Programme Design

Programme Design in a nutshell

The programme design follows cycles of the PhD research development, and consists of three main phases: 

Phase 1: The first phase coincides with the first year of the programme during which PhD candidates give start to their PhD dissertations. During this year, the candidates focus on developing a PhD proposal and writing a literature review on their research topic, which will later become one of the chapters in their dissertation. The process of development of both research outputs is deliberately divided into the six sequential modules. With this design we create an unfolding learning cycle and attainable milestones, therefore allowing working professionals to stay on track. The quality of writing is central to the success in the programme. We aspire to produce only publishable work. The writing and paper-development of the PhD candidates is closely monitored by the professors teaching different modules, as well as individual supervisors. The first year ends with an official assessment of candidates’ work by a scientific committee and recommendations are made for their next research phase. 

Phase 2: The second phase covers the consequent two years of the programme and focuses on conducting original research. Here again, the programme years are organised around writing academic research papers. Each year within this phase is divided into six modules, which follow the research cycle sequence, and result into academic papers. Participants can choose between dedicating a year focused on development of a quantitative research paper or a qualitative research paper, depending on their topic. 

Phase 3: The third phase of the programme is dedicated to finalising research papers that will become part of the PhD dissertation, and the integration of the entire research work into a single PhD manuscript. This phase involves a close collaboration with the candidate’s scientific supervisors. Upon the approval of the dissertation by the scientific supervisors, the dissertation is sent to an international reading committee, consisting of renowned international professors who are experts on the topic, for a final decision. It is also ready for a public presentation during a highly traditional and ceremonial academic defence at VU University Amsterdam. 

Research topics covered by the Part-Time PhD programme 
The programme supports PhD research on any of the following topics: 

  • Business Processes
  • Business Services 
  • Coaching 
  • Career Counselling 
  • Consulting 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Innovation 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Knowledge Management 
  • Leadership 
  • Management 
  • Marketing 
  • Organisation 
  • Organisational Change 
  • Strategy  

For the possibilities to conduct research on other topics, please contact the Programme Director
Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova s.n.khapova@vu.nl