Research Degrees in

Economics, Policy and International Business

in the Faculty of Business and Law


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or other postgraduate research degree in Economics, Policy and International Business you will:

  • Work with leading experts in the field. We are a centre for research excellence, with 60% of our research in Business rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent national assessment of research (REF2014).
  • Join a thriving research community. Our research engages strongly with the contemporary moment, and aims to deliver meaningful solutions for the challenges faced by 21st industry. Our research is emboldened by our two newly launched research centres: Future Economies and Decent Work and Productivity.
  • Benefit from Manchester’s wealth of entrepreneurial spirit. Manchester is a global destination for industry, with over 2,000 foreign-owned businesses located here. You will have opportunities to engage with leading regional, national and global industries.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. This training ensures our graduates are equipped to make a real impact, whether in the worlds of academia or practice.
  • Receive dedicated support from the Business and Law Graduate School. We provide specialist support and training opportunities to enhance your development as a researcher and practitioner. The seventh floor of our Business School is a dedicated postgraduate space, and includes attractively landscaped social and study areas.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We can supervise a broad range of projects within Economics, Policy and International Business. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Behavioural economics
  • International economic development
  • Economic, technological and cultural shifts
  • International trade and innovation
  • Economic and technological globalisation
  • Internationalisation and multinational companies
  • International political economy
  • Innovation in the public, private and third sectors
  • Ecological and environmental economics
  • Sport
  • Economic philosophy
  • Policy modelling.

Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

We pride ourselves on delivering rigorous research that advances knowledge on the issues that matter on the contemporary global stage. Our world-class professionals and academic economists have a deep understanding of the global needs of the digital age, and the impact that economics and policy have on global, regional and personal development.

More about our research culture

Our research is collaborative and impactful. We work across disciplines and with a range of industry partners to undertake research that is scholarly, entrepreneurial, and action-oriented.

To support our ambitious research plans, we have recently launched two innovative new research centres: Future Economies and Decent Work and Productivity. These centres bring together researchers, enterprises and communities to address the key challenges facing 21st century business, and to explore solutions that are decent for workers and productive for organisations and society.

As a postgraduate researcher, you will form an integral part of our research culture. You will benefit from an extensive programme of research training, designed to develop your subject-specific and transferable skills. You will also have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of seminars, symposiums and networking events to expand your intellectual horizons.

In addition to the Future Economies and Decent Work and Productivity research centres, the Faculty of Business and Law is also home to other major interdisciplinary research projects, including:

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)
  • Master's by Research (1 year full time, 2 years part time)
  • MPhil (18 months full time, 36 months part time)
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background).

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our students start their courses in October. We offer a further start point in January.

Career prospects

You will develop advanced research and critical thinking skills that are highly valued across all sectors. You will be part of one of the largest Business Schools in the country, and benefit from our extensive associations with professional bodies and industry associations.

You will graduate with the confidence and expertise to pursue a range of senior roles in industry and academia.

Course structure

This course is research based. You will independently conduct research into your own topic or a topic that we advertise. Your supervisory team will offer expert guidance throughout your studies and review work in progress.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

In your first year (or first two years if you are part-time) you will take four, compulsory, credit-based courses as part of our Doctoral Research Training programme.

Fees and funding

Find out more

Postgraduate Research Degrees Fees

Please refer to our Fees page for more information about tuition fees.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Business are advertised on our site.

Sign up to be notified when relevant scholarships are advertised

Entry requirements

Find out more

You should, as a minimum, have a first or 2.1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

International students must demonstrate a sufficiently high standard of English language ability (IELTS 7.0).

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email Dr Rory Shand,, the Postgraduate Research Degrees for the Department of Economics, Policy and International Business.

For further information on the application process, contact the Admissions team, +44 (0)161 247 2966

How to apply

Apply now

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online using the link below. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study