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The University of Worcester welcomes applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in Business.

Research at Worcester has grown significantly in the last 10 years as the University itself has expanded. As a research student you will join a vibrant student community in our Research School and become part of our dynamic research environment.

The Business School hosts the Sustainable Organisations Research group, The Participant Centred Learning in Management Education Research Group (ParCeL), The Digital Innovations and Intelligent Systems Research Group and two themes within the Interpersonal Relationships and Wellbeing Research group: the People and Work Research Theme and the Customer Interactions Research Theme. We particularly welcome MPhil/PhD applications that align with these groups' interests. Details of areas they are particularly interested in are on their websites.

On our Business MPhil/PhD, you’ll be taught by staff from across a broad range of business and management expertise. You'll also benefit from access to our dedicated quiet work space and research student office in our Business School, located in the heart of the city centre.



Key features

  • Available as a full-time or part-time degree, completed over a maximum of six years
  • You will be allocated to one of two pathways depending on your experience and knowledge as a researcher
  • You'll be offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme, focused around a wide range of themes
  • The opportunity to join one of our research groups
Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or an approved equivalent award


  • Research or professional experience which has resulted in appropriate evidence of achievement

For PhD

  • Postgraduate Masters Degree in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed programme of study


  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent award in an appropriate discipline


  • Research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement

International applicants

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English.

For MPhil/PhD this is an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in every component.

Programme structure

Programme structure

PhD year by year

After receiving your application, we try to establish if we have the necessary expertise to supervise your project and we begin to form a supervisory team for you. This will normally consist of a Director of Studies (DoS), who will be your lead supervisor, and at least one other supervisor, who will offer you additional support and guidance throughout your studies. If, following a successful interview, you are offered a place as a full-time student, your programme of study will look something like this:

First year

You will have submitted a draft research outline with your application. In your first year, you will be working towards submitting a more complete research proposal. You will be aided in your research by meeting with your supervisory team to discuss your progress. You will also be supported through your first year by engaging with a series of three modules as part of our Researcher Development Programme:

  • RSDP4001: Developing as a Researcher
  • RSDP4005: Approaches to Research
  • RSDP4004: Planning Your Research Project

At the end of each year, beginning with your first year, you will reflect on and formally review your progress with your supervisory team and MPhil/PhD Course Leader. We call this annual meeting an Annual Progress Review (APR).

Second year

In your second year, you will be collecting data and working on your research project under the supervision of your supervisors through regular meetings. You may at this point have research papers ready to publish and you may wish to attend conferences to present your research to other experts in your field. You will be able to apply to our Research Student Support Scheme for some funding for this purpose. Students normally undergo Transfer from MPhil to PhD towards the end of their second year. This will be part of your Annual Progress Review for this year.

Third and fourth year

In your third and fourth year, you will be writing up your thesis and preparing for your viva voce examination. This is an oral exam with two examiners and a chair. You can also request that your supervisor be present at the exam. The exam will take place after you have submitted your final thesis. After the exam, it is not unusual for the examiners to ask that some amendments be made to your thesis before the final award is confirmed and you will have additional time to do this. It is possible to complete the course in three years, but we have found that the majority of students do take four years to complete the course. At the end of each year of your registration, you will go through an Annual Progress Review.


Access to our dedicated quiet work space in our newly refurbished Research School. The School is located in the heart of Worcester City Centre, just a 2-minute walk from the train station. Facilities for research students include PCs, workspace for laptop users, secure storage, shared books and social space. Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. A dedicated research student office in the Business School and membership, as appropriate, of one of our four research groups: Careers and Leadership Development Group, Customer Interactions Group, Managing Risk, Operations and Sustainability Group and the Entrepreneurship Research Group.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the MPhil or PhD.

Part time students follow the same structure as full-time students but normally complete the PhD over a period of five to six years. Part-time students take two modules in each of their first two years, and will normally transfer to PhD in their fourth year.

Research areas

Research areas

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Supervision areas

The Worcester Business School has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme.


Our staff have expertise in a range of business areas, but are particular interested in supporting topics in the following more specific areas: business ethics and sustainability; careers; consumer behaviour; corporate strategy; employee relations; entrepreneurship/small business; human resources management; international business; leadership; management of diversity; operations management; project management; risk management; services marketing; time-related individual differences; and training and development.


Recent successful projects in Business have involved research on: the career success of males in two public sector, female-dominated occupations; and temporal intelligence in leadership. Whilst, some of our current research students are exploring small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria; the relationship between student work placements and graduate employment; and men’s work-life balance.


Please click on the name of the supervisor to follow a link to their webpage. We recommend contacting a potential supervisor with your research outline before submitting a formal application, please read our guidelines for writing your research outline first.  Please only contact one supervisor. If another supervisor is better suited to your project, we will redirect your query.

Dr Scott Andrews
Expertise: Leadership, case study research methodologies, case based teaching & participant centred learning in management education 

Dr Sajad Rezaei
Expertise: Interactive & Digital Marketing; Sustainability and Responsible Business; Business Innovation and Strategy; Consumer Behaviour.

Dr Jane Keenan
Expertise: Accounting and Financial Management, Corporate Finance and Employment legislation and how this affects companies competitiveness.

Dr Robin Bell
Expertise: Entrepreneurship/small business; international business and management; cross-cultural communication.

Dr Kay Emblen-Perry 
Expertise: Sustainable management including environmental management and justice, social responsibility and economic sustainability.

Professor Jan Francis-Smythe
Expertise: Occupational psychology and HR: selection and assessment; career development and appraisal; training; employee relations and motivation; organisational development and change; leadership; counselling and personal development. 

Dr Laila Kasem
Expertise: International business; international marketing; strategy; organisational learning and cross-cultural consumer behaviour.

Self-funded project: Exploring the Career Choices of Recently-Arrived Refugees in the UK

Dr. Barbara Menara
Expertise: employee engagement, job satisfaction, turnover, workplace wellbeing, professions, quantitative methods, panel data analysis

Dr Paulo Mora-Avila
Expertise: Consumer psychology, corporate reputation, branding, and cross-cultural & cross-generational behaviour.

Dr Pamella Murray
Expertise: Leadership; teamwork; coaching and mentoring.

Dr Lynn Nichol
Expertise: Work based learning; professional identity; narrative research/ethnography; psychological contract/survivor syndrome/downsizing; learning and development; careers; employee relations; faith based organisation.

Dr Richard Nicholls
Expertise: Services marketing; customer-to-customer interaction; ageing service customers; customer misbehaviour.

Dr. Cedric Nikko
Expertise: Creativity & Leadership, People Management, Organisational Behaviour, Global Challenges – SDGs, Strategic Management, Strategic Operational Management, Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility (CSR)

Dr Catharine Ross
Expertise: Diversity in organisations; workplace culture and politics; sociology of the professions; workplace diversity and equality; employee relations; management development; careers.

Self-funded project: Exploring the Career Choices of Recently-Arrived Refugees in the UK

Dr. Oluwole Shokunbi
Expertise: Employee Engagement, Human Resource Management, Leadership and Management Development, Change Management, Organisational Behaviour, Capacity Building in the Private, the Public and the third Sectors

Dr Abdulmaten Taroun
Expertise: Project management; operations management; decision-making and risk analysis; risk management; enterprise risk management (ERM); quality management; construction management; performance management; sustainability and sustainable development.

Dr Vessela Warren
Expertise: Innovation management; knowledge management in innovation; new service development (NSD) processes; innovation and sustainability; barriers and enablers to service innovation; strategic innovation; the role of the networks into the innovation process; service design; service co-creation; servitization.

Dr Helen Watts
Expertise: Customer retention, membership services, consumer psychology, occupational psychology, quantitative methodologies, qualitative methodologies, mixed method designs.

Dr Ria Wiid
Expertise: Contemporary marketing communications, authenticity and inside out branding.



All students engage with our Researcher Development Programme (RDP). The RDP aims to develop and enhance the skills, both generic and specific, that you will need to complete your research degree but also to become an effective researcher. The RDP is organised around thematic clusters, consisting of modules, and workshops, delivered face-to-face by subject specialists from across the University and the dedicated Researcher Development Team, or online through our virtual learning environment.

As part of the RDP, you will complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (PG Cert). All students must complete the PG Cert in order to progress on their MPhil/PhD Programme. The PG Cert is strongly focused on developing your programme of research, starting from establishing your development needs, and preparing you for the planning and subsequent delivery of your programme of research.

Full-time students will complete the PG Cert in 12 months and part-time students in 24 months.


Fees and funding


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Additional information

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a research outline. We recommend preparing your research outline before beginning your online application. Some guidance on preparing your research outline is available here.

If your research involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children then you may be required to obtain a DBS check. There will be a small charge for this. For more information please contact

We are committed to making reasonable adjustment. If you require an alternative format for making your application due to a disability, please contact us to discuss your needs on 01905 542182 or

Information about application and interview deadlines

How to apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Doctoral School on 01905 542182 or

Before you submit a full application, please contact Dr Catharine Ross ( to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.

Application links


MPhil - September - Full time MPhil - September - Part time MPhil - January - Full time MPhil - January - Part time


PhD - September - Full time PhD - September - Part time PhD - January - Full time PhD - January - Part time

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