Business and Socioeconomic Sciences


Letztes Update: 19.11.2020
Kosten: 5625€ pro Semester

Über das Studium:

MODUL University Vienna’s PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences is a four year, full-time doctoral studies program that prepares candidates for making innovative research contributions in industry-related areas of specialization.  Based on the unique research orientation of the five MODUL University departments, incoming PhD candidates can focus their own doctoral studies from among the following concentrations:

  • Information Systems
  • Finance Marketing
  • Sustainable Development
  • Public Governance
  • Service Management
  • Tourism
  • Leisure Science

The doctoral program targets those interested in research careers in either higher education or industry and is ideal for prospective candidates already holding a master’s degree (or equivalent) in either business or one of the social sciences.

Program Paths

Prospective PhD candidates have several paths to admission. Please see below or visit our admissions page to learn more. 

  • Researcher/Lecturer: An annual call is made each year for fully funded academic positions open to potential PhD candidates.  Those selected are granted a tuition waiver and receive an employment contract as researcher, teacher, and/or administrator at MODUL University Vienna.  The 2015 call is now open, and the review of applications will begin in March 2015.  For more information, click here.
  • Scholarship Partner Agreement: PhD candidates are granted a tuition waiver while simultaneously working for a sponsoring industry partner.  Please check back soon for more information on new opportunitites.
  • Other Scholarships:  Full scholarship sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board. More information can be found here.  The 2015 application deadline is 30 June 2015.
  • Research Scholarship: A tuition waiver is granted to candidates working on externally-funded research grants. 
  • Self-paying: Candidates are responsible for financing their studies.


Diesen Fächern begegnest du u.a. im Studienplan:

Didaktik, Informationssysteme, Management, Marketing, Methoden, New Media, Philosophie, Präsentationen, Pädagogik, Qualitative Methoden, Quantitative Methoden, Sozialwirtschaft, Theoriekonstruktion, Veröffentlichung, Wissenschaftliches Schreiben, Ökologie, Ökonomie


Required Courses

PhD candidates have to complete a number of courses in various modules such as:

  • Theory Building and Methodology:  Courses introducing principles of the philosophy of science, paradigms, theory building and testing, and the development of research designs. 
  • Research Methods:  Courses focusing on the practical aspects of  quantitative and qualitative techniques suitable for business and social science research problems.  Topics include data mining, forecasting, game theory, probability, qualitative methods, etc.
  • Research Seminars:  Customized courses are offered based on the program's themes, with emphasis on state-of-the-art problems and approaches. Combinations of research seminars offered in more than one area of specialization are encouraged.
  • Research Communication and Collaboration:  Usually taken in the latter half of the program, these courses allow candidates to exchange with one another and gather insight about the responsibilities and the work of a scholar. Both seminar and practical training opportunities are offered.  Topics include scientific writing, pedagogical and didactical training, research colloquium, teaching experience, etc..


PhD candidates must complete the following examinations:

  • The Preliminary Exam:  The Prelim Exam, often know as a comprehensive examination, covers content from foundation coursework (theory building, research design, etc.) and research seminars.
    Candidates must have already completed PhD-level coursework totaling 40 ECTS credits in order to sit the exam.
  • Dissertation Proposal:  Upon submission of a research proposal, the Dean of the PhD program appoints members of the candidates PhD committee consisting of the supervisor, at least one external reviewer, and two additional faculty members.  The dissertation can either be a single-authored monograph or a compilation of three single-authored (journal style) papers linked as part of a focused research area (cumulative dissertation).
  • Dissertation Defense:  Following the completion and submission of the dissertation and upon the satisfactory approval of the thesis supervisor,  the candidate defends his or her dissertation in an oral presentation/examination.


Candidates must successfully complete a dissertation that demonstrates their ability to identify a significant research question or problem and apply appropriate research techniques to answer the research question. The dissertation must be an original and independent contribution of knowledge. Dissertations are supervised by a PhD supervisor who usually is an internal faculty member. However, an external faculty with "habilitation" or an equivalent qualification may be appointed supervisor by the Dean.  The thesis can take the form of a single-authored monograph or be a compilation of three single-authored (journal article length) manuscripts linked as part of a focused research area (cumulative dissertation).


The PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences curriculum prepares qualified candidates in state-of-the-art approaches to conducting scholarly and applied research.  The program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to finding solutions to research problems, drawing upon advanced concepts and methods from business management, economics, policy studies, sociology, and philosophy of science. Required foundation courses are taught in theory, methods, and research design.  Program coursework is conducted in English, and candidates are expected to actively participate in teaching or research, publication, and conference activities.  Customized research seminars in the candidate’s area of concentration help to familiarize and develop critical understanding in both classical and cutting-edge concepts, theories, models and methods of analysis. After completing a set of core course and a variety of tailor-made seminars, PhD candidates undertake individual, original research on a dissertation topic that will contribute to the advancement of the chosen area of specialization.

The PhD program consists of coursework, preliminary (comprehensive) exams, and a dissertation. PhD candidates are expected to actively participate in teaching, publication, and conference activities. All full-time PhD candidates are provided with with a university office.

PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences candidates generally need a minimum of four years to complete the program.  All students complete standard foundation courses in theory, methodology, and research design.  Specialized research seminars are customized and based on the interests of the PhD cohort. Preliminary (comprehensive) exams are taken during the 4th semester (end of second year), and candidates graduate following a successful dissertation defense. PhD candidates are expected to reside in Vienna and be full-time, highly-motivated participants.  PhD candidates must complete the following program components during the course of their doctoral program (curriculum): 1) Required Courses; 2) Examinations; 3) Dissertation.

Berufsaussichten / Jobs:

PhD graduates are prepared to become leaders within their fields. Successful completion of the PhD program paves the way for challenging career opportunities in higher education, research institutes, think tanks, government agencies, international organizations engaged in policy development and analysis, NGO's, private-sector corporations, or consulting firms.


  • Although MODUL University Vienna's PhD candidates come from diverse academic backgrounds, all incoming candidates must hold a master-level degree (or it's equivalent) in either business or one of the social or economic sciences.  This degree must be granted from an accredited post-secondary educational institution. 
  • Applicants must demonstrate an aptitude for conducting high-quality research in the selected area of scholarship.
  • The program is conducted in English, and PhD candidates should have excellent spoken and written English skills.  (German language proficiency is not a requirement of the program or university.)
  • Applicants for the Researcher/Lecturer program path must be willing to assist in teaching and/or administrative tasks at the undergraduate level.
  • Interested applicants who do not already fulfill the above requirements may still qualify for PhD admission after successfully completing Master of Sciences (MSc) courses at MODUL University Vienna.

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