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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Doctor of Business is no longer accepting new applications.


During Year 1 students must reside in Cambridge for the first three academic terms. For further information on the residency requirement, please refer to the website of the University's Postgraduate Admissions Office (PAO).

Years 2 to 4 consist of at least four weeks of residence in Cambridge per year. When not in residence, students are required to keep in regular contact with supervisors whilst collecting and analysing data in the business environment. Students must apply to the University for formal Leave to Work Away during Years 2-4, enabling them to collect their data off-site. 

It is important to note that the course is not part-time, although students may be flexible about managing their workload and integrating the course within their existing commitments. It is expected that over the duration of the BusD, the student’s total time commitment will be equivalent to the full-time PhD.

A progress report will be submitted to two external examiners at the end of each of years 2 and 3. Students will receive feedback on their annual progress reports and will, after submission of the thesis, be examined in the same way as PhD students at the end of year 4.

Non-EEA students on a Student visa will need to abide by strict visa working conditions. The stipulations of this visa also require that the work-based research undertaken during years 2 to 4 must not be based within the UK.  For more information about visa requirements and restrictions, please see our FAQ pages.

One to one supervision

Supervisors will work closely with the students. They will provide general academic advice to students, arrange tailored methodology training, and provide subject-specific training and advice relating to the thesis. Students and supervisors normally meet about once a month to discuss progress, but meetings may be more or less frequent depending on the project’s progression. Where possible, supervisions may also take place via video call or by other channels of communication.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Literature Reviews

The thesis is expected to make an explicit link to the relevant academic literature.


Students receive qualitative feedback on their assessed coursework and suggestions for improving their performance on the modules taken. Students are also welcome to approach lecturers for informal advice and guidance.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students are required to submit a thesis at the end of Year 4. The BusD thesis will be approximately 200 pages (a maximum length of 80,000 words). Students will be required to attend a viva examination in Cambridge.


During the first year, students will be resident in Cambridge. The curriculum will be comprised of a number of modules covering research methods and relevant literature, each assessed by written coursework and an oral assessment. The first two academic terms will provide training in research methodology at a level which will enable the student to carry out an independent and high-calibre research project as part of the final examination in Year 4, and will be tailored to that project.

Students will be required to produce a proposal defence in the third academic term of Year 1. This will require candidates to construct a 20-page research plan, which will be assessed by two external examiners. These examiners will, wherever possible, also examine the final thesis. The proposal defense will involve a presentation to members of the Faculty.

Each of the modules in the first year will be assessed by written coursework and an oral assessment. Students will also submit their proposal defense at the end of the first year of the programme.

During years two and three students must submit a Progress Report for assessment in June. The deadline is normally the 1 June unless this date falls at a weekend.

This Report is intended to be a useful check for the student to allow them to see where they are relative to their original plan and to produce a coherent schedule leading to a thesis by the end of the fourth year. It is also intended to allow both the supervisor and the Degree Committee to check the student's progress.

Key Information

4 years full-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Business

Judge Business School

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
March 26, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.