: small firm internationalisation and international entrepreneurship; international expansion of developing country/emerging market firms; export behaviour and performance.
      • Odile Janne, MA, PhD: multinational enterprises, innovation and economic development; corporate technological and innovation strategies; international patenting strategies; subsidiaries strategy; multinationals, location decisions, geography; regional innovation and growth; multinational networks.
      • Ashok Kumar, MSc, DPhil: economic geography and international political economy; globalisation and global value chains; identity formation and social movements; industrial relations and Labour's bargaining power; land economics and urban subjectivity.
      • Professor Xiaming Liu, PhD: foreign direct investment; multinational corporations; technology transfer and spill-over; internationalisation and economic growth.
      • Paz Estrella Tolentino, BSc, MA, PhD: theory of foreign direct investment and the multinational enterprise; international business history; national, industrial and firm characteristics of multinational enterprises; multinational companies based in emerging economies; technological innovation and multinational corporations; strategy of multinational companies.

      MARKETING

      • Benedetta Crisafulli, BA Hons, MA, MSc, PhD: complaint handling; consumer psychology in service encounters; health services; digital customer experiences; brand alliances (co-branding); corporate crisis management; the influence of CSR in service relationships; consumer coping; preference in quantitative or mixed methods.
      • Rungpaka Amy Hackley: paratextual advertising and promotions; integrated marketing communications (IMC); advertising; product placement; branded content; non-traditional promotions; experiential consumption; brand symbolism; consumer identity; social media; digital communication; media convergence; promotional regulation and ethics; critical marketing; consumer culture research; and death rituals and death consumption.
      • Wendy Hein, BA, PhD: consumer behaviour; consumer culture theory (CCT) and interpretive consumer research; gender, identities and consumption practices; ethnography and interdisciplinary research.
      • Bruno Schivinski, BSc, MA, PhD: consumer behaviour; brand management; digital marketing; influence of interactive technologies on consumer-brand relationships; quantitative research.
      • Olivier Sibai, MA, MSc, PhD: digital marketing; consumer culture theory; transformative consumer research; disharmony in the marketplace; consumer collectives; branding; embodiment and consumption; play and consumption.
      • Peter Trim, BSc, MSc, MBA, MEd, PhD, FRSA, FHEA: marketing; strategic marketing; corporate intelligence and national security; international marketing.
      • Fred A. Yamoah, BSc, MBA, PhD: sustainability and stakeholder marketing; sustainable product innovation marketing; food poverty; crime and security; personal values and purchase behaviour; sustainable food marketing and health; co-creation and sustainable global value chains; circular economy and strategy marketing management and sustainable supply and value chain management.

      ORGANISATION THEORY, ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR AND STRATEGY

      • Konstantinos Chalkias, BA, MSc, PhD: strategy as practice (SaP); practice theory; paradox theory; grand challenges; organisation studies of risk and risk management.
      • Sorin Piperca, PhD: project management; strategic change; unexpected/disruptive events; complexity; interorganisational collaborations; innovation projects; knowledge production.
      • Julian Sims, BSc, PhD, CertEd, CPA, CITP: development and use of information systems; Web 2.0, social media, social commerce and communities of practice; strategic alignment; shared value as social construct; management accounting and control; integrated reporting; adaptive and distributed leadership; project management/leadership.
      • Pamela Yeow, BSc, MSc, PhD: change management; attitude-behaviour gap; leadership and trust; ethics.

      SPORT MANAGEMENT

      • Giambattista Rossi, BA, MSc, PhD: labour and transfer markets in professional sport; role of sport agents, third party ownership in football; sport finance; sport corporate governance.
      • Richard Tacon, BA, MSc, PhD: social capital, social interaction, social networks; sociology of sport; sport policy and development; corporate governance, especially in non-profit and sport organisations; organisational ethnography.
      • Geoff Walters, BSc, MA, PGCE: HE, PhD: corporate governance in sport; board processes; organisational responses to corporate responsibility and sustainability; the governance and management of social partnerships.