Management and Business PhD

Key information

Full-time - 4 years

Start dates:
October 2024
January 2025

Part-time - 8 years

Start dates:
October 2024
January 2025

Why choose this programme

Surrey Business School is internationally recognised for interdisciplinary, international and applied research.

As a PhD student you will receive rigorous instruction and training in research philosophy and methods, together with outstanding supervision. You also benefit from choosing between either writing a traditional dissertation monograph or following the PhD by publication format route. This way, you decide your preferred pathway to present your research so that it suits your interests.

Our researchers often work closely with industry and collaborate with staff across the School, leading to innovative new thinking. In the UK government’s 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the School is in the top 10 for the outputs and top 20 for real-world impact of our business research. Overall, the University is ranked 33rd for overall research quality by REF.

Surrey Business School is a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Here at Surrey, you’ll join a cosmopolitan, multicultural and diverse community of students and scholars. We consider doctoral students to be junior academics or researchers, and an integral part of the School.

Postgraduate Research at Surrey

Frequently asked questions about doing a PhD

What you will study

Our PhD in Management and Business will train you in critical and analytical skills, research methods, and in discipline-specific knowledge that will give you the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for a career in academia, or as a researcher in a wide variety of settings.

We offer a three-year, full-time (and, in exceptional cases, part-time) programme. The programme has a dual-focus on subject-specific knowledge and methods training, which will give you the intellectual foundation to ask cutting-edge questions and then conduct high-quality research to address those questions.

You’ll receive an induction by the University of Surrey’s Doctoral College, as well as a bespoke induction programme from the Business School. This induction will introduce you to the School as well as the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in which the School is based. The induction will outline the relationship between you and your supervisor.

Your supervisor will serve as a mentor as you progress through your PhD.

Year 1

In your first year, you will receive instruction in subject-specific knowledge and instruction and training in research philosophy and methods. As a full- time student you will complete four taught modules in your first year:

  • Philosophy of Social Science Research
  • Quantitative Methods 1
  • Qualitative Methodology 1
  • Either Quantitative Methods 2 or Qualitative Methodology 2.

At the same time, you will be working on your research (part-time students take the modules over two years). This will form the foundation of your doctoral research.

Year 2

Once you’ve got the foundation for your doctoral research and passed your confirmation exam, your second year will be spent conducting doctoral research. Students conducting primary research tend to spend the year away doing field research.

Year 3

Your third year will then be devoted entirely to data analysis, writing up and submitting your dissertation. You’ll have frequent interactions with your supervisor. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops in preparation for the academic job market. There is a four-year maximum period of study on the PhD programme for full-time students.


Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate careers and employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a minimum of an upper second-class (2:1) UK degree and a masters degree (minimum merit) in a relevant subject from an internationally recognised university.

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

These are the English language qualifications and levels that we can accept. 

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Application requirements

Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before they submit an application via the website. Please refer to section two of our application guidance.

Research proposal

Before applying, please refer to our research proposal guidance for information on submitting a suitable research proposal.

After registration

Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants:

  • Meeting the expected entry requirements
  • Being shortlisted through the application screening process
  • Completing a successful interview
  • Providing suitable references.


Start date: October 2024


To be confirmed


To be confirmed

Start date: January 2025


To be confirmed


To be confirmed
  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100 (subject to legal requirements).
  • Any start date other than September will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

View the list of fees for all postgraduate research courses.

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey.


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

Apply online

If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, please provide details of the project instead of a research proposal.

Read our application guidance for further information on applying.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to follow our policies and procedures, student regulations, and terms and conditions.

We provide these terms and conditions in two stages:

  • First when we make an offer.
  • Second when students accept their offer and register to study with us (registration terms and conditions will vary depending on your course and academic year).

View our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide on what to expect.


This online prospectus has been published in advance of the academic year to which it applies.

Whilst we have done everything possible to ensure this information is accurate, some changes may happen between publishing and the start of the course.

It is important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH