PhD application and 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 very well developed research proposal. This is a document of at least 6 to 7 pages which should:

  • identify the motivation of your study
  • place it within relevant literature highlighting the current gap and potential research questions
  • state your intended methodology
  • show understanding of the data (if any) necessary to accomplish your studies and show relevant sources. This aspect will also reveal the feasibility of your study.
  • A reasonable intended timeline reflecting issues you may encounter during your studies as presented above. For example, if you have to collect primary data, the time spent on data collection will be much longer compared to when using secondary data sources.
  •  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.