Key information



Types of study

Full time / Part time


Full-time: normally 3-4 years / Part-time: normally 6-8 years

Start date

February or September each year

Programme overview

At Nottingham University Business School China, we are committed to training the next generation of business scholars. We offer PhD opportunities in many areas of business with supervisors available for a wide range of interests and with excellent facilities on campus. 

Uniqueness of our PhD degree programme:

  • Rigorous Research Training: Our PhD programme combines taught modules with personal research supervised by at least two academic staff.

  • International Diversity: Current PhD students come from 10 different countries/ regions and research supervisors from more than 20 countries/regions.

  • Scholarships: A growing number of full scholarships covering tuition, medical insurance, housing and living costs are available. Application is competitive.

  • Teaching Opportunities: We offer teaching training and Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) opportunities to our students to help prepare for an academic career.

Special features

Research areas include:


Environmental accounting and disclosure, Taxation, Audit and assurance, Financial reporting, Management accounting and decision making, Corporate governance, Accounting and information system.


Foreign direct investment, International macroeconomics and trade, Environmental and energy economics, Financial economics, Applied econometrics and forecasting, The Chinese economy, Microeconomics, Spatial economics, Behavioral and experimental economics, Banking, Sustainable and inclusive finance

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Governance in science, Technology and innovation, Start-ups, Family business, Entrepreneurial platforms and ecosystems, Economics of innovation


Corporate finance, Asset pricing, Capital markets, Fintech, International finance, Entrepreneurial finance, ESG Investing, Applied financial econometrics

Information Systems

E-commerce, Mobile commerce, Digital platforms, Business analytics, Social media, E-health, Healthcare information systems, Fintech, Design science, Digital ventures, Artificial intelligence, Blockchain implementation, Augmented reality applications, Sustainable digital ecosystems

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Strategic sourcing, Sustainable supply chains, Supply chain innovation, Supply chain optimization, Social and environmental supply chain, Made-in-China 2025, The Belt and Road initiative, Supply chain finance


Services marketing, Consumer behaviour, Transformative potential of digital innovation, Retail management, Digital marketing, Customer experience management, Tourism and hospitality management, Service ecosystem, Sustainable marketing

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

Ethics and responsible management, Employee attitudes, behaviour, well-being and performance, Labour relations, Human resource management, Leadership and team dynamics

International Business and Strategy

Global strategy and organisation of MNEs, International management, Foreign direct investments, Management in emerging economies, Strategic management, Innovation

Research interests

How to find a supervisor

Please click here for more details.

Programme structure introduction

In addition to the trainings provided by Graduate School, all NUBS China PhD students must attend and pass assessments for a series of taught modules. Moreover, all full time students are expected to attend and participate at least ten research seminars (five for part time students) during the first year of registration and at least eight research seminars (four for part time students) during the second year of registration. Students are expected to summarize the date, topic, presenter and the learning points from these seminars/workshops they attended in the annual review report in order to pass the annual review.

Rules and Regulations

Please refer to the Graduate School and the Quality Manual.

Year one

Attend required or recommended PhD modules from the Business School Faculty.

Understand the nature of the research problems, identifying appropriate analytic frameworks for research studies. Students are expected to have completed the literature review for the research topic by the end of the year.

Pass the annual review at the end of the NINE MONTHS in order to continue their studies.

Get yourself trained for teaching through the Graduate School; Students on scholarship are expected to take the Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training and self-funding students are encouraged.

Submit monthly supervision form (minimum 10 forms for full time students and 6 for part time students).

Year two

To start or have started empirical work by the end of the 2nd year.

Work closely with your supervisors to finalize the design for your dissertation.

Interact with other doctoral students and faculty member so you can have immediate feedback on your research project.

Pass the annual review at the end of the NINE MONTHS of the second year.

Submit monthly supervision form (minimum 10 forms for full time students and 6 for part time students).

Year three

Be in formal writing-up period.

To complete empirical work and produce draft write-up of results.

Try to teach some classes in Year 2 and 3 so you can actually claim that you have teaching experiences.

Pass the annual review at the end of the NINE MONTHS of the third year.

Submit monthly supervision form (minimum 10 forms for full time students and 6 for part time students).

Year four

Complete writing-up (if necessary)

Submit monthly supervision form (minimum 6 forms)

Submit completed thesis to Graduate School

Attend Viva

Get ready to join the real world


EQUIS accredited

Nottingham University Business School China was re-accredited by EQUIS for the maximum 5-year period in June 2021. 

AACSB Accredited

Nottingham University Business School China earns AACSB accreditation in May 2022. 

United Nations PRME Champion School

Nottingham University Business School has once again been chosen as one of the Principles for Responsible ManagementEducation (PRME) Champion Schools for 2022-23.

Teaching Excellence Frameworks

The University was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Entry requirements

Academic Qualifications

If you apply for a Postgraduate research programme, you will generally need to hold at least a UK honours bachelor degree at the second class upper division (2:1), and/or a master degree at merit level or above in a relevant subject from a British university.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.0 out of 4.0.

For applicants with a degree from China, the minimum weighted average score is 80 out 100.

Applicants with other international qualifications should meet the equivalent of the above UK minimum entry requirement.

When filing in the application form, please provide the final grade/result in the format used in your pervious university attended, e.g., 4.0/5.0, 7.5/10, 10/12 etc. (there is no need to convert it into its UK equivalent).

Please note that admission to UNNC is very competitive and that meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place.

Interview arrangements


All applicants will be interviewed either in person or online by their proposed supervisors and research & knowledge exchange (RKE) committee members. The final admission decisions will be made based on the interviews in addition to the rest of the materials.

English language requirements

We normally require you to achieve one of the following combination of test results (taken no earlier than 2 years prior to the date of registration) for entry to the Doctoral Programme (IELTS preferred).

  1. An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of at least 6.0 in each of the four individual elements of the test.
  2. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) score of at least 87 with minimum 20 in Speaking and 19 in all other elements.

How to apply

Key dates

Application deadlines

Nottingham University Business School China accepts applications all year, but new students are enrolled only in September and February. Please find the application deadlines on Graduate School’s official website (scholarship and self-funding). 

How to apply

Things you need to do before applying (Pre-application)

  1. Demonstrate your research capability. Reviewing the relevant literature to identify a research gap and design a study to find out the answer to fill in the gap.

This is necessary because you are expected to have some research experience and capable of designing a study on your own before you apply for the programme.

  1. You are encouraged to search the background and research interests of the faculty members and select at least one whose areas of research are close to yours. Then you need to write to them and ask if they would be willing to supervise, if yes, then you can submit your application with the name(s) of the potential supervisor(s). However, you should also be open to discussing with the potential supervisor(s) should they make suggestions or comments on your research proposal.
  2. UoN Bachelors degree graduates from all three campuses with 1st class honours are eligible to apply for UNNC FoB PhD Programme.
  3. Materials you need to submit along with the application:
    • Personal statement about your purpose of the study
    • Your undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts
    • If you have MBA degree or your postgraduate degree is of taught modules then you need to provide evidence for your research ability such a published article or similar write-ups etc.
    • Your English test scores (if English is not your first language)
    • Your research proposal
    • The name of a potential supervisor, who has agreed to work with you (For that, you need to look through the relevant faculty members’ research interests and contact one whose research interests overlap with yours, and write to ask him/her if he/she would be willing to work with you BEFORE you fill in his/her name in your application form)
    • Two references must be emailed to directly by the referees and it’s the applicant’s responsibility to notify referees in advance

What do I do next?

To find out more about:

How to write a research proposal

Studying at University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Tuition Fee and Scholarship



  1. Please note, because of the additional requirements the Business School has on its students, candidates applying for PhD programmes in NUBS China have to apply within the timeframe in order to be considered for admission.
  2. We request all students to start the programme in September to ensure good induction, training and excellent student experiences, more importantly for the taught modules mandatory for NUBS PhD students in the first year.
  3. All applications must be complete according to all requirements, including English language requirements at the time of application.

Check List

  1. A postgraduate application form
  2. Your research proposal
  3. Two academic reference letters
  4. Personal statement
  5. Academic transcripts
  6. English language test results (if English is not your first language).
  7. CV and publications (if any)

Filling out the application

Please find the detailed information here.


One of the best things I like about UNNC is its internationality. UNNC often has guest speakers from different universities and different countries. Attending their talks and research seminars not only allow me to know the cutting-edge research but also enable me to understand academia in different parts of the world. UNNC also has a great doctoral student community, and I found the peer support from the doctoral student community very helpful. I often discuss my PhD project with other doctoral students from my discipline and also from other disciplines. I found that they always have useful comments and suggestions, and sometimes we could come up with something interesting to collaborate.

Dr Boying Li, PhD Graduate / Assistant Professor in Marketing at NUBS China

Fees and funding


RMB 110,000 per year

Note*: Please note that the tuition fees will be subject to change.

More information

For research proposal discussion, please contact: Dr. Saileshsingh GUNESSEE

Student Recruitment and Admission Office (before application submission)

Room 231, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China

T. +86 (0) 574 8818 0182

Graduate School (after application submission)

Room 451-2, Trent Building
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China