International Business and Strategy PhD Opportunities

Course overview

For over 50 years we have stood at the forefront of teaching and research in International Business and we continue to help define the research agenda in the field as well as in International Business History and International Human Resource Management. High quality teaching spans a broad range of programmes and focuses on critical developments in international business and organisations’ strategic response to these.

Henley provides a unique opportunity to undertake original business relevant research in International Business and Strategy and to develop your critical thinking, intellectual capacity and creativity. Our postgraduate research students, drawn from all over the world, benefit from a dynamic research environment, supervision from internationally-renowned faculty, dedicated support and outstanding facilities.

As a part of the PhD in International Business and Strategy, we offer the Henley International Business Masterclasses. We provide these intensive courses on current debates and conceptual issues in International Business to give broader learning opportunities to younger scholars. Each masterclass offers the opportunity to engage in key International Business topics taught by notable intellectual figures in the field.

Alongside the PhD in International Business and Strategy, we offer a Double PhD with the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering (DIG) at Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI). POLIMI has a strong commitment to the excellence, distinctiveness and relevance of its teaching and research activities. The Doctoral Program at POLIMI is highly international and PhD graduates are held in high esteem - not only in academia - but also in public institutions and companies where their research qualifications are increasingly demanded. More information on POLIMI can be found here.

This 4-year programme allows PhD students enrolled at the Henley Business School to spend a period of normally 6-9 months at Politecnico di Milano and benefit from joint supervision by one member of faculty from each institution throughout their career. There shall be one oral examination (“Viva”) and one thesis to be submitted by the student for the Double PhD Programme.

Students interested in applying for this programme should clearly mention it in their PhD application at Henley Business School.

Henley Business School’s research in International Business and Strategy is driven through leading centres that are at the forefront of research, including the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business and the Centre for International Business History.

We welcome applicants seeking to conduct postgraduate research in the following fields:

  • Business History
  • International Business
  • International Human Resource Management
  • Strategy

Please see our Research areas for more information.

Read Less

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

Research Proposal

A key element of the application is a research proposal. Guidance on writing the research proposal can be found here. It is important that the applicant spends some time exploring the research that we are involved in to see if it fits alongside their own. Below are the main research areas of our staff.

Research Interest

Faculty

International Business

Strategies of international firms; Firm-specific resources and capabilities as drivers of firm’s competitive advantage; Global Value Chains.

Dr Elena Beleska-Spasova

Theories of MNE; Economic analysis of supply chains.

Professor Mark Casson

Firms’ internationalisation choices, innovation, and economic performances; MNEs location decisions; MNEs and the cities.

Professor Davide Castellani

International Entrepreneurship, born global, international new venture, export performance of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), export strategy, international opportunity development

Dr Stephan Gerschewski

The role of nationality and international experience at MNEheadquarters and top management teams; composition of management teams; internationalization strategies and performance.

Dr Peder Greve

International management; staffing strategy; knowledge management; Regional diversification; Headquarters and subsidiary relationships; Emerging market MNEs


Dr Jongmin Lee

The role of MNEs in development, innovation and industrial policy; R&D alliances; Outsourcing.

Professor Rajneesh Narula

Multinational subsidiary strategy and performance.

Dr Quyen Nguyen

Strategies of MNEs (location, entry mode choice, divestment and re-entry) in foreign markets, globalization of R&D and technology development in the global network of MNEs, digital technologies, Industry 4.0 and restructuring of GVCs, internationalisation (and de-internationalisation) strategies of family firms.


Lucia Piscitello

Foreign market exit and re-entry choices such as foreign market re-entry modes and the timing of exit/re-entry; organisational learning and unlearning and its effect on exit and re-entry; the effect of institutional change on internationalisation choices; the rise of EMNEs; the growing role of behavioural theories such as prospect theory in explaining international diversification choices.
Dr Irina Surdu

Internalization theory and its applications to a wide variety of international business phenomena, such as the internationalization of family firms, the creation of subsidiary specific advantage, the impact of regional integration on entry mode choices, the growth of emerging economy multinational enterprises, the rise of international new ventures.

Professor Alain Verbeke

International Human Resource Management


Comparative HRM; comparative capitalisms and HRM; international HRM; expatriation; international careers; migration, refugees.

Professor Chris Brewster

International HRM strategy of MNE’s; transferring HRM practice across countries in MNEs; knowledge creation and sharing in MNEs: International experiences and subsidiary staffing.

Dr Chul Chung

Expatriation; alternative work arrangements; organisational behaviour in relation to organisational performance; job insecurity and employability

Dr Rita Fontinha

Strategic HRM and the processes that hinder/facilitate employee-organisation relationship; individual interpretations and reactions to HRM practices, strategic management of human capital, well-being, counterproductive work behaviours, workplace justice, trust and leadership. Dr Charmi Patel

Business History

Business history; internationalisation of the media and creative industries

Professor Peter Miskell

History of the banking system; regulation of 19th century British joint-stock banks and the creation of an identity around these new entrants to the market; creation of identity for 20th century UKretail banks; governance and shareholder rights of 19th century corporations

Dr Lucy Newton

The evolution of mass consumption, consumer goods, consumer credit, and owner-occupation, together with their impacts on household behaviours; the evolution of mass retailing formats, and the consumer durables’ industries, in Britain, the United States and Europe; the impacts of British government policy on the evolution of British business and British households living standards.

Professor Peter Scott

British and American retail managerial revolution; spatial competition in product markets and between firms in automobile markets; academic performance and pay; varieties of capitalism.

Professor James Walker

International Business Masterclasses

The Henley International Business Masterclasses are an initiative developed in the International Business and Strategy unit at Henley Business School. We provide these intensive courses on current debates and conceptual issues in International Business to give broader learning opportunities to younger scholars. Each masterclass offers the opportunity to engage in key International Business topics taught by notable intellectual figures in the field.

The masterclasses are delivered in two sets each academic year, in the Autumn and Spring session.

Autumn term 2019/2020 Masterclasses

The Autumn session 2019-2020 will consist of the first set of two masterclasses and these will run between 4 and 8 November 2019.

· MMD005 - Strategy and International Business by Alain Verbeke, 04 - 06 November 2019

· MMD003 - Economics of International Business by Mark Casson and Gabriel Benito , 06 - 08 November 2019

Date of delivery: 04- 06 November 2019
Venue: Room 108, Henley Business School,University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus
Masterclass title: Strategy and International Business
Instructor: Alain Verbeke, Henley Business School

View Syllabus Here’ (coming soon)

Date of delivery: 06 - 08 November 2019
Venue: Room, 108, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus
Masterclass title: Economics of International Business
Instructor: Mark Casson, Henley Business School & Gabriel Benito, Norwegian Business School

‘View Syllabus here’ (coming soon)

The masterclasses are offered to PhD students, post-doctoral and early career researchers. The number of students attending each course is strictly limited to 30. The masterclasses provide networking opportunities and allow developing global partnerships.

Participants can either attend as formally enrolled students or as non-enrolled attendees. The first option will provide formal recognition in the form of credits. Participants will be awarded 10 credits per module, an equivalent of 5 ECTS credits, upon the positive evaluation of coursework and payment of a tuition fee (£230 for Home/EU students and £460 for Overseas students per module). The second option is free of tuition charges and will be non-credit bearing (participants will only receive a certificate of attendance).

A limited number of very competitive scholarships is generously offered from the Alan Rugman Memorial Fund.

Applications for the masterclasses in Autumn 2019/2020 can be made by email to Jana Oslejova, and should include the following supporting documents:

· a CV
· an application form duly filled
· an academic reference supporting the application

Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of the Alan Rugman memorial fund, we are able to offer some funding support for the PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. The fund contributes towards costs of travel and accommodation for the duration of the masterclasses.

The recipients of the scholarships are selected via a formal process with nominations coming from PhD supervisors or other academic referees. Each application consists of a letter of nomination, a candidate’s CV, and an application form. Masterclass applicants should note the number of scholarships is limited and we strongly encourage everyone to seek their own sources of funding from their institution or government.

Application deadline for the Autumn term 2019/20 Masterclasses is TBC.

Practical details about travel and accommodation in Reading

Spring term 2019/2020 Masterclasses

· MMD006 - International Business, Development, and Policy by Rajneesh Narula and Hafiz Mirza , 23 - 25 March 2020

· MMD007 - International Business Innovation, and Geography by Lucia Piscitello and Marina Papanastassiou, 25 - 27 March 2020

· MMD004 - International Business and International Human Resources Management by Chul Chung and Chris Brewster, 30 March - 1 April 2020

Date of Delivery: 23 - 25 March 2020
Venue: Room, TBC, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading,RG6 6UD
Masterclass Title: International Business, Development and Policy
Instructor(s): Rajneesh Narula, Henley Business School and Hafiz Mirza, Henley Business School

‘View Syllabus here’ (coming soon)

Date of Delivery: 25 - 27 March 2020
Venue: Room, TBC, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading,RG6 6UD
Masterclass Title: International Business Innovation, and Geography
Instructor(s): Lucia Piscitello, Henley Business School and Marina Papanastassiou, Middlesex University

‘View Syllabus here’ (coming soon)

Date of Delivery: 30 March - 1 April 2020
Venue: Room, 108, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading,RG6 6UD
Masterclass Title: International Business and International Human Resources Management
Instructor(s): Chul Chung, Henley Business School and Chris Brewster, Henley Business School

‘View Syllabus here’ (coming soon)

To find details about our previous Masterclasses find here

Testimonials

Rishika Nayyar, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, PhD Candidate, November 2018

The International Business Masterclasses provide an incredible platform to Ph.D. students from all over the world to understand the finest nuances of key theories of International Business and how the contemporary issues are making it imperative to revisit these theories thereby providing an opportunity to push the boundaries of IB as a field of study. Attending both the modules, Strategy and International Business taught by Prof. Alain Verbeke, and the Economics of International Business by Prof. Mark Casson and Prof. Gabriel Benito has immensely added to my knowledge of the subject and helped me develop a more holistic perspective on my ongoing Ph.D. research work. The classes are very well-structured and designed in a manner to allow free flow of discussion among the participants and with the professors. All the professors were very committed to understand and resolve the queries raised by the participants. The module on strategy and international business included students’ presentations of their current research and provided an excellent opportunity to take critical feedback from professors as well as the peers. Besides the academic content, masterclasses are a wonderful forum of meeting and developing network with fellow researches across the globe.
I am extremely grateful to the organizers at the Henley Business School, University of Reading for giving us this opportunity and especially to Jana Oslejova for her exceptional assistance, support, and hospitality. She has been excellent in her job and pivotal in the running of the Masterclasses. Finally, my heartfelt thanks to the organizers for selecting me for the Alan Rugman Scholarship and Mrs. Helen Rugman to fund the same. It was an absolute honor to meet the very gentle lady, Mrs. Helen Rugman, and receive the award and attendance certificate directly from her. The masterclasses are the powerhouse of invaluable learning and meeting people with similar intellectual pursuits, because of which I strongly recommend them to every aspiring International Business Scholar and/or researcher.

Luis Augusto de Freitas Cordeiro, Polytechnic University of Milan, PhD Candidate, November 2018

I was honoured to have an opportunity to attend the Masterclasses organized by Henley Business School last November 2018, and interact with well-known Prof Alain Verbeke, Prof Mark Casson, and Prof Gabriel Benito, and also with many bright, young scholars from different backgrounds who were interested in delving deeper into the International Businesses theories and concepts.
During the Masterclasses, the professors explained the latest concepts of IB, making us to understand some crucial links between them, updated us about recent discussions in the field, and motivated to think and question these subjects. We were introduced to various topics and were able to self-reflect.
I really appreciated to receive my certificate of attendance from Mrs Helen Rugman’s hands during a social event. I cherish this moment as I was one of three fortunate students granted with a scholarship funded by the Alan Rugman Fund, and without it, I would not have been able to participate in the masterclasses programme.
Moreover, I would like to thank all the staff from the International Business and Strategy department, mainly Mrs. Jana Oslejova, for taking care of us, giving an excellent support and helping us during our stay at Reading University, what made it a pleasant and unforgettable experience.

Amy Nguyen, University of York, PhD Candidate, April 2018

I am extremely grateful to meet many brilliant mindsets from all over the world in the PhD IBMasterclasses organised by the Henley Business School in April 2018. Being one of young scholars who just started her PhD at the University of York in January 2018, this programme has benefited my early-stage career. Masterclasses gave me an opportunity to learn all the dominant IB theories from excellent and leading professors in the field such as Prof Davide Castellani, Prof Rajneesh Narula, and Prof Chris Brewster. They delivered comprehensive and insightful theories, with passion and humour, which enriched my knowledge and allowed me to reflect on as well as better shape my own research. I really enjoyed the Stata sessions taught by Dr Katiuscia Lavoratori as they gave me practical application of the new theories.
Moreover, the programme was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow PhD students, to develop networking and make new friends from all over the world. As a young scholar, I value the potential future collaborations the programme offers.
I am grateful to the team at the University of Reading who organised this fantastic event, and especially to Jana Oslejova for her first-class job, her kindness and hospitality to us. Finally, thank you to Mrs Helen Rugman for funding the Alan Rugman scholarship. The happy memories from the masterclasses programme will keep me motivated to follow my IB academic journey.

Olga Chvetrikova, University of Manchester, PhD Candidate, April 2018

I found the International Business, Innovation and Geography Masterclass at Henley Business School to be invaluable and insightful. Mostly, I was impressed by the structure of the course aimed at gradual accumulation of knowledge both through theory and practice. Overall, Economic Geography and International Business, Connectivity and Innovation, Internal and External Agglomeration as well as methodological challenges were evaluated through most recent examples and trends whilst afternoon lab sessions on STATA were directly linked to the concepts and data samples presented in the morning. The three days of intensive training enhanced immensely my understanding of International Business and its role and impact on Innovation and MNEs’ location choices. The all-inclusive nature of discussions also helped me to link newly acquired knowledge to the research on Global Value Chains, International Investment Law and Technology Transfer that I am currently doing for my PhD.
Apart from teaching and research excellence, there was also an incredible supportive environment for young researchers’ exchange and interaction which culminated in several PGRs presenting their research and receiving a valuable feedback. The whole event was organised with the emphasis on collaboration which has become possible due to smooth and effortless administration.
I would highly recommend PhD Masterclasses at Henley Business School and in particular – the Masterclass on International Business, Innovation and Geography – as an exciting and genuinely knowledge effective course for PGRs. And last, but not least, Reading is a gem of a town with a couple of wonderful restaurants and a buzzing social life.

Emmanuel Tenakwah,PhD Candidate, The University of Newcastle, Australia, April 2018

I have made the right decision to undertake the masterclasses on current debates and conceptual issues in International Business at the Henley Business School. The sessions were well-structured and informative offering the opportunity to engage in key IB topics delivered by distinguished scholars in the field. As a curious and passionate researcher, I decided to take advantage of this training to deepen my understanding of IB conceptual issues. My interactions with the academics and young scholars attending the programme generated valuable insights for my PhD project. I expanded my intellectual interest in International business while building my research skills and expertise through the stimulating discussions on the application of theories in IB research. I am extremely grateful to the Alan Rugman memorial fund for making it possible for me to participate in the programme. A big thank you to the organisers, particularly Jana who took a good care of us. Above all, the opportunity to network with other research colleagues is invaluable. I will not hesitate to recommend the Henley IB Masterclasses to PhD candidates and rising scholars who wish to gain comprehensive knowledge in International Business.

Zhenyu Su, PhD student in Applied Economics at the University of Alicante, Spain, April 2018

Many thanks to the Henley Business School for giving me the opportunity to attend the IB Masterclasses. Although my research field is international finance, international business and international finance are interdependent and so I have gained useful knowledge benefiting my research. The professors were knowledgeable, and inspirational. I hope to be able to participate the IB masterclasses again in the future.

Paula Esteban, the University Federal, April 2017

The IB Masterclasses were an enriching experience. During the International Business, Development and Policy class, Professor Narula presented a challenging discussion, raising questions that push the boundaries of the current IB knowledge. The sessions were very insightful and provocative. The International Business, Innovation and Geography master class by Professor Castellani and Professor Santangelo deepened my knowledge of the topic. The concepts and theories were presented in a systematic way that allowed me to build interesting links with my own research.
The Stata session was very interesting and allowed us to build a bridge between the theoretical concepts and the practical perspective. All professors encouraged discussion in the classroom, and that was a great forum to interact with senior scholars, and also, with PhD students from about ten different countries. The week was very productive and enjoyable. I highly recommend the IB Masterclasses for young scholars who want to improve their theoretical background but also to those who would like to gain an excellent educational experience.

Marlena Dzikowska, Poznan University of Economics and Business, November 2016

Some years ago the studies of Professor Alan Rugman, Professor Alain Verbeke and their colleagues inspired me to focus my research interests on MNEs. Therefore, I was keen to attend the Strategy and International Business Masterclass by Professor Verbeke which gave me a unique opportunity to interact with one of the scholars who developed theories I based my research on. The masterclass helped to explain the dominant IB theories in a very comprehensive, and at the same time concise manner, but it also went beyond that. I was shown how to be constructive, stick to the point, but at the same time, take at least some of the existing theories and concepts with a pinch of salt. I had an opportunity to learn from a world-class IB scholar, sincerely committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with all participants, many of which are at the beginning of their academic careers. I had an opportunity to meet a group of young scholars from around the world. And last but not least, I was impressed with the hospitality and kindness of the hosts.

Gareth Jones, Auckland University of Technology Business School, November 2016

The masterclasses were brilliant in that we listened to experts in their respective fields of research and we were given the opportunity to network with other research colleagues. Importantly, we discussed current themes and where theory had traversed through time to where we are now and what could possibly be areas of interest in the future. The experience itself was insightful, provocative and had the impact of motivation to delve deeper into our own areas of research. Personally, I will be reviewing some of the ideas and work I have done to date across the knowledge and learnings I have just obtained from this course of study. The opportunity to maintain strong links with those that attended and the presenters themselves is perhaps a key benefit of the week that stands out. I would recommend this to anyone who is considering attending the masterclasses and finally, I would like to comment on the excellent facilities and wonderful administrators who made the stay delightful

Ramazan Arikan, Ozyegin University, November 2016

I had the unique opportunity to attend the International Business Masterclasses taught by Prof Alain Verbeke, Prof Mark Casson, and Prof Gabriel Benito in November 2016. It was a pleasure to meet and interact with the professors who are among few top scholars in the field of International Business. Their approaches to IB and to the internalization theory were fairly different. I see this as an asset of the programme which introduced me to the contemporary and conflicting insights and let me reflect on these various approaches in my future research. I valued the chance to present my proposal and receive critical feedback. The programme allowed me to meet fellow PhD students from all around the world and develop networking and collaboration opportunities. I was honoured to meet Mrs Helen Rugman and receive my certificates of attendance from her directly. I am thankful to Mrs Rugman for sponsoring my studentship and providing me with the invaluable opportunity to attend the masterclasses at Henley Business School. I am also grateful to the organizers for their kind hospitality and taking a good care of us during the programme.

Raji Ajwani-Ramchandani, Pune, India, April 2016

The International Business Masterclasses have been a great learning forum for PhD researchers from around the world. The instructors demonstrated vast research and teaching experience. The concepts taught in IB, Development and Policy master class by Prof Rajneesh Narula inspired me to conduct further research. The content was delivered in a straightforward manner, with a high dose of humor. The International Business, Innovation and Geography master class by Prof Castellani and Prof Piscitello enabled me to gain insights into IB research in the European context. Also, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Mrs Helen Rugman for sponsoring the Alan Rugman scholarship which enabled me to travel to Reading and gain valuable experience. Thank you to all who were involved in organising and delivering the master classes programme.

Tianli Wu, University of Melbourne, April 2016

The International Business, Innovation and Geography Masterclass by Prof Davide Castellani and Prof Lucia Piscitello extended my understanding of the topic. The structure of the class was well designed and helped me establish clear links between relevant concepts. I am especially grateful for the opportunity of giving a presentation and receiving constructive feedback from both junior and senior discussants. This was truly inspirational for my research. A fantastic programme!

Michal Budryk, Uppsala University, November 2015

The Strategy and International Business Masterclass by Prof Alain Verbeke was a great opportunity to interact with senior IB scholars of world class. It also provided an excellent and comprehensive overview of the dominant IBtheories. It helped me gain theoretical clarity in my own research, which is otherwise empirically driven. The possibility to network with PhD students from around the world was an added value of the class.

Faculty & Staff

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Daria Radwan by email at phd.ibs@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6597.

Important Information

Application Deadline:

Applications for academic year 2019/2020 have closed

Scholarships

Here at Henley we have a number of scholarships awarded for our PhD research areas, International business and strategy have 4 scholarships to award this year.

Scholarship Deadline:

Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, apply as early as possible. Applications for scholarships have closed for academic year 2019/2020.

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).

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).

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

Year 1

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

  • Attend and obtain 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 weekly 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).

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. Econometrics)

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

In the middle of the second year, 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 a 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;

Your thesis should be completed before your viva examination at the end of your third or fourth year (4 years is the maximum registration period according to the University rules).

Apply Now

Entry requirements

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. We advise against contacting multiple faculty members simultaneously as it is not seen as a professional practice.

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 International Business and Strategy application deadline for the subsequent year is 15th June.


The key requirements for a successful application are:
  1. Top grades in your Masters degree (minimum requirement is a Merit or equivalent, but we prefer a Distinction)
  2. Top grade in your Masters dissertation (or equivalent research-based piece of work) as this may show your research attitude and skills
  3. A well-developed research proposal. Guidance on writing the research proposal can be found here.

English requirements : Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have obtained an overall score of 7.0 in IELTS (with no element below 6.0). Alternatively, applicants could undertake a TOEFL Internet-based test with an overall score of 100 and no less than a score of 20 in Listening, Writing and Reading, and 21 in Speaking, or pass a TEEP test at the University of Reading and obtain a score of 7.0 (with no element below 6.0). For all other equivalent score requirements in the English Language tests that we accept, please refer to information provided here.

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 15th June.

Studentships

Up to 4 postgraduate studentships, each worth up to £15,000 plus University fees, are available for outstanding applicants wanting to conduct full-time postgraduate research in the area of International Business and Strategy. These awards are offered on an annual basis and are renewable at the end of each year subject to satisfactory performance, for up to 3 years. If you wish to be considered for a studentship please indicate this when you complete your online application form. Please note that we decide on who to award the studentships to after we have decided to shortlist your proposal. This means that only the best proposals are considered for the studentships.

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.
  • Fully-funded Ph.D. studentship on changes in household expenditure and behaviour over the twentieth century.

Careers

How Henley careers can help 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.

What our students have gone on to do
  • Steve Altman, Senior Research Scholar, New York University
  • Tom Buckley, Lecturer in International Business Strategy, University of Sheffield
  • Eko Budi Harjo, Faculty Member, Telekom Corporate University, Indonesia
  • Pattana Buonchoo, Assistant Professor, Thammasat University
  • Maggie Cooper, Lecturer in Management Accounting, Henley Business School
  • Chipoong Kim, Senior Researcher at Samsung Economic Research Institute
  • Sylvia Kim, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Fresno Pacific University
  • Jongmin Lee, Lecturer in International Business and Strategy, Henley Business School
  • Sirinuch Loykulnanta, Lecturer Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
  • Quyen Nguyen, Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy, Henley Business School
  • Karina Pavlisa, Teaching Fellow, Henley Business School
  • Ziyi Wei, Lecturer in Chinese Studies, University of Sheffield