Postgraduate Research Study
The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest-level academic qualification you can attain. The Queen’s Business School Doctoral Programme is set up as a journey to the boundaries of knowledge in Accounting, Economics, Finance and Management. We prepare you to cross these boundaries and contribute to the process of scientific knowledge creation.
We will support you in this process with a faculty of leading scholars and a network of international partnerships with other top-ranked universities. This means that you will have access to a broad set of facilities and specialised courses, and you are able to build a global knowledge network with top scholars from around the world. This ensures you will receive unmatched support to maximise your chances of achieving excellence in your doctoral research.
The Chartered Association of Business Schools counts Queen’s Business School among the top 10 per cent of UK research-intensive business schools. A Queen’s Business School PhD enables you to differentiate yourself through top academic research. It prepares you for an academic career, but exposes you to skills that are useful in a business or public policy career as well.
Our doctoral programme is centred on the preparation of a research thesis of approximately 80,000 words, which must contain material of publishable standard. You will write this thesis under the guidance of a supervisory team consisting of two academics based at Queen’s Business School. Subject-specific training is also gained through attending our weekly seminars in accounting, economics, finance and management, all of which attract leading international experts. The thesis is awarded after a successful oral examination with an internal and external examiner. The normal period of study is three years for full-time students, and six years for part-time students.
Students at Queen’s Business School are required to develop a wide range of skills and competencies in addition to their subject-specific knowledge. Our Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme aims to support postgraduate research students in developing these skills. Over the course of study you are expected to attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School.
Additionally, we run our own weekly postgraduate skills seminar that covers a variety of topics, such as innovative research methods, the business school job market, and academic publication strategies. We regularly invite employers and graduates to speak with current students, and actively support students when they attend international conferences and workshops. We run an annual Doctoral Colloquium, and help to prepare those students who seek to go on the academic job market.
Fields of doctoral research
Students enrolled on the Queen’s Business School Doctoral Programme register for one of four PhD degrees. Each has particular research strengths, outlined below.
The Department of Accounting focuses on governance, reporting, control and change in the public sector and in the wider not-for-profit sector, particularly in the areas of charities and social enterprise organisations.
The Department of Economics covers three main areas:
- Our economic theory cluster has interests in game theory, networks and mechanism design.
- Our applied economics cluster has interests in economic history, labour economics, regional economics and economic growth.
- Our econometrics cluster has interests in theoretical and applied econometrics, including panel data and financial econometrics.
The research in our Department of Finance relates to three themes:
- Financial markets and institutions over the long run.
- Not-for-profit financial institutions, particularly credit unions.
- The microstructure of financial markets.
High quality research is being conducted across four broad themes:
- Entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Marketing and international business.
- The dynamics of organizations.
- The management of people.
A research priority for Queen’s Business School is the development of interdisciplinary teams of researchers to carry out innovative, empirically-based research across a wide range of business and management topics. The Queen’s Business School Doctoral Programme lies at the heart of this effort, and students from across the four subject areas share facilities and enjoy the support of teams of supervisors that cross disciplinary boundaries.
Additionally, Queen’s Business School hosts interdisciplinary research centres. Research students benefit from attending the world-class activities organised by these centres, and from engaging with the leading international experts that they attract.
Admissions onto the Queen’s Business School PhD programme is subject to stringent entrance criteria, the submission of a proposal outlining your intended line of research, references and, where appropriate, proof of linguistic and academic ability.
Academic entry qualifications:
Applicants who hold a UK 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) may be considered if they hold a UK Masters degree in a relevant discipline with the result stipulated above (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University). Evidence of relevant professional experience and/or attendance at interview may be required in such cases.
- Introduces the chosen study area and key research question or questions.
- Discusses the nature, scope and methodology of the study.
- Outlines the relevance or importance of the study.
- Contains a preliminary literature review.
- International students wishing to apply to Queen’s University Belfast and for whom English is not their first language must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their programme of study or research.
- Evidence of an IETLS score of 7.0 overall, with no less than a 6.0 in any component, is required (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University).
- Applicants who are either nationals of a country which is deemed to be majority-English-speaking, or who hold a degree or an equivalent qualification which was taught in a country deemed to be majority-English-speaking, will normally be assumed to have met the English language requirements.
Director of Postgraduate Research
Dr Juliet Hassard
Postgraduate Research Administrator:
“I decided to do my PhD in Economics at Queen’s University Belfast because of its global reputation in economic history combined with the practical knowledge its academics have working with industry, and through having access to a real Trading Room. I was also able to avail of funding through the China Scholarship Council which provides joint funding with Queen’s to cover tuition fees and some additional costs."Read more