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Programme Structure

In a typical three-year structure, year one will set the foundations of your research, year two will involve you carrying out your research, and year three will involve you completing your research and writing your thesis. You will do all this under the close guidance of your supervisors, although we would also expect you to be focused and self-disciplined, to take critical thinking to the highest level, and typically aspire to a career in management, marketing, finance, accounting, or economics research.

PhD by Research

As you might expect, the entry requirements for the Durham PhD are rigorous so please check these carefully. Amongst them will be the submission of a good research proposal which will help us to match your proposed studies to a set of appropriate supervisors from our faculty. This is why normally only applicants with a sufficiently strong research methods background would be recommended for admission to the PhD by Research.

Year 1: Setting the foundations of your research

Oct-DecJan-MarMar-MayJun-Aug
Induction Preparation for formal review Formal review and mini-viva
Supervised research (literature review, initial conceptual development, research design, pilot or scoping project)
Research training
Research Seminar Series
Doctoral Seminar Series

Year 2: Carrying out your research

Oct-DecJan-MarMar-MayJun-Aug
Induction Preparation for confirmation review Confirmation review presentation and mini-conference
Supervised research (formal conceptual development, data collection and fieldwork, preliminary data analysis)
Ongoing research training based on training needs analysis
Doctoral Seminar Series
Research Seminar Series by departments
Opportunities to attend scholarly conferences

Year 3: Completing your research and writing your thesis

Oct-DecJan-MarMar-MayJun-Aug
Induction Preparation for completion review Completion review presentation and mini-conference
Supervised research (completion of data analysis, discussion of findings and contributions, and writing your thesis)
Ongoing research training based on training needs analysis
Doctoral Seminar Series
Research Seminar Series by departments
Opportunities to attend scholarly conferences

During your studies you will have two supervisors who are experts in your area of study.

By the end of your research period you will complete a thesis of up to 100,000 words, the aim of which is to demonstrate your capacity to pursue scholarly research independently. It must make an original contribution to knowledge and be of a standard appropriate for publication in high quality, peer-reviewed academic journals of international standing. It is usual for a PhD thesis to contain the equivalent of at least three articles which are eligible for publication in such journals.

Once you’ve submitted your thesis and it has been read by two examiners, you’ll take an oral examination or 'viva' during which you’ll be expected to show mastery of your topic.

Our staff are highly qualified researchers and teachers, passionate about their subjects and committed to ensuring you achieve your full potential in a supportive learning environment and research community.