Doctoral Research Degrees (PhD)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Wittenborg offers 3- to 4-year Ph.D. research degrees together with its UK partner, the University of Brighton.

Students study at Wittenborg in Apeldoorn and have two supervisors, one from the University of Brighton and one from Wittenborg.

The Ph.D. degree is awarded by the University of Brighton.

Ph.D. program overview

'The Doctoral school offers a three-year full-time or four-year part-time degree program. The core delivery in a doctoral program is via regular meetings between students and supervisors, and self-generated work by the PhD-student. As a PhD-student at WUAS, you will be able to draw on research approaches from a variety of social sciences.'

Ph.D. students will develop research plans and apply methods involving both quantitative and qualitative data, supported by appropriate applied research methods training. In general, the outline of a doctoral program is comprised of the following:

  • Carrying out a literature review (a survey of current scholarship in your field)
  • Conducting original applied research and collecting your results
  • Producing a thesis that presents your conclusions. Preferably in the form of articles for scientific journals
  • Writing up the thesis and submitting it as a dissertation
  • Defending the thesis in an oral exam

This program is offered jointly with:


Areas of Research

Research Proposal

The focus of Ph.D. research programs will be in line with Wittenborg's 5 Schools, which have been in turn mapped to the research cores and values and research groups at the UoB. WUAS has the following research interests:

  1. Business (Management, Finance, and Human Resources)
  2. Hospitality, Tourism & Sports
  3. Internationalization, Diversity, and Ethics.

Currently, we specifically welcome research proposals in the area of Hospitality and Tourism. For inspiration and more information about current research, see the website of the UoB Sport, Tourism and Leisure research group. For more information please visit the University of Brighton website.

The list with research interests will give an idea of the areas in which we can potentially offer supervision, and help you develop a research proposal of your own. Some areas recruit doctoral students to specific research projects, but in these instances, you would still be expected to take ownership and shape it into an independent piece of work which would normally make an original contribution to knowledge. Other areas expect applicants to propose a research topic of their own prior to considering them for admission.

If you are in doubt about whether we can offer the appropriate supervision, please contact our Head of Doctoral College - Dr.Nicolet C.M. Theunissen. In some instances, we may have to tell you that we cannot supervise as it would not be in your best interest to accept you if we are unable to provide the necessary facilities and supervision.

Ph.D. Support

A doctoral study is considered a difficult but very rewarding one. Researchers with highly developed skills are vital to our globally connected social, cultural and economic future. The Doctoral School is committed to delivering a support program that addresses the specific needs of doctoral students. Therefore, Ph.D. students will receive excellent support to develop themselves as a researcher of applied sciences, by means of:

  • Support of two supervisors
  • Research development sessions
  • On-line researcher development materials
  • Researcher community

Two supervisors

Students will benefit from a supervisory team comprising two members: one of the WUAS and one of the UoB academic staff. Depending on the chosen research specialism, students may also have an additional external supervisor from another institute.

Ph.D. supervisors will be knowledgeable in the chosen field of research and they will provide guidance and advice throughout your doctoral program. It is important for students to recognize that a research degree is an independent piece of work and together with their supervisors will need to agree on the amount and nature of that support at the start of their studies.

The research activities will be undertaken with regular meetings with the first (WUAS) supervisor and periodic meetings by Skype with the full team. Intervening communication will be via email, which is common with all doctoral students.

Research development sessions

The Doctoral College offers a training program for postgraduate researchers, covering research methods and transferable (including employability) skills. Academic and technical staff also provide more subject-specific training.

All Ph.D. students will follow the same program as that followed by students at UoB. All students will spend at least 6 weeks a year at UoB, with the timing of the visits coinciding with major events such as introduction, the core Research Development program, the Festival of Research and annual progression reviews.

WUAS will also have its own researcher development program in Apeldoorn. At WUAS there will be regular sessions in which specific aspects of the Doctoral course will be discussed (e.g. literature review, data collection, academic writing) together with your peers and experienced researchers.

Online researcher development materials

All students are provided with desk space and access to a desktop PC on the Apeldoorn campus. The Ph.D. student will have access to all on-line researcher development materials of both UoB and WUAS. For instance, the online courses provided by Epigeum: The research skills program and the statistical method for the research program.

Students will have access to a range of electronic resources via the university’s Online Library (WUAS and UoB), as well as to the physical book and journal collections. In addition, the Ph.D. student will have access to key WUAS and UoB resources, including Information Services, Conference Support Fund, and the placements scheme.

Researcher community

Ph.D. students form an integral part of our WUAS research community and take an active role in a range of intellectual and social activities within the school. They will join regular online and offline meetings of the Research Centre with researchers from all experience levels (junior to senior researchers).

Additionally, Ph.D. students will join one of the UoB research groups that fit the Ph.D. research subject. These groups provide students with opportunities to present ‘work in progress’ and network with other researchers.

Entry Requirements

The normal entry requirements for registration for the Ph.D. degree are:

  • A recognized master's degree or other qualification which is regarded by UoB as being equivalent, and which is normally relevant to the program or study proposed.


  • Substantial appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level which resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment. Or exceptionally, a first-class honors degree or other qualification which is regarded by the UoB as being equivalent, and which is normally relevant to the program of study proposed, where there is clear evidence of work at postgraduate level. An application made by someone with this experience will be considered on its merits and will normally require independent academic references.


For non-native speakers of English
IELTS 7.0 overall, with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in the other elements.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

Wittenborg is a “boutique university” with a primary focus on management as it relates to disciplines in society. Our personal attention to your education is very important. It is for this reason that ... Read More

Wittenborg is a “boutique university” with a primary focus on management as it relates to disciplines in society. Our personal attention to your education is very important. It is for this reason that we take quality seriously and are accredited by the Dutch Flemish Accreditation organisation (NVAO) and Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA). Read less
Apeldoorn , Amsterdam + 1 More Less