Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration – awarded by North Borneo University College, Malaysia

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration – awarded by North Borneo University College, Malaysia


This is a three year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration with specialisations in various areas to suit your requirements 

The PhD in Business Administration is a postgraduate doctorate that should take – from enrolment to graduation – 3 years.  The programme is designed in compliance with the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF) with 80 credits at the Doctorate level (Level 8).  It consists of compulsory modules, electives and a thesis.

The stages of the PhD are: Stage 1 – Compulsory Course Work / Taught modules; Stage 2 – Research; and Stage 3 – Thesis Examination

Stage 1 – Compulsory Course Work / Taught modules (20 credits)

This stage has 4 compulsory coursework modules and a Doctoral Seminar.  You must complete the compulsory course work in the first and second semesters (i.e. you will complete 2 modules a semester with each semester consisting of about 14 teaching weeks)

You must complete and pass the Stage 1 qualifying examinations within 24 months from the date of first registration. No extensions are usually given to complete Stage 1.

This qualifying examination consists of the following components:

  • Checking the written report in respect of the research proposal paper
  • Oral examination of the research proposal paper (1st Oral Defence)

Following the evaluation and approval of the research proposal paper, candidates can proceed to Stage 2. If you do not pass in the qualifying examination at the first attempt you are given two further attempts to pass it

Stage 2 – Research

At Stage 2 you will undertake the research pursuant to the approved Research Proposal of your Thesis. This research stage may be carried out on site / at your workplace. The Research monitoring work will be managed by a field supervisor approved and appointed by the university

The Research supervision processes are as follows:

  1. Four or more meetings with the Supervisor each semester
  2. At the end of every semester, you are required to prepare a written report (Research Progress Report Form) to chart your progress. There should be at least 2 semesters per year at Stage 2
  3. Your Supervisor must confirm the research report and issue a Satisfactory (‘C’) grade. On your draft being approved by your Supervisor, you may proceed to Stage 3. The Supervisor can only approve a draft after 24 months from the date of your registration for the PhD

You will need to complete and file a Progress Form with the Thesis Supervising Committee before being allowed to proceed to Stage 3.

Stage 3 – Thesis Examination (60 credits)

The Final submitted Thesis should not exceed 50,000 words and will accrue 60 credits

At this stage, you should show progress in the Thesis, and your Supervisor and/or the Thesis Supervising Committee will confirm your Thesis progress

You should then complete a Readiness Form before taking the final Thesis examination

The Thesis Supervising Committee will appoint an External Examiner and an Internal Examiner to check that your thesis has been prepared for examination as prescribed by the Thesis Guidelines and rules. The External Examiner and the Internal Examiner are required to prepare for you an independent written examination report on your Thesis and send it to the Thesis Supervising Committee

A viva voce examination will then be conducted in the presence of the External Examiner (and this can be via skype or other means of electronic communication as approved)

You shall be considered as having graduated with the PhD after successfully completing the viva voce examination and having submitted the corrected Thesis as stipulated in the reports given by both the External and Internal Examiners


Registered students can choose to undertake research specialisations in the following areas:

  • Educational Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Marketing
  • Accounting& Finance
  • Business Ethics & Law
  • Management
  • Decision Science

Summary of entry requirements

Malaysian Resident Students

  • Possess a recognised Master’s degree in the relevant field, OR
  • Other qualifications recognised by the Dean

Non-Malaysian Resident Students

  • Master’s degree of relevant field
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume

For thesis written in English, there will be an English language competency requirement equivalent to International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 550 or an English Placement test. Those who have their tertiary education in English shall normally be exempted from the requirement

Mode of Delivery

Blended Delivery Mode

Students are given a complete set of learning materials to facilitate independent study which can be downloaded from the designated Learning PortalFace-to-Face classes conducted at a learning centre at 18 hrs per moduleLearners are encouraged to participate in online discussions with other learners and their tutors for at least 18 hours per module

Face to Face Taught Mode

Face-to-Face lasses conducted with not less than 18 hours of classes per module at a learning centreLearners are encouraged to participate in online discussions with other learners and their tutors for at least 18 hours per module


Contact Info

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