• Director: Mercè Bernardo
  • Duration: 3 years full-time | 5 years part-time
  • Fee level (one academic year): €540.92
  • Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year will be open from November 15, 2023, to April 30, 2024.

The PhD in Business programme is a unique programme within the Catalan university system aimed at any students seeking to embark on an international career in research in the area of business.

The aim of the PhD in Business at the University of Barcelona is to train researchers in the various areas of business management. Students in the programme undertake activities in fields such as accounting, finance, insurance, business strategy, operations, quality, marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, innovation, the history of companies, game theory and uncertainty in decision-making.

The PhD in Business has been accredited with Excellence after an exhaustive and rigorous external evaluation by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU), which acknowledges the quality and impact of the research carried out within the PhD framework.

The programme is three years in length if you study full-time or five years if you study part-time. Every student will have at least one thesis supervisor, who is assigned based on the student’s field of research.

Throughout the programme, doctoral students will take part in various additional activities, which include research seminars, workshops and courses. Students will also be encouraged to publish their research in specialist journals and pursue short stays at other universities or research centres.  

Student Handbook Academic Year 2022-2023

The doctoral programme in Business provides high-level training to researchers in the various aspects of business sciences. Preparation of a doctoral thesis is the main activity of students. The thesis must be a piece of original research carried out by the candidate in a specific area of specialization. Each student will have at least one thesis supervisor, who will provide guidance and support to the student. The university encourages students to publish their research work in specialist scientific journals. Students are also encouraged to pursue short stays at other universities or research centres.

The programme is structured administratively as a single line of research in Business, which is subdivided into ten major subject areas:

1. Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Innovation management; Knowledge management; Open innovation; Creative industries; International business; Multinational corporations; Alliances and networks; Entrepreneurial behaviour; New Venture and success;
PhD advisors: Achcaoucaou Iallouchen, Fariza ; Cruz Cazares, Claudio ; Hormiga, Esther ; Miravitlles Matamoros, Paloma ; Pareja-Eastaway, Montserrat ; Shijaku, Elio

2. Technology and Operations Management
Operations strategy; Global Supply chain management; Green supply chain management;  Quality management; Logistics outsourcing and 3PL;  Logistics Integration; Reverse logistics; Integration of management Systems; Social responsibility management
PhD advisors: Bernardo, Mercè ; Guitart Tarrés, Laura ; Núñez Carballosa, Ana María

3. General Management
PhD advisors: Aparicio Chueca, María Pilar ; Elgoibar, Patricia ; Presas Maynegre, Pilar ; Triadó Ivern, Xavier Maria ; Valls Pasola, Jaume

4. Marketing
PhD advisors: Forgas Coll, Santiago ; Gil Lafuente, Jaume ; Huertas García, Rubén ; Arroyo Cañada, Francisco Javier

5. Accounting
solvency analysis; consolidation of accounting statements; audit; cost behavior; failure prediction; management accounting and control; performance measurement; tax avoidance; earnings management; public procurement and accounting; social and environmental accounting; agricultural accounting
PhD advisors: Argilés Bosch, Josep Maria ; Garcia Castellví, Antoni ; Kasperskaya, Yuliya ; Martí Pidelaserra, Jordi

6. Business History
Family Businesses; Districts and Clusters; International Business History; History of Business Ownership and Governance Typologies; Gender in Business History; History of Entrepreneurship; Business Biographies; Business History in Developed and Emerging Markets; Preindustrial Businesses, Chandlerian corporations, SMEs and Multinationals
PhD advisors: Fernàndez Pérez, Paloma ; Sánchez Suárez, Alejandro

7. Mathematical Methods for Business, Finance and Insurance
Tariffication (“a priori” and “a posteriori”) and Provisions in non-life insurance; Solvency of insurers and risk theory models; Public and private social life and welfare insurance; Stochastic finances; Modelization of uncertainty
PhD advisors: Adillon Boladeres, Roman Jordi ; Boj del Val, Eva ; Claramunt, Mercè ; Gonzalez-Vila Puchades, Laura Maria ; Marín Solano, Jesús ; Ribas Marí, Carmen

8. Decision-Making and Game Theory
Cooperative games: the Core, the Shapley value, the nucleolus; Rationing problems; Bankruptcy games; Assignment markets (games); Cost sharing problems
PhD advisors: Calleja, Pedro ; Izquierdo Aznar, Josep Maria ; Mártinez-de-Albéniz Salas, Francisco Javier ; Navas, Jorge ; Núñez Oliva, Marina ; Rafels Pallarola, Carlos

9. Risk in Finance and Insurance
Risk Quantification; Insurance rates; Generalized linear models; Multivariate distributions; Copulas; Non-parametric estimation; Analysis of data; Data mining
PhD advisors: Ayuso Gutiérrez, M.Mercedes ; Bolancé i Losilla, Catalina ; Guillén Estany, Montserrat ; Santolino Prieto, Miguel Angel

10. Models for Dealing with Uncertainty in Decision-Making
Decision making; economy of uncertainty; modeling; growth strategies; fuzzy logic; entrepreneurship; Innovation management; agreggation operators
PhD advisor: Gil Lafuente, Ana Maria

The programme is three years in length if you study full-time or five years if you study part-time. Below is an indicative timetable covering the research period:

First academic year Second and subsequent years Final year
Presentation of a detailed thesis proposal, which must include a draft work plan. The proposal will be presented publicly and evaluated by a panel of examiners. Approval of the research plan is an essential requirement to remain in the doctoral programme. The programme’s monitoring committee evaluates the development of the thesis proposal and the student’s progress in carrying out the research plan. A reading and defence of the doctoral thesis is the final step to obtain the doctoral degree. In their final academic year, students read their thesis before an appointed panel of examiners.

Throughout the programme, PhD students are required to participate in a number of complementary activities such as research seminars and the PhD in Business Workshop. They can also participate in the training activities offered by the University of Barcelona’s PhD School, the Faculty of Economics and Business and the PhD programme.

The PhD in Business Academic Committee actively supports PhD in Business candidates who wish to conduct research as a visiting PhD student at a university or research centre outside Spain. Research periods of more than three months may entitle the student to the international doctorate certification, which is added to the doctoral degree qualification following successful presentation and defence of the thesis.  Recent host institutions are HEC Montréal, Durham University, University of Chile, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, University of Minho, Arizona State University…

The programme is aimed at any students seeking to embark on an international career in research in the area of business. As a result, it is essential for candidates to have sufficient training to undertake a doctoral thesis. The university will also place particular value on previously acquired knowledge in the subject areas covered in the doctoral programme.

To be admitted to any doctoral studies at the University of Barcelona, students must have completed at least 300 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), of which at least 60 credits must correspond to an official research oriented master’s programme. 

Academic requirements

Admission to the PhD in Business programme is limited to students who have completed one of the following qualifications:

1. A university master’s degree in Business Research from the UB or a university master’s degree in Actuarial and Financial Sciences. In this latter case, the student must have taken the specialization in Advanced Actuarial and Financial Models.

2. A master’s degree issued by a higher education institution in the European Higher Education Area, of the same academic level and offering equivalent research training to the master’s degrees indicated above, at the discretion of the Academic Committee. Candidates who obtained the advanced studies diploma (Diploma de Estudios Avanzados, DEA) as part of the UB’s doctoral programme in Business Studies and the university master’s degree in Research in Business, Finance and Insurance, taught at the Faculty of Economics and Business from 2007-2008 to 2011-2012, will receive the same consideration.

3. A qualification issued by an education system outside the European Higher Education Area, which shows that the holder has a level of education equivalent to the university master’s degree in Business Research or the university master’s degree in Actuarial and Financial Sciences (specialization in Advanced Actuarial and Financial Models).

Other requirements

1. Proof of proficiency in English. Unless you are a native English speaker or have undertaken a university study programme in English, you need to provide evidence of your English proficiency. Preferred certificates are the Cambridge, TOEFL (Code C086 for all UB Business School programmes) or IELTS. Please upload a copy of it in the application form. Additionally, you can also report the score to us directly via your test center.

2. References. Once your application is reviewed by the admissions team, you will receive an email to provide the name and contact email of two scholars that support your application. They will receive an automated email with general questions about your profile. Only references received before the 7th day after the corresponding period application deadline will be considered.

The PhD in Business attracts young researchers from all over the world. Around two thirds of our students come from abroad. Although they constitute a diverse group in terms of academic background and research focus, there is a clear predominance of candidates with a university degree in Business Management. After the thesis defence, most PhD graduates pursue research careers, either in the academia, public or private sector.

The doctoral programme is the obvious step that young researchers would take after completing the Master in Business Research or the Advanced Actuarial and Financial Models specialisation of the Master in Actuarial and Financial Sciences. Currently, both programmes are taught at the University of Barcelona. Students enrolled on any of these master’s degrees acquire the knowledge and research skills needed to begin a doctoral thesis. That is why a significant share of our PhD candidates have gone through of one of these programmes. However, these are not the only way to gain admission to the PhD in Business. Many students also enter the doctoral programme after completing other research-oriented master’s degrees at other universities.

The doctoral programme in Business at the University of Barcelona is specifically intended for students seeking to embark on an international career in research. After successful completion of the programme, new PhD holders will be able to work as academics in universities, business schools or research centres. However, the academic arena is not only the career opportunity for students. The doctoral programme in Business also prepares them to work in fields like consulting.

At present, alumni of the doctoral programme in Business are working as lecturers and researchers in places like the EADA Business School, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the EAE Business School, the University of Chile, the University of Veracruz and the Technological University of Panama. Other alumni hold executive positions in companies like Bunge, Grupo Catalana Occidente and CaixaBank or hold analyst positions at international institutions such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The statistics show that doctoral studies today increase the employability of students. PhD holders can aspire to higher levels of pay. According to the data prepared by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU), 95.4% of all PhD holders in the social sciences have entered the labour market within three years of completing their thesis, while their rate of unemployment is only 3.3%.

Tuition fees

Student’s fees for university doctoral degrees are decreed on an annual basis by the Catalan government. The tuition fees for the academic year 2023-2024 are €540,92. Additionally, there is a fee for the thesis defence (€156.87) and a fee for the diploma certificate (€218.15). Based on this year’s fees, the total amount that students should pay during their doctoral studies is:

  • Full-time PhD (3 years): €1,997.78
  • Part-time PhD (5 years): €3,079.62

More information (in Catalan and Spanish):


Information on funding and grants is available at the following link to the webpage of the University of Barcelona. In addition, the University of Barcelona provides students with information on new opportunities as and when calls are announced.


Full scholarships are awarded competitively and require the submission of a separate application. They are offered by public or private institutions and have different starting dates and deadlines. Scholarships characteristics may vary in terms of duration (three or four years), total amount of the grant, extra funding for mobility stays and training activities, and specific requirements (i.e. graduation dates). In most cases, tuition fees are covered.

Your chances of being awarded one of the scholarships depend greatly on your track record, thus having high grades in your bachelor’s and master’s degrees is crucial. You are also encouraged to apply for external support for which you may be eligible.

Our admissions team works closely with all admitted students who need financial assistance, supporting them to evaluate their options and eligibility, and helping them with the scholarship applications.

Fariza Achcaoucaou Iallouchen

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Roman Jordi Adillon Boladeres

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David Alaminos Aguilera

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María Pilar Aparicio Chueca

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Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

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Xavier Arroyo Cañada

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Mercedes Ayuso Gutiérrez

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Eva Boj del Val

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M. Mercè Claramunt Bielsa

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Claudio Cruz Cazares

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Daniel Luiz De Mattos Nascimento

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Patricia Elgoibar

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Paloma Fernández Pérez

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Santiago Forgas Coll

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Anna Maria Gil Lafuente

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Jaume Gil Lafuente

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Michele Girotto

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Alfonso Hernández

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Esther Hormiga

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Rubén Huertas García

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Yuliya Kasperskaya

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Bàrbara Llacay

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Jesús Marín Solano

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Francisco Javier Mártinez-de-Albéniz Salas

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Paloma Miravitlles Matamoros

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Jorge Navas

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Ana María Núñez Carballosa

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Marina Núñez Oliva

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Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway

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Carlos Rafels Pallarola

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Carmen Ribas Marí

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Martí Sagarra

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Alejandro Sánchez Suárez

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Miguel Angel Santolino Prieto

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Elio Shijaku

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Antonio David Somoza López

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Xavier Maria Triadó Ivern

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Jaume Valls Pasola

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Emilio Vizuete Luciano

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Vesna Vlaisavljevic

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Adeline Abou-Ali

Elio ShijakuNizar Abdelkafi

Carlos Alberto Acuña Gonzalez

Catalina Bolancé i Losilla, | Salvador Torra

David Anaya

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Laura Arenas

Anna Maria Gil Lafuente

Álvaro Arrieta

Montserrat Crespi VallbonaOriol Anguera-Torrell

Aïda Bravo

Claudio Cruz Cazares

Núria Canal

Antonio Somoza López

Luis Enrique Céspedes

Mercedes Ayuso GutiérrezMiguel Angel Santolino Prieto

Xiaochen Chang

Elio ShijakuFariza Achcaoucaou Iallouchen

Yiyan Chen

Alfonso Antonio Hernández VivancoMerce Bernardo

Marc Cortés Rufé

Jordi Martí Pidelaserra

Oscar Cruz Sánchez

Alfonso Antonio Hernández VivancoClaudio Cruz Cazares

Adriana Espinet Patcho

Paloma Miravitlles Matamoros

Maria Teresa Gomez-Valades

Javier RomaniJosep Maria Argilés Bosch

Alberto Lempira Guevara |

Carolina Luis BassaFrancisco Javier Arroyo Cañada

Miguel Guillén Pujadas

David AlaminosEmilio Vizuete Luciano

Oktay Guzel

Emilio Vizuete Lozano

Anabel Guzmán

Francisco Javier Arroyo Cañada

Bernardo Hargous Pretel

Laura Guitart Tarrés

Tabitha Aude Ilboudo

Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

Mariuxy Iveth Jaramillo Villacrés

Laura Guitart Tarrés

Elena Jordà

Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

Katharina Köstner

Bàrbara LlacayDavid Alaminos Aguilera

Yanina Kowszyk Bergesio

Frank VanclayMarc Badia

Nuria Louzao

Montserrat Crespi Vallbona

Natalia Mandirola

Jaume Valls Pasola

Ahmad Maraqa

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Mohamed Mehdi Hijazi

M. Mercè Claramunt Bielsa, | Laura Maria Gonzalez-Vila Puchades

Mario Mendocilla

Paloma Miravitlles Matamoros, | Jorge Matute

Luis Francisco Miranda

Claudio Cruz Cazares

Herick Moralles

Fariza Achcaoucaou IallouchenPaloma Miravitlles Matamoros

Natalia Muñoz

Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway

Darley Biviana Pacheco Cubillos

Jaume Gil LafuenteJosefa Boria Reverter

Sara Pahlevan

Rubén Huertas García

Karan Patel

Jaume Gil LafuenteJavier Arroyo

Sergi Pons

Jaume Gil LafuenteJavier Manuel Romaní Fernandez

Julie Preaux

Merce Bernardo, | Martí Casadesús

Matheus Provinciali

Pilar Aparicio ChuecaXavier M Triado Ivern

Caesar Marga Putri

Josep Maria Argilés Bosch, | Diego Ravenda

Yanqiu Ren

Martí Sagarra, | Min Zhang

Anna Roca

Fariza Achcaoucaou IallouchenPaloma Miravitlles Matamoros

Marta Rodriguez Tobalo

Mercè Carreras-SolanasMontserrat Pareja-Eastaway

Louis Maximilian Ronalter

Javier Manuel Romaní FernandezMerce Bernardo

Laura Sáez

Rubén Huertas GarcíaSantiago Forgas Coll

Tugce Nuray Saka

Esther HormigaJaume Valls Pasola

Irene Sanchez

Claudio Cruz CazaresPatricia Elgoibar

Maria Gloria Sanmartin Antolin

Laura Guitart Tarrés

Albert Sitja

Laura Guitart Tarrés

José Luis Solá

Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

Yuqing Xiao

Antonio Somoza López

Feng Xu

Martí SagarraYuliya Kasperskaya

Jingyao Yang

Michelle Girotto

Servant Leadership and Employee Work Outcomes: Uncovering Underlying Mechanisms by Examining Moderator and Mediator Variables

Vahid Minaei

Mercè Mach Piera

The effects of organizational initiating actions on nurses´ outcomes: A social exchange perspective

José Facundo García

Jorge Matute | Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

Models for dealing with uncertainty in decision-making

Anton Figuerola Wischke

Anna Maria Gil Lafuente | José María Merigó Lindahl

La valoración de empresas mediante lógica borrosa

César Castillo López

Ana Maria Gil Lafuente

Essays on Machine Learning for Risk Analysis in Finance, Insurance and Energy

Juan José Vidal

Montserrat Guillén Estany | Jorge M. Uribe

Communicating healthy nutrition among young people: Innovative techniques to measure the efficacy of alternative media and messages

Maria Eugenia Laureckis Molla

Inés Küster Boluda | Natalia Vila López

Dependence and Systemic Risks in Financial Markets: Spatial and Upper Tail Analysis

Carlos Alberto Acuña Gonzalez

Catalina Bolancé i Losilla | Salvador Torra

Contemporary discourses around corporate social responsibility and their influence on business and society relations

Yanina Kowszyk Bergesio

Frank Vanclay | Marc Badia

Essays on Estimation, Prediction and Evaluation of Insurance Risk

Albert Pitarque

Montserrat Guillén Estany

Evaluación del impacto del coaching en los resultados organizativos

César Luis Fernández Llano

Analysis of Michelin-starred restaurants and their geographical concentration: the case of Catalonia

Raúl Escalante Álamo

Mercè Bernardo

Impact of Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Traits and Culture on Leadership Style in Hospitality: Propensity of Green Management Practices Implementation

Teresa Hecht

Montserrat Crespi Vallbona

La Industria del Libro en España. Aproximación mesoeconómica y mesoanalítica para un modelo de análisis

Iñaki Vázquez Álvarez

Jordi Martí Pidelaserra

SutteARIMA is a New Approach to Forecast Economics, Business, and Actuarial Data

Ansari Saleh Ahmar

Eva Boj del Val

Understanding Entrepreneurial Legitimacy in the digital space: The Where, The Who and The How

Lizbeth Elaine Arroyo Carrasco

Esther Hormiga

Three essays on Business Groups discount in Chile: Theory and empirical study

Rodrigo Hernan González González

Jordi Martí Pidelaserra | Onofre Martorell Cunill

When leaders prioritize their profit against the organizational goal

Behnoush Kangarlou

Rubén Huertas García

Exploring what disruptive innovation is and its influence on Spanish incumbents

Sucet Jimena Martínez Vergara

Jaume Valls Pasola

Orientation towards Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Empirical evidence on SMEs

Paúl Oswaldo Sarango Lalangui

Esther Hormiga | José Álvarez Garcia

The role of responsible innovation in increasing firm performance in small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing their sustainability

Carla Tattiana Gonzales Gemio

Claudio Cruz Cazares | Mary Jane Parmentier

Análisis de las relaciones interfirmas en el clúster del turismo de intereses especiales de la región de Los Lagos, Chile

José Ricardo Vera Garnica

Jordi Martí Pidelaserra

The role of Personal Values in the Entrepreneurship Research. An analysis of new trends, decision making and success of entrepreneurs

Karla Paola Hernández del Valle

Esther Hormiga

Spanish Muslims’ halal food purchase intention

Mahir Pradana

Rubén Huertas García | Frederic Marimon Viadiu

Essays on Regional Management Centres: Subsidiary management at the crossroad of psychic distance and regionalization

Nina Magomedova

Fariza Achcaoucaou Iallouchen | Paloma Miravitlles Matamoros

Análisis de la implantación de la estrategia de servitización en las empresas manufactureras españolas

Helen Castellón

Laura Guitart Tarrés | Natalia Jaría Chacón

Organizational behavior in Ecuadorian SME’s. An analysis of leadership, trust and conflict management

Eduardo Espinoza Solís

Patricia Elgoibar

La influencia de los contenidos publicitarios en el engagement hacia las comunidades virtuales de marca

Aleida López Julià

Santiago Forgas Coll & Ramon Palau Saumell

Evolving to Digital and Programmable Value Based Economy: General Prospect and Specific Applications over Sustainability

Ferran Herraiz Faixó

Francisco Javier Arroyo Cañada

An analytical study about the relationship between Green Supply Chain Management practices and Organizational Performance

Keivan Amirbagheri

Laura Guitart-Tarrés & Ana Núñez-Carballosa

Las estrategias de financiación de las empresas de biotecnología, con referencia al caso español

Ernest Solé Udina

Oriol Amat Salas & Montserrat Casanovas Ramon

Characterization and measurement of social responsibility in micro, small and medium enterprises of the Caribbean Region of Colombia

Guillén León

M. Mercè Claramunt

Strategic Interactions in Marketing: A Dynamic Approach

Lijue Lu

Jorge Navas Ródenes

How does the store flyer design and content features influence consumer behavior?

Maciel Prediger

Rubén Huertas García & Juan Carlos Gázquez Abad

Historical cost versus fair value of biological assets: Relevance of accounting information

Meritxell Miarons Blanco

Josep Maria Argilés Bosch

Understanding Innovation within the context of the Integration of Management Systems

Alfonso Antonio Hernández Vivanco

Mercè Bernardo & Claudio Cruz Cázares

The processes of knowledge management: A bibliometric evolution and assessment models based on ICTs for SMEs

Maria Magaly Gaviria Marin

Claudio Cruz Cazares

Building knowledge in performance measurement and management: A critical realist approach

Ryan Armstrong

Laura Guitart Tarrés

Innovation processes in creative industries: new practices and the use of technology in the digital entertainment industry

Cristian Granados Sánchez

Montserrat Pareja Eastaway & Mercè Bernardo


Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are already closed.

  • First period: From November 15, 2023, to March 15, 2024. Resolutions on May 9, 2024.
  • Second period: From March 15 to April 30, 2024. Resolutions on June 12, 2024.

To apply for the doctoral programme in Business at the University of Barcelona, a candidate must follow these steps:


Confirm that you meet the admission requirements (Who should apply?)


Fill in the online application form and upload supporting documents:

  1. ID/Passport
  2. CV
  3. Bachelor’s degree transcript of grades and diploma certificate
  4. Master’s degree transcript of grades (provisional or final version) and diploma certificate (if you have it)
  5. Letter of motivation (description of your background; your motivation to pursue the PhD in Business programme at the UB; your academic interests; your research and teaching experience; your professional and academic goals. You can also indicate the name of potential advisor/s at the UB that fit with your interests). Please note that you should not contact potential advisor/s. You could instead check their profiles published on our website and write the name of a potential advisor/s in your motivation letter.
  6. Research proposal (maximum 3 pages)
  7. Master thesis (if you are currently working on your Master thesis, please send an extended abstract in English — typically around 3 pages)
  8. Proof of English level (not compulsory if you are a native speaker or you hold a university degree taught in English)



In order to provide us with your references, you must fill in this form, where you will be required to state the name and contact email of two scholars who support your application. They will receive an automated email with general questions about your profile. Only references received before the 7th day after the corresponding period application deadline will be considered.


Once you complete steps 1 to 3, your application will be reviewed by the admissions team and you will receive an email to let you know if everything is in order or if any additional documents or information are required.
Please, take into account that only complete applications will be assessed by the Academic Committee.

Academic resolutions will be notified by email. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit your documents to get the final administrative approval and formalize the enrolment. Students in possession of academic documents issued outside Spain will be required to pay a fee of €218.15 for the administrative review.  More information will be provided to admitted students.

Admission deferment policy

Students admitted to the programme that are unable to attend may request a deferment of the admission to the following academic year (only once).

Requests must be sent by email to before October 31st. Each request is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Please note that deferments are not guaranteed.