Thinking of applying to the Business Doctorate?
Join our 4-year programme and you’ll study alongside leading academics at Cambridge, carry out cutting-edge research in a business environment and become an expert on a topic of your choice.
Guided by a supervisor from Cambridge Judge Business School throughout, you’ll produce an in-depth thesis and delve deep into the key issues in your industry in order to become a more effective, more reflective, leader.
Ready to get things started?
Applications now open
Applications for entry in October 2024 are now open, with a closing date of 26 March 2024.
Who are we looking for?
We’re looking for highly driven business leaders with substantial experience – normally around 20 years.
The Business Doctorate is right for you if:
- you’re a business leader working for a major company
- you can demonstrate having led key initiatives in your career
- you’re looking to further develop your business knowledge and leadership skills with an academically rigorous, research-based programme
- you have a master’s degree; we will also consider candidates with a bachelor’s degree of at least a 2:1 or above (or the overseas equivalent), if you can demonstrate exceptional. personal achievements relevant to your research proposal
Find out how to apply with our step-by-step guide below.
- Step 1: Application preparation
- Step 2: Application submission
- Step 3: Receipt of application
- Step 4: Application review
- Step 5: Research proposal development
- Step 6: Selection for interview
- Stage 7: Interview
- Stage 8: Conditional offer
- Step 9: Unconditional offer
Our minimum requirements
Our requirements are designed to ensure this programme is the right fit for you. See below for the things you’ll need in order to apply.
All applications are made online, and you need to submit all required supporting documentation, including references and transcripts.
We normally ask for a masters degree, but we’ll also consider you if you have a UK honours bachelor’s degree with at least a 2:1, or the equivalent from an overseas institution, and can demonstrate exceptional personal achievements relevant to your research proposal.
We will ask you to submit academic transcripts for all degree-level education.
In your research proposal (up to 2,000 words), we’ll ask you to address the following questions:
- what are the wider business or societal challenges and the specific research questions you wish to address with your doctoral research?
- why and how would answers to these research questions lead to progress in business or society?
- what is already known about your research questions? (provide an outline literature review, using sources such as Google Scholar, with an explicit link to the academic business and management literature)
- how do you intend to leverage your professional experience in answering your research questions?
- which data will be available to you (archival data or interviews) or may be generated by you (eg through field experiments) and why do you expect the data to shed light on these questions?
As part of the application, you will be asked to submit a brief statement on your reasons for applying (approximately 1,000 words).
Our Business Doctorate is targeted at candidates with substantial experience in leadership positions – generally in the region of 20 years. We’ll also ask you to show evidence of having led major initiatives in your organisation.
Please provide a sample of your writing outside your immediate executive function, for example a reflective publication in an industry journal, an independent review, or a chapter of a book.
If you aren’t a native-level English speaker, you’ll need to have one of the following:
- IELTS minimum overall score of 7.5, with at least 7.0 in each element
- or a TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) minimum overall score of 110, with at least 25 in each element.
Not yet taken a language test? Test result out-of-date or not up to the required standard? Don’t worry, you don’t have to include your English language test scores with your initial application documents; they can be forwarded on later in the process. If you are made an offer, one of the conditions of entry will be getting the required standard of language test score.
Have your CV (curriculum vitae, or résumé) ready to upload via the Applicant Portal, as this is a required part of your application for admission.
We’ll ask for 2 academic references. Referees should submit these via the online referencing system, stating how long they’ve known you and in what capacity; their understanding of your experience, professional interests and skills; and whether/why they believe you’d be a good fit for the programme.
If you are in employment, you will need to provide a letter from your employer giving explicit consent that you may undertake the programme and the proposed research. Your employer must also give explicit consent that you can undertake the time commitment required over the duration of the programme. This is expected to be a minimum of 24 weeks per year (the equivalent to a full-time doctoral programme).