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Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time;
eight years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date Most students will start in October 2022, however other dates can be considered.

Programme overview

Research is central to the activities of the School of Management at the University of Bristol. The school comprises a group of academic staff with a variety of interests and a focus on research that has practical relevance. The results of the most recent UK-wide research assessment, REF 2021, rated 88% of the research activity in business and management as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

The School of Management encourages interdisciplinary research, drawing on a range of theories and methodologies. We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We encourage applications from strong candidates from disciplines outside the social sciences, management and business studies who wish to convert, and from candidates with organisational or commercial experience.

Candidates entering the PhD programme are normally required to take 60 credit points of taught training units in their first year. Students are also encouraged to undertake further training in agreement with their supervisor for the duration of their studies.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

Student-led and supervisor-led bursaries

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

ESRC scholarship - Interviews are expected to take place on 11/12 January 2022. If you are nominated for the scholarship, you will receive an email shortly after that about the ESRC studentship process. Early application is strongly encouraged.

University of Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships, closing date: noon on Monday 28 March 2022

Studentship Opportunity - Alternative economy and the creative industries in Bristol.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class or first-class honours undergraduate degree in a related subject (or equivalent), and a merit or equivalent master's qualification in a related subject.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The School of Management hosts four academic groups:

Marketing and Consumption

The Marketing and Consumption academic group members view marketing and consumption as both practical activities and critical academic disciplines. Our research and teaching draws on cutting-edge insights from across the social sciences including sociology, psychology, cultural analysis and design studies. It also reflects contemporary developments in marketing practice, equipping students with the skills to purse a range of careers.

Members of the group explore how factors such as marketing, media, retail and technology frame the encounter between supply and demand. We work on a diverse range of topics including risk and decision making, the organisation of everyday life, market coordination, digital and social media, tourism, food, fashion, public health, environmental sustainability, and gambling. Our work confronts the ethical challenges posed by marketing and consumption, exploring the ways in which they may be mobilised as responses to a range of social and policy issues.

For details of staff working in this research group, please visit the M&C group website.

Work, Employment, Organisation and Public Policy

The Work, Employment, Organisation and Public Policy group members research work, institutions and public policy and how they are experienced, organised and transformed. It combines staff interests from a variety of social sciences perspectives (e.g. sociology, labour economics, politics and feminism). Its research seeks to challenge mainstream assumptions and to bring society and globalisation into an understanding of organisations and employment.

Group members work with diverse occupational and representative groups, including trade unions, policymakers, and voluntary organisations, and they embed the understanding of everyday economic, organisational and professional life within social, political and cultural issues of power, identity and materiality. With a global focus geared towards the development of alternative policies and organisational practices for a better world, group members are heavily invested in national and international research networks such as the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la mondialisation et le travail ( The group contributes to the University's ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership and its work engages with local communities and debates about the role of experts and occupational groups.

For details of staff working in this academic group, visit the WEOPP group website.

Operations and Management Science, Innovation & Healthcare

The Operations and Management Science, Innovation & Healthcare academic group focuses on impactful research through deep engagement with partner organisations in public, private and third sectors. Group members carry out rigorous, relevant, interdisciplinary research to achieve positive economic, societal and environmental changes. Members employ a diverse set of research methods including theoretical, analytical, empirical, and behavioural models, and apply to a range of areas such as circular economy, digital technologies, governance and management of healthcare organisations, industrial sustainability, low carbon manufacturing, responsible innovation, and sustainable supply chain management.

Group members have published research work in some of the top journals in our field including MIS Quarterly, Production and Operations Management, Research Policy, Journal of Product Innovation Management, British Journal of Management, Journal of Public Administration: Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, International Journal of Operations and Production Management and European Journal of Operational Research.

The group has received funding for research from a range of funding bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), EU Horizon 2020, the British Academy, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Newton Fund, and the Royal Society.

For details of staff working in this academic group, please visit the OMSIH group website.

Strategy, International Management & Business, and Entrepreneurship 

The Strategy, International Management & Business, and Entrepreneurship group members address challenges faced by international businesses, and focus on gaining and sharing knowledge of business strategy and how this is impacted by social, political and economic factors both globally and on a national level.

Group members research a diverse range of issues within international business including:

  • strategy, organisational values and identity;
  • practice-based thinking and practice ontology;
  • the use of historical analysis for strategy,
  • management and organisation studies;
  • business and development in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • changes in labour and employment;
  • global commodity chains and transnational corporations;
  • the rise of global managerialism;
  • the financialization of management;
  • the transformation and internationalization of global professional service firms.

For details of staff working in this research group, please visit the SIMBE group website.


The School of Management is also organised across five challenge-led interdisciplinary research themes (clusters):

Sustainable Production, Inclusivity, Consumption and Economy 

We research two of the biggest societal challenges of our time: (a) how to transition to sustainable forms of production and consumption, and (b) how do we do so in an equitable and inclusive way? We examine sustainable business practices; diverse patterns of working and consuming; democratic forms of business ownership and control; the changing ways in which goods and services are distributed, accessed, used and disposed of; and the moral economies of ‘societal transitions’. Our research engages directly with business strategy and public policy, and through our research we partner with large and small businesses, government, trade unions and third sector and civil society organisations.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the SPICE website.


Work Futures 

Placing work in its social context, we undertake a radical rethinking of the possible futures of work in an age of technological transformation. We believe that the fate of those who work is not set in stone. Between automated luxury and alienated redundancy, we can shape the future of work as it unfolds. Our research is grounded in a commitment to better work as the road to better lives, stronger communities and stable democratic institutions.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the Work Futures website.


Innovation and Digitalisation 

With a critical, interdisciplinary and reflexive approach, we research innovation and new digital technologies, taking social and political impact into account. Our research aims to inform both theory development and global policy and practice. Topics include innovation and advisory systems, international development, participatory approaches to innovation of smart cities, digital systems of knowledge production, sharing economy and collaborative consumption digital platforms, the governance and ethics of emerging technologies, as well as sustainable, social, and responsible innovation via digitalisation.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the I&D website.


Public Services Government and Management 

Our research focuses on governance at all levels of institutions operating in the public sector, especially education and healthcare. We explore public sector management and how governance, management structures and issues of accountability affect organisational performance, including service quality, efficiency and user experience. We analyse public sector reforms and their implications across social class and resulting outcomes. We also investigate public sector reforms in relation to the changing role of professions and professional organisations.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the PSGM website.


Global Political Economy 

Our research focuses on critical approaches to globalisation and the role of different firms, labour, regulators and the nation-state in the reproduction of capitalism. The theme brings together staff across disciplines such as economic sociology and geography, politics, migration and global studies. We explore the organisation of production and consumption, uneven economic development, labour mobilities and exploitation, financialisaton, super-rich capitalism and the internationalisation of knowledge-intensive organisations. We also research transnational corporations, workers and institutions.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the GPE website.


Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisation (ARCIO Research Centre)

ARCIO (Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisations) is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together a network of scholars committed to researching in participative and/or capacity-building ways in organisations and communities. Our membership stretches across the social sciences and beyond, including an artist in residence and visiting professors. Our research, teaching and public engagement activities are orientated around issues of social justice and equality, gender and feminism, democracy, participation, and inclusivity, social activism and sustainability. The centre’s activities include research, scholarship and practice around the areas mentioned above.

For details of staff working in this research theme, please visit the ARCIO website.


Previous graduates have gone on to careers in academia as well as to a variety of employers across the world such as: Honda, Bank of China Hong Kong, and Chinese Academy of Science. Another popular route for graduates is to pursue post-doctoral research, consultancy or enter policy-based institutions.

Staff profiles

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Find out how to apply

Application deadline

Applications for the September 2022 intake must apply by midday on Friday 22 July 2022

Deadlines to be considered for funding:

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Graduate Studies PGR Team Email:

School website: University of Bristol Business School

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


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