MRes/PhD Business & Management

Programme structure

Our MRes/PhD Business & Management programme encompasses independent thinking in a world class interdisciplinary environment. We value our doctoral researchers and aim to attract students from across the globe who are independent thinkers. We particularly welcome applicants whose ambition is a career in academia.

As part of your MRes/PhD programme, you will study thirteen modules over your first two years. This comprises three core modules, four methods modules, and six elective modules. At the end of your second year of study, you will be awarded an MRes Business & Management and be permitted to proceed to PhD study.

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

The module will introduce qualitative research.

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Foundations of Business & Management Research

This module aims to provide you with a broad overview of the main paradigms in studying business and management phenomena.

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Research Skills in Business and Management

This module seeks to raise awareness and provide transferrable skills in order to succeed in the PhD research process and how to manage a research project.

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Research Portfolio

The research portfolio requires you to conduct an empirical and/or theoretical piece of independent research under the direction of a supervisor.

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You will choose either 1 qualitative module and 3 quantitative modules, or 1 quantitative module and 3 qualitative modules.

Designing & Conducting Qualitative Research

The module aims to address the practical, analytic, and intellectual questions related to the collection of qualitative data.

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Qualitative Data Analysis

The module addresses practical and theoretical questions related to the analysis of qualitative data.

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Theorising & Publishing Qualitative Research

This module addresses the next steps, following collecting and analysing, theorising, and publishing qualitative research.

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You will choose either 1 qualitative module and 3 quantitative modules, or 1 quantitative module and 3 qualitative modules.

Optimal Decision Making

This module aims to provide you with skills and knowledge to model and formally define decision and optimisation problems.

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Analytics for Behavioural Research

This module aims to provide you with skills and knowledge in quantitative analysis.

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Introduction to Advanced Quantitative Analysis

This module aims to provide doctoral students with a grounding in the set of advanced quantitative analysis methods.

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Learning from Data

This module aims to provide those with no prior training in quantitative analysis.

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Causal Inference

This module aims to provide doctoral students with an understanding of, and skills in applying, quantitative methods for causal inference and policy evaluation.

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These are indicative optional modules which may vary year-on-year. Modules are subject to availability and demand and may therefore be taught in either the first year or second year of study.


  • Advanced Empirical Accounting
  • Advances in Behavioural Science
  • Business Research in the Digital Age
  • Classic & Contemporary Topics in Marketing Research
  • Contemporary Issues in Management & Organisational Research
  • Current Topics in Employment Relations & Human Resource Management
  • Design Science Research Method
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Ethnographic Methods in Organisational & Management Research
  • Foundations of Management & Organisational Research
  • Machine Learning & Data Analytics
  • Process, Practice & Routine Studies
  • Recent Advances in Operational Research
  • Recent Advances in Operations Management
  • Special Topics in Operational Research
  • Theories & Research in Organisational & Applied Psychology
  • Theories of Strategic Management.

The Behavioural Science pathway is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds, giving you the opportunity to work within one of the leading Behavioural Science groups in the UK, and benefit from the group’s outstanding global reputation. The Behavioural Science pathway comprises of two years studying for your MRes, followed by three years of focused PhD research.

By studying this pathway you will be taught by researchers in behavioural science and tap into their extensive academic expertise and collaboration network. You will develop the cutting edge skills and interdisciplinary expertise needed to succeed in this rapidly developing field. Previous students now occupy prestigious positions across academia, industry and the public sector.

The MRes part of the programme will provide you with in-depth learning of quantitative skills relevant to behavioural science research. You'll also learn skills applicable to big data analysis while engaging in detailed, rigorous debates of current topics within Behavioural Science. This will ensure you have ample opportunity to build your research topic and receive feedback from across our multidisciplinary team before continuing with your dedicated PhD research. 

Students will receive an MRes Business & Management after successfully completing the first two years of study, followed by a PhD Business & Management (Behavioural Science) after successfully completing the three year PhD.

Indicative structure of the MRes Behavioural Science pathway

In Year 1 you will complete the following:

  • 1 core module - Foundations of Business & Management Research
  • 1 optional core module - Analytics for Behavioural Research
  • 2 quantitative modules - Causal Inference, Learning from Data, Introduction to Advanced Quantitative Analysis, or Optimal Decision Making
  • 1 qualitative module
  • 4 elective modules.

In Year 2 you will complete the following:

  • 1 core module - Research Skills in Business & Management
  • 1 core research module - Research Portfolio
  • 1 elective module - Advances in Behavioural Science
  • 2 further elective modules - we highly recommend students select from Machine Learning & Data Analytics, Theories & Research in Organisational & Applied Psychology, or Big Data (in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies).

Please refer to the Core, Qualitative, Quantitative, and Elective Modules tabs for module information.

Assessment and teaching

Modules are assessed by written assignments, exams, and presentations which vary from module to module.

Your thesis

Once you have upgraded to PhD, this will become your main focus, leading to the completion of your thesis which is expected to be around 80,000 words. The criterion for the award is that the thesis makes a significant original contribution to knowledge.

Learning facilities

As an MRes/PhD Business & Management student you will have your own desk in a shared office, enabling you to focus on your independent study whilst collaborating closely with your peers and supervisor. You will be located in the WBS Teaching Centre, where there are modern kitchen facilities, bookable meeting spaces, and a relaxing common area. Our excellent library and superb teaching and learning facilities provide the perfect place for you to commit to your studies and enable you to expand and deepen your knowledge in your chosen area of research.

As a student, it goes without saying that you will spend a lot of time in the library. Our library is spread over five floors, houses 1.2 million printed volumes and 13 kilometres of archives. With over 30,000 electronic journals and more than 56,000 electronic books, the library offers a stimulating environment for you to study.  

Modern Records Centre 
The Modern Records Centre has a huge selection of archives with resources available for both students and academics.