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Business School MPhil/PhD

Learn about the course below
September 2023
3 years full-time
6 years part-time
£6,300 (UK)*
£15,700 (EU/INT)*
Course leader
Dr Nico Pizzolato

This programme will give you the opportunity to carry out cutting edge research that will help you understand the challenges of business in a globalised society, will prepare you for a career in higher education or in professional practice, and offer you the chance to make a lasting contribution to organisations, academia and the wider society.

Why undertake a PhD in the Business School at Middlesex University?

Middlesex University’s Business School is internationally renowned and publishes in what the Research Excellence Framework (REF) considers ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ journals. The School features Research Clusters of leading scholars who are ideally situated to supervise doctoral students thanks to their expertise, such as the Alternative Organisations and Transformative Practices cluster, the Business Ethics, CSR and Governance research cluster, the Consumer Research for Well-Being Cluster; the Investment, Banking and Finance Research Cluster; the Transnational Labour and Social Movements Cluster; and others. The Clusters are often interdisciplinary with links to other Schools and Departments. You can find a full list of the University Research Clusters here. The School also has a reputation for equipping graduates with skills that can be applied beyond academia. Depending on your area of research, you will also be able to join one of the University’s research centres.

Our Business School is diverse and inclusive, with staff and students from different parts of the world and different academic and professional backgrounds. As part of the wider community of practice of staff and students, you will be engaging in designing and researching a project that will stand out for its contribution to knowledge. Through our three-year, weekly PhD Development Programme you will build essential research skills, train in research methods and learn how to write and disseminate your work to different audiences.

You will be encouraged to present your work in progress in a variety of academic settings, having access to professional networking opportunities in a global metropolis, as well as having the opportunity to undertake teachers' training and, if relevant, teach in the classroom.

Programme highlights

  • Access to a weekly PhD development training that supports the different facets of becoming a researcher. This currently takes place through live online sessions
  • Access to nearly 200 methodological on-demand web lectures through the University’s CARMA membership (Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis)
  • If you are an economics student, access to wider PhD training networks
  • Offers training and teaching opportunities in Middlesex University Business School
  • Access to consultancy opportunities with government departments through the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) and our Department of Economics.

What will you study on the PhD in the Business School?

Under the direction of your Director of Studies you will conduct empirical or theoretical research that will lead to new knowledge in your chosen field and you will write a report or thesis of 80,000 words. The route to a PhD at Middlesex University takes a minimum of three years (full-time). A part-time mode of study is also available. Undertaking this programme includes taking a structured PhD development training programme.

Our PhD is designed to prepare students build a range of skills that are linked to independent research, in particular:

  • learn to write effective research proposals, literature reviews and report of findings
  • be trained in research ethics, data protection and research management
  • develop high level verbal and communications skills across a range of contexts
  • select, develop and apply research methods relevant to your discipline
  • learn how to plan, carry out and oversee research projects
  • learn how to disseminate your findings and engage different audiences.

The University monitors your progression through several check points and milestones. There are three stages to the PhD:

- the first stage is registration as an MPhil student within six months of enrolment (for full-time students) or within nine months of enrolment (for part-time students)

- the second stage is the transfer from the MPhil to the PhD programme, in which a panel assesses whether you have made sufficient progress to enrol as a PhD student

- the final stage of the programme is the writing up and submission of the thesis at the end of the third year, which is followed by an oral examination (the viva).

How is research undertaken in a PhD?

Your research supervision will be conducted by a Director of Studies and at least one other supervisor from the University. Your supervisory team will help you to clarify your initial objectives, structure your research and develop supplementary skills. They will also advise on subject reading, relevant taught courses, research seminars and workshops.

The Business School provides a three-year research training programme for all MPhil and PhD students. The Business School training is complemented by the generic research development provision offered by the University at large and by on-demand provisions furnished by the Library and the University systems.

You are expected to attend the programme sessions and seminars regularly. Attendance will be monitored and considered in the reviews of student performance undertaken during twice-yearly progression boards.


Students have their progress reviewed in each year that they are registered with the University. Assessment will comprise of the three stages of the PhD:

  • Registration: written proposal (2,500 words)
  • Transfer from the MPhil to the PhD: a research methods chapter (6,000 to 10,000 words) and a critical evaluation of research progress (3,000 to 6,000 words)
  • Thesis submission and viva: final dissertation (80,000 words maximum)
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs

Professor Anne-Wil Harzing
Professor in International Management

Professor Harzing's area of expertise is in international HRM, cross-cultural management and international business. She is one of the world's top 1% most cited academics in Economics and Business worldwide.

Dr Nico Pizzolato
Senior Lecturer in Global Labour Studies

Dr Pizzolato is the Director of Doctoral Programmes in the Business School and Senior Lecturer in Global Labour Studies. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with a track record of publications in history, social sciences and education. His research focuses on modern slavery and corporations in historical perspective, industrial relations, social protest and critical pedagogy.

Dr Valerio Capraro
Senior Lecturer in Economics

Dr Capraro is a Senior Lecturer and the PhD Coordinator in the Economics Department. He has published over 40 research papers in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Human Behaviour, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. His research has been featured by several news outlets, including the New York Times, the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.

Professor Charles Dennis
Professor of Consumer Behaviour

Prof Dennis is Professor of Consumer Behaviour and Associate Editor in the Marketing section of Journal of Business Research. He has published in journals such as Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Business Research; Computers in Human Behavior; Psychology & Marketing; Information Technology & People; International Journal of Electronic Commerce; and European Journal of Marketing. Current research focuses on (e-)consumer behaviour, especially in relation to consumer wellbeing and responses to technological advances.

Dr Tim Freeman
Associate Professor of Leadership

Dr Freeman is Associate Professor of Leadership. His research explores public service delivery and governance, specifically leadership, quality and safety of health care, and participatory policy-making. He publishes in leading academic journals including Social Science & Medicine, Sociology of Health & Illness, Public Administration and Economic and Industrial Democracy.

Dr Suman Lodh
Senior Lecturer in Finance

Dr Lodh is a Senior Lecturer in Finance in the Accounting and Finance Department. His area of expertise is banking, corporate finance & governance, and financial econometrics. He has published in top International journals.

Professor Fergus Lyon
Director of CEEDR

Professor Lyon is the Director of CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) at Middlesex University. His research interests include social and sustainable enterprises, provision of public services by social enterprises, clustering and networks of enterprises, ethnic minority enterprise, and enterprise support policy.

Dr Sepideh Parsa
Associate Professor of Accounting

Dr Parsa (PhD Coordinator, Accounting and Finance Department) is Associate Professor of Accounting. Her research interest is in corporate social reporting with a view to the broader concept of accountability. Her current projects are on labour rights reporting on global value chains of large corporations with a focus on national and international regulatory guidelines and requirements.

Dr Costas Priporas
Senior Lecturer in Marketing

Dr Priporas (PhD Coordinator, Marketing, Branding and Tourism Department) is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing. His research interests include consumer behaviour and strategic marketing with emphasis on retailing, tourism, SM, innovation technology, and food. His work has been published in leading academic Journals. Over the last years he has supervised through to completion several Doctoral students.

Dr Leandro Sepulveda
Associate Professor at CEEDR

Dr Sepulveda (PhD coordinator, CEEDR) is Associate Professor at CEEDR-Middlesex University with over twenty years’ experience on research specialising on enterprise and socioeconomic development. His research and PhD supervision interests include social enterprise and sustainable businesses, democratic governance, immigrant entrepreneurship, superdiversity and development and SMEs, in both developed and developing countries.

Dr Michela Vecchi
Associate Professor in Economics

Dr Vecchi’s expertise is within the productivity and labour economics spectrum. She is currently working on the impact of COVID-19 on graduates’ labour market outcomes (employment, skill mismatch, earnings) and on the relationship between dance, wellbeing and productivity. Other research interests include the economics of ageing and technical change.

Dr Andrea Werner
Associate Professor of Business Ethics

Dr Werner is Associate Professor of Business Ethics. Prior to joining the University, she worked as a Researcher for the Institute of Business Ethics in London. Andrea co-leads the cross-disciplinary Business Ethics, CSR and Governance research cluster and coordinates the PhD programme in the Management, Leadership and Organisations Department. Her PhD Supervision interests are in business ethics and corporate social responsibility

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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