Brunel PhD Without Residence

PhD (WR) Programme:

Doctoral Programmes in Business and Management at Ahlia University, Bahrain, awarded by Brunel University London, UK

Brunel Business School UK, is working in partnership with Ahlia University, Bahrain, in delivering the prestigious PhD (Without Residence) programme in Bahrain. It was launched in 2007 and is helping to create a new generation of scholars and business leaders, benefiting society by developing a research culture and assisting the evolution from a knowledge-consuming society to a knowledge-producing society.

Unique opportunity

A research degree in business and management from a UK university with an international reputation is a highly sought-after qualification. But until very recently, studying for a UK doctorate meant spending at least three years in the UK and anyone who was unable to do this will not be able to achieve their dream of gaining a UK based PhD. This doctoral programme represents a unique opportunity to gain a UK PhD and be part of Brunel Business.

Research Expertise

Research in Brunel Business School has grown substantially in both quantity and quality in research years. In REF2014 Brunel Business School ranked 20th department in the UK in research intensity up from 65th place in REF2008. Today over 85% of the Brunel Business School staff are research active working in a research community of six well-focused research groups, all with international profiles and collaborative research initiatives. On the other hand, Ahlia University staff make a vibrant research oriented community. Together Brunel and Ahlia are cooperating to produce a strong inter-institutional research environment. You should therefore be assured that you will be offered all the support, guidance, research experience and expertise to help you to successfully complete your PhD.

Why choose the Ahlia-Brunel research degree programme?

Brunel is a well‑established, research-led university with an international reputation. Ahlia University is a much younger institution, yet we still see research as an integral part of our policy and philosophy because we believe there should be two sides to a university: teaching and learning on the one side and research on the other. Choosing this research degree programme means that you benefit and many ways from both universities:

  • This programme represents a unique opportunity for anyone who is unable to spend three years abroad – maybe due to work or family commitments – to study in Bahrain and be examined and awarded a PhD by a UK university with an international reputation.
  • It has been judged to meet the standards set by the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (the organisation responsible for upholding academic standards and quality of higher education in the UK)
  • You can choose from a wide range of research topics – research interests of the programme’s academic staff span all the main areas of business and management research
  • You will have access to the research expertise of Brunel Business School academics without having to leave Bahrain: members of Brunel Business School have published extensively and are recognised as leaders in a range of research fields
  • You will receive support from academics at Ahlia University and be entitled to make full use of Ahlia’s facilities


How does it work?

  • You will be based for your studies at Ahlia University and have full access to all of Ahlia’s facilities including its extensive library
  • You will be assigned two academic supervisors who will support and guide you over the course of your PhD.
  • You will be nominally attached to a research centre within Brunel Business School
  • You will be encouraged to attend conferences and to disseminate your research
  • Brunel Business School regularly runs seminars and workshops in Bahrain to help you with your study and research skills
  • The only time you will need to go to Brunel will be for your viva at the end of your PhD

Successfully completing your PhD

The key requirements for obtaining a PhD are:

  • Discovery of novel findings – which should be of a standard sufficient for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals;
  • A broad and in depth understanding of your field including relevant methodologies, an ability to discuss critically research, its implications and limitations;
  • Preparation of a well written and presented thesis describing the background to your work, the methods used, observations made and critical discussion in the context of the broader field.

Support from your supervisors

To support you in your research you will be assigned two supervisors. One of your supervisors will be an academic from Ahlia University; the other will be an academic from Brunel Business School. Whilst PhD students are expected to work independently, the role of your supervisors will be to provide guidance and direction throughout your time as a PhD student. Your Ahlia supervisor will be on hand for face to face meetings and you will have regular contact with your Brunel supervisor by email and other online communications means.

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold a good honours degree in a relevant academic discipline. You should also have successfully completed a Master’s degree.
If English is not your first language and you have not previously been taught in English, you will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in English. Brunel University recognises a range of qualifications. For further details, visit:

Mode of study

Full-time only. You will be expected to complete your PhD in 3 years. Assessment is based on your submitted thesis and its oral defence in a viva voce. This will be held at Brunel University London in the UK and will be conducted under Brunel regulations.


The fees for the programme are continuously updated and are published here: Fees are reviewed annually and are subject to annual increments.

Your research proposal

To support your application you should include a research proposal. This should detail the proposed area and structure of your research and should extend to about 1,000 words. Your proposal will be used to assess how consistent your research interests are with the School’s current research activities, to judge whether the research is possible, necessary and timely and to decide whether you have the appropriate skills to carry out your proposed study.
Please describe your research area and research issues of interest and also the rationale for your research. You should also identify the relationship between the literature and your proposed research and discuss the importance of your research interest: is it something that is absent from the current literature or something that needs further development? Please also provide information about your proposed methodology and specify any conceptual or technical limitations.

How to apply

Please send your initial queries to Please visit this site: You will need to upload the completed application form and supporting documents in the links provided. You will need to support your application with a detailed research proposal and two references. please take particular care to ensure that your personal statement (Section 19) fully explains why you are interested in studying for a PhD, how a PhD will contribute to your future career plans and why you have chosen Brunel’s PhD without residence programme at Ahlia University. Supporting documents:

  • Your research proposal
  • Your CV
  • Your Passport
  • Authenticated copies of your academic qualifications
  • (Master’s and Bachelor’s degree certificates and transcripts)
  • Proof of English Language proficiency
  • Two references, one of which must be from an academic


If you would like to know more please contact us :

Tel: +973 17 298973
+973 17 298999.
Mobile: +973 3 988 7612.