Management Science PhD student

PhD Programmes 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.

About the programme

Our PhD 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.

You will have a member of staff appointed as a supervisor to guide your research study, and 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. On arrival we will assign you a study room and computer, and as you progress through the programme you will be funded to attend appropriate conferences and workshops, both national and international.  For more information on potential research topics and supervisors within this department, please visit our search for a supervisor page.

Discover our job market candidates for 2018/19.


"The investment in my PhD was well worth it, and every time I open the LUMS homepage and see how high the University climbs in all the rankings, I am reminded of my wonderful time spent there. "

James Langabeer, PhD Management Science 2009

Programme Structure

The PhD in Management Science includes two PhD pathways known as Business and Management and NATCOR. We also have Integrated PhD (1+3), MPhil and MRes opportunities. For details, please refer to the tabs below.

Tab Content: Business & Management

Below is an overview of the modules you will study throughout your first year on the PhD in Management Science. Please note, you will follow this pathway if your research lies in Operations Management and Information Systems.

Term One  
Research Philosophy and Methods 15
Understanding Your Discipline 15
Searching for Information in Management Research (non-assessed)  
Plagiarism (2 hour seminar, assessed)  
Ethics and Research (2-hour seminar, assessed)  
Years 2 and 3  

Your will be required to attend a minimum of30 hours additional, specialist training during years 1 and 2 of your studies, to be agreed with your supervisors and the programme director.  You will need to write a brief report (circa 500 words) setting out how each piece of training has contributed to your research.  At least 15 hours of training should be undertaken in Year 1.  


Tab Content: NATCOR

Students following the NATCOR pathway are required to attend five residential courses over a two year period. These courses cover: Combinatorial Optimisation, Convex Optimisation, Heuristics, Simulation and Stochastic Modelling. For more information and to apply please visit the NATCOR website. Students are also required to take the following module and seminars:

Term One  
Research Philosophy and Methods 20
Plagiarism Compulsory
Ethics and Research Compulsory

Tab Content: Research Training Seminars

We offer a wide range of non-compulsory research training seminars and it is anticipated that in the academic year 2019/20 the programme will include the following topics.  All doctoral researchers are strongly encouraged to attend the seminars that you think will aid your study.

Term One
Strategies for Success: Managing your PhD - Getting Started (Year 1)
Career Planning - Job Applications and CV Building for Year 3 students

Managing the Supervisor – Student Relationship

Writing retreat (3 day event)

Project & Time Management of PhD Research

Term Two
Career Planning – Profile Building and Developing your Intellectual Identity for Year 2 Students
Writing Retreat (2 one day events)
How to Write a Thesis
Narrative Analysis
Action Research

Strategies for success: Managing your PhD - Staying Focused, Getting Finished

Establishing an Intellectual Identity

Term Three
How to Present your Work in Public and at Conferences  

NVIVO Training session 1

NVIVO Training session 2

ATLAS Training session 1

ATLAS Training session 2

Writing Retreat (3 day event)

Panels and Reviews 

Writing for Academic Journals in the Context of your Career

3 Minute Thesis & Poster presentation

Discourse Analysis

Grounded Theory

Aspect of Quantitative Research

Enjoying your VIVA

Tab Content: PhD Projects

A selection of our recent and current PhD projects are listed below. These include topics within the STOR-i Doctoral Training Centre which is a joint venture between the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Management Science. These projects usually have supervisors in both departments and/or an industrial partner.

  • Queue Modelling for Call Centre Management – Efi Chassioti (2005)
  • Empirical Investigation of Conceptual Modelling and the Modelling Process – Wang Wang (2007)
  • Determining the range of predictions for calibrated agent-based simulation models - DongFang Shi (2008)
  • On queues with time varying demand  - Navid Izady (2010)
  • Generic simulation modelling of Accident and Emergency patient flows in acute hospitals in England – Adrian Fletcher (2012)
  • Combining forecasting and queueing models for call centre staffing – Xi Chen (2014)
  • An Agent-Based Model of the IL-1 Stimulated Nuclear Factor-kappa B Signalling Pathway – Richard Williams (2015)
  • The development and application of an analytical healthcare model for understanding and improving hospital performance – Dan Suen (2016)
  • Methods for enhancing system dynamics modelling: state-space models, data-driven structural validation & discrete-event simulation – Mark Bell (2017)
  • Online Discrete Event Simulation for the Management of Inpatient Beds (ongoing)
  • Uncertainty Quantification and Simulation Arrival Processes (ongoing)
  • Symbiotic Simulation in an Airline Operations Environment (ongoing)
  • Agent-based simulation of financial markets (ongoing)
  • Agent-based simulation of classroom interactions (ongoing)
  • Simulation optimisation in forest land allocation between forest-dependent wildlife habitat conservation and other competitive uses (ongoing)
  • Bayesian Bandit Models for the Optimal Design of Clinical Trials – Faye Williamson (ongoing)
  • Optimal Search Accounting for Speed and Detection Capability – Jake Clarkson (ongoing)
  • Dynamic allocation of assets subject to failure or depletion – Stephen Ford (ongoing)
  • Robust and Stochastic Optimisation Approaches to Network Capacity Expansion and QoS Improvement – Francis Garuba (ongoing)
  • Simulation and Optimization of Scheduling Policies in Dynamic Stochastic Resource-Constrained Multi-Project Environments – Ugur Satic (ongoing)

Studentships and Funding

Our studentships and funding opportunities for PhD study are available through Lancaster University, through the UK's research councils, and through various other organisations. We provide below the details of four different types of studentships, which include fees and a living allowance, and further links for other funding opportunities.

  • Studentships and Loans

    LUMS Scholarships - All students

    A number of LUMS Studentships are available which include a fee waiver and a stipend of approximately £14,777 per annum. Applicants should indicate that they wish to be considered for a Doctoral Studentship on their application form (under the section on proposed source of funding and in the personal statement) so that they can automatically be considered: there are no separate studentship application forms.

    These studentships are available for all the PhD programmes offered by LUMS and for students of any nationality. This is a generous programme of awards, allocated on a competitive basis, which is intended to support promising researchers to undertake their PhD studies in LUMS. Students receiving these studentships will be required to undertake some teaching and/or marking activities.

    Eligibility: all students
    Deadline for applications: 30th March 2020. Please note if you are planning to apply for an ESRC award the deadline for this is the 3rd February 2020.

    Programme Studentships - Management Science only

    Currently, the Department of Management Science offers programme-specific funded studentships aimed at high achieving applicants. 

    Eligibility: Management Science applicants only

    Interests: Our interests cover information systems and the digital economy; operational research; and operations management, including supply chain and logistics. Supervision is available in all these areas.

    More Details: We have a large group of PhD candidates and are seeking others to join them. The funding covers fees and living costs and are currently only available for full time study. Details of potential PhD topics can be found on the Management Science PhD page. For more details, please contact Ms Gay Bentinck.

    Deadline: There are two deadlines for 31 December 2019 and 15 February 2020.

    Commonwealth Scholarships

    Commonwealth Scholarships are prestigious awards and are very valuable for international students. They are available on a competitive basis.

    Eligibility: overseas students

    Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

    If you’re starting a doctoral degree on or after 1 August 2018, you could get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,000 to help with course fees and living costs. It isn’t based on your income or your family’s and it’s paid directly to you. You’ll be able to apply from summer 2018. Please visit the website for more information.

    Additional Information

    Plenty of websites provide information about funding opportunities. We would suggest overseas applicants to consider the website of the British Council for helpful information. Among the many other sources, we suggest the following links:

  • ESRC Awards

    Lancaster University forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), which offers a large number of studentships covering tuition and providing a living allowance. Details of the provision and funding offered by the NWSSDTP are available on the NWSSDTP website.

    • Eligibility for UK students: no restrictions 
    • Eligibility for EU students: restrictions apply; please check the ESRC website or contact us for details
    • Eligibility for overseas students: eligible to apply for a full award in Economics and topics classed as Advanced Quantitative Methods. For other pathways restrictions apply; please check the ESRC website or contact us for details.

    If you are interested in applying for an ESRC Studentship, please contact Sarah Patterson.

    Deadline for applications: 3rd February 2020

     ESRC logo

  • STOR-i

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistics and Operational Research in partnership with industry (STOR-i) is a collaboration between Lancaster's Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Management Science. STOR-i's goal is the development of international research leaders through a programme in which industrial challenge is the catalyst for mathematical innovation. The Centre's distinctive mission is based on a partnership with several of the UK's leading companies across a range of sectors, including AstraZeneca, BT, IBM, Shell and SSE. We are currently recruiting for entry onto the programme in 2020.

    Further details can be found on the STOR-i website.



    The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) provides funding opportunities to support world-leading research. We are looking to recruit researchers in the Department of Management Science who will:

    • Be based with the Department of Management Science
    • Be excellent doctoral students with a strong quantitative background (including mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering)
    • Satisfy the UK residency requirement for full EPSRC support (usually met by EU students whose undergraduate studies were in the UK) for PhD study in any area of the department's OR research portfolio.

    Application Details

    To apply you will need to provide your full CV and a covering letter in which you should indicate which area is of interest to you (and why) and some possible topics for research.

    If you are short-listed, we will contact you to put you in touch with potential supervisors for the development of a fuller research proposal. For more information contact Gay Bentinck: e-mail  or phone +44 (0)1524 592408. Applications will be processed as soon as they are received, and short-listed candidates will be invited to interview.


    4-Year PhD studentships in Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Managing Airport Capacity

    “Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Allocating Scarce Airport Resources” (OR-MASTER) is a six year Programme Grant funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  OR-MASTER aims to develop new mathematical models and algorithms for solving complex, large-scale resource allocation problems, with the ultimate goal of developing innovative decision support capabilities for airport capacity allocation and management. These studentships provide great opportunities for individuals to develop their mathematics/computer science skills while making a contribution to an area of immense importance to society.

    The Programme represents a strong partnership between academia and the air transport industry.  Over the six years of the Programme, OR-MASTER will involve close collaboration with a host of international organisations (including airports, air traffic management organisations, airlines, ground handling services providers and global security organisations; international research centres and research networks) that will support the project, providing real-world data, insights and expertise.  There will be opportunities to work closely with our partners.

    For further information, please download our ORMASTER 2020 document.

    The complete application consisting of a cover letter (that includes a statement of your understanding of the project), curriculum vitae, transcripts and a recommendation letter needs to be sent to the indicated contact address.

    ORMASTER logo

PhD students

Job Market Candidates

Our Management Science job market candidates students are listed below. For a full list of LUMS candidates, please visit our PhD Job Market Candidates page. For further details, please contact the Doctoral Office.

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