The PhD programme in Management prepares students for international, research-driven academic careers or research positions in international companies or organisations. This is done by offering a structured doctorate degree programme that is both rigorous and relevant, using a combination of course work and a high-quality original research thesis.

At Rennes School of Business we offer a very selective PhD with low annual student recruitment aimed at candidates with excellent potential. Our aim is to help you grow to be an excellent researcher within the areas of expertise of Rennes SB.
Research at Rennes SB is focused on four Areas of Excellence:

  • Agribusiness (Agribusiness, Sustainable Development and CSR)
  • AI-Driven Business (Intelligence, Data-Driven Global Business)
  • Green, Digital & Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management (G3D)
  • mïnd (meaning, institutions and collective intelligence, information diffusion, networks and decision-making)

As a PhD candidate you will need to show a strong fit with one of these four areas. This requirement is intended as a mutual benefit, with the Areas of Excellence benefiting from your skills and you benefiting from the opportunity to train in an area with international distinct research expertise.

Programme mission

The PhD Programme prepares students for international, research-driven academic careers or research position in international companies or organizations. This is done by offering a structured doctorate degree programme that is both rigorous and relevant, using a combination of course work and courses. The main objective is to author a high-quality research thesis and demonstrate an ability to publish in ranked journals.
The PhD programme combines advanced course work and workshops as well as structured supervision to help students design, execute, and publish high quality research while being an integral part of a vibrant international research community. Rennes School of Business has a deep strategic commitment to research (in particular with its Areas of Excellence and the research of its Faculty members, visits of Renowned Research Guest Speakers), and we believe our students deserve to be in contact with professors who push the frontiers of their field of expertise.

A dual degree PhD

It is offered independently as a Rennes School of Business PhD degree, and for selected students, as a dual degree PhD with the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and UCD Dublin, Ireland. In this case, students will graduated with a PhD from both Rennes School of Business and the partner university. The choice between these options depends on the student, their supervisors, and is formalized at the start of the second year.

The PhD programme ensures access to excellent resources, networking opportunities and a globally recognized research doctorate, which are key to a successful and rewarding career.

First Year

The first year of the PhD programme offers an intensive combination of courses, course-work, skills training and structured supervision, building towards the first article of the thesis. The curriculum includes a series of core research courses – including qualitative and quantitative research methods, research methodology, and doctoral level management courses.


Our PhD programme prepares talented students for a rewarding career in academia
Dr Michael DOWLING

What is a PHD degree ?
"Combining rigour and relevance, our PhD programme prepares talented students for a rewarding career in academia. I look forward to personally welcoming you, with a structured programme and a network that reflects the strengths and ambitions of the school."

Admission procedure

Admission requirements

Admission to the PhD requires a number of steps. While these steps might seem cumbersome in part, the purpose is to ensure a good match and the best possible research outcome for you.
In the first instance you should email the relevant Director of one of the four Areas of Excellence with which you have a strong skill match. Email addresses for Rennes SB faculty follow the format of You should include a CV highlighting your educational and other matches to the Area of Excellence as well as a brief motivational statement.
The Director of the Area of Excellence will then make a determination as to broad fit to the Area and if so determined, the Director will attempt to identify a suitable professor or team of professors within their Area who might supervise your PhD.
After that you will be asked to an interview with the selected supervision team to determine topic match between what you are interested in researching and the research expertise of the proposed supervision team. If deemed a good match, a recommendation to issue you with an offer will be forwarded by the Director to the school Research and Innovation Committee for a formal decision.
Please do not use the formal school programme online application process until asked to do so, as the process outlined above precedes the formal application. You can use the Contact Us button on this webpage for informal queries about the PhD programme.

Formal admission requirements

  • A Master’s degree in a subject area related to the research, and
  • English proficiency shown by a recent (2 years’ maximum) TOEFL (equivalent 110 IBT minimum) or IELTS (7.5 overall score with >/=7 in all 4 sections). The TOEIC is not accepted.


Application deadline: Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis as outlined in the section ‘Admission Process’ above, with a September admission in the closest September to you receiving an offer of acceptance. Normally an application should have been submitted by May 31st to be considered for September admission in the same year.

Application fees

Application fees: €100

Teaching language


Full Time Programme


Summer N+1

  • Draft Article I
  • Annual PhD conference

Spring semester

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Strategy
  • Two electives

Fall semester

  • Research Methodology
  • Behaviour sciences
  • Statistics
  • Two electives


  • Draft Article II
  • Disertation Proposal Defence
  • Annual PhD conference


  • Dissertation defence (minimum 3 papers)
  • Draft Article III
  • Annual PhD conference


  • Dual degree PhD


Dual Degree

“The Amsterdam-Rennes dual-degree PhD combines the dynamism of one of France’s most international Grandes Écoles in management with the tradition, reputation and resources of the University of Amsterdam. An excellent proposition for ambitious PhD students.”
Dr Van Dissel, Han
Dean of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“The Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in University College Dublin is delighted to partner with Rennes School of Business’ PhD Programme, which gives doctoral students the opportunity to leverage the skills and traditions of both institutions. This partnership will add fresh perspectives which should benefit the practice of research and enhance the student’s learning experience.”
Dr O’Hogartaigh, Ciara
Dean of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ireland

Are you interested in another programme?