​Human Resource Management ​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 already have a degree in Human Resource Management or related field, our Human Resource Management PhD / PhD by Published Works is an excellent way to expand your knowledge and research skills. If your final thesis is successfully defended orally (a viva voce) you will gain the highest qualification that any UK university can award.

The PhD / PhD by Published Works in Human Resource Management allows you to research concepts and practices relating to work, management, and employment experience. A research degree does not have a teaching structure, allowing you to delve deeply into your chosen topic your own research interests. Therefore, students are expected to conduct their own, independent, critical research under the guidance of accomplished academic staff. By communicating the research that you have conducted and your findings, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers and provides researchers with a fantastic opportunity to further their academic careers or advance into higher executive roles in the sector. We welcome applications from students of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Find out more about our Research Centres and Institutes below:​

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

Updated 16/04/2024


  • ​Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research
  • ​Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills
  • Supervision and support from expert academic staff
  • Present at talks and seminars to display your work
  • ​Regular research seminars, conferences and research activities led by our Research Institutes and Centres and the Graduate School

Course Content

  • Doctoral candidates conduct original research with the purpose of contributing significantly to knowledge and understanding in their chosen subject. As a research student, you will become an essential member of our research community, collaborating with outstanding academics whose research has had an international influence on business, policy, and society. This Human Resource Management PhD degree allows you to specialise while also improving your research, writing, presenting, and practise abilities.

    While developing and setting up your research project, you will receive general, and project-specific training so that you can conduct your research effectively and independently. Our students are expected to produce a detailed research proposal and apply for ethics approval. Students will be required to present theses to an academic audience, and then proceed for the internal viva examination with an internal viva examiner. The viva process, appointment of the internal examiner, and approval of ethics documents are all subject to approval by the University’s research committees.

    All PhD students are assigned a supervisory team consisting of a Director of Study (DOS), and first and second supervisors. Under the guidance and close supervision of their supervisory team, our students are expected to conduct their research independently can expect to spend most of their time to studying and doing independent research. Students can also expect to attend regular supervision sessions to discuss their progress, devise an action plan for the following stages, and to put forward recommendations for how to enhance the PhD programme.

    To complement your studies, you can make use of the faculty’s vibrant research community and research groups. You will also have access to a structured training program sponsored by our Graduate School. This is intended to help you develop critical thinking and practical skills which are important for your PhD programme, and transferrable to your future career. There may also be chances to participate in undergraduate teaching.

    Research topics

    We can supervise topics including:

    • ​Human resource management ​
    • Employee motivation and wellbeing ​
    • Performance management
    • ​Gender and diversity studies​
    • Organisational leadership
    • Organisational psychology​
    • Talent management
    • Managing workplace disputes
    • ​Work and organisational studies
    • Employee relations
    • Changing organisation
    • Strategic Human resource management
    • International and Comparative Human resource management
    • Sustainability and ethical people practice ​

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

  • ​We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants who are interested in studying at Research Level. Normally candidates should hold a 2:1 or higher honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject. Where possible you should also hold a good Master’s degree, or international equivalent in a relevant subject area. If you would like to undertake a PhD, but do not currently have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, you may wish to consider studying one of our master’s programmes instead.

    ​Students with lower-level qualifications, or qualifications in a different subject area but relevant experience, will also be considered on an individual basis.

    We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

    You will be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

    English Language Requirements

    ​If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component specifically in writing (or equivalent). Applications with IELTS lower than 5.5 in all components will not be considered.

    For more information, please visit our English Language requirements page.

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

    • successful interview by the University
    • availability of suitable members of staff to supervise your chosen research topic​

    For Additional information on how to apply to study with us, how to find a potential Supervisor and what documents you should provide with your application, please refer to 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


Careers and Employability

A doctoral degree can be the pinnacle of academic success and often signifies the start of a career in academia or research. A research-based degree is also the most direct route to a job in academia.

The University of Northampton has an excellent Careers and Employability Service who are dedicated to equipping students with the skills to thrive, adapt and innovate in our ever-changing world. Many of our alumni are employed in academia as well as public and private sector businesses.


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

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