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Admission:   | Help Centre:   | September Intake 2022: Apply Now  |   Contact Us


GSB offers two doctoral programmes: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) within the business and management topics such as Finance, Marketing, Management and other related areas. As a highly recognised Research University our doctoral candidates are supervised by some 100 experienced doctoral supervisors from GSB and UKM's Faculty of Economics and Management. Our academics are attached to one or more strategic centres and research groups.

Nature of the Doctoral Programmes in GSB-UKM

Our doctoral programmes are designed for both academics and practitioners. They are research-driven and aimed at generating scholarly researchers and thinkers that will significantly contribute to the theory, methodology and practice of the business and management disciplines. Hence, they are rigorous and demanding, assuring mastery of the discipline at an advanced level.

The breadth and depth of the knowledge expected for PhD and DBA graduates, for example, are reflective of our commitment to excellence and quality, as well as relevance and rigour, with a flexible curriculum offering options to pursue special interest areas within the business, management and finance fields.

The mandatory research methodology courses assure that vital relevant theories, conceptual frameworks, and research skills be equipped to groom our doctoral candidates for innovative research at the frontiers of knowledge, within the business and management disciplines of their choice.


Research Methodology classes (for both PhD and DBA) are held alternate weekends throughout the first year of the programme

DBA classes are held Monday to Friday during office hours throughout the first year of the programme



3 years of full-time study


4 years  of full-time study



RM34,650.00 – Malaysians
RM46,800.00 – International

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RM48,400.00 – Malaysians
RM61,800.00 – International

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September and March

Differences between PhD and DBA?


Type of programme

By Coursework + Thesis

Competency level assessments

+ Pass all coursework with minimum ‘B’ grade for every course & minimum of 3.0 CGPA every semester
+ Pass Thesis Proposal Examination+ Present Research-in-Progress at Doctoral Colloquium
+ Pass Thesis Examination
+ One article accepted for publication in SCOPUS/ISI/ERA indexed jounal OR one in refereed, well-known journal in the subject matter

Admission requirements

+ Excellent academic records with good Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree related to Economics / Business/ Commerce discipline / other related discipline


Type of programme

By Thesis

Competency level assessments

+ Pass Research Methodology courses
+ Pass Thesis Proposal Examination+ Present Research-in-Progress at Doctoral Colloquium
+ Pass Thesis Examination
+ One article accepted for publication in SCOPUS/ISI/ERA indexed journal AND one in refereed, well-known journal in the subject matter

Admission requirements

+ Excellent academic records with good Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree relevant to the specialized area of the thesis

Doctoral Research Fields

GSB draws expertise for research supervision focusing on, but not limited to, the following fields:-

Includes Money and Capital Markets, Banking, Corporate/ International Finance and Investment)

Includes Leadership, Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Organizational Behaviour, Human Resources Management, Operations Management, and Quality Management)

Includes Services Marketing, Customer Behavior,  International Marketing, Product Innovation and Hospitality Marketing

Practical Tips for Doctoral Students

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Syed Shah Alam
Research Fellow, UKM-GSB
Dr. Ngan Sue Lin
Senior Lecturer, UKM-GSB
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Mohd Hirwani
Associate Professor of Management, UKM-GSB

Research Competency (For PhD and DBA)

Our doctoral degrees signify an attainment of the greatest level of competence in specific field of study. The degree proves that the students have analytical skills to carry out rigorous research tasks. In order to gain this level of research competency, the doctoral programmes provide intensive training in research techniques and methods. The knowledge and competency gained in qualitative and/or quantitative research methodology are transferable and applicable to non-academic research environments including for industrial research.

Core Courses (for DBA)

Advanced Organisational Management

This course explores organizational management based on theoretical and empirical perspectives. Topics covered include strategic management, entrepreneurship, human resource management, organizational behavior, knowledge management, international business and research issues in management field.

Financial Theory

This is an elective course for students who major in finance. Students will be introduced to original articles that contribute to the development of major theories in finance. Students are required to evaluate and write a review report on these articles, based on the list given to the students. The report should include:

+ Purpose of the paper.
+ Model or methodology employed.
+ Discussion of the empirical results (if any)).
+ Conclusions of the paper.
+ Brief evaluation of the work as to its contribution to the field of finance.

Marketing Theory And Thought

This course trains the students in terms of critical thinking and synthesizing literatures related to marketing field. It provides opportunities for students to expose to theoretical and applied frameworks. Students must critically analyze and discusses theories and issues faced by marketeers and researchers within and across marketing areas. This course also discusses theoretical structures and its underlying assumptions to encourage in-depth discussion and reasoning.

Major Courses (For DBA)

Courses offered within the Major/ Minor fields for DBA and specialization area courses for Ph.D., grouped under Finance, Management and Marketing, are as follows:-


Managing Employee Attitude and Behaviour

This course provides a micro-level overview of theory and research in organizational behavior. Topics covered include individual differences (with regard to personality, perceptions, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors), employee motivation, leadership, and research issues in organizational behavior. Students are expected to follow the developments of selected streams of research and evaluate empirical studies in these areas.

Organisational Theory and Design

This course attempts to equip students with the ability to understand various theoretical approaches that can explain organizational phenomena, the theoretical foundations of OT & OD, and organizational changes that occurred as a result of current developments in the global business environment. The concepts and principles are highlighted as the following topics: organization and organizational environment, organizational strategy and structure, external factors and organization design, and organizational processes and design.

Managing Human Resource

This course will place students at the forefront in understanding how organizations can gain sustainable competitive advantage through people. Students will also understand that the role of human resource manager is no more to service functions but also play active role in strategic planning and decision making. Students will be exposed to different research issues related to the different functions mentioned.

Strategies in Management

This course will take students through a review of journal papers on strategic management. Students will acquaint themselves with the latest theories, published research findings and applications of strategic management in business and non-profit organization.

Advanced Operations Management

The course aims to provide students with adequate operational knowledge regarding activities in manufacturing and service organizations. Students will be exposed to knowledge regarding operational management theories, concepts and functions in an organization through article or case discussion and company visit. Technical analysis and fundamental analysis will be discussed.


Applied Econometrics

Econometric methods are used in research that used financial and economic data. Models that are included are the OLS, GLS, Panel data, ARCH and GARCH, VAR, ECM. Related issues when dealing with time-series data are also discussed. Students are exposed to the use of Eviews econometric software for analysis. Graduate courses in regression are preferred as prerequisite.

Money and Capital Markets

This course is designed to hone skills and conceptual thinking doctoral able to translate these skills in writing and criticism in the area of money and capital markets. At the end of this course, students will be able to identify issues and problems in mediation theory, the theory of the structure of financial development, the adoption of the theory of monetary policy and interest rates country. Students are able to evaluate monetary policy towards overseas markets and capital.

Advanced Investment

This course is a continuation of the investment course at the master’s level. Students will be introduced to investment environment as well as aspects of investment planning, investment decision making, and investment evaluation based on a certain technique or analysis. Technical analysis and fundamental analysis will be given special attention. This class will be conducted as a combination of lectures and discussions. Discussions will normally focus on academic articles, either empirical or theoretical in nature.

Financial Economics

The objective of this course is to undertake a rigorous study of the theoretical foundations of modern financial economics. Topics that will be covered may include investment decisions under uncertainty, expected utility theory, stochastic dominance, mean variance portfolio analysis, portfolio separation theorem, capital asset pricing theory, arbitrage pricing theory, option pricing, Arrow-Debreu economy and incomplete markets.

Doctoral Seminar in Finance


Buyer Behaviour Theory and Research

This course aims at getting students to appreciate consumer behavior theories and be able to do a critical review of research on consumer behavior, which will provide students with ideas in developing theoretical framework in their research proposal. The main topics include perception, motivation, learning, personality and attitude theories and other relevant theories that will help students to understand deeply the process that individuals and organizations go through in making purchase decisions.

Product Policy and Strategy

This course takes a multi-functional, multi-disciplinary and global approach on issues face by marketing and product managers, where product/service innovation and product performance become their main focus. Both the process and product perspectives of performance measures will be considered in the contexts of both manufacturing and service products. There will be a balance between theory and practitioner perspectives. Doctoral candidates will be exposed to product management issues at the micro - as well as macro-levels.

Services Theory and Strategy

This course takes an interdisciplinary, global, macro/micro-approach on Service Science. The learning approach uses reviewing landmark research and relevant empirical literatures and best company practices. Priority research areas in this field include those concerning - fostering service infusion/growth, improving well-beingthrough transformative service, creating a service culture, stimulating service innovation, effectively branding/selling services, enhancing the service experience, measuring and optimizing the value of service and leveraging technology to advance service.

International Marketing Theory and Research

This course identifies opportunities, characteristics and trends in international marketing. It also includes exploration of alternative methods and strategy to penetrate international markets, taking into consideration global environmental factors such as social difference, culture and politics. It critically analyzes and discusses issues faced by international marketers and researchers where cross boarder marketing and research are their main focus. This course also discusses theoretical structures for developing international marketing research project.

Hospitality Marketing Theory and Research

This course discusses marketing theories, concepts and strategies as applied to the hospitality. It will also develop students’ awareness of existing research in the hospitality field and the related research methods. In general, the course will be organized around the hospitality and travel marketing system model. Apart from emphasizing on the conventional dimensions of marketing mix; product, price, place and promotion, this course will also focuses on the three others unique dimensions of hospitality marketing namely people, packaging and programming, and partnership.


Admission Procedure

All applications must be made using the online application forms. All applications including candidates’ credentials are assessed based on individual merit by GSB’s Graduate Committee.

Admission Requirement

+ Master Degree from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia or any institution of higher learning recognized by the Senate with

+ Master with CGPA 3.25 and above
+ Degree with CGPA 3.00
Thesis research proposal in a specialized area
Recommendations from 2 Academic Referees

Applicants who do not meet the above requirements may be called for an interview to assess their complementary strengths and merits

English Language Requirement

International applicants whose native language is not English should demonstrate good command of English, either:

– IELTS band 6.0, or

– TOEFL score of minimum 550 (paper based); 213 (computer based); 79 (internet based).

Interview: Applicants who do not meet the above requirements may be called for an interview to assess their complementary competencies and merits.