Business and Management

  • MPhil/PhD Leadership Studies
  • MPhil/PhD Management
Degree typesTypes of research degrees explained
DurationDegree duration details
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Study modesFull time and part time Study mode details
Start date September, January or April

Research overview

Management and organisation studies

Research into management at the School tackles a very broad range of subjects, covering all sub-disciplines within the faculty. The department is currently enjoying significant investment – adding to already excellent facilities and attracting more leading academics to the fold.

Specific research strengths include organisational studies, operations management and strategy, entrepreneurship, and marketing and consumer research. There is also a growing trend of research into sustainability issues in management, and the department is home to one of only two research centres in the UK that focuses on service as a major topic.

These are some of the topics we are currently researching:

  • Business nature and value
  • Service organisation management
  • The tales top bosses tell to keep ahead of the game
  • Operations and strategy in micro-businesses
  • Strategy in conflict and developing country environments
  • Effective business strategies
  • ‘Servitization’ and how to develop it
  • The social context of markets
  • Events management
  • Small businesses and entrepreneurship
  • How can we engage people in learning and discovery?
  • Workplace equality / diversity
  • Organisational storytelling
  • Venture capital and high tech young firms
  • The process of innovation
  • Retail innovation
  • Tourism, supermarkets, faith-based institutions and Cadburys


The Business School is at the cutting edge of research into leadership. Faculty interests range from applied evaluation of leadership development processes, to the philosophical underpinnings of modern leadership, and we have some of the most respected academics working here. We link our excellence to the real world via accredited post-experience Masters programmes.

We encourage well-rounded theoretical research among each other and our PGR students. We take pride in the quality of our publications and our positive influence on leadership thinking.

These are some the topics we are currently researching:

  • Informal leadership more influential for academics says new research
  • Leading FTSE companies: a continuing study of corporate directing
  • The gender pay gap in managerial positions
  • “Leadership is one of the most talked about yet misunderstood concepts in business and management”
  • How can we develop leadership and procurement skills for climate change?
  • Leadership – relating to ethics, innovation and change
  • How do teams ‘do teamwork’?


If you’re interested in studying for an MPhil/PhD in Management but don't already have a Master’s degree, please take a look at our MRes Management programme.


Skills training

The skills and expertise that you build now are fundamental to your continuing professional development (CPD), and will be part of your toolset throughout your working life.

We strongly recommend that our students take part in the University's Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which offers training in skills such as:

  • research management
  • personal effectiveness
  • communication
  • networking
  • team-working
  • career management

Working while studying

The Business School provides research students with many opportunities to develop skills in teaching, as well as other forms of employment (both academic and non-academic). We actively support students who wish to take on ad-hoc or part time work during their studies.

The School has a Code of Practice for Employment, which complements the University's central Code of Good Practice for the Employment of Postgraduate Students. If you wish to undertake employment during your studies, you must ensure that you read both the School Code and the University Code before commencing any duties.

Alumni employment positions

We are very proud that our graduates have forged successful careers throughout the world in a variety of occupations. Here are just a few:

  • Lecturer, Mahidol University International College
  • Lecturer, University of Birmingham
  • Lecturer in Accounting (E&R), University of Exeter
  • Tax Inspector, Agency of Revenue Italia
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, FAU-Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Research Manager, Northwestern University
  • Senior Lecturer in Economics, Oxford Brookes University
  • Teaching Assistant, Queen Mary University of London
  • Lecturer in Economics, RMIT University
  • Lecturer, Shanghai University University of Finance and Economics
  • Lecturer in Business Economics, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Senior lecturer, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Post Doctoral Associate, University of Exeter
  • Visiting Faculty Member, University of Exeter
  • Lecturer, University of Manchester
  • Assistant Professor, University of the Punjab, Lahore Pakistan
  • Real Estate Strategist, Zurich Insurance
  • Programme Manager, Cambridge University
  • Project Manager, Erasmus+ National Agency
  • Statistician, Museums Galleries Scotland
  • Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick

Further information

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To be considered, PhD applicants need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A good undergraduate degree (in the UK, at least an upper second class honours) in a relevant subject
  • A taught Masters degree in a relevant subject

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

International students will also need to demonstrate that they meet our English language requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Overall score 6.5, no less than 6.0 in any section
  • TOEFL IBT*: Overall score of 90, no less than 21 (writing, listening), 22 (reading), 23 (speaking)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 58, no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
  • Information on other acceptable tests can be found on our English language requirements page.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2022/23

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

Tuition fees per year 2021/22

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.


The Business School offers a generous range of scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate students. In previous years funding has been available through a number of scholarships including Distinction Scholarships, Thomson Reuters Scholarships and Excellence Scholarships.

Funding opportunities are subject to change, so for the latest information we recommend searching our funding database.

Current available funding

Contact us

For questions about the application process

Postgraduate programmes based in Exeter

Postgraduate Admissions
University of Exeter
Innovation Centre
Rennes Drive

Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)
+44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
WebEnquire online

Postgraduate programmes based at the Penryn Campus, near Falmouth

Student Recruitment and Admissions
Treliever Road
TR10 9FE
Phone: +44 (0) 1326 371801
WebEnquire online

Visit the Postgraduate Admissions pages for information and advice.

For questions about the programmes and supervision

Business School Postgraduate Research Administration Team

Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 726255

Research training and employment opportunities

Your future: your training needs

The skills and expertise that you build now are fundamental to your continuing professional development (CPD), and will be part of your toolset throughout your working life, whether academic or elsewhere. We’re also very keen that you should consider taking part in the University's Postgraduate Researchers' Programme which offers training in a wide range of generic and transferable skills in key areas such as research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking, team-working, and career management.

It’s great if you can enter the programme with research training and experience of research at Masters level, but we don’t expect you to be the finished article. You’ll get together straight away with your supervisor to identify your training needs, and you’ll both monitor and adapt them as your research develops and new challenges emerge.

In the first year of your PhD study the appropriate department(s) in the Business School will specify discipline and subject-specific training which may be methods training, research philosophy, or thematic modules to upgrade your knowledge of the subject. You may be asked simply to attend some modules; you may be required to pass others that are vital to your doctoral studies.

You’ll also need to attend staff-postgraduate seminars addressed by visiting speakers and School staff and you’ll present your research to fellow students and academic staff at our annual research conference or a similar event. This is a key opportunity to get feedback from staff and fellow students on your research, as well as giving you the chance to enhance your presentation skills. Successful presentation is a criterion of upgrade from MPhil to PhD status

External training experiences

We can source most training requirements within the University of Exeter, but where this is not feasible, for instance on specialist software, or cutting-edge methods or techniques vital to your studies, we work with partner organisations like research councils, professional associations and training companies to provide external training. 

You need to be able to communicate your research clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences, and we encourage doctoral students to present their work to external audiences at seminars, symposia and conferences. Each student is allocated a yearly allowance for professional development.

When do I get started?

You should enter your doctoral programme in October at the start of the academic year if at all possible. This is when taught modules commence within the School, as does the University’s research training programme and the widest array of training courses. After the training-needs assessment with your supervisor you may be asked to attend one or more first semester modules commencing in October and, if the training is deemed essential to your programme, this may be a requirement for any offer of a place.

October is also the start of the academic year for all students, with a formal induction programme as well as a vibrant calendar of events, and you’ll definitely benefit socially if you start your studies with other new students.

Employment opportunities

The Business School provides research students with many opportunities to develop skills in teaching, and other academic and non-academic employment, and actively supports students who wish to take on ad-hoc or part time work during their studies.

The School has a Code of Practice for Employment of PGR students which complements the University's central Code of Good Practice for the Employment of Postgraduate Students. Students who wish to undertake work during their studies must ensure they read both the School Code and the University Code before commencing any duties.

How to apply

Please note: In order to submit an application you must have had a prior dialogue with an academic at the University who is interested in supervising your research. Full details below:


We typically consider applications to our PhD programmes twice a year (usually in January and May). In 2022, our deadlines are:

  • 21 January
  • 6 May
  • 30 September

Application Documents

To be considered for our PhD programme, you need to submit the following documents by either of the above deadlines (incomplete applications will not be considered):

  1. A research proposal that you have developed with a member of our faculty (no more than 2000 words)
  2. A letter from this member of faculty stating that they are willing to supervise you
  3. A personal statement that explains why you wish to complete your PhD in our department and why you think you are well suited to this programme of study (no more than 600 words)
  4. Academic transcripts from your relevant studies to date (see entry requirements below)
  5. Two academic letters of reference from teaching staff at your previous institutions
  6. If necessary, evidence of English language ability (see entry requirements below)
  7. If you have them, results from a GMAT or GRE test that are not more than 5 years old.

Preparing your Proposal

You cannot apply until a member of faculty has stated that they are willing to supervise you and provided you with a letter to this effect. To achieve this, you will need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words.

To find a potential supervisor, refer to the Supervision tab on this page.

We recommend that you start this process 3 months before the application deadline. There are three possible outcomes to this process: (1) potential supervisors state that they are willing to supervise you, (2) potential supervisors request further revisions on your proposal or (3) they are unable to provide supervision.


Applicants will be invited to interview with a panel who will assess their application. Applicants who cannot provide results from the GMAT or GRE will be asked to complete an online psychometric test.



You can expect:

  • High-quality research supervision to develop and nurture your potential
  • A tailored supervision approach to help best suit your requirements
  • Accessible supervisors who are enthusiastic about working directly with postgraduate research students
  • Regular timetabled meetings with your supervisor
  • 'Open door' policy to all postgraduate students - instant access to world-leading researchers who will share their expertise and ideas with you
  • Regular meetings with your supervisory team, other members of your research group, and mentors

You will only be able to apply for a PhD when you have received a letter from potential supervisors stating that they are willing to supervise your PhD thesis. You therefore need to initiate contact with faculty who are working on topics that you are interested in and present them with a proposal of no more than 2000 words. To find a potential supervisor, please click on the link below.


Find a PhD supervisor



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