Doctor of Philosophy (School of Sustainable Development)

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  • Objectives
    The objectives of the PhD program in Sustainable Development are to carry out original research work in a project management or urban development discipline. The program develops independent research skills and the ability to relate a specific research topic to a broad framework of knowledge. Key emphasis is placed on independent inquiry, the development of competence in research methodology and the communication of research results. Research is carried out under the supervision of one or more members of the academic staff.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants must have: * First Class or Second Class (Division A) Master’s degree in a related field; or * Qualifications that are deemed by the University to be equivalent to the above. N.B. This program is currently available to domestic students only. International students should contact the Faculty of Business, Technology and Sustainable Development for further information regarding availability
  • Academic title
    Doctor of Philosophy (School of Sustainable Development)
  • Course description

    Prospective applicants should formulate a program of study and research in conjunction with prospective supervisors. The dissertation should be a major, substantially original, theoretical or empirical study of an issue or problem or phenomenon pertaining to the students’ major field of study. Once enrolled, the student may be required to attend some subjects offered by the School.
    The student is also required to present a Confirmation of Candidature seminar about the aims, methodology and progress of the work within 12 months of enrolment. The student’s supervisor and a Confirmation of Candidature Committee attend this seminar. A progress report must be submitted every 12 months. At the end of candidature, the student submits a Thesis which is evaluated by a committee of one internal and two external examiners. Candidates are normally expected to complete the program in 3 to 4 years full-time or 6 to 8 years part time.


    Each student will be supervised by a committee of up to three School Members. The committee is responsible for approving the student’s dissertation proposal prior to the examination process. The School of Sustainable Development maintains a ratio of doctoral students to staff of less than one-to-one, allowing students to work closely with staff and be exposed to the research activities of the staff and other students.


    The Doctor of Philosophy provides students with the research skills for academic careers in the University sector or for the role of researcher in project management, urban development or related fields.

    Course Structure

    Depending on prior academic qualifications, students undertake between 8 and 12 course- work subjects before sitting the qualifying examinations. Students take the required core subjects listed below and at least 3 advanced subjects drawn from areas directly related to the students dissertation. Normally, a student will commence the PhD program in the January semester and will then undertake the core subjects in the first 2 semesters: BUSN910 Quantitative Methods in Business,BUSN920 Research Methods,BUSN940 Philosophy of Science,BUSN950 Advanced Research Applications

    Students then draw on a range of subjects in Economics, Accounting, Management, Marketing, Econometrics, Finance, International Business and Management. The definition of major and minor field seminars will vary according to the candidate's dissertation area. The issue as to what subjects constitute these field seminars will be decided by the Associate Dean in consultation with the student and supervisor. All course-work subjects are open to challenge examinations by the student. The student may sit an examination in the subject being challenged prior to the commencement of the semester, and be granted an exemption if a high level of competence is displayed.

    Professional Outcomes

    All subjects are available for subsequent credit towards the Postgraduate Diploma of Business and the Master of Business (MBus) degree.

Other programs related to sustainable development

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