About the Doctoral programme

The Doctoral programme is structured to take between four to six years full-time. In the first year, all students undertake a one or two year MRes programme depending on their chosen research area specialism. Subject to satisfactory academic progress, students then progress to the PhD which takes between 3-4 years.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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 2022-23 rate of the Graduate Teaching Assistant scholarship stipend is £20,000 in year one, rising to £20,500 in subsequent years. Rates are reviewed annually and are expected to increase for 2023-24 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.

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

All applications to the Doctoral programme are made via our online platform. You will either need to select 'Business (MRes 1YFT)' or 'Business (MRes 2YFT)' based on your research area of interest. Further information can be found on our Doctoral programme page.

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.

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

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 and how these are a good fit for Imperial College Business School

  • What interests you most about your chosen field of study

  • Relevant past study, industry, or research projects

  • Long-term career goals

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.

No, although in your application you should list a member of faculty you have identified as a potential supervisor. You can demonstrate in your statement of purpose how your research interests are aligned to a potential supervisor and 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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.