Doctoral programmes

Providing the perfect environment for a research community

If you would like to become an expert in a specific topic area of business and management and would like to research a topic in depth, Liverpool Business School can provide you with the perfect environment.

Our doctoral community is a vibrant, diverse group of international doctoral researchers. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss your research and share experiences with your peers and other academics in events such as research cafés, doctoral conferences or research symposia as well as networking opportunities. The network you build during your doctoral studies can be crucial for your future career and we will support you in order to make the most of it.

The programmes will provide an opportunity to help you develop valuable transferrable skills, which are valued by employers. The very nature of the degree will teach you to be team players, problem solvers, have great presentation and communication skills in addition to developing an analytical approach and perseverance. Furthermore, you will be aligned with researchers who are passionate about a specific subject and want to use their research time to make important discoveries within that field.

The PhD is predominately a full-time programme, which is mostly suitable for individuals who would like to undertake their research studies shortly after completion of their master’s degree or who have achieved a minimum or a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). It is a programme which is focused on investigating a theoretical problem and the primary objective of the research undertaken, in the context of this programme, is to make a contribution to theory; therefore the quality of the research project must contribute towards the Research Excellence Framework (REF). If your thesis and your findings are strong and relevant, other experts within your chosen area of academia will reference your work and your discoveries when teaching future students. The PhD provides the ideal starting point for a career in academia.

The DBA is a part-time programme, which is most suitable for individuals who already have a couple of years of working and management experience and who would like to pursue their career and continue to work while undertaking doctoral studies. It is a programme which is focused on investigating a “real-life” problem within an organisation and the research undertaken in the context of this programme aims to make a contribution to theory and practice. The DBA provides the ideal mechanism to enhance your career in industry to a new level or to undertake a career change and move into academia.

PhD vs DBA

Both are…

  • Equal in status, standing and challenge
  • Research focused programmes which require the development of a substantial piece of research (usually a thesis of 80,000 words)
  • Challenging and hard work and requires several years of study – neither of them is the easier or quicker route to get a doctorate – they are only a different route

The PhD is…

  • Designed to allow you to conduct your own research
  • Primarily independently lead. Although you have the largest say on what you want to do in your research, your supervision team and fellow postgraduate researchers are available to bounce ideas off of and give advice
  • Interested in a theoretical problem and in making a theoretical contribution

The DBA is…

  • A part-time programme, i.e. you will be able to continue your work next to your study
  • Interested in “real-world” problem and in making a theoretical and practical contribution
  • A group journey through cohort based learning and workshops

Neither the PhD nor the DBA is generally the better programme – it depends on what you need and what your goals are as well as on your personal circumstances. At Liverpool Business School we are passionate about doctoral education in the area of business and management. Therefore, if you have any questions regarding one of the programmes or to discuss which of the programmes is more suitable for you please feel free to get in touch:

Liverpool Business School Admissions Team:

Dr Matthew Tucker,

Dr Scott Foster, PhD Programme Leader: