• International accreditation provided by IACBE

  • High quality, intensive supervision and digital support

  • Blended learning principles as a standard

  • Focus on Business and Academical trajectories

International accreditation IACBE
High quality, intensive supervision and digital support
Blended learning principles as a standard
Focus on Business and Academical trajectories

Swiss School of Management offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program via distance learning concept combined with blended learning elements. The program is highly structured and internationally accredited by IACBE. Due to the distance learning aspects, there are no admissions deadlines. Individuals can start, pause, and finish whenever they want. Each PhD candidate receives support from a dedicated supervisor and a mentor, and access to digital libraries and live (digital) events. Joining the PhD program the Research Center gets you access to our International Experts, Lecturers and Researchers. In the following paragraphs, these reasons to start your PhD with SSM Research Center are explained in detail.

  • 3-year program (36 months)

  • Total fee is 30,000 EURO. Installment payments are accepted.

  • No admission deadlines. Application accepted throughout the year.

  • No travel required. Access to online learning platform.

  • Entry requirements: Master’s degree from a recognized higher education institution or equivalent

  • Each candidate gets an experienced and dedicated supervisor

  • Partial Scholarship available

If you haven’t decided yet whether you want to enrol for DBA or PhD, this article (go here) might help you … it shows briefly the differences between the both programs at Swiss School of Management.

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10-step overview of the PhD at SSM

The PhD is designed as a part-time program for people who do not want to put their careers on hold. Using a combination of online learning, self-study, and face-to-face teaching, the Doctor of Philosophy allows you to undertake a substantial piece of research without interrupting your professional or academic working life. consists in general of three main consecutive stages: Coursework, Research lab, and Doctoral thesis. During those phases, students are guided and coached by their mentor and supervisor.

Download Program Outline
Research Agenda

Individual study plan

The first step for applicants is drafting their initial research proposal. This is a 10-page document answering the most important aspect of the intended research. SSM Research Center supplies a template for candidates to use to speed up the process. Candidates do not have to think about structure, we have provided it already. It is wise to start with the initial research proposal as soon as possible and complete this step within two weeks after enrollment. The candidate’s supervisor will review and give feedback on it. During the application process, applicants write an essay of 1,000-2,000 words with the core of the initial research proposal. The template of the initial research proposal that the student must use can be found here.

Our Research Agenda

As an institute for higher education, SSM wants to contribute the leaders of tomorrow that further social and economic development in their regions. Therefore, we promote a research agenda in our doctoral program. On that agenda we have a few fields that are key aspects of social and economic development, namely: competitiveness, logistics management, high performance organizations (HPO), small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) an entrepreneurship & social and economic development.

IACBE accreditation helps to ensure that the business degree is of high-quality. IACBE-accredited programs have undergone a rigorous self-evaluation and on-site evaluation by highly-trained reviewers. In addition, the institution and its academic business unit have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in business education and are involved in a continuous quality improvement process based on the assessment of student learning outcomes. Our DBA program holds the IACBE accreditation so you can trust that the paperwork is in order.

We embraced blended and online learning principles in our academic offerings. This shows by our high-tech e-learning platform and other integrations of technology and forms of content and support. We try to minimize travel time and expenses for our DBA candidates so they can focus on a healthy work/life/study balance. With our blended and online learning approach, DBA candidates can study when and where they want. All required study material is found on the e-learning platform, we organize regular digital events for candidates to join and interact with professors, and throughout the academic year we host multi-day workshops in various parts of the world. Enrolled candidates get help with accessing multiple digital libraries to find resources for their research.

From our years of experience running DBA programs worldwide, we know that lots of candidates struggle with the academic process and employing a structure in their work. That is why we created our highly structured program combined with intensive support. Our DBA program is chopped into three phases and visualized in the 10-step program approach. From the start, enrolled candidates receive a comprehensive rubric showing them on which variables their deliverables are assessed, and we provide templates guiding our candidates through the process. Each DBA candidate gets a supervisor and a mentor appointed.

The supervisor is a highly experienced PhD holder with relevant knowledge and skills, he or she will be appointed based on the initial research proposal. Your supervisor is the second important individual during your DBA program. He or she will proactively reach out to you at least once a month to receive a progress report, he will give clear feedback on your work, he can spend a decent number of hours a year helping you, and the will guide you through the coursework.

Our mentors are dedicated individuals who help our candidates find their way around SSM Research Center. They will be in close communication with the DBA candidate and his supervisor. The mentor is something like a friend, a supporter, a motivator, an advocate, and a listener. You can use the mentor for non-essential, non-academic aspects of your doctoral journey.

At SSM Research Center, enrolled DBA candidates are the center of our business. We thrive on motivated and disciplined candidates and to help them reach the finish line, we must be flexible. One cannot control all things in life, that is why we offer the possibility to our candidates that they can tailor their learning program. There is only one hard deadline; one must finish within two years after enrollment. Applicants can start whenever they want because we do not have admissions deadlines. With this flexibility, our candidates can continue their day job earning while learning. This makes the program more affordable and accessible to those with a highly demanding day job. The flexibility is also shown in our policy regarding the research topic. We strongly advise DBA students to research something with a tight link to their daily work. In that way, students can work on their research simultaneously, reducing the additional hours required to do the work.

Embarking on a DBA-journey is a massive decision for all. It might be the very crown on one’s career or one of the hardest intellectual challenges one will face in their career. Our candidates are already successful in business before enrollment and what they all have learned is that together everyone achieves more. That is why SSM Research Center offers networking possibilities and help with personal branding throughout the process. All enrolled DBA candidates get their own section on our website, positioning themselves as an expert in their field. We also have a private LinkedIn group for all experts, supervisors, candidates, and alumni where members can share and connect with one another. Our supervisors are motivated to co-publish articles with their candidates and the mentors will train and coach candidates with digital personal branding.

As an institute for higher education, SSM wants to contribute the leaders of tomorrow that further social and economic development in their regions. Therefore, we promote a research agenda in our doctoral program. On that agenda we have a few fields that are key aspects of social and economic development, namely: competitiveness, logistics management, high performance organizations (HPO), small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurship.

Recognition of prior learning (work-based entry route)

To enroll in the PhD program you need, next to a sound command of the English language, one of three things:

  1. To prove that you’ve attained a masters degree;
  2. To prove that you’ve got sufficient working experience;
  3. To be able to present recognition of prior learning.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

This is where we accept a previous qualification as meeting the learning outcomes (or covering the syllabus) for a course or module, so you don’t need to take it as part of your degree. This reduces the number of modules (and the length of time) required to complete your degree.

Can I apply for recognition of prior learning?

If you have a lot of work or life experience in a particular industry or field, and you are thinking of enrolling in a program at SSM, RPL is worth considering. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) involves getting recognition for skill and knowledge you’ve picked up from: life experiences, work experiences, training courses or workshops.

What are the benefits of applying for recognition of prior learning?

The benefits of RPL are that you: have your informal learning recognized, avoid studying topics you already know about, complete the program faster, pay less for the program.

How is recognition of prior learning assessed?

Prior learning is assessed in several ways, and which method is used will depend on the type of module you are taking. The module supervisor will get in touch with you to discuss the type of assessment you will need to do, and arrange a date and time for your assessment. The assessment is made by a subject matter expert in your chosen field of study.

The most common assessment methods are:
Portfolio. A portfolio involves compiling a file of evidence that relates to the learning outcome or unit standard you want credit for. Some examples of evidence could be a report, a set of accounts, a product you have made, a drawing or an essay.

Attestation. Attestation is when someone who is knowledgeable and respected in your area of knowledge gives their word (either written or verbal) that you have the required learning in this area. This person could be someone chosen by you, such as a client or employer.

Structured interview. This method involves you verbally explaining what you have done before an interview panel. You can have support people present as well.

Challenge assessment. This could be a practical demonstration, a written or oral test, or an assignment. A challenge assessment can be used when evidence from the other sources needs confirmation.

What else you need to know about the assessment

To be awarded RPL, the learning must be current and relevant. For example, we will only look at learning gained in the past three years. Relevance can be important too, especially in relation to cultural, legal, social or professional practices. In this case, it may be important that you have worked or studied in a country specific context.

What happens after the assessment?

We will send you written notice of the outcome of your application. A verbal indication by the assessor is not enough.
The outcome could be:

  • Credit awarded in full. Any module credits you have gained will be recorded on your learning record and you won’t have to sit this component of the program.
  • Requirement to give further evidence or be assessed further. For example, this could be having to do a challenge assessment.
  • Application declined – it’s recommended that you enroll and complete the paper as normal.

Get in touch with one of our admissions officers by submitting this form:

Explore our Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

At SSM Research Center you will find a variety of DBA programs. DBA Studies are one of the most challenging and highest rewarding levels in Higher Education. SSM Research Center has developed an outstanding Doctor of Business Administration Programs. These programs have unique features, which add significant values to graduates beyond the rewarding Doctor Degree.

View our DBA Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

At SSM Research Center you will find a variety of PhD programs. A PhD is the highest academic degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields.

View our PhD Programs

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