DPhil in Management

​In-depth training in academic research skills to develop you as a productive scholar

Start date:


  • 4 years

Time commitment:

  • Full time


  • Oxford

About the programme

Our doctoral training will immerse you in all aspects of academic life.

You will be both a student and a junior research colleague. We provide courses in a wide variety of research methods and you will work closely with your supervisors to define your research question and develop your thesis. In addition, you will have opportunities to gain teaching and research assistant experience and become involved with the intellectual community within both Saïd Business School and the wider University. You will attend academic conferences, make presentations, organise lectures and seminars and contribute to management and academic decisions.

Both of our doctoral programmes run in parallel, with only differences in taught courses and preparation for writing in relevant journals to your subject of choice.

We have deliberately kept the programmes small which means that in the vast majority of cases, students are fully funded to allow them to devote their energies to research. The DPhil corresponds to a PhD degree offered at most other universities.




As a doctoral candidate you will be assigned two supervisors to act as your academic advisers and mentors.

You will work closely with them to define your research question and develop your thesis. It is an important relationship and also a very personal one: it is shaped by you, your supervisors and the ways you interact.

You will be allocated two supervisors in your specialist area of interest. It is important that you identify that there are faculty at the school who work in your area of interest that could be potential supervisors for your thesis. You can note within your application if you feel that you are interested in a particular research area and working with a specific faculty member. 


Potential supervisors

You do not need to contact any faculty in advance of making your application. Highlighted in the table are some specific projects supervisors are looking to take on doctoral students for the 2020-2021 intake. 

These are not the only faculty available to supervise, please view our full list of profiles of our faculty to investigate all areas of research interest in the school.

Area of Research interest

Supervisors in this area:

Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Pinar Ozcan - Pinar uses exclusively qualitative methods and would like to work with candidates that are comfortable conducting interviews and looking into textual archival data such as business reports and corporate press releases. 

She is looking to take on doctoral students with interests in entrepreneurship and strategy issues in the financial sector particularly in the context of fin tech start-ups and their partnerships with large financial institutions, as well as the interaction between regulation, from strategy, and entrepreneurship. She also has a project in the area of growth potential and hurdles of sharing economy platforms in different sectors such as car, accommodation or skill sharing.


Financial and non-financial reporting

Amir Amel-Zadeh - Amir's research generally examines the economic consequences of voluntary and mandatory financial and non-financial (ESG) reporting and the role of intermediaries such as equity research analysts. He is particularly interested in DPhil students who can work with him on applying natural language processing and machine learning techniques to examine the content and quality of information disclosures and their effects on capital markets.

His projects range from examining narrative disclosures in annual reports and other regulatory filings, to analysing earnings call transcripts, media coverage and other textual and financial information but he is open to other project suggestions in this field of research. In addition to the requisite knowledge in accounting and finance prospective DPhil students should have a good working knowledge of Python programming and basic knowledge of text analysis and/or machine learning algorithms.

Global strategy and comparative institutional analysis

Mari Sako - Mari's main areas of expertise include global strategy, comparative institutional analysis, outsourcing and offshoring, professional services firms and professions, artificial intelligence (AI) and business models.

Her current research examines the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in legal services, conducted as part of a UKRI-funded programme. Doctoral applications are most welcome from students in social sciences, who can work with Mari on exploring the impact of AI on (a) business models, (b) future of work, and (c) technology startup ecosystems in professional services (such as law and accounting). She is open to doctoral research proposals in this and related fields of research.

International Business

Matthew Amengual - Matthew's areas of expertise are in the political economy of development and global labour standards. 

Akshay Mangla - Akshay's interests lie in questions of when, why and how states build institutional capacity to perform their core functions in developing countries. Within this broad agenda, his ongoing research investigates the causes and consequences of institutional reform initiatives within frontline agencies of the Indian state (eg primary education and the police). He is also examining how non-state actors, including private firms and civil society organisations, engage with the frontline state during policy implementation, thereby influencing bureaucratic effectiveness and the quality of public services. He is interested in advising DPhil students working on these and related topics in the political economy of development.

Leadership of major projects

Harvey Maylor - Harvey is open to a range of lenses being brought to bear on these areas of interest, though would prefer that the subject basis is Operations and Supply Chain Management which includes:

  1. Complexity response
  2. Systems design
  3. In Search of project pxcellence
  4. Design thinking and innovation

Organisational Studies

Michael Gill - Michael’s primary research focus is on the experience of modern work, which he seeks to examine from the perspective of workers themselves. 

His current project, to which he is able to recruit a doctoral student, is a longitudinal, qualitative study of workers’ inter-subjective experiences of emotions and mental health in conducting their work.

Organisational Behaviour

Sally Maitlis – Sally’s research explores the intersection of sensemaking and emotion, focusing on how people make sense of challenging experiences at work. Examples include her longitudinal study of post-traumatic growth in individuals' forced to give up the work that feels most meaningful to them, and current research on senior leaders’ experiences of depression and anxiety, and how different organisational conditions affect it.

Her research is qualitative, allowing a deep and contextualised understanding of how people feel about their work and the narratives through which they construct their lives.

Scenario Planning

Rafael Ramirez - Rafael researches scenario planning and groundbreaking research on interactive value and networked strategy, which has led to widely cited papers in the Harvard Business Review, the Strategic Management Journal and to the development of the Oxford Networked Strategy Lab.



Review some current research taking place around the school as well as from some of our alumni

Review articles and podcasts written by our researchers at Oxford Answers 

Learn more about becoming a researcher from Andromachi Athanasopoulou, who graduated in 2007 and is now an Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour at Queen Mary University London and an Associate Fellow at Oxford Saïd.

Michael Gill graduated in 2014, and is now an Associate Professor of Organisation Studies at Oxford Saïd. Read more about his recent research on how workers' suffering informs control and resistance in organisations.

Ezequiel Zylberberg (graduated 2017, who is now a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT) co-edited a recent publication on Innovation in Brazil.

Programme milestones

Student taking the DPhil in Management are required to take three core courses in quantitative and qualitative research methodology during their first year.

  • Introduction to Management Research Methods
  • Statistical Research Methods
  • Management and Organisation Theory

Elective courses

During second and third terms, doctoral students will undertake advanced research methods training and, in consultation with their supervisor, select specialist courses, available from a choice of topics relevant to area of interest.

Examples of specialist elective courses that have previously been available are:

  • Innovation, Organisation and Markets
  • Organisational Theory
  • Foundations of Strategy
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Marketing

Advanced methodology courses:

  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

Following successful completion of all necessary courses, and by the end of their 4th term, students are expected to have successfully submitted and been assessed for their Transfer of Status. The transfer process provides the opportunity for the student to discuss their work with two independent members of staff under examination conditions and to receive feedback.

By the end of their 9th term students will be due to complete their Confirmation of Status. This process allows the student to have a review of their work by two assessors, to give a clear indication of whether it would be reasonable to consider submission within the course of a further three terms, if work on the thesis continues to develop satisfactorily.

Students will be expected to attend training, workshops and seminars on job applications, teaching, learning and assessing, interviewing and presentations skills. Students will also be given the opportunity to improve their teaching and research skills by applying for remunerated positions as teaching and research assistants, within the school or at colleges.


The doctoral thesis should not exceed 100,000 words. It must be a significant and substantial contribution to the field of learning in management. As a rule of thumb, it should be good enough to be published in book form or as a series of academic articles. Indeed, you may even adopt a range of different methodologies and approaches. Your contribution can be in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results.

The faculty has made me feel like a junior colleague from the very start and they offer the chance to work together on their research projects.

Magdalena Plesa

Current DPhil in Management student

Benefits and opportunities


  • Engage with internationally renowned faculty
  • Conference and research funding
  • Training in principal research methods at both at Saïd Business School and wider University


  • Paid teaching and research assistant opportunities
  • Contribute to management and academic programme decisions through student representation on committees
  • Postgraduate careers resources

Job market candidates and placements


Review our doctoral and post-doc candidates currently on the job market and institutions of successful placement.


Who can apply

Our candidates are passionately intellectual people who have a superlative academic record and are committed to a career in academia.

DPhil in Management

You will require:

  • a good undergraduate degree: 2.1 (GPA 3.5 or its equivalent)
  • GMAT or GRE test results
  • TOEFL or IELTS test results (If you are not from an English speaking majority country)
  • three pieces of written work, including a well-developed research proposal
  • three academic references

For the Management programme, successful applicants typically have a distinction in a Master’s level degree in addition to their undergraduate studies, but exceptional applicants from undergraduate programmes in relevant subjects will be considered.

Dates and deadlines


The application window for entry in October 2021 has now closed.  The application portal will re-open in September for candidates applying for entry in 2022.

Admissions process

Candidates who are shortlisted are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process three to four weeks after the application deadline.

Interviews are conducted by members of faculty and will take place in person in Oxford or via Zoom if you are unable to travel to the School.

Interviews can last up to 60 minutes and you will be asked questions about your background and aspirations. You should also expect to elaborate on your research proposal.

Final decision

The Admissions Committee will decide which candidates receive an offer to join the DPhil programme. Final decisions will be emailed to all candidates by early March 2021.

There are three possible outcomes:

  1. You are made an offer to join the programme
  2. You are put on a waiting list
  3. You will be advised that you have not been successful this year

Details about any funding received through the School are included in the offer letter.

Having received an offer, a candidate's application is forwarded to a college to be considered for membership. We will guide you through this process.

Graduate access programme: UNIQ+

Graduate access programme now open for 2021 applications

Applications are now open for the University’s 2021 graduate access programmes.

Our graduate access programmes are designed to encourage and support talented undergraduates who would find continuing into postgraduate study a challenge for reasons other than their academic ability.

UNIQ+ remote internships offer paid summer research experience over six weeks, from 5 July 2021. Participants will work on research projects with regular support and supervision from Oxford students and staff, as well as training in key research skills.  

From July to October 2021, UNIQ+ Digital will also offer students from under-represented groups a flexible, free and fully online programme of mentoring, events and digital content to support them all the way through from considering graduate study to submitting an application.

The deadline for all programmes is 12 midday on Friday 19 March 2021.

Application advice

These videos will help you understand the qualities we are looking for.

Man working in the Sainsbury Library

Annual fees

The course fee in 2021-2022 is £21,757

Fees usually increase annually, please see the University's guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Course fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability. Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a continuation charge. Information regarding continuation charges is available on the University's continuation charges page. 

For more information about fees, fee liability and continuation charges, please see the University's fees page.

Cost of living

Please view the University's living expenses page.

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Scholarships and funding

In almost all cases, doctoral students admitted into our programme receive full funding over four years.

This includes course fees and a living expenses stipend. To maximise the overall availability of funding for candidates, we will identify suitable alternative scholarships and may ask you to submit funding applications. We also ask that you identify and pursue any other funding opportunities, including external funding.   

For some scholarships you are required to submit a scholarship essay and/or tick the relevant box in the Funding section of the application form.


Please get in touch with any queries about admissions, fees, or funding by emailing DPhil@sbs.ox.ac.uk.