University of Northwest Europe

Program Code UNE-RESPHD-16-04
Program Language English
Program Length 2 – 3 years
Program Level postgraduate
Credits no credits assigned
Mode of Delivery Technology Enhanced Learning

The Doctor of Philosophy by Research is an advanced academic program designed by our expert business academics for those people who are experienced academic business or management professionals. It consists of several research modules taken by independent study and a final dissertation. The program will provide you with business and management skills and the opportunity to write a dissertation in an academic business or management field.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD program is open to all applicants who have earned an advanced Master degree in Business, Management or Economics or an equivalent professional qualification in these fields plus at least 7 years of professional experience.

The PhD program consists of

Five research course units including two pre-dissertation research papers of publishable quality (previously published works in the major might be considered as substitute), a first rigorosum, an acceptable dissertation proposal, a dissertation and an oral defense. The program can be completed self-paced by independent supervised research study. Supporting materials and access to online library and research resources will be provided. The program will be completed under faculty and research staff guidance.


After submission of the preliminary research papers, a rigorosum must be successfully passed before a proposal for the final dissertation can be presented. In order to become eligible to present a dissertation research proposal (topic), a candidate must have passed the rigorosum with an average grade of C (3.0) or better

Oral Defense

The final oral defense is conducted under supervision of the joint doctoral commission of the University. External examiners may be appointed. Defense dates are published within two weeks after a dissertation was successfully accepted.

Completion Requirements

Students will need to earn an average grade of C or better in the rigorosum in order to be admitted to continue doctoral studies at the University. The final average grade is calculated from the rigorosum (50%), the final dissertation (40%) and the oral defense (10%).

Program Duration

The total program can be completed in 24 – 36 months.

Research units

Fiveresearch modules:

RESPHD 750 Research methodology
RESPHD 760 Literature review and theoretical background
RESPHD 770 Survey and data analysis
RESPHD 780 Research paper I (in major area)
RESPHD 781 Research paper II (in major area)
RESPHD 790 Rigorosum
RESPHD 795 Dissertation proposal
RESPHD 796 Consultations and manuscript of the dissertation
RESPHD 800 Dissertation (in major area)
RESPHD 801 Oral defense

Research and Dissertation major areas

One of the following areas can be chosen as major research area:
General Business Administration
Marketing, Communications and PR research
Management, Leadership and Governance
Business and Management Education
Business Law
Business and Management Psychology
Behavioral Studies in Business and Economy
Business and Economic Policy
Intercultural Economics, Business and Management Studies


Upon successful completion of all unit requirements and the rigorosum, a PhD Candidacy Certificate is awarded from UNorthwest.

Students who have passed the rigorosum with a grade average below C (3.0), will be unable to continue the program and will be awarded a terminal certificate and the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) awarded from UNorthwest.

Students who are selected for continuing in the program will receive after successful submission of the final dissertation, including the successful pass of the oral defense, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in the dissertation major area) from Alliance International University.