PhD study

The Strategic Management Research Group brings together academics carrying out research and supervising PhDs in the following areas: business models, game theory, dynamic capabilities, absorptive capacity and knowledge management, strategy in developing countries, mergers and acquisitions, strategy and IT, strategy communications, leadership and change.

For the different interests of members of the group please see the Strategic Management Research Group staff. In addition, the group has an interest in supervising PhDs in the area of strategy as practice and strategy process, with a focus on both aspects of strategy development (for example, strategic planning, strategy workshops and away days, strategy tools) and aspects of strategic renewal, strategic change and strategic transformation.

Application process

Applications are always welcome from well qualified applicants interested in studying for a PhD in an area of strategic management on a full or part-time basis and whose research interests complement the existing interests of staff. Part-time applicants must demonstrate how they will provide the time and resources to complete their PhD and successful applicants will be expected to visit Lancaster on a regular basis for supervision and training.

Applicants should complete a proposal which follows these guidelines.  It is our experience that research degrees are most likely to be completed successfully when there is a good match between the interests and availability of a potential supervisor, the interests of the applicant and the importance and accessibility of the topic. Thus applicants should consider this when making their application.

The preparation of a proposal should be regarded as much as an application test as a firm PhD plan, and may be expected to change over the course of the research. It is unlikely that a proposal would be acceptable on the first or even second attempt but staff will provide feedback to aid improvement if the proposal shows promise and there is a match with their interests. We also put considerable weight on the strength of the two references. Please make sure that you select suitable referees who can comment on your academic potential for carrying out research at the doctoral level.

UK applicants should have at least an upper second class honours degree, normally in a social science subject. Full-time applicants without a Masters degree in a relevant area will usually be required to complete an MRes as preparation for the PhD. Overseas applicants should hold equivalent qualifications and, if their first language is not English, they will be required to demonstrate sufficient competence in English. As a guide, our normal minimum entry requirements are 7.0 in IELTS, or 100 in TOEFL iBT.


Lancaster University Management School normally offers a number of scholarships but it should be noted that the competition for them is strong. For UK/EU students, registration under the PhD in Management will also bring eligibility for ESRC research studentships. For more details on the wide range of scholarships available please see information on funding for PhD study at LUMS.