Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate School of Business,Universiti Sains Malaysia

Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance
Registration Number: 272722

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme (PhD) is offered by The Graduate School of Business at Universiti Sains Malaysia (GSB@USM). It is a research based programme. The standard and maximum duration of the programme are 3.5 years and 5 years.

About the University

Established in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (English: University Science Malaysia) (USM) is the first science university and the second oldest university in Malaysia. USM is a public university and located in Penang with the main campus of 416.6 hectare where it is surrounded by the beautiful natural environment. The university currently has approximately 30,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

With 17 dedicated research centres, USM is one of the most dynamic and progressive universities in Malaysia as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and is a leading research institution for research in South East Asia region.

The university is also internationally well recognized. The university has been ranked in 207 by the QS World University Rankings 2019 and over the past 3 years, the university has been ranked in the top 400 universities by the QS World University Rankings. The university takes pride in its ability to deliver high quality programmes that equip students with the ability to overcome real-world challenges as well as the ability in forging extensive connection with industry and professional bodies.Besides, this PhD programme is offered by the Graduate School of Business, in which their global partners and foreign students come from over 10 countries and regions.

Click here for more details about GSB@USM

Reputation & Ranking
  1. Recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia
  2. Top 1% universities worldwide (QS World Rankings 2020)
  3. Ranked 14th young university in the world (QS Top 50 Under 50 2019)
  4. Ranked 43th in Asia (QS Asia University Rankings 2019)
  5. Awarded 5 Stars for excellence in:
    Specialist Criteria
  6. (QS Stars University Ratings 2018)
  7. Top 150 in Business and Management Studies in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018)
  8. The only APEX (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) University in Malaysia, a special status accorded to the best institutions of higher learning in the world.

Programme Details

1. Programme Objectives

  • Nurture business scholars who can apply business theory and practice towards promoting the wellbeing of the community and the environment.
  • Develop business scholars who demonstrate a high-level of creativity, analytical thinking and problem-solving skills in offering robust solutions.
  • Produce business scholars with advanced skills in research, writing and knowledge sharing on matters relating to business sustainability.
  • Produce business scholars who are capable of examining any business enterprise and discern its strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats; and use these findings to make appropriate business recommendations.

2. Programme Structure

A. Major Thesis

The principal component of the PhD is a major thesis of at least 50,000 words, embodying the results of an original research project. In order to fulfil the graduation requirements stipulated by the University, students are required to publish one article related to their thesis chapters in Scopus Indexed Journal during their period of candidature. The assigned supervisors, also being the co-authors of supervisees' academic work, will work closely together with students throughout their studies.

PhD research areas at GSB are categorised into six areas:

  1. Financial Research for Emerging Markets
  2. Marketing
  3. Innovation in Operation Management
  4. Global Strategy and Organizational Behavior
  5. Social Innovation and Sustainability
  6. Sustainability Accounting and Governance

B. Workshops

At GSB@USM, the workshop is designed to widen your knowledge, to place the specialized research project within a broader disciplinary context and to enhance your research skills.

You are required to complete the following 2 workshops in advancing your research skills and techniques:

  • Research Methodology Workshop Part 1 and 2
  • Statistical Analysis Workshop

These structured workshops are designed to ensure you have the knowledge, skills and capability to be able to read graduate level content and harvest the knowledge you need from it.

C. Checkpoint

There are 4 CHECKPOINTS, candidates must submit and/or present their work for review, including:

  • Conceptual paper submission and presentation
  • Research proposal submission and defence
  • Data collection and analysis submission, and findings defence
  • Final thesis submission and Viva Voce
D. Compulsory Bahasa Malaysia Language Workshop

GSB@USM offers a complimentary language workshop "LKM 100 Bahasa Malaysia" to all participants. The course will be an interesting way for you to learn the traditional language of Malaysia. Students are allowed to take the examination with multiple attempts. Completing this course with a minimum passing grade of "C" is a requirement for the completion of the PhD programme.

3. Semester Activities

4. Language Medium


Endorsement from Malaysian Business Leaders in HK
  • Dato' Seri CHEAH Cheng Hye 拿督斯里謝清海
    Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Value Partners Group
  • Mr S K CHEONG 鄭善強先生
    Executive Director and General Manager, Television Broadcasts Limited
  • Dato' Khai Choon GAN 拿督顏溪俊
    Chairman, The Malaysian Chamber of Commerce


For course details:
Stephanie Leung: 2774 8537
Fax: 2365 1000

It  is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.


Course fee: HK$239,860
The below course fee is applicable to students admitted in September 2018 and thereafter:
-Course fee: HK$239,860, to be collected in 10 installments
Installment 1 HK$52,060
Installment 2-4 HK$26,000 each
Installment 5-8 HK$22,500 each
Installment 9-10 HK$9,900 each
-Application fee for new applicants: HK$250 (non-refundable)
This programme is an eligible programme under The Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS) provided by the Government of HKSAR. For details, please refer to:

Entry Requirements

- A Master's degree or an equivalent qualification from universities with a minimum CGPA of 3.00.

- English Language Requirements: An IELTS overall band score of 6.0 or TOEFL score of 550. Applicants with their mother tongue in English or who have completed their Bachelor's or Master's degree fully in English are exempted from the English Language proficiency requirement.


For course details:
Stephanie Leung: 2774 8537
Fax: 2365 1000