PhD

The Aston PhD Programme

At Aston Business School (ABS) our PhD programme is designed to train Doctoral students who aspire to become future academics or professional industry researchers. Our research expertise is embedded in our academic departments below, and you are strongly recommended to explore these departmental web pages (via the links), before applying, so that you can better position your research proposal to fit with academics' current research interests:          

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You should be redirected to https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/courses/phd-in-management

               

Arwa PhD

Why did you decide to do a PhD?
"I chose to do a PhD because I enjoy the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research. I feel honoured to contribute, advance and share knowledge with the world."

What is the subject of your research?
"Business simulation games and its relation to employability of business graduates."

Why did you choose Aston Business School?
"Because it is a well-established, research-led university. It has students from all over the world which makes it a multicultural and an international community. Also, Aston has a strong reputation for developing employable graduates and prepares them for the world of work."

Arwa Asiri, current PhD Student researcher,  Aston Business School

Read more of our PhD testimonials here.

Qualifications

All candidates will hold a First or Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree from an approved university or higher education institution. They will also hold an approved postgraduate degree in business, management, and/or the social sciences (or related disciplines), having achieved an average of 65% in both the taught and dissertation/project components of this postgraduate degree. 

While neither degree needs to be directly related to your proposed subject/topic of research, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to undertake research - at an advanced level - in this field. 

Where candidates have successfully completed a postgraduate degree that does not contain a significant research/dissertation component, they will have to provide alternative evidence of their ability to undertake research at an advanced level. 

Language Proficiency

For applicants from non-English speaking countries, it is necessary to have taken either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL score of 101), or the British Council IELTS test with a minimum score of 6.5. However, if the candidate holds a Master's degree from a UK university, this requirement may be waived. 

Summary

  • UG Degree - 2:1 or above
  • PG Degree - 65% in both taught and dissertation elements
  • Two academic references
  • TOEFL - 101 (Reading 23, Writing 28, Listening 23, Speaking 23)
  • IELTS - 6.5 (Reading and Writing 6.5, Listening and Speaking 6.0)

Value of the Scholarship

  • Stipend of £15,480 per annum and
  • Full fee waiver (both for UK, EU, and International students)

Duration

  • Three years (full time)

Eligibility & Assessment Criteria


Scholarships are open to UK/EU and overseas applicants who hold an unconditional offer on the ABS PhD programme.
In addition, applicants require either:   

1) A UK Postgraduate Degree, with 70% in both the taught and dissertation components
2) 
A non-UK Postgraduate Degree, with 65% in both the taught and dissertation components AND a GRE/GMAT* test score of 70% across all areas

 

Please note, applicants who hold a UK Postgraduate Degree, but have not met the 70% threshold (taught and dissertation) can still qualify for the Dean's Scholarship by taking a GRE/GMAT* test and achieving the required 70% across all areas.  

 

*GRE/GMAT are independently administered tests that assess quantitative, analytical, and verbal skills. These tests allow for a rigorous degree of bench marking between applicants. The minimum requirement of 70% applies to each section. A score of 70% means that the applicant has obtained a better score than 70% of all tested participants.  Details on GMAT/GRE can be found here:  GMAT  and GRE.

 

The criteria listed above applies to all Aston Business School academic departments. For information and details on the  Dean’s Law Scholarship please visit the Aston Law School web pages. 

 

Application Process

 

  • Complete the on-line application form for entry to the Aston Business School PhD programme  here, and provide all relevant additional documentation.
  • Indicate, in this application, that you are applying for the Dean’s Scholarship.
  • All candidates will be informed of the outcome within six weeks of their application.

 

Please note that scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

 

Please contact rdp@aston.ac.uk if you have any questions or need further information.

 

ABS Dean's Scholarships

Value of the Scholarships

  • Stipend of £15,480 per annum and 
  • Full fee wavier (for all UK, EU, and International students) 

Duration

  • Three years (full time)

Eligibility & Assessment Criteria

Scholarships are open to UK/EU and overseas applicants who hold an unconditional offer on the Aston Business School PhD Programme. In addition, applicants require either:    

1) 
A UK Postgraduate Degree, with 70% in both the taught and dissertation components.
2) 
A non-UK Postgraduate Degree, with 65% in both the taught and dissertation components AND a GRE/GMAT* test score of 70% across all areas

Please note, applicants who hold a UK postgraduate degree, but have not met the 70% threshold (taught and dissertation) can still qualify for the Dean's Scholarship by taking a GRE/GMAT* test and achieving the required 70% across all areas.

*GRE/GMAT are independently administered tests that assess quantitative, analytical, and verbal skills. These tests allow for a rigorous degree of bench marking between applicants. The minimum requirement of 70% applies to each section. A score of 70% means that the applicant has obtained a better score than 70% of all tested participants. Details on GMAT/GRE can be found here:  GMAT and  GRE.

The criteria listed above applies to all Aston Business School academic departments.  For information and details on the  Dean’s Law Scholarship, please visit the Aston Law School web pages.

Application Process

  • Complete the on-line application form for entry to the Aston Business School PhD programme here, and provide all relevant additional documentation
  • Indicate, in this application, that you are applying for the Dean’s Scholarship 
  • All Candidates  will be informed of the outcome within 6 weeks of their application

Please note that Dean’s Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

 

Please contact  rdp@aston.ac.uk if you have any questions or need further information.

ABS Dean's Scholarships

Value of the Scholarships

  • Stipend of £15,480 per annum and 
  • Full fee wavier (for all UK, EU, and International students) 

Duration

  • Three years (full time)

Eligibility & Assessment Criteria

Scholarships are open to UK/EU and overseas applicants who hold an unconditional offer on the ABS PhD Programme. In addition, applicants require either:    

1) 
A UK Postgraduate Degree, with 70% in both the taught and dissertation components.
2) 
A non-UK Postgraduate Degree, with 65% in both the taught and dissertation components AND a GRE/GMAT* test score of 70% across all areas

Please note, applicants who hold a UK postgraduate degree, but have not met the 70% threshold (taught and dissertation) can still qualify for the Dean's Scholarship by taking a GRE/GMAT* test and achieving the required 70% across all areas.

*GRE/GMAT are independently administered tests that assess quantitative, analytical, and verbal skills. These tests allow for a rigorous degree of bench marking between applicants. The minimum requirement of 70% applies to each section. A score of 70% means that the applicant has obtained a better score than 70% of all tested participants. Details on GMAT/GRE can be found here:  GMAT and  GRE.

The criteria listed above applies to all Aston Business School academic departments.  For information and details on the  Dean’s Law Scholarship, please visit the Aston Law School web pages.

Application Process

  • Complete the on-line application form for entry to the ABS PhD programme here, and provide all relevant additional documentation
  • Indicate, in this application, that you are applying for the Dean’s Scholarship
    All Candidates
  • All candidates will be informed of the outcome within 6 weeks of their application

Please note that Dean’s Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

 

Please contact  rdp@aston.ac.uk if you have any questions or need further information.

ESRC Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Studentships 

ABS offer ESRC PhD Studentships as part of the Midlands Graduate School DTP. The Midlands Graduate School (MGS) is part of an ESRC network of Doctoral Training Partnerships in collaboration with:

  • Aston University
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Leicester
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Warwick


These studentships are for UK and EU applicants only and applicants must hold an unconditional offer from ABS PhD Programme before they apply for funding. Full details about studentships, including how to apply and deadlines for applications, can be found on the 
Midlands Graduate School website.

Aston University Prize Studentships

These provide three years’ funding for a PhD student, to enable high- achieving  graduates to start doctoral research programmes in our Schools. Studentships will be allocated pro-rata across our five Schools. There are two different funding models available:

  • Quarter-funded PhD studentships provide 25% funding to match against 25% from the School and 50% from external sources.

  • Alternatively, to support areas where it is not possible to secure matched funding, 10 half-funded PhD studentships are also available (with the remainder coming from School funds or external sources).

Studentships are costed on the basis of a stipend (at UK Research Council rates), home/EU fees, a Research Training Grant of up to £500 per annum, and a small consumables budget. Studentships will be funded at the rate of £59k – £68k in total, dependent on consumable costs. In exceptional cases, where higher consumables are required, applicants are invited to make a case for additional support to the Prize Scheme Management panel.

 

Full details about these studentships and how to apply can be found here

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

These scholarships will provide three years’ reduced fee level for exceptional overseas candidates who have already secured sponsorship for the remainder of their studentship costs (for example through China Scholarship Council sponsorship). Up to 10 Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarships are available.

Full details about these studentships and how to apply can be found here.

How to access the Prize awards

Applications are made by academic staff at Aston University (referred to in this guide as “applicants”) on behalf of prospective PhD students.

  1. Before applying, applicants should obtain confirmation that from the Executive Dean that School support is available as follows. PhD Studentships: matched funding is required of 25% or 50% depending on model.

  2. Where appropriate, applicants should then secure their external matched funding at 50% of the overall cost – for a single award or multiple awards – either via gaining commitment from industry or other external funding sources, via working with their ADRs and Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE), or by a donation. Exploratory conversations regarding donations from Trusts and private donors should be undertaken with the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO).

  3. The application is then submitted to the ABS Prize Scheme Representative (Maria Kozlovskaya, ABS), Prize Scheme Manager (Karina Tveen Jensen), and Sally Puzey. The application will be circulated to panel members and assessed at the next panel meeting. The applicant will be informed of the outcome by their school representative.

  4. Upon award applicants may advertise the position.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply staff must hold a teaching and research contract which is long enough to allow them to supervise a student or fellow to completion, and this will include new academic staff in their five-year probationary period.

Application

There is no official application form. However, the proposal should be no more than four pages long and contain the following information:

1) 
Outline of the research project
2) 
Proposed methods and expected outcomes
3) 
Information on training and development programme for the student or fellow
4) 
The budget in terms of contribution from school and external funders
5) 
CV of any named PhD applicant

Assessment of proposals

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The novelty, timeliness and quality of the proposed research
  • Fit with University and School strategy
  • Fit with global or societal challenges expressed by Government or funding agencies
  • The track record or, in the case of Early Career Researchers, potential of the applicant to supervise a successful studentship
  • The potential for significant and far-reaching impact from the research, both academically and beyond
  • A well-developed training and development programme

We have an exciting and vibrant research environment at ABS that enables our PhD students to be engaged in various research events and seminars (ABS-wide and PhD-specific). Our PhDs have a dedicated research society which organises various social and academic related events throughout the year – including the ABS Annual Doctoral Conference. We strongly believe that these activities are an essential part of ensuring our PhD students are engaged and motivated throughout the duration of their PhD journey.

Our Academic Departments also run research seminar series (and other activities) where PhD students are encouraged to present their research and get feedback from colleagues. In addition, our Summer School in Advanced Research Methods offers additional training opportunities necessary for a successful academic career.

All students can access up to £1500 for presenting at academic conferences and an additional £500 Research Support Training Grant is also provided to help further develop their research knowledge, skills, abilities and professional development. 

Many students are interested in gaining some teaching experience in preparation for their academic career. For these individuals, there may be opportunities to undertake paid teaching work in the second and third year of their PhD, once they have successfully completed their Qualifying Report. PhD students who wish to teach must be registered with Aston University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Entry dates


The PhD Programme recruits students to start in either October or April and, depending on the desired start point, applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to avoid delays.

 

Please note, we cannot review individual eligibility before you apply, and there may be earlier closing dates for your application should you wish to be considered for funding.

Application Procedure

You can apply online by clicking
here.

The following supporting documents are required as part of the application and, if not supplied, may lead to delays in processing your application:
 

  1. A Research Proposal. This should:

    1.1 
    Outline your proposed research aims and objectives
    1.2  Highlight your proposed contributions to knowledge
    1.3 Provide a brief review of the relevant literature
    1.4 Outline your proposed research methodology

    Click here for tips on writing a good research proposal

  2. Copies of your qualifications - Postgraduate and Undergraduate transcripts and certificates 
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. Confirmation of your TOEFL/IELTS results for those applicants from non-English speaking countries 

 

We can only consider applications that are complete and have all supporting documents.

 

Before you submit an application we also recommend that you refer to our entry requirements (see tab above) to make sure you are eligible to apply.

 

 Fees for 2018/19  

  • Home/European Union Students Full-time fees per year: £4,260
  • Overseas Students Full-time fees per year:£13,900

If you consider applying for Dean’s Scholarship and your application is successful, your fees would be covered in full.

The Research Degrees Programme Office
South Wing, 11th Floor 
Aston Business School
Aston University, Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET
UNITED KINGDOM 

ABS