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Business and Management

PhD, MPhil

School - Salford Business School

Subject area - Business and Management

Start Dates(s):


Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
One year full-time

Two years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Three years full-time

Five years part-time

In Brief:

  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Subject Overview

Salford Business School aims to be a first-choice international provider of next-generation business and management education and research developing graduates, managers and leaders in the digitally-connected, complex global knowledge economy who are transformational in thinking, behaviour and practice.  

In research we foster a stimulating, aspirational and supportive research environment engaged across disciplines and in line with business, community and public policy needs.

Researchers are involved in projects which probably impact on your everyday life - statisticians helped create the official player rating scores for the Barclays Premier League, and they also validate that the National Lottery draw is indeed random.

PhDs and research activity in the School cover a range of areas:

Accounting, Finance and Economics Research - aims to generate insight into the economic impact of changes in real and financial markets, in financial reporting, and in society as a whole. We research in mainstream finance and accounting and forge interdisciplinary links with economics, law, social science, health and wellbeing, and consider the social impact of the discipline on a wide range of organisations nationally and globally. As a student here, you will have access to a number of research resources: including Bankscope, DataStream, EIU, FAME, ORSIS, and Wind Financial Terminal. Our research infrastructure and facilities have ensured a flourishing research culture, which sparks developments that continue to have a significant impact and attracts PhD students of high standard from the UK and around the world.

Centre for Sports Business – this is a new, exciting development that leads the world in quantitative research in Sports Business. Established only this year, the Centre has interests that include sports law, sports finance, the economics of sport and wellbeing, sports statistics relating to, for example, performance measurement, tactical decision making, the design of rules and tournaments and match outcome prediction. Statisticians in this centre developed the official player performance rating system for the FA Premier League. This centre provides a unique environment in which you can study the business of Sport.  

Information Systems, Organisations and Society Research – brings together a community of scholars who share an interest in the social and organisational aspects of information systems and information and communications technologies. Research in this area at Salford has been consistently at the forefront of Information Systems research over the last 20 years and was recognised in the last Research Assessment Exercises as being second in the country for its impact. PhD research areas may focus on the impact and consequences of technologies in the workplace such as ERP, CRM, enterprise 2.0, and mobile technologies and open-source software systems.  Research may examine the impact of technologies from the viewpoint of, for example, Project Management, Knowledge Management, outsourcing, learning, information governance/security or gender issues. Digital media and social networking are real strengths at Salford, including areas such as social media marketing, search engine optimisation, online behaviour and ethical stances, virtual team working, collaboration and networking, cultural issues and trust. We are active in teaching and learning research, with a focus on learning technologies such as Virtual Learning Environments, digital literacy and the role of social media in education. We have expertise in philosophical topics, including Dooyeweerd’s sphere of meaning, and poststructuralism. Finally, and more generally, we can offer PhD supervision in business ethics, masculinity studies, e-government, Human Computer Interaction, aspectual analysis as a qualitative research method, disability and the web, digital media and age (youths and the aged), online health and organisational story telling.

Marketing and Strategy Research – research is organised around a number of thematic areas, in both the private and public sectors: banking, tourism, international business markets and the branding of political parties. The core of the work in Marketing surrounds the consumption of products and services with special emphasis placed on the major differences between cultures and subcultures. In Strategy the main areas of interest are corporate social responsibility and exploring and redefining the value chain.

Operations Management, Management Science and Statistics Research - rated at 5A in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise, and 90% internationally recognised at RAE 2008. Activity is directed at the sustained development of high quality research programmes addressing substantial decision problems confronting business, industry, commerce, health care and government. Particular interests include: forecasting for inventory control; models of maintenance and reliability of technical systems; inventory and supply chain management, particularly at the interface of such with maintenance planning; the modelling of strategic decisions using System Dynamics; models of quality management, agile operations and lean organisations; statistical and operational research modelling in medicine and health care management and general methodologies that underpin all of these topics.

Organisational Behaviour and Leadership Research - embraces a diverse set of established and emerging scholars in the broad area of management of organisations and institutions. Areas of potential PhD supervision are divided into two levels regarding focus and unit of analysis. Macro [Organisational] areas: Managing organisational change; ‘Re- organisation’ and the application of digital technology; leadership and employee engagement; employment relations, trade union organisation, activity and leadership; future shape of work organisations and employment law; International and comparative HRM and HRD practices; organisational Learning, knowledge and information management. Micro [Organisational] areas: work-life balancing and social harmony; future of volunteering; impact of organisational and technological Innovation on human capital.

Entry Requirements

1st class or upper second class undergraduate degree.

Masters degree is preferred but not essential. However, applicants without a Masters degree should provide evidence of previous research methods training.

APEL – We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English requirement for non-UK/ EU students

Overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any one element.

We offer four entry points – October, January, April and July. Applications can be submitted at any point within the year.

Research Involvement

Applicant Profile

You should have a first degree but this could be from a wide range of disciplines not only including the Humanities disciplines but also Science and Engineering. We would not be prescriptive about the methodology you would adopt for your research therefore we consider applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. We would expect you to have a foundation in research methodology, whether qualitative or quantitative. Evidence of ability to study and critically appraise literature independently is essential and candidates with a Masters qualification are preferred.  

As a student embarking on a postgraduate research degree you will be assigned a supervisory team, to help guide and mentor you throughout your time at the University. However, you are ultimately expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and will be expected to initiate discussions, ask for the help that you need and be proactive in your approach to study.  

Students will be encouraged to attend for an interview where practical.

International Students - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International Students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.

You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on

You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

Current Student Research

Research Topics

Mhorag Goff

Actor-Network theory and the NHS patient record system.

As a PhD student in Information Systems I am interested in the sociology and philosophy of technology and qualitative approaches to researching information systems. My research is focused on Electronic Patient Records (EPRs) in the NHS, using Actor-Network Theory to investigate the EPR as a complex object, accessed through multiple user perspectives and with a view to producing a visualisation of its actor-network. I am currently exploring the methodological aspects of applying Actor-Network Theory to field research in addition to using it for data analysis. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant I am also involved with teaching tutorial classes on Information Systems related modules and Research Methods at a range of levels from 1st year undergraduate to Masters, allowing me to develop my teaching skills and gain exposure to the academic environment.

Amna Shahzad  

Country of origin effects on consumer perception

I have been a PhD student at Salford Business School, University of Salford since 2009.  My research focuses on the effects of country of origin (COO) of a product on consumers’ perception, for low and high involvement products. It extends previous research by measuring the two involvement levels side by side within the context of a developing country. This research follows on from work I did on my MSc International Business dissertation. When selecting the institution to carry out my higher studies I made no compromise on the best quality research supervision and facilities by choosing the University of Salford. The quality of research is always my first priority and there are many benefits of being a part of such a great research team which is always there for support and guidance. Research is a process which is long, frenzied and demanding but with the right leadership, motivation, drive and intellectual supervision that I have received, I am highly satisfied that I am going in the right direction at the right pace.  

Vasilis Gotsis  

A strategic model for improving service in UK airlines

I have an MBA degree and BSc (Hons) Business Studies with International Business degree from the University of Salford. I also have a 14 years background in the airline industry. For the last four years I engaged in teaching for several institutions and now I am a part-time lecturer at Salford. My research area focuses on customer service failure of the UK Airlines. Its main objective is to create a theoretical model in order to develop further the understanding of customer satisfaction and apply this to examine critical incidents of airline service failure and identify optimal recovery strategies.  

Arash Raeisi  

The effects of social media on choice in HE study

I am a social media marketer, academician and final year PhD candidate, with experience of working in West Asia and the UK. My experience of student recruitment has grown while investigating, on multiple projects, the use of social media among prospective home and international students. These projects, in addition to revealing the nuances and patterns of social media usage at various stages in the admission process, have also importantly resulted in some students choosing the UK and specific universities for their higher education. In this way, my PhD focuses on the effects of social media on the choice of course of study.  The course of study is often cited as an important factor influencing the choice of institution or the host country, but it has rarely been explored in its totality. My study has features with value for practitioners, particularly higher education marketers and student recruitment specialists, and scholars in the area of choice and decision making research in higher education. My findings raise an awareness of the opportunities and constraints associated with social media as a source of information available to prospective students during the course selection process.

Training and Skills

Assessment Links

As a postgraduate research student at the University of Salford, you are required to meet a number of milestones in order to re-register for each year of study. These ‘progression points’ are an important aid for both you and your supervisory team and it is essential that you complete them on time.  

Learning Agreement: this is completed by you and your supervisor collaboratively in the first 3 months of your research programme. It encourages both of you to develop a thorough and consistent understanding of your individual and shared roles and responsibilities in your research partnership.  

Annual Progress Report: this report is completed by your supervisor at the end of each year of study, and reports on your achievements in the past year, the likelihood that you will submit on time, confirmation of the Learning Agreement and relevant training undertaken.  

Self Evaluation Report: this is completed by you at the end of each year of study. It asks you to comment on your academic progress, supervisory arrangements, research environment, research training, and relevant training undertaken.  

Interim Assessment: this is an assessment of your progress by a panel. It takes place towards the end of your first year, and is designed to ensure you have reached a threshold of academic performance, by assessing your general progress. The assessment comprises a written report, presentation and oral examination by a Panel. You must successfully complete it in order to register for your second year.  

Internal Evaluation: this will take place towards the end of the second year and successful completion is required in order to continue onto your third year of study. You will be expected to show strong progress in your PhD study reflected in the submission of a substantial piece of work, generally at least 4 chapters of your thesis.


Career Prospects

Students leaving the School with a postgraduate research degree are well placed to lead and manage research and development activities in Business and related areas. Globally, a postgraduate research qualification is usually a prerequisite for an academic career and several of our alumni are now senior academics.  

Previous students have taken their research expertise and knowledge into business practice, innovating in industry and helping to advance knowledge and practice in their professional discipline. Others have become established academics. We encourage the maintenance of links between graduating research students and their host research group and supervisor. This means the University can become part of the developing professional network that students take forward into their future careers.