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Our PhD is a research degree designed to create advanced knowledge in specific areas of research. SBM UUM focuses on seven competency areas, which are, Management, Leadership, Human Resources, Entrepreneurship; Marketing, Business Information Systems and Sustainability & Community Development. Research students are guided by our faculty members dedicated to research at the frontiers of their fields. Entrance into the programme is very competitive. Prior to submitting their applications, candidates are required to prepare a good research proposal and then communicate with their potential supervisors. Carrying the status as the only university in Malaysia and probably in the world that specializes in management education, SBM manages to attract students from across the globe to join our unique research community. We are proud to say that more than 60% percent of about 500 PhD students (OYA Graduate School of Business and College of Business combined) come from various continents such as Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We only invite those with the brightest and creative minds to be part of our research community and be transformed into innovative researchers.

  • Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme must possess:

    1. Entry Requirements

      1. A  master’s  degree  from  Universiti  Utara  Malaysia  or  any  other  institutions  of  higher  learning  recognised  by  the  University. For a master's degree with CGPA, the minimun CGPA is 3.00; or
      2. Any other equivalent qualifications recognised by the university; and
      3. Fulfil the  English  language  requirement. 
      4. Provide a letter of motivation and research proposal (min. 1,000 words). Those whopse proposal passes initial screening by the Programme Director will be called for an interview (in person or virtually).
      5. Propose a potential supervisor, preferably who has already agreed to supervise the applicant. Applicants should visit the School's website to identify the potential supervisor they would like to eork with.

      Financial Requirement

      1. For sponsored applicant : Letter of Undertaking
      2. For self sponsored :
        1. ASEAN countries: Minimum balance of USD2,500.00 in own account
        2. Non ASEAN countries : Minimum balance of USD5,000.00 in own account

      If you need help or more information during the application process, please feel free to contact us via phone or email. (+604-928 7111/7120/7121 or



    The cost of higher education is increasing, either due to inflation or other economic factors. As such, with the increasing cost of education and the demand of higher education, education scholarships and study loans becomes an essential.

    For Local Students

    1. MyBRAIN15 (MyPh.D/ MyMASTER/ Ph.D Industry) under the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE). 
    2. National Science Fellowship (NSF) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI).
    3. PTPTN under Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional, Malaysia. 

    For International Students

    1. Malaysia International Scholarship under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia.
    2. Commonwealth Scholarship And Fellowship Plan (CSFP) Tenable In Malaysia under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia, for students from the Commonwealth Countries. 

What is a PhD?

A PhD or Doctor of Philosophy is an advanced research degree. A PhD student conducts a major research project that is original within the discipline and presents the results in the form of a thesis. A PhD research is designed to create advanced knowledge. Once completed, the thesis is examined by experts in the field of the research.

What are the areas of research or specializations offered by SBM?

Our faculty members are dedicated to research at the frontiers of their fields. Students may choose to concentrate in one of the available fields of study, which among others include Management, , Marketing, Operations Management, Entreprenuership, and Human Resource Management. 

What are the advantages of doing a PhD in SBM?

UUM is the premier Management University in Malaysia and has been a leader in management-related research in this country since its founding in 1984. SBM is the right place for those seeking academic research in the area of business management. More importantly, the intensity of the Research Programme via its systematic Doctoral Training Series and other Research Series demands energy and enthusiasm in the pursuit of greater understanding of the body of knowledge. Such preparation reaches its culmination in the original research presented in a candidate's thesis, and conferral of the Doctor of Philosophy. UUM is also unique compared to its peer institutions. With the college system practiced by UUM, cross-disciplinary study is frequent and encouraged. Regular consultations between students and supervisors are also instrumental in helping the former to map a blueprint for study that reflects a student's unique interests. SBM  invites diversity in the scholarly community. This is evidenced by a significant number of research students that have joined the PhD programme from abroad, and a variety of personal and professional backgrounds is also represented. 

Can I register on a part-time basis?

You may register for a part-time study for all or part of your candidacy. However, due to Immigration Service requirements, international students are not allowed to register as a part-time student.

What is the normal duration of a PhD study at SBM?

Full-time students will have to complete their study between 4 to 10 semesters and part-time students shall take 6 to 14 semesters to complete. Where a student is a part-timer for the entire period, the maximum time allowed is seven years. This extended time does not apply if, at any time during the PhD course of study, a student undergoes a full-time basis. Where there is a doubt as to whether you have studied on a full-time or part-time basis, then the matter will be resolved by reference to the record held on the University's student database, which is the official record of the course of study.

When is the student intake for the PhD programme?

The student intake is carried out twice a year, that is, in September and March. However, the application for our PhD programme is open all year round.

What is the structure of the PhD programme?

SBM provides a structured PhD programme to assist candidates in successfully completing their research. The School continuously conducts research courses, research training series, workshops, colloquiums and symposiums.

Research Courses: Students pursuing the PhD programme are expected to have sufficient research knowledge and skills to enable them to conduct their research. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills are required to register and pass the following two research courses:

  1. SZRZ6014 Research Methodology
  2. SCLE6014 Academic Writing
  3. Any other courses determined by the supervisor or Academic Committe (If any)

Symposiums: To assist students in their PhD research, arranged by the respective schools for students to present their research work. At least one (1) reviewer(s) will be appointed based on their expertise, provide feedback to the students. The students need to present their initial research ideas, research design and instruments to prepare them for data collection and present their research findings to prepare them for final write-ups and the viva.

SBM also organizes a PhD symposium every semester. During this symposiums, a prominent speaker will be invited to give a talk to PhD students, followed by parallel presentations from students who wish to present their research ideas, research instruments or research findings.

Do I have to defend my research proposal?

Yes, research students have to defend their research proposal. Students are required to submit a written thesis proposal and defend their proposal to a committee consisting of two reviewers and a chairperson. The proposal shall include a research topic, and discussions on research problems, research objectives, research scope, research significance, literature review, theoretical framework and research methods. Students will be given a pass, a pass with minor corrections, a pass with major corrections, a rescheduled defence, or a fail. A rescheduled defence must be held within six months from the first defence. Full-time (part-time) PhD students should defend their proposal within the first 12 (18) months from the date of admission.


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Further information, please contact our PG coordinator :
Dr Nazlina binti Zakaria 
Phone: 04-928 5058
Coordinator,Postgraduate Business Management 
HRM Programme:
Dr Wan Shakizah binti Wan Mohd Noor
Phone: 04-928 7541
Coordinator,Postgraduate HRM & OSH


Contact us

School of Business Management (SBM), College of Business,
Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman, MALAYSIA.
Phone: +604-9287401  
Fax: +604-9287422