Guillermo Casasnovas


DPhil Programme in Management Studies






Started in 2012

By Guillermo Casasnovas

Learning mode

The main objective of the DPhil programme at Saïd Business School is probably being trained to be an outstanding academic and the basic legs of this learning process are taking courses, carrying out your own research, and usually doing (or helping with) some teaching.

Today I wanted to say a few words about the first point. Although it varies depending on whether we are in the Management or the Finance route, as DPhil students we have to take several courses during the first year of the programme. We have some courses on research methods and some on different topics such as organization theory, corporate finance, or strategy. However, there is a whole array of offerings beyond these initial compulsory courses.

There is an incredible amount of courses (or workshops, seminars) from the IT department. They range from basic training on tools such as Word, Excel, or Access to many programming languages and specialized software, as well as courses addressed to research students on managing references, analysing data, or open-access platforms. For example, next week I will be participating in an 6-hour workshop on how to use NVIVO (a software for qualitative data analysis) in the Social Sciences – for free!

There is also a wide offering of language courses taught at the Oxford University Language Centre, with really good prices for students. There we can find courses on Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, as well as specific courses to use these languages in research environments and others about academic writing for non-native English speakers. I am now taking a course on how to edit my academic texts using a specific software that assembles a corpus of research papers in my area and compares that to my own writing.

And if that is not enough, apart from these courses available from the University of Oxford, we also benefit from the teaching at Saïd Business School. The most common way is to audit one or two courses from the MBA programme that are relevant to our areas of research and expertise, which allows for engaging with the MBA community and connecting our research questions to the ‘real-world’ challenges of today’s (and tomorrow’s) managers. So, even if we all know that we should always be in ‘learning mode’, there is no better time for that than the doctoral training years.

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