Nanyang Business School PhD Programme Structure

Coursework and Qualifying Exam

In the first 24 months of your PhD Programme, you will undertake a series of courses within your specialist area. The course load for each term varies according to the requirements set by respective Divisions.  Please refer to the respective Division's page for their coursework requirement. The courses offered each term can be viewed here.  In order to graduate, each student is required to complete an equivalent of 8 full courses (24 academic units).  

Apart from the courses required by the divisions, you shall complete certain workshop/training requirements by the University.

Upon completing (or nearing the end of) your coursework and obtaining at least 18 academic units, you will undergo PhD Qualifying Exam (QE), which is an assessment of your ability to undertake independent research and write a thesis.  Only those who passed the Pre-Qualifying Exam (Pre-QE), which is arranged by the respective Divisions, can proceed to QE.


At the dissertation stage, PhD students are required to:
  • present their thesis in proposal defence
  • submit their thesis for examination
  • undergo oral examination

The aim of proposal defence is to assess the academic rigour and relevance of the proposed research. It is also to ensure that the research is adequately defined and feasible to allow the student to receive feedback early in the thesis process.

When ready, the thesis is submitted to the university for examination by the thesis examiners. They will check that the thesis contains original work and critical interpretation, and that is analysis-worthy of publication in the international domain.

Finally, the thesis is presented in the oral examination where the committee examines the student's expertise on the field and advance the candidate’s knowledge.


 Students need to meet the requirements of their respective divisions – e.g., attend regular divisional seminars, present papers in the seminars; attend to research/teaching/teaching assistant duties etc. (for scholars); and undertake training/development programmes required by the university.

Although not a graduation requirement, students are highly encouraged to attend and present their work in conferences (local or overseas).