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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.

On our Business MPhil/PhD, you’ll be taught by staff with a broad range of expertise, including consumer behaviour, entrepreneurship, human resources management, international business and services marketing. 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.

Overview

Overview

Key features

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

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

or

  • 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

or

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

or

  • 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 7.0 with a minimum score of 7.0 in Written English.

Course content

What will you study?

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 second 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 six months, you will be working towards submitting a more complete research proposal, we call this an RDB1 Proposal. You will be aided in preparing for this by engaging with a 20-credit masters level module RTP401: Developing and Managing Your Research, and by meeting with your supervisory team to discuss your progress. You will meet with your supervisory team for 30 hours a year and this can be face-to-face or via Skype. Students who have not taken a recent research methods module in a relevant area will normally undertake a second module in their first year, in research methods. At the end of each year, beginning with your first year, you will work with your supervisors on completing a progress report, which we call an RDB7.

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. In your second semester you will take a module titled RTP402: Dissemination, Impact and Engagement, which will help you begin to think about these three core themes. 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 (LINK). Students normally undergo Transfer from MPhil to PhD towards the end of their second year. At Transfer (RDB2), you will submit one to two chapters of your thesis and deliver a presentation to a question panel of experienced researchers.

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 external 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 minor 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.

Part-time students follow the same structure as full time students but complete the PhD over a maximum period of six years.

Pathways

Students are allocated a pathway appropriate to their research experience and background.

Students without a previous research degree will normally be allocated Pathway 1. This means you will need to engage with all of the modules outlined above and undertake associated assignments. These modules will lead to the additional award of PG Cert in Research Methods at no additional cost.

Students with a previous research degree will normally be allocated Pathway 2 and this will mean they will not be required to engage with the taught elements of the course to the same extent as students on Pathway 1. We do still recommend that they attend all of the workshops, for example, but they would not need to submit the associated assignments. Students on Pathway 2 may request to switch to Pathway 1 at the start of their course, with approval of their supervisory team.

Regardless of Pathway, the Researcher Development team organize a range of workshops that all students will be invited to attend.

Supervision areas

How will you be supervised?

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.

Resources

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 GroupCustomer Interactions GroupManaging 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.

Supervisors

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 Sa'ad Ali  
Expertise: Expertise and research interest: cross-cultural in business research, human resources and business practices in the Middle East and China.

Dr Holly Andrews
Expertise: Psychopathy and other dark side traits in the workplace, coaching, occupational psychology, quantitative methodologies.

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

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

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 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.

Supervisor Expertise Self funded research project
Dr Sa'ad Ali   Cross-cultural in business research, human resources and business practices in the Middle East and China. N/A
Dr Laila Kasem International business; international marketing; strategy; organisational learning and cross-cultural consumer behaviour. Exploring the Career Choices of Recently-Arrived Refugees in the UK
Dr Abdulmaten Taroun 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. N/A

Supervisors

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 Sa'ad Ali  

Expertise: Expertise and research interest: cross-cultural in business research, human resources and business practices in the Middle East and China.

Dr Holly Andrews

Expertise: Psychopathy and other dark side traits in the workplace, coaching, occupational psychology, quantitative methodologies.

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 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 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 projects: 

 

Dr Helen Watts

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

Careers

Where could it take you?

All research students must engage with the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), a core curriculum of training and development which provides them with the general and subject-specific knowledge, skills and behaviours to support them in the completion of their research degree. At the beginning of an MPhil/PhD degree, you will be allocated to one of two pathways depending on your experience and knowledge as a researcher. This will determine which elements of the programme are core and which are optional.

At the beginning of the programme you will be required to complete a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in conjunction with your Director of Studies. This identifies the training that you will need to undertake, in addition to the mandatory elements of RDP, in order to complete the programme and to become an effective researcher. This TNA is revisited at the beginning of each subsequent academic year.

All students are offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme focused around the following themes:

  • Developing and Managing Your Research
  • Dissemination, Impact, Engagement
  • Completing Your Research Degree
  • Research Methodology Master classes
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Funding
  • Wellbeing and Personal Effectiveness
  • Careers and Employability
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
Costs

How much will it cost?

Fees

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

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you 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 research@worc.ac.uk.

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 research@worc.ac.uk.

How to apply

 

Apply for this course - full time
Apply for this course - part time

 

Apply for this course - full time
Apply for this course - part time

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Research School on 01905 542182 or research@worc.ac.uk

Before you submit a full application, please contact Dr Catharine Ross (c.ross@worc.ac.uk) to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.

January start

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October start

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