Social and sustainable enterprise

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October April to July
(February start)
November to February (October start)
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
April to July (February start)
November to February (October start)

The Social and Sustainable Enterprise (SSE) research cluster addresses the connections between entrepreneurial activity, innovation and the transition towards environmentally and socially sustainable ways of doing business.

Its research, scholarship and engagement activities are oriented around several related research specialisms, including: social and environmental practice in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); distinctive forms of enterprise, including:

  • Social and environmental practice in SMEs, social enterprises and other organisational types
  • Distinctive forms of enterprise, including social, craft and family-based ventures
  • Values-based approaches to management and corporate social responsibility
  • Impact investment in socially and environmentally responsible enterprises
  • Green innovations, start-up ventures and growth processes
  • Public policies and cross-sector collaborations to facilitate SSE / social and environmental goals
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation pedagogy, including a focus on SSE aspects

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

  • Please refer to this page for information on any funded studentships that may be available in the current year.

Current research projects

  • The voluntary sector: creating, assessing and evidencing public and social value
  • The Influence of gender on environmental entrepreneurship
  • The emergence of informal institutions to advance pro-environment practices in textile sector of Pakistan
  • Dynamics and trends of renewable energy entrepreneurship in Africa
  • Exploring inter-organisational collaboration in emerging sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems

Potential supervisors

See the Faculty of Business and Law funded studentships page for further details. Members of SSE and other researchers in the Faculty may have relevant research expertise to supervise a self-funded research project. Please see OUBS People for profiles of our researchers and contact FBL-phd team for further details of the application process.

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Some of our research students are funded via The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership or the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; some are funded by University studentships; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Man working in a wood shop

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Lin Nilsen

Email: FBL-phd
Phone: +44 (0)1908 858365

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.