Doctor of Philosophy (Business)

Become a leader in business education

Develop practical solutions for real-world problems with Southern Cross University’s Doctor of Philosophy (Business).

Supervised by researchers in our Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, you will produce high-quality research for stakeholders including business, government and not-for-profit organisations.

The Faculty is linked to the Business and Management and Information Technology research clusters, meaning you can investigate in areas of human resources, networks and collaborations, digital business, digital health, and online education.

In digital business, for example, researchers aim to deliver an integrated end-to-end journey experience, transforming tourist and customer data into contextual information for businesses and services. And it’s all powered by AI and integrated mobile-cloud computing.

Our researchers consistently publish in top-ranked international journals and can offer practical insights and policy advice to public and private clients.

Academic staff in the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts can provide supervision for various discipline areas. Please search for a supervisor on our Find a Supervisor page.

Meet your supervisors

Man in suit holding documents

Research Highlight: Dr Carolyn Seton's research investigated strategies to encourage digital literacy among people living in public housing, predominantly older Australians who are most vulnerable to isolation through the “digital divide”. Carolyn graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Business) in December 2019.


FacultyDurationLocationCRICOS CodeContact
Faculty of Business, Law and Arts 3 years, 6 months Lismore, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour 082683M 

Associate Professor Michael Charles


A Doctoral Thesis must embody all of the below:

  1. Reviewing literature in a critical and focused manner
  2. Deploying analytic, comparative and critically reflective skills as appropriate
  3. Gathering and analysing material and interpreting results in an informed and competent manner
  4. Utilising and justifying appropriate methodologies, techniques and processes
  5. Make an original and significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in the field
  6. Demonstrate a high-level capacity for independent research.

“I designed an algorithm to identify fraud and to protect the integrity and fairness of the stock market. Integrity is the heart of my thesis."

Pahna Heng

PhD Graduate, Faculty of Business and Tourism

Course fees

Domestic students:

Eligible applicants can apply for a Research Training Program-supported place. This will provide a tuition fee offset funded by the Australian Government's Research Training Program. Southern Cross University will then supplement this cost to cover the full program tuition fees.

If unsuccessful in obtaining a Research Training Program place, students may be required to pay fees.

Applications are considered on a case by case basis and the process can be highly competitive.

International students:

Course fees for International Students are $26,000 per annum, unless a tuition fee waiver has been approved as per the below detailed information. 

A request for a tuition fee offset can only be approved by the Dean, Graduate School providing there is support from the Principal Supervisor, DHDRT and Associate Dean (Research). For a request to be considered, the following criteria need to be taken into account:

  • Academic quality of the student is of high standing
  • Appropriate level of English proficiency (International English Language Test Score (IELTS) Academic (or equivalent) equal to or above 7.0, with a minimum 7.0 in Writing and no other band less than 6.5)
  • Expected research outcomes, quality of project and how it fits with the Supervisory team research areas
  • Whether the Faculty and Supervisory team have the resources and facilities to support the project
  • If the HDR applicant is not on a scholarship, evidence must be provided that they can support themselves during their candidature.

The Dean, Graduate School will assess the request according to these criteria together with the application for admission to candidature and will seek further clarification if the above-mentioned criteria are not satisfied. If the tuition fee offset is approved by the Dean, this is recorded in the Student Administration System and conveyed to the student in the letter of offer for admission to candidature.

Tuition Fee Offsets that are not approved will mean the applicant will be required to pay full fees. If it is not obvious that the HDR applicant’s project will enhance the research output of the University and that of the Supervisory team, fees will apply.

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission to a PhD, applicants must:

  • Possess a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from the University with first-class Honours or second class Honours, first division, or
  • Possess a degree equivalent to a Masters degree from the University, with a Relevant Research Component, or
  • Submit other evidence of relevant professional qualifications and experience, or research experience, to satisfy the Dean (Graduate Studies) that the applicant possesses a level of relevant research experience equivalent to an award in either clause (4)a or (4)b; and satisfy such additional requirements for admission to a PhD candidature, if any, as may be prescribed by the Dean (Graduate Studies).

All candidates are expected to be proficient in English comprehension and expression.

Apply online now

Research proposal

Students can explore research in a range of areas:

Business and Management Research Cluster

  • Human resources
  • Networks and collaborations
  • Public policy and administration.

Information Technology Research Cluster

  • Digital business
  • Digital health
  • Online education.

Tourism Research Cluster

  • Gambling and gaming
  • Nature-based tourism and leisure, interpretation and tour guiding
  • Cultural tourism and indigeneity
  • Sustainability
  • Policy, management and governance
  • Gender and sexuality.

Contact the Graduate School


T: +61 2 6620 3219

T: +61 2 6626 9186