Postgraduate Research

The Centre for Graduate Research in Management runs all research degree programmes in Stirling Management School with supervisory input from School’s divisions and research centres . As members of a research led school, our academics are passionate about these programmes, which we all see as central to our personal research as well as all of our other teaching. We strive to develop close collaborative relationships with sector leading amounts of contact based around one-on-one supervision and seminars, workshop, and summer schools. We offer a unique combination of extensive personalised supervision and structured training to help you develop as a researcher and get the most out of the PhD experience.

We offer three types of programme. If you are unsure which the best programme is for you, please contact the Postgraduate Research Tutor for your discipline (contact details in the tabs below) who will be very happy to offer you advice based on your individual background and career aims.

Master of Research (MRes) in Business and Management

A one year specialist training programme providing the key skills needed to complete a PhD and manage research projects in business. Completion of the MRes prior to starting a PhD allows faster progress, better research, and maximises chances of acceptance onto the best PhD programmes. As the MRes provides purely research skills training it perfectly complements other (MA/MSc ) Masters degrees, which provide mainly theoretical knowledge (with a minor focus on research). Completing both types of Masters provides the ideal starting point for a PhD. The course webpage provides details of how to apply.

4-year MRes and PhD Programmes

Recognised as the Gold Standard in Social Science Research, our four year programme combines the MRes (above) with a 3 year PhD. This programme offers the best combination of structured research training in Year 1 (the MRes year) and a supportively supervised major research project in Years 2 – 4 (the PhD years). Students graduate with both a MRes (awarded after successful completion of Year 1) and a PhD (awarded at the end of the programme). Candidates may either; (a) simply apply for the MRes, as above, aiming to apply for the 3 year PhD programme below on successful completion of the first year, or (b) apply for the 4 year programme following the PhD Application Guide below.

3-year PhD only Programmes

Our flagship programme, the three year PhD is involves three years of working closely with one of our experienced academics. Collaboratively you will produce work making an original contribution knowledge and aim to publish this work. The PhD can be taken as part of the 4 Year Programme or as a standalone 3 year degree for appropriate candidates.  Completing a PhD is very academically challenging, and we need to be sure it is right for you, so the latter route requires; (a) gaining support from a potential supervisor; (b) a strong degree of aptitude and (often) existing research experience; and (c) a very strong research proposal. Completing a PhD can be a major achievement and we will support you at each step of the application, which involves many of the key academic developments characteristic of the early stage of a PhD. In discussion with you, if it is felt to be too early for you to apply we may recommend one of the other programmes.

Masters of Research (MRes)

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To find out more about our MRes programme here

PhD Application Guide

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Refer to our comprehensive PhD Application Guide

Research Student Viewpoints

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We are proud of our research student graduates. Read their viewpoints

PhD Research Areas

PhD in Accounting and Finance

The Accounting and Finance Division at Stirling offers a stimulating environment in which to study for PhD in the area. Students come onto this pathway from a variety of backgrounds, including disciplines allied with accounting and finance such as economics. There is a national shortage of researchers in this area and the need to increase the number of PhD students to address this shortage has been highlighted in independent national reports. As such, students who complete the PhD Accounting and Finance programme have excellent career prospects and will be highly in demand in both academia and industry. Students graduating from this programme have an outstanding track record of finding faculty positions in top universities across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as in leading financial institutions. The PhD Accounting and Finance programme is accredited by the ESRC and affiliated by the Accounting and Finance pathway of the Scottish Graduate School, which is supported by the British Accounting Association (BAA) and its regional Scottish Accounting Group (SAG) (active for over 20 years) as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.  The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, or working in a leading financial institution, the PhD in Accounting and Finance can help you achieve your aim.

  • Click here to find out more about the Division

Finding a Research Topic and Supervisor

The division has particular strengths in financial reporting, auditing and accounting history; corporate governance; empirical corporate finance; and investments and derivative securities. There are strong groupings of researchers around these areas. However, potential supervisors often have additional interest in diverse areas across accounting, finance, and related disciplines and are happy to supervise PhD students in these. Potential students are encouraged to view the profiles of all research staff within the school when considering with whom they would like to work, as some research in accounting and finance overlaps with other divisions, such as economics, and all staff may potentially be able to supervise a PhD in Accounting and Finance.

  • Refer to the 2016 Accountancy and Finance Guide for PhD students.

Entrance Requirements

Applying for a PhD differs considerably from applying for other academic courses, and potential students are recommended to see the PhD Application Guide.  As this pathway only allows direct entry onto the PhD, we expect candidates to demonstrate evidence of high levels of academic achievement. Applicants should have a good upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the field of study and a distinction or near distinction in a Master’s degree.

Contact

We recommend that you carefully read the How to apply section first, and the following members of staff will be happy to help if you have any questions:

Postgraduate Research Tutor – Accounting & Finance Division – Dr Patrick Herbst

Administrator

 

 

PhD in Behavioural Science

The PhD in Behavioural Science programme is aimed at students who want to work in the Behavioural Science Centre  to conduct and publish world leading research at the interface between the social sciences (such as economics) and the behavioural sciences (such as psychology). This area - which encompasses behavioural economics - is a fast growing field within the social and behavioural sciences and this is one of the only PhD programmes within Europe to have this area as the primary focus. Completing this PhD involves becoming an interdisciplinary researcher, with advanced research skills in both economics and psychology, as well as an appreciation of how assumptions, methods, and theories differ between the two fields.

The PhD research may involve the analysis of large (N > 10,000) pre-existing longitudinal datasets, quantitative field surveys, experimental designs, randomized controlled trials, or a combination of these methods. Research can be desk based or involve our public, private, or third sector partners (such as the Scottish Government, local council, job centres, or consultancy business) normally with a focus on basic science research.

In addition to the individual supervision and structured training given to all students at Stirling Management School, students benefit from being a full member of the internationally leading Behavioural Science Centre, which has developed a genuine community of closely interacting and collaborating researchers. Members come from diverse backgrounds, with some having degrees exclusively from economics and others exclusively from psychology, but all share the same passion for researching at the interface between these two areas. There is a strong culture of joint socialising (including regular drinks and meals) and collaborating - projects normally have input from several centre members, all of whom are always willing to be a part of joint research. Collaboration and the research culture are promoted with a two hour centre meeting each week. The first 30 minutes is devoted to "business", where everyone is updated on recent relevant developments and participates in shared decision making as to the direction of the centre. The second 30 minutes is slot booked by a centre member (including our students) to use as they want - commonly to put up an early research idea for feedback, results for discussion, or present a preview of a conference talk in a supportive environment. The remaining hour is used for the weekly seminar, which has more substantial talk from centre members or more commonly presentations from invited researchers from across the UK, as well as occasionally from our partners in industry and government. In addition, we run regular workshops (including currently a £28,000 ESRC seminar series) which attract the key figures in the field. PhD students are an equal part of our community and are expected to enthusiastically participate in all aspects of centre life.

Students are part of the Division of Economics, where the centre is based, which runs additional seminars and social events. Depending on the student's background and the precise research, students may be said to graduate with a PhD in behavioural science, social science, economics, psychology or another related area that accurately describes the work and skills set developed.

Potential students are very strongly recommended to carefully review the centre website, blog, and particularly the Centre Director’s informal guide to a PhD, as well as the other pages at the links below. For interesting modules to attend whilst taking the PhD, the MSc in Behavioural Science may be particularly relevant.

Useful links:

 Contact

If you are interested in joining the centre as a PhD student you are recommended to first approach the Director, Professor Alex Wood. You are also welcome to contact at any stage the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor Dr David Comerford .  Other helpful individuals include;

MRes in Business and Management Programme Director – Dr Markus Kittler

Administrator

 

PhD in Business and Management

The PhD Business and Management programme aims to support students to develop advanced research skills and to use these to make an original contribution to the research literature in management and related fields. Students often work directly with industry, charities, and governmental offices to understand how those organisations work in order to develop a shared understanding of what wider implications these leanings have for the field, and to help the organisations use the findings of the research to improve themselves as a result. The PhD programme is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council and is affiliated with the prestigious Business and Management Pathway of the Scottish Graduate School. 

Students are based within the Management, Work and Organisation Division, which was newly formed in 2012 to bring together existing strengths in these areas from across the school. The division has recently received substantial investment including the creation of several new Chairs to bring in new world leading research expertise. 

  • Find out more about the Management, Work and Organisation Division here.

Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, working in a charity or NGO, or a career in business, the PhD in Business and Management can help you achieve your aim.

Finding a Research Topic and Supervisor

The division has particular strengths in business strategy, working lives, and operations management. Potential supervisors have additional interest in these and other diverse areas and potential students are encouraged to view the profiles of all academic staff within the Division.  In addition, it is recommended that you view the profiles of research staff across the school (link to new structure page), as Management relevant research is also conducted by staff in other divisions (as described in their individual PhD programme sections) all of whom can supervise a PhD in Business and Management.  

Contact

We recommend that you carefully read the How to apply section first, and the following members of staff will be happy to help if you have any questions:

Postgraduate Research Tutor – Management, Work & Organisation Division and MRes in Business and Management Research Methods Course Director - Dr Markus Kittler 

Administrator

PhD in Economics

The aim of the PhD Economics programme is the development of students who (a) develop a very high degree of technical ability in economic theory and methods, to allow advanced career progression in the field, and (b) are supported to make an original research contribution to knowledge through high level peer-reviewed publication. The PhD programme is affiliated with the prestigious Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics and is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Details on the structure of our PhD programme in Economics can be found here.

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent. The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

The division is a vibrant and friendly place in which to be based, with a weekly regular seminar series providing contact with leading external researchers, opportunity to socialise with others from the division. The culture is to avoid barriers between staff and PhD students, with joint socialising fostering a friendly atmosphere and promoting networking.

Click here to find out more about the division.

Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, working in an environmental charity or NGO, or a having a professional economist position in a financial institution, a PhD in Economics can help you achieve your aim.

Finding a Research Topic and Supervisor

The division has particular strengths in Money, Banking and Finance; Environmental Economics and Energy Economics; and Work and Well-Being (please see the further details and affiliated staff here). There are strong groupings of PhD students and researchers around these areas. However, potential supervisors often have additional interest in diverse areas across economics and related disciplines and are happy to supervise PhD students in these. In addition, it is recommended that you view the profiles of research staff across the school (link to new structure page), as Economics relevant research is also conducted by staff in other divisions (as described in their individual PhD programme sections) such as Accounting and Finance, and they are able to supervise a PhD in Economics. The division is also home to the leading Behavioural Science Research Centre, which supervises PhD students at the cross-over between psychology and economics, including behavioural economics.

Entrance Requirements

A requirement for entry to the PhD in Economics normally include a relevant Masters degree, with the exact degree required depending on the exact nature of the research to be conducted during the PhD and this should be discussed with the potential supervisor. For economically rigorous research topics (and if the SGPE training pathway is chosen) students must have a Masters degree (normally MSc Economics) with a strong econometrics training component. For research topics involving smaller scale data collection, or much simpler analysis of the datasets, other Master's degrees may be more appropriate, including the Masters of Research in Management, or MSc Behavioural Science for Management, both of which have a strong methodological training component (other Masters may also be appropriate).

Contact

We recommend that you carefully read the How to apply section first, and the following members of staff will be happy to help if you have any questions:

Postgraduate Research Tutor – Economics Division – Dr David Comerford

MRes in Business and Management Programme Director – Dr Markus Kittler

Administrator

 

PhD in Marketing and Retail

The PhD in Marketing and Retail programme aims to support students to develop advanced research skills and to use these to make an original contribution to the research literature in the field. Students often work directly with industry, charities, and governmental offices to understand how those organisations work in order to develop a shared understanding of what wider implications these leanings have for the field, and to help the organisations use the findings of the research to improve themselves as a result. The PhD programme is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council and is affiliated with the prestigious Business and Management Pathway of the Scottish Graduate School.

The division has particular strengths in consumer culture and society and retail studies, as well as brands and branding, corporate social responsibility, and marketing in the small and medium sized enterprise.

Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, working in a charity or NGO, or a career in business, the PhD in Marketing can help you achieve your aim.

  • To find out more about the division, click here

Finding a Research Topic and Supervisor

The division has several core research groupings. Study these and the links to the  staff affiliated with them.  Potential supervisors have additional interest in these and other diverse areas and potential students are encouraged to view the profiles of all research staff across the school as Marketing relevant research is also conducted by staff in other divisions (as described in their individual PhD programme sections) all of whom can supervise a PhD in Marketing and Retail.

Contact

We recommend that you carefully read the How to apply section first, and the following members of staff will be happy to help if you have any questions:

Postgraduate Research Tutor – Marketing & Retail Division – Professor Paul Freathy

MRes in Business and Management Programme Director – Dr Markus Kittler

Administrator

 

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