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Programme content

Our programme is structured to give you the specialist knowledge to develop your own area of study and allow you to make ground-breaking contributions to your field.

Year 1 & 2

Year 3 

Year 4 +

Students receive training in relevant research methods and their subject area's core topics. Students choose their supervisor and complete their first research paper.

Students present their thesis proposal. Successful candidates are transferred to PhD status.

Students complete and defend their thesis and prepare for the job market.

Academic years 1 and 2

During the first two years, students are normally required to take at least 12 courses. Students may also take courses at other colleges to include London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London.

Most subject areas require students to complete a specialist comprehensive or field exam and a first and/or second year research paper. As part of their training, each PhD student also aids faculty with 20 days assistance on research papers, case writing, tutoring and grading in years 2, 3 and 4.

Programme Core courses

Students complete:

  • Accounting, Economics and Finance students – Econometrics, Microeconomics II
  • Organisational Behaviour and Strategy and Entrepreneurship students – Basic Readings in Business, Statistical Research Methods, Microeconomics I, Research Design
  • Management Science and Operations and Marketing students – Statistical Research Methods or Econometrics, Microeconomics I or II
  • Foundations of Business Research

Specialised courses

Course offerings vary from year to year.  The list below includes some of the courses commonly offered by the seven subject areas.  Students select from the following courses based on their chosen specialisation:

  • PhD Seminars in Accounting I – IV
  • Queuing Theory
  • Demand and Revenue Management
  • Advanced Optimisation
  • Inventory Theory
  • Dynamic Optimisation and Control
  • Dynamic Programming and Optimal Control
  • Financial Economics I – Asset Pricing
  • Financial Economics II – Empirical Finance
  • Financial Economics III – Corporate Finance
  • Continuous Time Finance
  • Marketing Management and Strategy
  • Quantitative Modelling
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Topics in Decision Making
  • Micro OB - Individuals
  • Micro OB - Teams
  • Readings in Social Psychology
  • Topics in Econometrics
  • Topics in Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Special Topics in Strategy and Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy Process
  • Strategy Content
  • Advanced Research Methods in Strategy

Academic years 3 and 4

During the third year, students transfer from MPhil to PhD status after successfully presenting and defending their thesis proposal.  Examiners judge the theory and methodology underlying the research, the areas of application and relevance of the work, and its significance to research in business and management.

The academic activity is varied, intensive and rewarding across a variety of learning disciplines, including:

Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference

Independent Research

Subject area seminars

It is expected to consist of original research underpinned by rigorous scholarship. This ensures that the insights will stand up to the critical scrutiny of experts who specialise in that particular area. 

Faculty, research students and visitors present their research in subject area seminars. The School attracts internationally renowned speakers and the seminars promote active and lively discussions on contemporary research issues.


Generic skills

Students are encouraged to present papers at the leading international conferences for their area of specialism. They receive financial support from the programme for presenting their findings. Students also attend a job market conference in their final year.

Students undergo formal training in presentation skills. Other personal development opportunities (e.g. writing skills) may be provided. Students work as tutors on the School's other programmes.