​Business Systems and Operations ​PhD/PhD by Published works

Key Facts

  • Level


  • Duration

    PhD: Full Time 2 years - 4 years or Part Time 3 years - 6 years

    PhD by Published Works: Part Time 1 year - 2 years

  • Starting

    October, March

  • Location

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 893981


​If you have a degree in Business Systems and Operations or a related field, such as sustainability, circular economy, logistics, supply chains, security management, technology management, or business operations, this PhD / PhD by Published Works programme is an excellent way to broaden your knowledge and research skills. We aim to attract high-quality students who are independent thinkers and have the ambition to create their own pathway for future academic positions. Our PhD in Business Systems and Operations will give you the opportunity to make your mark on the business landscape, by having the freedom to research a host of disciplines that influence society and business. The course looks to train students in research and development abilities in the subject of Business Systems and Operations. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of a specific specialisation area, as well as problem-solving and analysis abilities that will enable them to make substantial new contributions to the field of Business Systems and Operations.

Find out more about the following Research centres and institutes:  ​

The closing dates for applications for the October intake is 1 August, and for the March intake is 11 December. 

Updated 16/04/2024


  • Highly relevant and structured training focusing on developing your core research skills
  • ​A unique life experience
  • Develop yourself as an early career researcher with our PhD Programme
  • ​Make an original and significant contribution to research literature
  • ​We prepare the next generation of researchers to undertake innovative research​
  • Regular research seminars, conferences and research activities led by our Research Centres and the Graduate School

Course Content

  • A PhD in Business Systems and Operations is a way for you to develop your specialism and improve your research, written, presentation and practice skills. While developing and setting up your research projects, you will initially receive general, face-to-face project specific training so that you can conduct your research effectively and independently. Normally, our PhD students are registered for an MPhil, and within the first twelve months of their study, they are expected to transfer from the MPhil to the PhD programme. The transfer process requires our students to produce a detailed research proposal and apply for ethics approval. Students will be required to present their written piece of work to an academic audience and then proceed for the internal viva examination with an internal transfer viva examiner. The transfer viva process, appointment of internal examiner, and approval of ethics documents are all subject to approval by the University research committees. PhD students are assigned a supervisory team which consist of a Director of Study (DOS), and first and second supervisors. Our students must work independently on their research, under the advice and direct supervision of their supervisory team. Due to the nature of PhD programmes, our students spend a vast majority of their time studying and engaging in independent research. Students must attend regular supervision meetings to discuss their progress, devise an action plan for the next steps, and to received suggestions on improvements on the programme.

    Research topics

    This course is unique to the University of Northampton. Instances of the areas that we can offer supervision include:

    • ​Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    • Business Intelligence and Decision-Making ​
    • Data Analysis and Visualisation ​
    • Applied Systems Analysis
    • ​Systems Thinking Applications
    • ​Critical Infrastructure Protection ​
    • Environmental management and policy development ​
    • Emerging business models including Circular Economy ​
    • Operations management ​
    • Big data Analytics
    • Data envelopment analysis and performance measurement ​
    • IoT & Digital Twins
    • ​Applications of AI in Business operations
    • Fraud Detection and Risk Management
    • ​Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Optimised Business Operations ​

    We also offer opportunities to develop interdisciplinary study and Practice as Research projects.

  • Academic requirements for our programme: 
    ​Candidates must have obtained at least a second-class upper (2:1) honours degree, or a Masters degree from a UK university or international equivalent, in a relevant subject area to gain entry to this programme.

    ​In exceptional circumstances candidates with lower-level qualifications, or qualifications in a different subject area but relevant experience, will also be considered. Decisions on these and other exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    ​All suitable candidates will be required to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

    ​English Language Requirements
    ​If English is not your first language, you must meet a minimum overall standard of IELTS: 7.0- with no individual section lower than 6.5 specifically in writing (or equivalent in an alternative recognised English test). You must show a good balance across all sections of the test, and it must have been taken within two years. We will need your certificates as evidence. Applications with IELTS lower than 5.5 in all components will not be considered.

    ​All offers of a place on the programme are subject to:

    • ​successful interview by the University
    • ​suitable Research Supervision Support

    ​Competition to join our PhD programme is strong; you’ll need to demonstrate you have the intellectual capabilities, stamina, drive and commitment to complete a ground-breaking piece of work through independent study. For your application to be successful, your academic credentials are important, and we pay thoughtful consideration to the suitability of our candidates for both the programme and the research interest of our team of academics. PhD applicants are assessed based on their previous academic performance, quality of their research proposal, and availability of suitable member of staff to supervise the chosen research topic.

    ​Please view the guidance notes on how to write a proposal for a research degree.

    ​For Additional information on how to apply to study with us, how to find a potential Supervisor and what documents are needed as part of the application process, please see our How to Apply page.  ​

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 2024/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Doctor Of Philosophy Degrees

    Including: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) practice based in the Arts, Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

    • UK – Full Time: £5,500
    • UK – Part Time: £2,775
    • International – Full Time: £15,950
    • International – Part Time: £7,450

    Doctor of Philosophy Degrees by Means of Published Works

    • UK – Part Time: £3,500
    • International – Part Time: £7,650

    Please visit the funding pages and our scholarship pages for more details on how to fund your study.

    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Doctor Of Philosophy Degrees

    Including: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) practice based in the Arts, Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

    • UK – Full Time: £5,340
    • UK – Part Time: £2,695
    • International – Full Time: £15,480
    • International – Part Time: £7,245

    Doctor of Philosophy Degrees by Means of Published Works

    • UK – Part Time: £3,400
    • International – Part Time: £7,460


Placeholder image for Xavier Matieni, Senior Lecturer in Business Analytics
Xavier Matieni

Senior Lecturer in Business Analytics

​Business Systems and Operations ​PhD/PhD by Published works


Careers and Employability

We have a tradition of producing high quality doctoral research. Many of our graduates hold academic positions at universities and business schools around the world. We are strongly committed to creating a research community in which researchers can thrive and develop their skills and we view all our Postgraduate Researchers as potential research stars of the future. The University of Northampton has an excellent careers service.  Our Careers and Employability Service is dedicated to equipping students with the skills to thrive, adapt and innovate in our ever-changing world.


Our PhD students have access to exceptional research facilities such as:

  • ​Skills support for PhD students ​
  • Dedicated PhD study area with computer and printer in the Learning Hub
  • Well-equipped library with access to academic e-books, journal articles and learning resources for on-site and off-site study
  • ​Spacious individual and group working space and discussion areas ​
  • Library and Learning support for PhD students
  • Teaching and Research Assistant opportunities should you meet the requirements
  • Opportunities for research collaboration with staff and students
  • ​Excellent social groups for student meetings and engagement ​