PhD in Management Science
The doctoral programme in Management Science offers students the ideal opportunity to research in depth as a prelude to an academic or consulting career.
Aims and student support
The programme is highly interactive with a large number of students in operational research, operations management, and information systems and e-business. There are many opportunities to interact with faculty, industry, and co-students, both formal and informal. This offers a supportive environment in which to study.
For highly qualified students both home, EU and overseas, scholarships are available. In particular, the department has a large number of enhanced studentships available for UK students. Students may also be funded through scholarships from their home employer.
Each student will have a member of staff appointed as a supervisor to guide the research study. Where it is helpful two supervisors may be appointed. Part-time students working a significant distance from Lancaster may additionally have a local research adviser.
Students are assigned a study room and new computer, and as they progress through the programme are funded to attend appropriate conferences and workshops, both national and international.
The first year of study is normally a probationary year for all research students. During their first few months, students normally spend their time in a review of the literature in their chosen area of research and conduct initial research to help to develop a more precise topic for their thesis. Students are encouraged to attend any of the Masters courses or research training courses offered by the Management School, where this is appropriate to their personal development or research goals.
Formal assessments of progress are made at suitable intervals, with the first taking place no later than the end of the first fifteen months of research. If all goes well, the student is confirmed as a PhD student and continues the research to submit a thesis for the award of a doctorate, typically within 3+ years. Alternatively the student may be allowed to submit a thesis for the award of MPhil.
A detailed description of the PhD programme can be found in the PhD Management Science Handbook 2016.
Choosing a PhD research topic
Students considering applying for a PhD should choose one (or two) of the following areas and write a brief description of the research they are interested in:
- Forecasting and Market Modelling
- Health Systems
- Information Systems and Technology
- Supply Chain Management
- Systems/Soft OR
- Transport and Logistics
Details of the different research areas are given through the links above. If there is a particular topic you are interested in we encourage you to write to a potential supervisor directly. But it’s always better to work on topics close to the supervisor(s)’ interests.
Note that the department does not supervise in all areas of management. Potential students interested in other topics should visit the School's general information on PhD study in business and management.
Funding for PhD students
The department has a large number of studentships available for EU/UK students and a limited number for overseas students. The department welcomes applications from all quantitatively strong students, even those with no background in operational research or management science; and applicants with strong backgrounds in operations management, information systems and associated business disciplines. In addition to internal funding, these stem from some major grants.
Please see our detailed information about PhD funding.
Alumni and job opportunities
A doctorate in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School offers many job opportunities, both within university education and research and within industry and commerce, in particular consulting. Profiles of recent graduates are available here. For example, distinguished graduates of ours have held jobs in the UK Universities of Bath, Warwick, Strathclyde and Lancaster.