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What our students think

PhD by Research

We caught up with a few of our current research students to find out what it's like studying a PhD at Durham and what have been their particular highlights so far.

PhD study at the Business School

PhD by Research


Sigit S. Wibowo

PhD in Economics, graduated 2015

now Lecturer in Finance, Universitas Indonesia

I chose Durham University Business School because of its strong reputation as indicated by triple accreditation. DUBS provided me with access to world-class research standards and networks. The academic staff with strong research backgrounds reflects the School’s passion for exceptional teaching and research.

One key thing about the PhD is that supervisors always get in touch with you and provide you with adequate research directions. I had very supportive supervisors who always encouraged me to broaden my research perspectives. I am indebted to them because their excellent support and guidance has given me a solid foundation from which to boost my career in academia and has developed me both personally and professionally.

Leonard Raphael

PhD in Business Studies

I had a fantastic time studying for my PhD in Innovation Management at Durham University and I see myself as very fortunate to have been a part of such a caring and interactive community.

Durham University Business School PhD Program prepared me for a career in research and was an ideal place for me to pursue my PhD. The student community was very vibrant and supportive, and the PhD student community provided a lot of support for my research. Durham is also a very peaceful and beautiful place to learn, study and live.

Most of all, I was very blessed to have had such supportive PhD supervisors. They always provided me with honest feedback and career support, and challenged me to be the best in my research. I couldn't have had better PhD supervisors.

Durham University added significantly to my success and I couldn't have made a better choice. I do hope you will consider the same choice.

PhD study at Durham University Business School

Olga Moutousi

PhD in Business Studies

To pursue my doctorate studies at Durham University was a fine choice and the most remarkable experience of my life. Durham University is an excellent academic environment and provides you with the very best support to conduct great research.

First and foremost, I am very fortunate to have worked with both my supervisors over these years. Without their guidance, tremendous support, encouragement, and, their valuable comments and constructive critiques nothing would have been the same. They were fantastic academics.

I feel strongly indebted to everyone at the Business School who supported me significantly in a variety of ways towards the completion of my studies. Warm and friendly, they always addressed a student’s needs as a priority.

Durham University provided me with the very best experience which goes beyond its strong reputation as an academic institution and working environment.

PhD in Management at Durham University Business School

Andy Anderson

PhD in Management

Pursuing my PhD at Durham University has provided me with all the tools necessary for a fruitful career in academia. I could not be happier with my choice of attending Durham. The first qualifying factor in my choice to attend Durham was its AACSB business school accreditation. Being an American, it was vital I pursued my PhD at an AACSB accredited university as this a baseline requirement for getting an academic job at most American universities. I did not consider studying at a university which was not AACSB accredited.

The second most important criteria for choosing a PhD program was my would-be PhD advisor. Faculty at Durham are doing world-class research. More importantly, however, is the candid desire to help aspiring academics grow into productive scholars. It would be very difficult for me to over-state my gratitude to my PhD advisor. His patience and continual guidance was key to my success in my PhD program and subsequent academic career. He was a truly amazing supervisor (and person)!

The student life outside of studying was absolutely amazing. I was a member University College and an active member of the rock climbing student club. I made many amazing friends through the various social functions at my college as well as climbing outings.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the incredible support I received from the Durham University Business School and University College. In addition to funding to present papers at international and domestic (UK) conferences, there were also opportunities to present my work at on-campus workshops and seminars. Durham University Business School is a truly supportive environment in which to study.

PhD study at Durham University Business School

Sher Khan

Holding offers from multiple schools for my PhD, there was never any doubt in my mind as to where I was heading. Having completed my MSc in Accounting & Finance at Durham in 2010-11, I knew the academic support provided, and the supervision extended to all students was par excellence. My second spell here has been no different. I have fantastic supervisors helping me with my PhD research. The Business School has recently expanded its facilities, and postgraduate academia and research is given top priority. As an international student, I firmly believe Durham has a warm, welcoming, and truly generous postgraduate and international community. We also happen to have the largest international postgrad college in the UK - Ustinov.

I plan to go back to Pakistan when I graduate and take up an academic position in order to contribute to the uplift at one of the universities in my home province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

PhD by research at Durham University Business School

Adwoa Asantewaa

(current PhD student)

I chose Durham University primarily for its reputation as an institution of higher education and its particularly acclaimed Economics department. As an energy economist, the University's Durham Energy Institute particularly appealed to me, noted for its cutting-edge research through a unique interdisciplinary approach. Durham is a one-stop location for all energy studies, from engineering and physics to economics, anthropology and geography.

Research at Durham is conducted by drawing from experiences - in academia, industry, government and community groups - making research relevant, timely and effective. Students are trained to bring new perspectives and methods to existing and emerging challenges.

As an international student, I was also looking for convenience in location. Durham as a town is pretty and easy to find your way about. Everyone is so polite and warm and it does feel like home to me. The academics have a genuine interest for their students to develop and grow. The facilities are limitless and the support is unimaginable. I would definitely choose Durham University again and will recommend it to anyone.

PhD by research at Durham University Business School

Nazha Gali

PhD in Management Entrepreneurship

I chose Durham University for its renowned reputation as a research-led University. I am someone who is passionate about research and there is no better University that would provide me with a rich and fulfilling experience to ensure the pursuit of a successful academic career. I am lucky to have a very supportive and well-achieved Supervisor. It is through his constant guidance and support that I am able to progress.

Durham University provides high standards of education at all levels - be it lectures, training courses, or conferences. It also has top leading researchers from different areas whose expertise allows the student body to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure success in their future careers. I plan on continuing to work with my supervisor on future publications. Being a PhD student with a dream to join academia, I consider Durham University to be the right place for one’s academic advancement and excellence.

Dr Wael Eid

Head of the Department of Risk Management, SEDCO, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Studying at Durham has been a career-changing experience. Apart from the approach and conceptual tools of research, I particularly appreciated the sharing of experiences among other researchers and faculty members and the exceptional quality of mentors and facilities. The program also gave me the unique opportunity to interact, share, and collaborate with a group of highly specialized professors and students from diverse backgrounds, countries, and cultures. I developed academically and personally and I can honestly say that studying at the Durham Islamic Finance Programme was among the best things in my career.

Dr Rifki Ismal

Islamic Finance specialist at Bank Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (studied 2007-10)

Durham's Islamic Finance programme has produced some leading Islamic finance scholars heading institutions, organisations and universities across the world, contributing to the development of Islamic finance-related knowledge and practice. This has been the result of programme’s commitment and passion in providing analytical and critical education, providing essential training, and, hence, preparing students comprehensively for their future development. The commitment of the programme for developing a conducive environment for research excellence must also be commended.

Hajar Raouf

PhD Student in Islamic Finance

Pursuing a PhD degree in Islamic Finance at Durham University means being provided the highest standards of research supervision by renowned professors in the Islamic Finance research community. It means being offered the chance to attend and participate in distinguished conferences, seminars and workshops and to meet well-known names in academia and industry in both Islamic and conventional finance. The working environment is ideal, with impeccable facilities. I feel proud to be part of such a prestigious program in a top university and am confident about my future career.

Tao Xue

Tao Xue

PhD in Marketing

I chose Durham because of its world-class research, support for students and fantastic facilities. Very knowledgeable academic staff achieve a high quality research output and are always approachable and open for any kind of discussion.

My supervisors are incredible in guiding my research. They are available for discussions and knowledgeable about my PhD topic in Marketing. To support this, I attend diverse research seminars, which inspire me and broaden my perspectives. The social life is great too; the college system at Durham definitely gives you the advantage to engage and socialize. I have made amazing friends at Ustinov College where I have been staying. The PhD programme also organises regular social outings for research students to meet each other.

During my PhD studies I get the chance to teach in-class and on distance learning courses, to both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, which is essential for pursuing an academic career, which is what I intend to do. The programme encourages and supports students for academic activities such as conferences and statistical training. I also get to collaborate with other lecturers and professors on potential papers.

Murya Habbash

I came to Durham with an MSc in Accounting from Birmingham University and a BSc in Accounting from King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia. I chose Durham University Business School because of its excellent international reputation and its high academic ranking. Also, Durham City is an ideal place for studying, with its quiet and encouraging atmosphere.

One important benefit has been the opportunity to be involved in and obtain research skills, which helped me tackle any issues in my field of study. These skills are about how to do research, using different methodologies and different statistical analyses, referencing, academic writing etc.

I am extremely pleased with what I have achieved to date. I have presented different sections of my research at four international conferences and have commenced the process of publishing some of my findings.

I have participated in many practical seminars and sessions, and studying at Durham has made me confident in pursuing a career in academia in teaching and research.