PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences

Modul University Vienna
4 years
Full time
Doctorate / PhD
Scholarships available

About this program

Why should you choose a Ph.D. in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences?

Modul University Vienna’s Ph.D. in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences is a four-year, full-time doctoral studies program that prepares candidates to contribute to innovative research in industry-related areas of specialization. Based on the unique research orientation of the four Modul University departments, incoming Ph.D. candidates can focus their doctoral studies from among the following concentrations:

  • Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Sustainable Development
  • Public Governance
  • Service Management
  • Tourism
  • Leisure Science
  • Quality of Life, Well-being & Environmental Psychology

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.

Academic Community

Modul University Vienna faculty members are selected not only on the basis of scholarly principles, but also because they are excellent teachers, fascinated by their subject, and capable of inspiring students. Faculty are engaged in many activities related to a new form of integrated education - one that is understood as an intertwining of decision-making competence on a professional level and personality development. Members of our academic community are encouraged to adhere to the fundamental educational values of Modul University Vienna.  These values are conveyed to students both inside and outside of the classroom through various methods and channels.

Our faculty members are highly respected experts within their local and international professional associations. The international experiences and global networks of faculty advance the university’s research. The promotion of young academics is an essential component of Modul University Vienna's mission and academic outreach. The University orients itself towards scholars and educators interested in long-term academic careers. The success of MU’s internal promotion efforts is reflected in our academic community’s following achievements, namely:

  • The quality of publications
  • The number of acquired research projects, as well as the quantity and quality of contributions by the faculty
  • The quality of independent teaching
  • The promotion of talented young academics
  • The number of transfer achievements for the economy (e.g. industry projects, presentations at business events, other subject-related interest groups)
  • The incorporation in academic and other relevant, non-academic networks
  • Awards and distinctions
  • The active participation in the university’s sustainability process

Admission requirements

Essential and required prerequisites for the Ph.D. program:

A prerequisite for admission to the Ph.D. study program is a three-year Bachelor's and a two-year Master's degree in the field of business or one of the social or economic sciences from an accredited post-secondary educational institution. Applicants who do not completely fulfill these requirements can qualify by successfully completing further Master of Science courses at Modul University Vienna. Applicants for the Researcher / Lecturer program path must be willing to assist in teaching and / or administrative tasks at the undergraduate level.

Step 1: Application

Apply using MU's online application portal.

Fill in all required fields and be prepared to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Statement of Research and Career Interest*
  • Bachelor (3-year) and Master (2-year) diploma
  • Bachelor and Master transcripts including supplements
  • English proficiency test or other proof for non-native speakers, i.e. proof of English proficiency level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; The minimum scores are: TOEFL: 100 internet-based test (IBT) with no individual section score less than 20; or IELTS: overall band score between 7 and 7.5 with no sub-score below 6.0.
  • Please note: The Admissions Committee may decide upon the recognition of other evidence of language skills.
  • One example of a research publication or report (optional)
  • Copy of Passport
  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic sources

*A research proposal should contain a short summary of the current state of scientific knowledge, the research question and why it is important, a concrete description of the planned methodology, and a sketch of potential results and the corresponding limitation. This will typically need to be 5 to 10 pages long.

Please note that all documents must be submitted in English and only complete applications will be processed!

Step 2: Application Review and Interview

Your application will be reviewed by the admissions team to assure eligibility for the Ph.D. study program. The dean will evaluate the application in regards to potential supervision by one of the university's professors. You will be contacted to schedule a personal interview on campus or via a video interview to further discuss the proposal and project supervision.

Step 3: Admission Decision

If the Ph.D. project can be supervised by one of MU's faculty members, the Admissions Committee makes the general admission decision based on its estimation of the applicant's potential for academic success. To aid in making its decision, the Committee carefully considers the applicant's previous field(s) of study, academic performance, motivation, extracurricular activities, interview, and academic aptitude. As the last step, the committee evaluates whether or not the applicant qualifies for a potential study fee reduction up to 50% of the actual Ph.D. fees.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

The TOEFL iBT® test is accepted by 11,500 universities and higher education institutions in over 160 countries. Book your test today!

Learn more Advertisement

Program content

The Ph.D. in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences curriculum prepares qualified candidates for state-of-the-art approaches to conduct scholarly and applied research. The program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to finding solutions concerning 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 a critical understanding of both classical and cutting-edge concepts, theories, models, and methods of analysis. After completing a set of core courses and a variety of tailor-made seminars, Ph.D. candidates undertake individual and original research on a dissertation topic that will contribute to the advancement of the chosen area of specialization. The Ph.D. program consists of coursework, preliminary (comprehensive) exams, and a dissertation.

Curriculum and Examination

Business and Socioeconomic Sciences doctoral 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 Ph.D. cohort. Preliminary exams are taken during the 4th semester, and candidates graduate following a successful dissertation defense. Candidates are expected to reside in Vienna and be full-time, highly-motivated participants.

Required Courses

Ph.D. 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 knowledge 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.


Ph.D. candidates must complete the following examinations:

  • The Preliminary Exam: The Prelim Exam, often known as a comprehensive examination, covers content from foundation coursework 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 Ph.D. program appoints members of the candidate's Ph.D. 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 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 or 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 Ph.D. supervisor who usually is an internal faculty member.


Please note, all application submissions are subject to a €50 application fee. The application fee will be deducted from the first tuition payment for all accepted candidates. For those who choose to decline a study offer or rescind their application, the fee is non-refundable.

Tuition Fees: €6,500 per semester (8 semesters) = € 52,000

Modul University Vienna’s PhD program seeks outstanding candidates for joining its research team as a PhD candidate. Modul University combines a strong academic foundation with state-of-the-art curricula and a commitment to innovation and sustainability. Successful candidates have a strong background in quantitative research methods and demonstrated research interests and skills in one of our research areas.

MU Vienna offers two types of "Next Generation Scholarships" for the 4-year PhD program in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences

  • 2 x 50% of total tuition
  • 2 x 75% of total tuition

Eligibility: Outstanding candidates may be granted the "Next Generation Scholarship" by the Merit Scholarship Committee. Scholarships can not be transferred. Applications can be considered if the submission is completed b yMay 17, 2023.

Reductions on Tuition Fees:

Full Tuition Fee Reduction

  • Save 7% of total tuition
  • Eligibility: Applicants who who opt to pay their full tuition fee in one.

One Academic Year Tuition Payment Reduction

  • Save 5% of tuition for one year
  • Eligibility: Applicants who opt to pay ahead the tuition fee for one academic year.

Semesterly Tuition Payment Reduction

  • Save 2% of tuition for one year
  • Eligibility: Applicants who opt to pay ahead the tuition fee for one semester.

Siblings Reduction

  • 10% of the total tuition fees for following siblings
  • Eligibility: Siblings of current MU students. This reduction is not related to a study program. 

Exchange Alumni Grant

  • Save 8% of total tuition
  • Eligibility: Exchange students attending MU who decide to transfer and continue studying.

Merit Grant

  • Save 10% of total tuition
  • Eligibility: This grant is at the discretion of our Admissions Committee for outstanding candidates. This grant is up to the discretion of the admissions committee and no extra application is required.

Alumni Grant

  • Amountdepending on your grade point average (GPA)

GPA>95%: 40% of tuition
GPA>90%: 35% of tuition
GPA>85%: 30% of tuition
GPA>80%: 25% of tuition
GPA>70%: 15% of tuition
GPA<70%: 10% of tuition

  • Eligibility: If you achieved an undergraduate degree at MU and choose to continue your studies at MU you are eligible for the Alumni Grant.

Career paths

Career opportunities for graduates of the Ph.D. in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences:

  • Higher education and teaching positions, research institutes, think tanks
  • Government agencies, international organizations engaged in policy development and analysis, NGO's
  • Private-sector corporations, consulting firms

Message the school

Want to know more about this program, PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.
Dial Code *
Currently living in *
Nationality *


About this institute

Modul University Vienna

Modul University Vienna is known as Austria's leading international private university in the heart of Europe. MU Vienna offers well-proven study programs for Bachelor, Master, MBA and Ph.D. levels. The international campus is English speaking, home to highly driven students...

Read more about this school

Why study at Modul University Vienna

  • Innovative business university with a focus on globalization, sustainability, digital transformation & entrepreneurship with a strong brand legacy within tourism & hospitality research and education.
  • Diverse, international student population with over 77% international student body.
  • English-speaking campus from teaching to administration, student services, and socializing.

Contact info

Modul University Vienna

Am Kahlenberg 1
1190 Vienna

Phone no: +43(1) 320 35 55 ext. 202/203

Message the school

Want to know more about PhD in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


Be the first to write a review!