About the Doctoral programme

How long does it take to complete the Doctoral programme?

The Doctoral programme is structured to take between four and five years full-time. In the first year, all students undertake the MRes programme. Subject to satisfactory academic progress, students then progress to the PhD which takes between 3-4 years.

When does the academic year start?

The Doctoral programme has one intake each year in September and is spread over four or five years.

Do you offer any distance learning or part-time research programmes?

It is not possible to enrol on the Doctoral programme on a part-time or distance learning basis. Students must be in attendance throughout the full period of study.

Can I transfer from my current Doctoral programme to Imperial College Business School's Doctoral programme?

It is not usually possible to transfer onto the Doctoral programme as it is unlikely that previous studies would perfectly overlap with the School’s expertise.

Can I come to Imperial College Business School as a visiting student?

Imperial College Business School does not accept visiting student applications. On rare occasions students are invited to visit by an academic and are dealt with individually.

Can I have a part-time job whilst enrolled in the programme?

The Doctoral programme is full time. Students are able to undertake part-time work if this does not break any relevant visa and/or scholarship conditions, however the programme offers a living stipend to support students during their studies.

How many students do you accept onto the Doctoral programme every year?

Admission onto the Doctoral programme is highly competitive as we accept around 15 students each year, from a total of approximately 200 applications.

Is there a workspace assigned to Doctoral students?

There is a designated workspace which includes a computer and relevant software assigned to all enrolled Doctoral students. You will share working space with other PhD students in your cohort.

Fees and funding

Do you offer any Doctoral studentships?

We offer a fully funded Doctoral programme at Imperial College Business School – this includes a tuition fee waiver and a stipend for up to five years. The 2019-20 rate of the Graduate Teaching Assistant scholarship stipend is £17,100 in year one, rising to £18,500 in subsequent years. Rates are reviewed annually and are expected to increase for 2020-21 in line with Research Council UK rates. Stipends are tax-free and the continuation of the stipend will depend on your satisfactory progress on the programme.
Within Imperial we also have funding opportunities from various external studentships, including EPSRC, ESRC and the Imperial College President’s PhD Scholarships.

Students who are eligible for other PhD funding opportunities that may be available to them are expected to apply for them.

What living costs should I allow for in London?

Living costs vary considerably depending on the area of London you choose to live in and your choice of accommodation.

Read more about estimated London living costs and accommodation for postgraduates.

Application process

How do I apply and what documents do I need to submit with my application?

All applications to the Doctoral programme are made via our online platform. You will need to select “MRes Business” as the programme title. Please refer to the How to apply page to see application deadlines, what documents you are required to submit with your application and to view the selection process.

When is the application deadline?

To find out more about application deadlines for our Doctoral programme please visit the How to apply page.

What do I need to include in my statement of purpose?

One of the most important parts of our application form is the ‘statement of purpose’ section. It should be no more than one or two A4 pages and should cover the following points:

  • Your motivation for undertaking the programme

  • A discussion of possible research areas that you might pursue

  • Identify Business School faculty that align with your research interests

  • What interests you most about your chosen field of study

  • Relevant past study or research projects – in particular those completed with faculty

I haven’t decided what area I want to specialise in for my PhD, what should I do?

You should browse the description of the different research groups in the Business School and the webpages of faculty members. This will give an overview of their research interests and current projects. The MRes gives you an opportunity to pursue potential interests through courses and a project prior to committing to the PhD.

Do I need a willing supervisor prior to application?

No, although in your statement of purpose you should identify members of faculty whose research interests are related to yours to demonstrate how your research interests align with the Business School. Checking the research profiles of faculty members and Business School projects will give you an indication of whether the Business School is a good fit for you. If no faculty are working in your area of interest it is unlikely that you would be shortlisted, as we may not be able to provide supervisory support during your PhD.

During the MRes year, you will become part of the research community at Imperial College Business School and interact with faculty and other PhD students during taught courses and at seminars, which we hope will influence and help shape your research ideas for the PhD.

Are all applicants interviewed?

Not all applications progress to the interview stage of the selection process, however we interview all shortlisted candidates before making an offer. In the case of overseas candidates we will arrange an interview by telephone or via Skype.

Is GMAT/GRE a compulsory requirement?

Yes. A GMAT/GRE score must be submitted before we will consider an application. Any applications submitted without a GMAT/GRE score will be considered incomplete until we receive a score. Please note that we do not make offers on the condition that a candidate achieves a satisfactory GMAT/GRE score. To see the GMAT/GRE scores we look for, please refer to the Entry Requirements page.

Admitted students

When will I receive my official offer?

When the Business School recommends an offer, the College Registry team will perform a final review of your application to make sure that all College entry requirements are met before making an official offer. This process can take up to three weeks from Business School recommendation.

Do I need to pay a deposit to secure my place?

No. This is not required as all places on the Doctoral Programme come with full funding.

How do I show that I’ve met the academic condition of my offer?

The majority of academic documents need to be posted to the Registry team to verify. Scans or photocopies of documents will not be sufficient to satisfy the academic condition of your offer. Please refer to the meeting offer conditions page to see what you are required to submit and where you need to submit the relevant documents.

How do I show that I’ve met the English language condition of my offer?

IELTS and TOEFL certificates should be scanned and emailed to business.admissions@imperial.ac.uk. If you have not yet received your certificates, you can email your IELTS Test Report Number or TOEFL 16 digit registration number to the Registry team.

If you have completed the Pearson Test of Academic English, please ensure you have sent your scores to Imperial via your PearsonPTE account.

If you have completed another one of Imperial’s accepted English language qualifications, you will need to post the original, physical document to the Registry team to support this qualification. Please refer to the Meeting offer conditions page for more information and the address that the document will need to be posted to.

Visiting the Business School

How do I find the Business School?

The Business School is located on the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London. Please refer to the location page for our address and guidance on how to get here.