PgCert Business Research Methods (Pre-Doctoral Programme)

The course

Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date
Open enrolment


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


This pre-doctoral programme is specifically designed for students who want to prepare for a DBA or PhD degree at Edinburgh Business School or elsewhere. Entry to doctoral studies is increasingly competitive so it is vital that you understand the research process and have a clearly defined research idea before embarking on a doctoral research programme. This programme will help you do just that.

Programme delivery

Students can choose where, when and at what pace they study. The programme can be completed entirely by self-paced online learning but you also the opportunity to enhance your learning through attendance at intensive 4-day seminars that are held for each course at our campuses in Edinburgh and Dubai. Please contact us for a teaching timetable.

These four-day intensive seminars are delivered by our experienced faculty and offer practical insights into specific aspects of the course. You’ll examine relevant case studies and mix with students from different countries, cultures and career paths.

The purpose of the seminar is not only to ensure that you gain a deeper understanding of the course material but to also help you apply this material effectively when reaching the thesis stage of the degree. The last day of the seminar will focus on developing appropriate techniques for approaching the end of course exam.

Each doctoral business research course is assessed by a three-hour examination.

September 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by the 8 August 2022.

Course content

Doctoral Business Research 1, 2 and 3

On completion of the three doctoral business research courses, you will receive the award PgCert in Business Research Methods

Doctoral Business Research 1

This course presents the first step in a basic review of the nature of research and methods for business and management doctoral students. It will provide students with the practical research tools and the theoretical background for critiquing and designing research on a variety of topics. It also serves as a useful guide as to the content required in a thesis, the nature of examination for a doctoral degree, and how to generate research questions and write in an appropriate ‘academic’ style.

Download a course taster: Doctoral Business Research 1 

Doctoral Business Research 2

This course introduces qualitative research methods for business and management doctoral students. It will help students to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different qualitative methods and look at how they can combine with each other. Moreover, it provides a holistic understanding of the qualitative research process starting from outline of philosophical underpinnings to qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting.

Download a course taster: Doctoral Business Research 2

Doctoral Business Research 3

This course introduces quantitative research methods for business and management doctoral students. It will provide an understanding of the different techniques available from data collection through to analysis. The course is designed as an introduction to quantitative techniques, bridging into more advance ones with a comprehensive coverage of the most commonly used methods. The course will also train students on the use of SPSS statistical software to carry out analysis and apply the techniques covered within the course.

Download a course taster: Doctoral Business Research 3

Entry requirements

The programme is open to anyone with an interest in doctoral level research. There is no application form or entry criteria; you can commence your studies straight away by registering for the first course. For information on how to register for courses, please contact

Students who complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Doctorial Business Research Methods can apply for a DBA or PhD with Edinburgh Business School. However, you will still need to meet the other entry requirements and apply for your preferred programme of study.


Additional fees information

The total cost of the programme by distance-learning is £3525.

Each optional 4-day on-campus seminar costs £630.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.