Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting PhD Opportunities

Course overview

Supervision for PhD or MPhil research is available in many areas of informatics and accounting, ranging from theoretical to applied research in domains such as governance, accountability &responsible investment; applied informatics and semiotics; strategic analysis; business informatics; social informatics; health informatics; and perceptual, usability and information acquisition. The University has a formal code of practice for research students, which ensures that adequate supervision and appropriate research skills training are provided.

A PhD can be pursued full time at Henley Business School, or part-time working away which may be carried out away from campus. This usually applies to PhD students who are working in institutions where research facilities are available, such as universities abroad, with the supervision of both Henley Business School and the local institution.

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How to apply

The application process normally consists of three main steps:

1. Formal application

Before applying formally you may want to contact a potential supervisor who is working in your area and could be interested in your topic;

Please avoid contacting multiple faculty members simultaneously. We do talk to each other and this is not seen as a professional practice.

You can contact a faculty member before your formal application, if you wish to.

2. Shortlisting based on the documents you uploaded in your application

3. Formal interview to assess your suitability to pursue a PhD at Henley Business School

The deadline to be considered for a scholarship varies between departments.

The key requirements for a successful application are:

  • Top grades in your Masters degree (minimum requirement is Merit or equivalent, but we prefer Distinction)
  • Top grade in your Masters Dissertation (or equivalent research-based piece of work) because this may show your research attitude and skills
  • A well-developed research proposal. Guidance on writing the research proposal can be found here

A reasonable intended timeline reflecting issues you may encounter in the study as presented above (for example, if you have to collect primary data, the time spent on data collection will be much longer than the one you would spend if you intend to use secondary data sources)

Research Areas

PhD Research interests

BISA offers expertise from many subject fields and conducts interdisciplinary research in theoretical and application domains. BISA maintains a close-knit community of researchers working together as a team to carry out research in one or more of the research themes.

Informatics Research Centre (IRC)

Research at IRC includes the following key themes:

Applied informatics and semiotics

Semiotics is the study of signs (index, icons and symbols) and their functions, and offers us a systematic way to study information and its effective use in organisations.

Social Informatics

Social informatics relates to the interdisciplinary consideration of design, use and consequences of information and communication tools in cultural, or institutional contexts.

Business Informatics

Business Informatics supports decision making by intersecting IT, informatics methods and management concepts, to allow identification of business problems, development of relevant solutions, and appreciation of their impact.

Pervasive Informatics

Pervasive Informatics is an emerging discipline for the effective use of information through embedded sensors and distributed processing to form contiguous intelligent environments for working and living.

Health Informatics

Health Informatics is the conjunction of information systems, computer science and health care. Information flow is critical to maximise use of recourses, devices and methods to provide outstanding care and safety at low cost.

Perceptual, Usability and Information Acquisition

A user will not continue to pay for a system or device that they perceive to be of low quality, irrespective of its intrinsic appeal. This research investigates user-centric issues in a range of domains to maximise end-user acceptance.

Strategic Analysis

Using Systems dynamics and systems thinking strategic analysis helps managers to consider the impact of long term policies on their organisation.


Accounting Group

For Accounting, these are just some of the themes we have been involved in:

Sustainability Accounting and Reporting

Particular interests lie in the manner in which accounting and accountability practices can help to encourage decision makers an awareness and appreciation of the importance of social and environmental sustainability in strategic and operational decision-making. The study focuses on the role of text and visual management in the reporting process by employing semiotic analysis.

Auditing and Accountability

The recent global financial crisis has provided both academics and practitioners an interesting opportunity to study the role and value of auditing and auditing profession. Questions are frequently being asked about auditor independence and judgement, audit quality, auditing model and auditing expectations. Limited qualitative auditing research has been conducted across disciplinary to provide insight into the practice of audit in relation to the international regulatory structures, financialization and organisational change in an international context.

International financial reporting, social and institutional context of accounting regulation, rhetorical and argumentative functions of financial disclosure

Research in this area considers convergence and compliance issues relevant to implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) worldwide with the specific focus on the political and institutional aspects of accounting change and accounting regulation. It also attempts to explore the linguistic, rhetorical and argumentative functions of the narrative and numerical aspects of financial disclosures.

If you want to study for a PhD within BISA

It is also advisable to contact the member of staff with whom you are interested in carrying out your research, to discuss your proposal before you apply.

Current Students

Faculty & Staff

Contact Image

Contact Us

If you have any queries please contact the Senior Support Administrator, Cindy Zhang by email at bisa@henley.ac.uk or by phone on 0118 378 4418.

Important Information

Application Deadline:

BISA offers three PhD entry points each year ( Sep/Oct, Jan, April/May)

Scholarships

Here at Henley we have a number of scholarships awarded for our PhD research areas, Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting have 4 scholarships to award this year.

Scholarship Deadline:

Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, apply as early as possible, the final deadline for applications is 9th August 2019.

Fees 2019:

Full-TimePart-Time
UK (Home) and EU Based at Reading £4,327 £2,164
PhD by Distance £2,164 £1,082
International Band 1* Based at Reading £16,475# £8,238
PhD by Distance £8,238 £4,119


* International fees vary depending on the subject being studied: Band 1 subjects generally do not involve laboratory work, whereas Band 2 subjects generally involve significant laboratory study or workshop content. Contact the Admissions Office via pgadmissions@reading.ac.uk to find out more.

#Fixed for three years (i.e. international applicants who start a full-time programme based in Reading during 2019/20 will pay the same annual rate for each of the three years of their programme).


Course modules

The module descriptions set out on this page are correct for modules being taught in the current academic year. Optional module listings are indicative and may be subject to change

A PhD is usually taken on a full-time basis over 3 to 4 years. A part-time option, taking 4-6 years is also available in some research areas. On a full time basis, the PhD Programme starts in September at the beginning of the academic year (in some departments January and May entries are also possible). However, if necessary for your training, you may be required to come to the University earlier to attend some preparatory courses.

  • Year 1: you will have to attend courses examined according to university rules. These courses include Research Methods and other courses required for your area of concentration;
  • Confirmation of Registration: In the middle of your second year, you will present and defend your fully developed Research Proposal consisting of a substantive document of around 10,000 words;
  • Year 2-3: The remaining part of your PhD studies will be devoted to complete your thesis before your viva examination at the end of your 3 to 4 years (maximum amount of time allowed by university rules).

Year 1

During your first year of studies, you will be required to:

  • Attend at least 60 credits from PhD/Masters level courses in Research Methods and other relevant courses plus a no-credit bearing course (see below);
  • Attend some short courses (2-3 hours each) required for the Reading Researcher Development Programme at the Graduate School (overseeing PhD studies within the University of Reading);
  • Attend the Preparing to Teach training programme (which is necessary to be able to complete any teaching-related activities within Henley Business School);
  • Participate in regular research seminars organised by your Department and others relevant to your area of interest;
  • Hold regular meetings with your supervisor(s).

Required Taught Component

We have a slightly different path of taught components for students primarily using quantitative vs. qualitative research methods

If you are interested in the module description form containing the overall learning outcomes and description of the courses, please visit this link (click on the most recent academic year and then on Henley Business School. Courses are listed by code in alphabetical order).

(the link should be to the main UoR page of MDFs: https://www.reading.ac.uk/modu…)

Quantitative Path

Course/Module

Code

Credits

Term

Understanding Management and Financial Research

ICM116

20

Autumn

Advanced Finance Theory with Empirical Applications
(or alternative Advanced Quantitative Methods course, e.g. ICMA204)
Financial Econometrics (20 credits),
ECM607A Microeconometrics 1 (10 credits),
ECM607B Microeconometrics 2(10 credits)

ICM289

20

Summer

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

MMD003

No

Autumn

Any other relevant course/module

TBD

20

Autumn

/Spring

Qualitative Path

Course/Module

Code

Credits

Term

Introduction to Thesis Literature Review

MMD001

20

Autumn

Advanced Qualitative Research Methods

MMD002

20

Spring

Data Analysis: Finding Patterns With Regressions

MMD010

No

Autumn

Any other relevant course/module

TBD

20

Autumn

Confirmation of Registration

After 15 to 18 months from the start of your PhD (see differences between departments), you will submit a substantive Research Proposal of c.ca 10,000 words that will be defended in front of Faculty members and/or assessed by independent examiners. This process will coincide with your confirmation of registration and, if successful, it will grant you the status of PhD candidate.

The Research Proposal will be a significant development of the initial proposal you submitted for your application. It will include material you may have produced during the 1st year courses in research methods (e.g. literature review, methodologies, data description, etc.). If you plan to do a PhD thesis combining three papers, you are expected to include a draft of the first paper in your Research Proposal. Alternatively, if you intend to use a book-like structure for your thesis, the document should include the draft of at least one of the three/four key chapters.

Year 2 and 3

During your 2nd and 3rd year you will:

  • Continue to work on your PhD dissertation drafting the other two papers / key chapters;
  • Hold regular meetings with your supervisor(s);
  • Attend some short courses (2-3 hours each) required for the Reading Researcher Development Programme at the Graduate School;
  • Participate in weekly research seminars organised by your Department and others relevant to your area of interest;
  • Contribute to Business School and Departmental teaching/research activities and events;
  • Present posters/papers at national/international conferences.

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Entry requirements

PhD programme

You should have obtained an equivalent of a merit or above in a Master’s degree in a related science, social science or engineering field. Relevant research and/or industry experiences may be considered for those with exceptional strengths.

It is also advisable to contact the member of staff with whom you are interested in carrying out your research, to discuss your proposal before you apply.

MRes Informatics programme

You should have obtained an upper second-class honours degree, in a related science, social science or engineering field. Please refer to the MSc page for further information.

English requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have obtained IELTS 7.0 (with no element below 6.0), TOEFL 570 (or 230 computer-based) or have passed a TEEP (University of Reading) test with the score of 6.5 (with no element less than 6.0). For all other equivalent score requirements in our accepted English Language tests, please visit the admissions website. If your previous degree was taught in English, we may consider waiving the English language requirement.

For all other equivalent score requirements in our accepted English Language tests, please visit the admissions website.

Fees & funding

PhD Fees

Full-TimePart-Time
UK (Home) and EU Based at Reading £4,327 £2,164
PhD by Distance £2,164 £1,082
International Band 1* Based at Reading £16,475# £8,238
PhD by Distance £8,238 £4,119

* International fees vary depending on the subject being studied: Band 1 subjects generally do not involve laboratory work, whereas Band 2 subjects generally involve significant laboratory study or workshop content. Contact the Admissions Office via pgadmissions@reading.ac.uk to find out more.

#Fixed for three years (i.e. international applicants who start a full-time programme based in Reading during 2019/20 will pay the same annual rate for each of the three years of their programme).

For more information on fees, please visit the Graduate school website. Overseas applicants should refer to the non-laboratory based fees listed in the tables (International Band 1 for non UK/EU students).

Henley Business School Scholarships

We offer PhD scholarships covering fees and a stipend for 3 years, which are awarded on the basis of outstanding academic merit. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, apply as early as possible, the final deadline for applications is xxxxx

BISA Scholarships

Business Informatics Systems and Accounting (BISA) offer a number of scholarships for full time research students . If you would like to apply, please download a PhD_BISA_Scholarship_application form ensuring you complete all the details in as much detail as possible and return it to bisa@henley.ac.uk.

Scholarships are allocated on a rolling basis based on the following deadlines: 26 April; 24 June and 9 August.

As funds are limited it is recommended you apply as early as possible.

Scholarship applications are subject to receiving an offer for a place on the PhD in Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting programme. Upon receiving an offer, your scholarship application will be processed and BISA School Office will contact you in due course regarding the result.

Please note: If you are not offered a place on a programme, your scholarship application will automatically be rejected.

To find out more please follow the link here.

Further PhD funding

  • UK/EU nationals: The University of Reading takes part in the South East DTC (Doctoral Training Centre). If you’re interested in applying, please follow the link for further details.
  • Nationals from India and developing countries: The Felix Scholarship competition is open to candidates applying for either taught Masters or Postgraduate Research Degrees who are either Indian nationals, or from developing countries, and who fulfil the required criteria. For more information and how to apply please follow the link.
  • Regional PhD Bursaries: They are available for PhD applicants normally living within 25 miles of the University. The scheme is not open to students who have already started their study at the University of Reading. For further information, please go to Graduate School website.
  • Former UoR Graduate: If you have already studied at the University of Reading you will get up to £1,000 off fees through the alumni fee discount.
  • Other: For information on further opportunities, please see the find funding section on our University website.

Careers

How can Henley Careers work with you?

Here at Henley we have an award winning careers team here to support you through your time here and 4 years after graduating from us.

Henley Careers run numerous events throughout the autumn and spring terms to help you gain industry experience, enhance your professional development and network with employers. We also offer one-to-one career coaching appointments where you can talk to a Careers Consultant about anything related to your professional development – whether it’s planning your ideal career journey, building confidence in a particular area, practicing for interviews or having your CV checked.

For more information please see our Careers page.

Continuing Your Career

A PhD in the area of International Business and Strategy from Henley Business School can open doors to a highly successful career in academia, large multinationals, leading consulting firms and governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide.