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 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.
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
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 ; 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||Intermediate academic years||Final academic 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.|
In addition to completing a doctoral thesis, the programme includes supporting activities, such as:
1. Research seminars: the research teams to which doctoral students are linked offer seminars to present and discuss research work. Students also start to take part in doctoral workshops held in Spanish or international universities.
2. Training courses for doctoral students: these include courses specializing in tools like STATA, LATEX, etc.
3. PhD Workshop: students are encouraged to participate in the PhD Workshop in their final year. The aim is for them to present one of their papers and receive guidance from senior researchers.
4. International programme: PhD students are encouraged to conduct research as a visiting student at other universities or research centers throughout the world. Research stays longer than three months may be recognized with the International doctoral certification in the doctoral degree. 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 gain admission 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 master’s programme focused on research. Accordingly, admission is limited to students who have completed one of the following:
- The master’s degree in Business Research at the University of Barcelona or the master’s degree in Actuarial and Financial Sciences at the University of Barcelona. In the latter case, the student must have completed the specialization in Advanced Actuarial and Financial Models.
- A master’s degree in Business from any centre of higher learning in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that has similar contents to the University of Barcelona master’s degree in Business Research or to the specialization in Advanced Actuarial and Financial Models offered in the master’s degree in Actual and Financial Sciences.
- A master’s degree in Business from any centre of higher learning outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that has a training level that is comparable to the master’s degree in Business Research at the University of Barcelona and that enables access to doctoral studies in the student’s country of origin.
Any candidate submitting an application with a bachelor’s or doctoral degree from a foreign university must apply for admission to the Doctoral School of the University of Barcelona to embark on doctoral studies.
Knowledge of languages
The University of Barcelona recommends that doctoral theses should be written in English.
Candidates will have to prove at least a B2 Level or equivalent*. Applicants are exempt from documenting English certificate if they are native speakers or hold a university degree taught in an English speaking country.
Please upload a copy of it in the application form. Additionally, you can also report the score to us directly via your test center. We also accept other certificates as long as they are proof of fluency in English.
*Recommended English Certificates:
First Certificate in English (FCE)
TOEFL iBT 72-94 (Code C086)
During the application process, candidates must give the names of two people who can provide letters of reference. The university will then email the two people to request their letters. The candidates themselves are responsible for notifying the two people in advance and ensuring that they are willing to send a letter of reference within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the formal request.
In addition, each candidate must submit a research proposal and a statement of interest setting out their reasons for applying, their goals, their training and why they see themselves as an ideal candidate for the doctoral programme in Business at the University of Barcelona.
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%.
According to the fees for the academic year 2019-2020, the cost of enrolment in the doctoral programme in Business is €540.92 a year. Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and/or a master’s degree in a foreign university must pay an additional €218.15. Also, the fee for the thesis defence is €156.87.
The Catalan government sets the fees for higher education annually for all of Catalonia’s public universities, including the University of Barcelona. Candidates must take into account that fees may change over the period of their studies when they submit their application for the doctoral programme.
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. Much of this information is also accessible through our weekly newsletter.
- Deadline for applications (academic year 2019-2020): October 14th, 2019 at 14:00 (Barcelona time)
- Full-time scholarship – 3 years
- Deadline for applications (academic year 2019-2020): To be published in December
- Full-time scholarship – 3 years
- Deadline for applications (academic year 2019-2020): October 29th, 2018
- Full-time scholarship – 4 years
- Deadline for applications (academic year 2019-2020): February 27th, 2019
- Full-time scholarship – 3 years
- Deadline for applications (academic year 2019-2020): October 31st, 2019
- Full-time scholarship – 3 years
BEI – Banco Santander – Loans for postgraduate studies
AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya) – Loans for postgraduate studies
AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya) – Loans for tuition fees
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Notice about the COVID-19: Please note that the admissions calendar remains unchanged. The applications are being reviewed and processed as normal. To date there have been no changes to the postgraduate degrees schedule for the 2020/21 academic year. Should the COVID-19 health emergency force us to make any changes, we will inform you as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the “Information on COVID-19” section of the University of Barcelona webpage.
To apply for the doctoral programme in Business at the University of Barcelona, a candidate must follow these steps:
Confirm that all requirements for admission have been met. These are set out in the section entitled Who should apply?.
Complete the application form, which provides the information needed to assess a candidate academically. The academic committee of the doctoral programme in Business will assess the aspects listed below (the number in brackets reflects the weighting):
Grade point average and other academic merits (50%)
Previous experience in areas related to the content of the doctoral programme (20%)
Quality of the research proposal (10%)
Degree of correspondence with the research areas covered by the doctoral programme and support for the student’s proposal (20%)
Once your application is reviewed by the admissions team, you will receive an email to provide the name and contact email of your references. The system will automatically send them a request.
The period for admissions applications to the academic year 2020-2021 is open from November 5th 2019 until May 15th 2020.
This application gives access to the doctoral programme that begins in September each academic year. It is advisable to complete an application as early as possible, because the number of places is limited.
1st period | Applications received from November 1st 2019 to February 1st 2020. Resolutions by February 25th 2020
2nd period | Applications received from February 2nd 2020 to April 1st 2020. Resolutions by April 27th 2020.
3rd period | Applications received from April 2nd 2020 to May 15th 2020. Resolutions by May 27th 2020.
(!) Applicants will receive the academic resolution by email.
Candidates obtaining academic admission must send the required documentation to the Office for Master’s and Doctoral Studies (OMD) in the Faculty of Economics and Business. Subsequently, the Doctoral School of the University of Barcelona will be responsible for communicating final approval to candidates by email.
Candidates are advised to assemble the documentation as early as possible, because some certificates may be difficult to obtain before the period for admissions applications expires. Specifically, candidates must provide the following documents:
1. Bachelor’s degree certificate.
2. Bachelor’s degree transcript.
3. Master’s degree certificate.
4. Master’s degree transcript.
5. Photocopy of DNI/NIE/passport.
6. Application form:
Students with academic documents issued outside Spain
Students with academic documents issued in Spain
Academic transcripts for bachelor’s degrees, other undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees must specify the duration of the studies in academic years, the subjects taken, the calculation of hours or credits earned for each subject, the marks obtained and the assessment system (on the same document or on an attached certificate).
All submitted documentation must be certified. In the case of degrees earned outside Spain, the student must follow the steps below, in strict order:
It is essential to submit certified copies of the required documents. If a student submits authenticated and translated originals together with simple copies, the copies can be certified at the University of Barcelona. If a student has a Spanish university degree, it is also possible to submit the original documents and simple copies so that the copies can be certified at the University of Barcelona.
Documents must be posted or delivered in person to the Office for Master’s and Doctoral Studies (OMD) at the Faculty of Economics and Business. The address is below:
Oficina de Màsters i Doctorat (OMD)
Facultat d’Economia i Empresa
Universitat de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal 696
08034 Barcelona, Spain
All students with international documentation must pay an equivalence fee of €218.15. The University of Barcelona will send a deposit slip for payment of this fee.
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 send by email to email@example.com before September 1st. Each request is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Please note that deferments are not guaranteed.