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Since GSB’s formation in 2009 we have developed into an innovative and ambitious Business School, producing PhD graduates who are sought after by universities, business schools, research institutes and public and private sector organisations worldwide.

Each PhD student is assigned to one of GSB’s six research clusters where they will work closely not only with their supervisor(s) but also with other lecturers and doctoral students with similar research interests and expertise. You will therefore be active in the research activities of your cluster, participating in regular seminars and presenting your ideas and research to peers within the cluster. In addition to cluster-based activities, PhD students will also be engaged in workshops, seminars and other events organised by the School for the benefit of all doctoral candidates.

Whether you plan for a career in academia, industry or the public sector, your experience as a PhD student at GSB will give you the chance to make an impact on the thoughts and actions of scholars, business leaders and policy makers. The PhD programme at GSB is designed to equip students with research and analytical skills for scholarly inquiry and leadership in the field of business and management. As a doctoral student you will benefit from the systematic and rigorous research methods courses we provide. Given GSB’s tagline of ‘Nurturing Business Sustainability’, you will also be exposed from the outset to the importance of business sustainability.


Applicants should possess the following:

  • A Master’s degree from universities recognised by USM’s senate or an equivalent qualification with a minimum CGPA of 3.00/4.00; or
  • A Master’s degree by research from universities recognised by USM’s senate or an equivalent qualification
  • A two-page Research Proposal that includes:
  1. Proposed area of interest
  2. Potential contribution to theory
  3. Background (with evidence of reading that supports potential contribution)
  4. Research objectives
  5. Significance of research
  6. Expected economic, or social, or environmental impact of research

English Language Requirements (Applicable for International Applicants Only)

A minimum score of 60 for TOEFL (Internet-based); or
A minimum of Band 8.5 for TOEFL Essentials (Online); or
A minimum of Band 6 for IELTS; or
A minimum score of 59 for PTE; or
A minimum score for Cambridge English: Occupational English Test (OET) (Conventional/Online) min 250 /Advance (CAE)/Proficiency (CPE) /Preliminary (PET) /First (FCE)/Linguaskill Online min. score 169; or
A minimum score of 109 for ELS; or
A minimum of Band 4 for MUET

Exemption can be given to candidate if:

English is the candidate’s mother tongue or National Language; or
The candidate graduated from an Institution of Higher Learning in which the medium of instruction at Bachelor and/or Master degree level is English (statement of proof required).

The overall experience of the PhD programme at GSB can be summarised by our four main ‘learning goals’:

LG1: Produce scholars with relevant knowledge and skills in conducting scientific business research. 

LG2: Produce scholars who are able to deliver academic courses in institutions of higher learning. 

LG3: Produce scholars who are highly aware of issues pertaining to business sustainability. 

The PhD programme is open for application throughout the year, with our taught courses taking place every semester. You may apply to the programme at any time.