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The Manchester PhD Degree

One of the most highly respected doctorate degree programmes across the globe.

The Alliance Manchester Business School PhD degree provides world-class facilities and a supportive research environment in which to study and develop the essential skills for a successful career, whether in academia or industry.

We offer PhD programme pathways in Accounting and Finance, Business and Management, and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy in our continued mission to develop socially responsible business and management researchers and research. Our PhD programmes are offered on a 4-year full-time or 8-year part-time basis.

Experience a thriving, internationally renowned research community with interdisciplinary links to key areas across the University such as engineering, health, mathematics and social sciences.

Engage in continuous skills training and research support activities throughout this Doctor of Philosophy programme to support your academic and research needs. 

Develop a set of crucial transferable skills such as presenting, writing and resilience that will set you apart throughout your career.

Why study a PhD degree at Alliance Manchester School?


in the UK for research power (REF 2021)


international centres: Dubai, Hong Kong, Manchester, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore


  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 8 years

The Manchester PhD Degree

We continue to attract outstanding researchers of the highest calibre and our PhD population is one of the largest in the UK, with around 45 researchers joining us each year. As a graduate of one of the world's most innovative and ambitious doctoral research schools, you'll be sought after by leading universities, top business schools, government institutes and private sector organisations.

We embed the PhD into the research life and culture of the School by assigning you to research centres and groups. You will be active in the research life of your centre, organising external seminars, presenting your work to peers in internal seminars, and designing and presenting posters on your PhD.

Whatever your future plans, make the most of your exceptional talents with a PhD from Alliance MBS and give yourself the opportunity to make an impact.

Entry requirements

You will need to check that you meet the PhD degree requirements before submitting an application.


There are a number of PhD funding opportunities available at the School across numerous academic subjects.

Research support

We are committed to supporting your academic and research needs.

This annual event forms a key part of the Research Training Programme for first year PhD researchers, providing an opportunity to present and gain feedback on their research from an engaged audience. Leading researchers from the School and external experts deliver presentations and workshops on key topics and there are opportunities for those at a more advanced stage of their studies to engage with, and enhance, the School’s research community.

This workshop, specifically aimed at first year PhD researchers helps the cohort to settle into the programme.

Aimed at second year PhD researchers, this practical workshop builds your communication and presentation skills which are crucial for your professional career. There is a mix of activities such as individual coaching, group exercises, interactive scenarios and one-to-one training.

The work draws on the rehearsal model of experimentation and feedback which aims to encourage you to experiment and adopt new behaviours by working on posture, pauses, volume and other skills.

Aimed at final year PhD researchers, the 2-day writing retreat enables you to progress your writing projects and produce a range of written outputs, typically PhD chapters, books, conference abstracts, journal articles and research proposals.

Benefits of the session include:

  • Growing research-oriented interactions and relationships
  • Building confidence in research and writing
  • Creating cross-disciplinary research conversations

You will be able to take advantage of a range of support available from both the School and the University to cover conference, travel and research related expenses.

The University Library's Business Data Service provides access to excellent database facilities and extensive data management support including:

  • WRDS (CRSP, Compustat, TAQ, Optionmetrics, Board Ex, Execucomp, FISD)
  • DataStream
  • Bloomberg
  • Thomson One Banker
  • Global Financial Data
  • Thomson Reuters Tick History

Find out more about the Library's Business Data Service >>

Research training programme

Throughout the PhD programme you follow a robust, systematic and flexible research training programme designed to:

  • Help you plan and write your PhD thesis
  • Introduce you to the variety of research undertaken at the School
  • Equip you with the skills to become a leading researcher

As a doctoral researcher, you will choose from the following core units when forming your Research Training Programme. Please note that offerings are subject to change.

PhD Accounting and Finance
• Advanced Financial Theory
• Advanced Finance Research Seminar
• Current Issues in Empirical Finance
• Advanced Financial Accounting Theory
• Market Based Accounting Research
• Advanced Accounting Research Seminar
• Assurance and Credible Reporting

PhD Business and Management
• Research Philosophy and Introductory Methodological Issues
• Developing Research Contributions
• Quantitative Research Methods
• Qualitative Research Methods

PhD Science, Technology and Innovation Policy
• Developing Research Contributions
• Advanced Topics in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
• Scope and Theory in Science and Technology Policy
• Advanced Methods in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Analysis

In addition to Core Units, you may also choose from the following elective units when forming your Research Training Programme. Please note that offerings are subject to change.

PhD Accounting and Finance
• Advanced Corporate Finance
• Additional Research Training
• Qualitative Research Methodology
• Units from the PhD Business and Management offerings
• Units from the NWSSDTP (as part of the Module Exchange arrangements)
• MSc units from the Economics Department

PhD Business and Management
• Case Study Research
• Comparative Case Study Analysis
• Epistemology
• Exploratory Factor Analysis
• Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis using NVivo
• Multiple Regression
• Navigating the Publication Process
• Reviewing and Evaluating Manuscripts
• Structural Equation Modelling
• Units from the NWSSDTP (as part of the Module Exchange arrangements)

PhD Science, Technology and Innovation Policy
• Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
• Quantitative Methods
• Qualitative Research Methods
• Units from the NWSSDTP (as part of the Module Exchange arrangements)

You can also choose from a range of subject-specific units that cover the wide variety of specialisms studied at PhD level. Subject areas include:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Decision Sciences and Operational Research
  • Healthcare management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • International Business and Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Organisational Studies
  • Public Sector Management
  • Science, Technology and Innovation

Library services

You will have access to a wide range of bespoke services and support throughout your PhD.

You will have access to exclusive postgraduate-only study space which facilitates both group and private study. You will also have access to all sites of The University of Manchester Library – one of the UK's largest and best resourced academic libraries.

You will have access to one of the largest collections of specialist information sources in the UK. Search for journal articles from top-ranked peer-reviewed publications or access a wide range of data and reports from a variety of market-leading information providers such as Thomson Reuters, Mintel and Euromonitor.

The Finance Zone gives you access to one of the UK’s most comprehensive collections of specialist financial databases used by top researchers around the world including Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Compustat, Datastream, Thomson ONE, WRDS plus many more.

Read more about the Finance Zone >>

The Business Data Service runs specialist training sessions throughout the academic year focusing on a wide range of research, tools, skills and techniques including EndNote and SPSS. We also provide tuition on our full suite of specialist financial business datasets and guidance on obtaining certification for the Bloomberg and Datastream platforms.

Find out more about the Business Data Service >>

You will have access to a dedicated stock of business, management and research-based titles.

You will receive a tailored induction to the library service focusing on research needs at doctoral level.

Research snapshots and updates delivered via Twitter. Our dedicated research blog ‘Business Research Plus’ will keep you up-to-date with all the latest tips and expertise from the Alliance MBS Library Team.

Research consultation sessions provide drop-in clinics for business data queries. You can also book a one-to-one consultation appointment with a member of the Business Data Service team and we are happy to provide tailored support for individual research projects. This is supplemented by online support services that are available at any time.

Career opportunities

The Manchester PhD prepares you for a research career in academia or for opportunities in business, government and non-profit organisations. 

  • Bank of America
  • Banque de France
  • Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago,
  • CASS Business School
  • Central Bank of Chile
  • Fujitsu
  • Lancaster University
  • London Business School
  • London School of Economics
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Singapore Management University
  • Unilever
  • Universidad de Chile
  • University of Leeds
  • Warwick Business School

Other research options

The Master of Philosophy is a one-year full-time, or two-year part-time, postgraduate research degree. You will carry out a substantial research project and may take advantage of the research training available to PhD students.

The Master of Research in Management is a one-year full-time, or two-year part-time, Masters degree designed to give you the opportunity to build your knowledge of specialist areas of business and management and to develop the research skills essential for doctoral research. Many students who complete an MRes go on to apply for a PhD.

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