Key information



Types of study

Full time / Part time


3-4 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, Accounting and corporate governance 


Macroeconomics, International economics and trade, China economic development and Chinese firms, Financial economics, Health economics 

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

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


Corporate finance, Asset pricing, Capital markets, Finance and innovation, International finance, Applied financial econometrics 

Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour
Ethics and responsible management, Employee attitudes, behaviour, well-being and performance, 

Organisation studies/organisation theories, Human resource management leadership 

Information Systems 

E-commerce, mobile commerce, digital platforms, business analytics, social media, e-health, healthcare information systems, fintech, design science, digital ventures, artificial intelligence 

International Business and Strategy 

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

Operations and Supply Chain Management 

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


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

Research interests

Potential Research Topics

If you plan to study for a research degree, you will have to make contact with a potential supervisor in a department/school before submitting an application. When one faculty member expresses a willingness to be your supervisor, you can fill in his/her name in your application form. Regular supervision helps to ensure that the research progresses in the appropriate way. Full-time PhD students meet with their supervisors on at least 10 occasions during the year. For part-time students, at least 6 meetings take place.

This section lists the general research areas of staff members at Nottingham University Business School China (NUBS China) who supervise PhD research. Please refer to the research interests of members of faculty concerned to determine if your research interests coincide with those of a potential supervisor. Their contact information can be found here.

You may also refer to Research at NUBS China to determine if your research interests correspond with the wider research agenda within the School.

The PhD Programme offers flexible supervision between UNNC and the University of Nottingham UK (UNUK). Depending on the proposed research, students may be required to spend part of their studies at UNUK, but students will be registered at UNNC, and graduates will be awarded a University of Nottingham UK degree which is also recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


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 has received another 5-year reaccreditation in June 2021. Uniquely, EQUIS accreditation applies to all our campuses in the UK, China, and Malaysia.

Academic Ranking of World University 

32nd of all Chinese universities in Management discipline ranking.

United Nations PRME Champion School

Nottingham University Business School has once again been chosen as one of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion Schools for 2021-22.

Ningbo Municipal Key Discipline and Programmes

  • Key Discipline: Business Management
  • Key Programmes: Finance, Accounting and Management; International Business

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 over skype by their proposed supervisors and research and knowledge exchange committee members. The final admission decisions will be made based on the interviews in addition to the rest of the materials.

English language requirements

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).

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.

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. Please note for 2022-2023 intakes, the deadline for applying for the scholarship is 16:00, 15 April 2022 (China Time); and the deadline for self-funded studies is 10 June 2022 (China Time).

How to apply

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


2021/22 Academic Year: RMB 110,000 per year

2022/23 Academic Year: RMB 110,000 per year

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


PhD Scholarships

University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) offers a wide variety of scholarships to potential PhD students seeking to study at UNNC. In addition to faculty full scholarships, we also offer strategic research scholarships and other scholarships attached to our prestigious research institutes. The following PhD scholarships are open to applicants for 2020 entry only.

Available Scholarships

Faculty Scholarship -Faculty of Business (2106FOB)

High Flyer Scholarship for Bachelor Degree Holder (2106HFB)

High Flyer Scholarship for Master Degree Holder (2106HFM)

UNNC General PhD Scholarship (2105PHD)

Doctoral Training Partnership Scholarships at UNNC and ZUFE (2110DTPZUFE)


  • Applicants must have a first class honours undergraduate degree or 65% and above for a Masters’ degree from a British university, or the equivalent from other institutions;
  • Applicants must meet the required English language proficiency for the relevant subject area;Please be advised that IELTS 6.5 ( minimum 6.0 in any element) or its equivalent is required.
  • More details can be found on the ‘ entry requirements’ page of the website.

How to apply the Scholarships

No separate application is required for applying for a scholarship but please make sure you quote the scholarship reference number in your PhD application form. It normally takes 5-6 weeks for a final decision to be made after the closing date.  List of required documents can be found on the ‘ ‘how to apply’ part above. 

More information

For research proposal discussion, please contact: Dr Xiaolan Zheng:

Graduate School

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

T. +86 (0) 574 8818 0182