PhD Structure

PhD Structure

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 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).

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

Quantitative Path

Code Course/Module Credits Term
ICM116 Understanding Management and Financial Research 20 Autumn
ICM289 Advanced Finance Theory with Empirical Applications [or alternative Advanced Quantitative Methods course, e.g. ICM204 Financial Econometrics (20 credits), ECM607A Microeconometrics 1 (10 credits), ECM607B Microeconometrics 2(10 credits) ] 20 Summer
MMD013 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods No Autumn
TBD Any other relevant course/MSc (M) or PhD (D) level modules 20 Autumn/Spring/Summer

Qualitative Path

Code Course/Module Credits Term
MMD001 Introduction to Thesis Literature Review 20 Autumn
MMD002 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 20 Spring
MMD010 Data Analysis: Finding Patterns With Regressions No Autumn
TBD Any other relevant course/MSc (M) or PhD (D) level modules 20 Autumn/Spring/Summer

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.