PhD Study

Study for your PhD or DBA with the Centre for Business in Society

Doctorate in Business Administration

Transform Your Business: Make an Impact

The DBA programme is cohort-based, with groups of up to 10 candidates mentored throughout their research degree by an expert academic team. The degree takes 4 to 6 years to complete.

The DBA is designed for practising managers with the experience and roles to facilitate impactful change within their organisations as a result of their research.

Whilst the programme contains some taught elements designed to enhance research skills and capabilities,the final award of the Doctorate is based on a portfolio of original research, presented in a thesis.

Is the DBA right for me?

Professional doctorates are for practising managers with the experience and roles which will facilitate impactful change in their organisations as a result of their research. Professional doctorates contain significant taught elements, but the final award of the doctorate is based on a portfolio of work, presented in a thesis. In the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), the professional doctorate is the DBA, which is a Doctorate in Business Administration. The DBA is located within the Centre for Business in Society, one of FBL’s dedicated research centres.


Candidates must apply through the University‚Äôs Research Admissions Process.

This includes an explanation of the subject area likely to form the focus of the studies leading to the final research thesis, showing how their own experiences, roles and career plan underpin this selection.  However, a full research proposal is not expected at this stage; this will be produced during phase one of the DBA.

Candidates will need to produce evidence of their academic qualifications or professional experience. They will need to have two references, plus evidence that funding is secure for their fees and that a practitioner mentor has been selected.

Short-listed candidates will be interviewed before a place on the programme is recommended.

Candidates must have:

i) a postgraduate Master’s degree with Merit or above, or with a minimum overall average mark of 60% or above, in a relevant discipline/subject area and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element or equivalent; OR

ii) a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a relevant discipline/subject area, or an approved equivalent award, with a minimum mark of 60% in the project element or equivalent; OR

iii) appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement.

Additional requirements are that candidates:

i) have a minimum of five years’ practitioner experience in a relevant field;

ii) are undertaking a role within an appropriate setting that will allow the implementation of innovation and change necessary to meet the requirements of the programme;

iii) have an identified mentor who is an experienced practitioner in a relevant field.

Dr Harjit Sekhon
DBA Academic Director
Centre for Business in Society


Dr Carlos Ferreira

DBA Academic Director
Centre for Business in Society

PhD Postgraduate Research

The Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) is an exciting research foundation. Our thriving PhD student community are integral to the Centre and contribute to our wide-ranging research portfolio. Choosing to pursue PhD study within the vibrant and supportive intellectual environment of the Centre is an investment in your future.

Explore CBiS's pages and find out about the innovative research that is being undertaken by our staff and current, and former, postgraduate research students; work that is not only cutting-edge but contributing to important issues confronting business and society.

Within our collegiate environment, our PhD candidates are well supported both within CBiS and the Faculty of Business and Law. The programmes are overseen by the University's Doctoral College, which gives our PhD candidates access to additional leanring, networking and engagement opportunites.

We welcome applications from suitably qualified self-funded or sponsored PhD candidates that relate to our current research themes. If you think you have what it takes to study for a PhD with us and have an idea you would like to discuss before you apply, please contact us. The University has three start dates each year, but interested candidates may contact CBiS at any time. For general enquiries please email our PhD Director, Dr Jason Begley or our Operations Manager Jo Bishop. Otherwise please contact the subject specialists listed below.

If your enquiry relates to PhD study within the wider Faculty of Business and Law, please contact the relevant department or Coventry University's Postgraduate Research Support Office.

Professor Glauco De Vita

Strategic Director of Postgraduate Research
Centre for Business in Society


Dr. Jason Begley
Academic Director of Postgraduate Research
Centre for Business in Society


Dr Elizabeth Bos
PGR Tutor / Mentor
Centre for Business in Society

Current PhD Opportunities

Self-funded Doctorates

The Data, Organisations and Society research cluster applications from prospective doctoral students. We are working to lead research on the impact of the digital environment on business and society. Challenges and opportunities related to the use of Big Data, digital and analytics as a driver of innovation, business strategy development and new business models. Issues such as privacy, trust and data protection, related to the creation, use, management and disposal of data in society are also essential.

We welcome PhD application that focus on the following themes:

  • Data and Strategy: Projects that focus on the use of big data, digital and analytics as a driver of innovation, business strategy development and new business models.
  • Data and the Digital Economy: Projects that consider the uses of personal data in the digital economy and its implications and challenges for organisations. Particular areas of interest include: (1) the use of big data in fields such as marketing (e.g. behaviour change, market segmentation and social marketing), sustainability and strategy; and (2) privacy issues emerging from the routine collection and storage of personal data by businesses.
  • Data and Society: Projects that address the challenges around data, including privacy and trust, from the perspective of the individual and society. Proposals that highlight the importance of cyber security management are of interest, but these should focus on the managerial and societal impact of data rather than on the technical aspects.

For all enquiries in the first instance, please contact Professor Maureen Meadows, Professor Sally Dibb or Dr Alexeis Garcia-Perez.


The Economic Development and Inclusive Economies research cluster focuses on policies and practices for growth and development, and the economic and social outcomes which follow from these; with a particular emphasis on issues of inclusion. We welcome PhD applications which explore a range of topics relating to growth and inclusion. These include city growth, employment policy, social investment and community finance; and the impact of economic development, such as strategies for local and regional economies, including advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurship and business models.

The cluster also welcomes PhD applications from suitably qualified candidates interested in pursuing historical research in line with our research themes. The expertise of our cluster members covers the following continents: Africa; Australasia; Europe; Latin America; and North America. PhD researchers are a core part of our cluster and benefit from the opportunity to work with scholars at various stages of their career.

For all enquiries in the first instance regarding the Economic Development and Inclusive Economies research cluster, please contact Dr David Jarvis or Dr Paul Sissons.


The Sector, Economic and Financial Studies research cluster welcomes PhD applications aiming to develop an understanding of how alternative financial institutions - such as credit unions and community development finance institutions (CDFIs) - are shaping the responsible finance landscape in the UK. We are also interested in proposals that look into the attitudes towards financial services, particularly from a young person’s perspective, in order to increase engagement levels in pensions. Finally, we welcome applications that propose panel data econometric analyses of the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on foreign direct investment (FDI).

Proposals for the following projects are welcome:

  • Intellectual Property Rights Protection: the impact on Foreign Direct Investment. An econometric panel data analysis in developed and developing countries (Prof Glauco De Vita).
  • Risk Adoption in Financial Services: understanding consumers’ risk adoption in the financial services sector (Dr Harjit Sekhon).
  • Advocacy Behaviour: its role in financial services and the impact on long-term savings such as pensions (Dr Harjit Sekhon).
  • Responsible Finance: shaping the alternative economic landscape (Dr Lindsey Appleyard).

For all enquiries in the first instance, please contact Professor Glauco De Vita, Dr Harjit Sekhon or Dr Lindsey Appleyard.


The Sustainable Production and Consumption research cluster is interested in supervising research that explores sustainable production and consumption. We welcome topics that take a ‘whole supply approach’, examining sustainable activities, attitudes and behaviours at different points in the lifecycle of products, and work around interventions and changing behaviour that go beyond existing approaches to changing consumption patterns and ethical consumption. We are particularly keen in enhancing our research in sustainability and innovation in supply chain operations. For instance, at present we are exploring the innovative use of modern technology in improving supply chain efficiency and green practices in a complex and dynamic business environment to achieve a sustainability agenda and targets.

  • Innovative Technology in the Circular Economy: Bridging the gap from the current state to achieve and manage the Circular Economy through innovative technology and process re-engineering (Prof Ming Lim).
  • Café Culture: Rising café societies? Business diversity, sustainability, consumer cultures and community creation (Dr Jennifer Ferreira).
  • Sustainable Businesses: Investigating the links between good ethical/environmental practices and productivity in the South African horticultural sector (Dr David Bek).

For all enquiries in the first instance please contact Dr David Bek

Dr Jason Begley ( will be happy to discuss your research ideas and proposal, so long as they link to one of the themes shown above.

All applications must be made online. Details of the online application can be found here.

Guidance on Coventry University’s PGR eligibility and application process can be found here.