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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Management

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this research degree?

  • Make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in management
  • Produce a high quality thesis under the supervision of a qualified member of academic staff
  • Access the very latest business research and learn from the high profile academics
  • Be part of the UNSW Business School’s vibrant, globally recognised research community
  • Opportunity to be published in a leading international journal

Who is this degree for?

  • Graduates with excellent results in their undergraduate (honours) degree
  • Postgraduates with excellent results in their Masters by research degree 

Job and career prospects

  • Academic and research positions in Australia or overseas
  • Management research and analysis roles

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management consists of four core courses, one elective course and a thesis. The research thesis must demonstrate a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of study.

Study four compulsory core courses

COMM8000 Intellectual Foundations

This course is concerned with the nature of social science inquiry. It is intended for students in the business and management disciplines and those early in their masters and doctoral research program. The course is broken into four sections: (1) an introductory overview to the philosophy of science, (2) a review of epistemology – the nature and scope of knowledge − (3) a review of ontology – the what can be said to exist − and (4) specific applications to the major disciplinary areas.

COMM8001 Introduction to Research Methods

This course introduces students to business research problems and the ways business research is conducted. The course aims to develop foundational research skills required for designing research projects, and provides an overview of research approaches and methodologies useful for conducting business research.
Topics covered include: overview of the research process, theory and theorizing, critiquing a research paper, conducting a systematic literature review, writing a literature review, conceptual modelling and research design, archival research, case studies, surveys, experimental and simulation research, action and design research, writing and defending a research proposal.

COMM8003 Qualitative Research Methods

This course will enable student to acquire in-depth knowledge, skills and experience necessary to conduct a qualitative research study. It is intended to inspire, excite and prepare students to undertake qualitative research.

The course focuses on issues critical for qualitative inquiry, such as philosophical foundations, theory building, the design and conduct of qualitative study (of different types), methods of data collection and analysis, researcher role and relationships with subjects researched, the quality of qualitative research, presentation of findings and writing a research proposal and a thesis. It will also include the review of exemplary papers adopting a variety of qualitative research methods from organization studies, management, marketing, accounting, information systems, and other business disciplines.

The course will adopt a workshop style where students will actively engage in debates and work with empirical material. The course content and structure will be responsive to students’ needs.

Then choose one course from*

*Course selection in consultation with supervisor or postgraduate research coordinator.

MGMT5982 Advanced theory in organisation and management

The aim of this course is to offer insights and opportunities to discuss contemporary theories and models in HRM. The core focus is on managers, employees and the political-economic and social context. Students will review and critically discuss major theories, developments and debates in theory, and how theory relates to empirical research on individual performance; organizational performance; employee engagement and well-being; HR processes; types of managers and HR; HR and innovation; and HR in an international context. The course will assist students to compare, critique and contribute to theoretical debate and to develop theory in future research.

MGMT5983 Advanced Methods in Organisation and Management Multi Level Modelling Module

  • The aim of this course is to:
    understand the (differences between) theoretical and empirical meaning of multi level research (using arguments in terms of nesting and contextual influence)
  • understand the differences between regression and multi level analyses
  • develop skills in using SPSS (mixed models) and MPlus for multi level analyses
  • understand the interpretation the results (in terms of variance of the different levels and random and fixed effects

  • A four year undergraduate degree with honours class IIA or higher in a related discipline; or
  • A strong masters by research degree in a related discipline; or
  • An equivalent academic qualification or level of experience

English language requirements also apply

Information on how to apply for this degree is available at How to apply for a research degree.

To get the most from your Postgraduate research study, spend some time away from the library or laptop, making the most of UNSW Business School's dynamic learning spaces, facilities and student support services.

Get involved and expand your network

Make lifelong friends (and potential research or academic connections) at a range of social events. Why not join a student club – with more than 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs to choose from, it's the perfect way to broaden your experience. The Graduate Student Development office is a great place to enhance your career with leadership development.

All the support you need to achieve

As well as in-depth faculty supervision and support, you can also make the most of our study skills workshops and mentoring programs. Our Meet the Executive series offers unique behind the scenes business insights, and there are a number of orientation, leadership and mentor programs specifically designed for postgraduate students.

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres as well as retail outlets. It's a short bus trip to Sydney's CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Assumed Knowledge
Management, Research experience
Study Mode
Face to face
Full-time 3-4 years; Part-time 5-8 years
Commencing semesters
Semester 1 - March
Semester 2 - July

​​​​​​​​Research Study Options

Browse the list of study options available for research students


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest