Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management at York


Our PhD in Management Programme

The normal length of a PhD full-time registration is three years. An additional year is allowed for writing up. Part-time registration is for six years, again with an additional year for writing up.

We welcome applicants who share our vision and want to undertake challenging, innovative and exciting doctoral research as part of our research community. This programme is suitable for Home/EU and International applicants with an excellent academic record who have a desire to undertake high level academic research with leading academics.

Research students will make a contribution to knowledge in their field of interest, impact on practice, policies and knowledge and become expert researchers in either academia or industry. The programme equips students with the skills to undertake research, giving training in a wide range of methodologies and allowing students to develop into independent researchers.

Our students are provided with excellent facilities, including desktop computers and networked printers, together with library facilities, academic and personal support at one of the UK’s best universities. We also provide networks to other leading Universities staff and research students through the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre and the Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative (NARTI)

Supervision and Training

Supervision and Training


As a full-time PhD student, you will be supported by two supervisors who you will meet a mimimum of twice per academic term, and three times during the Summer Vacation. Supervision meetings are less frequent for part-time PhD students.

New academic progression policy for 2016 intake

All applicants for entry to postgraduate research courses on or after 1 September 2016 will be subject to a new policy around academic progression. This will coincide with improvements to our systems for supervising and guiding academic progress at all stages of postgraduate research studies.


The first year centres on a dedicated research methodology training programme. See the Masters in Research course programme for a selection of the range of modules offered.

You will be required to attend ten days a year of graduate training. These short half-day courses cover a wide range of transferable skills. We also offer relevant activities and seminars which count towards the ten days. 

To enhance your career you will also have access to the University of York’s Researcher Development Unit, as well as support for Postgraduates Who Teach.

In addition, the following training opportunities are available:


Entry Requirements

What you'll need

  • A relevant Masters’ degree.  For entry on to the PhD programme, applicants should have a minimum of a 60% average on a Masters level programme, with a good mark on their master's dissertation. If you do not possess a Masters’ degree or appropriate research training, you may be required to take an additional conversion year, generally our MRes programme.
  • Live in York. You will plan on living in or near York during either your part-time or full-time PhD programme. We do not offer ‘distance learning’ arrangements.
  • Research proposal. This is the main way we can assess your suitability. While we understand that the initial project may well change over time as result of further research, a well-structured, clear and focused proposal is our preferred starting point for a PhD application to us. Go to the Apply tab for further information on proposal presentation.
  • English language competence. Completing a PhD is highly demanding, requiring understanding of advanced material and accomplished academic written style. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of English language excellence, e.g. IELTS with overall score of 7.0, or above.

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding



Home and EU students pay fees at the Research Classroom-based level. Student fees rates are available here. The programme comprises three years, and there is an optional writing up year for which a Continuation Fee is paid.


International Students pay fees at the Research Classroom-based level. Student fee rates are available here. The programme comprises three years, and there is an optional writing up year for which a Continuation Fee is paid.



ESRC funding. The York Management School has one departmental Economic and Social Research council (ESRC) scholarship allocated per year. Applicants with a strong quantitative component to their research topic may also apply for the Advanced Quantitative Methods Scholarship. Applications will be considered for either the PhD or a Masters in Research plus PhD. For information and to apply, please see the University’s Postgraduate Scholarships Page.

White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre. York is part of the White Rose ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, an collaboration between the Universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield. Offering a total of 48 studentships a year over five years within the three universities, it is the largest consortium of its kind in the UK.

University’s Postgraduate Award Scheme

Management School Graduate Teaching Assistantship - further information to follow.


If you are an overseas student, please have a look at the University’s international student fee rates.

The University offers a limited number of scholarships for international research students, awarded on a competitive basis. For more information please see the University's International Student Funding Page.


How to apply

We have two entry points for our PhD programme: October and January

Where possible we will encourage you to join us in October so that you can attend Induction along with the new cohort, and attend from the start training programmes provided by the School.

For our PhD programme entry requirements, we require you to submit the following documents:  

  • Research proposal
  • Academic transcripts
  • Details of two academic referees
  • Personal statement

Full details of the required documents here

Research proposal guidelines

Your proposal should be around 4,000 words and should contain the following principal headings:

  • working title of the project
  • general overview of the research area, including research questions or hypothesis you wish to investigate
  • identification of the relevant literature to indicate you are familiar with the key academic debates within your proposed research (including a bibliography of cited references)
  • explanation and justification for the proposed methodology to be employed (for example, quantitative/qualitative or mixed methods)
  • an indication of the timescale involved and expected research activities.

We will take around four to six weeks to respond to your full application. You may track the status of your application and any official correspondence via the You@York portal.

If you have applied for an advertised scholarship or Graduate Teaching Assistant position, decisions on funded places may take a little longer.

Apply online via the University of York course directory
Apply Now button


Where you'll go from here

Management encompasses a wide range of disciplines in which doctoral qualifications can be an asset – from participation in research teams, to consultancy, to policy formation, to corporate strategic roles, public sector administration, to teaching and even to specific roles in management. We rarely find that a student leaves us without going straight into full-time employment, either in higher education, or in other sectors. The department will be able to advise you where to find information on common careers for PhD graduates. We have excellent networks with external bodies who contribute to the cultural life of the school through visits, masterclasses, etc. These issues are also a focus of the DTC Pathway Student conferences. We also currently employ two of our own graduates on the School’s academic staff.

Career opportunities

  • Teaching and academia
  • Public sector
  • Local government

Here is what two of our graduates have to say about their academic careers after completing the PhD:

'I carried out my PhD at The York Management School under the Operations Management group, and began my research with a very broad research question examining how the performance of UK police forces could be improved. I would strongly recommend taking up an academic post abroad if you get the opportunity. I am very glad I made the decision to gain some new teaching and research experience in a different environment rather than accepting a UK post, and I feel that The York Management School really set me up for this well, with strong international connections and a diverse research community making it very easy to take a step out of my comfort zone'. PhD student, completed 2013

'Since completing my PhD, I have held academic posts at the University of the West of England, the University of York and Leicester Business School (De Montfort University). These posts have involved teaching on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervising PhD students and holding significant administrative positions including Deputy Director of the PhD Programme at the York Management School. I have published extensively from my thesis on emotions in organisations and continue my empirical work. Since 2009, I have published in the Management Learning, Social Science and Medicine and Human Relations and my work has even been reported in The New York Times.' PhD student, completed 2009.


More Information

Can I first discuss a PhD topic with someone from the School, before submitting my proposal?
You should first read the Research Degrees and School Research and Staff Profile web pages, which will give you an indication of the research interests of academic staff in the School. If you wish, you may then contact the relevant member to discuss your interests and their fit; however, all applications should be submitted via the online application portal.

Do I need to have a Masters degree to embark on the PhD programme?
Only applicants who already have a relevant Masters degree will be admitted directly on to the MPhil/PhD programme. Applicants who do not possess a Masters degree or appropriate research training may be required to an additional conversion year. For entry onto the programme, applicants should have a 60% average on a Masters level programme, with a good mark on their master's dissertation. In exceptional cases or where work experience supplements your masters degree qualification, a minimum of a pass is accepted.

Do you offer an MPhil programme?
You can apply for an MPhil which is a two year full-time course. The process is the same as for the PhD programme, see Apply tab.

If I cannot raise all of the money needed for study, can I get a job to pay for the difference?
Unfortunately, the University needs to see evidence that you can pay your tuition fees and fully support yourself for three years, before making you an unconditional offer.

If I cannot give a financial guarantee in time for entry this Autumn, can I wait until I have more money available, and start later?
You may defer your studies for a year or more, but it will depend on staff expertise available at your time of entry in order to provide supervision in your chosen area of research.

Do I need to live in or near the University whilst I am a PhD student?
You may wish to live outside York, but should realise you will be expected to participate in the academic life of the School by attending (and delivering) research seminars and taking part in training courses. You will also be expected to see your supervisor on a regular basis. You may also wish to be near the University library.  You cannot be resident outside of the UK.

Further enquiries can be directed to