Doctor of Philosophy (Social Science)

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The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)  by research degree programme is designed to extend opportunities to mature working adults so that they can take on leadership roles in academic or industrial research. Students will learn how to investigate a selected research topic using reliable, scholarly resources. With guidance from their academic supervisor, they will learn how to search for, review, evaluate, analyse information, and draw new conclusions. Consistent with the mandate of the university, the programme is conducted in English, via open and distance learning modes of education, but can also be carried out through full-time study.

The programme enables students to research a topic of interest to considerable depth and write a thesis that is expected to contribute to new knowledge in a specific area. They also upgrade knowledge and skills in humanities, education and social science to aid in career advancement, as well as enable students to gain academic insight into the subject matter and communicate their research findings in peer-reviewed and refereed publications.

WOU Guided

Research Milestones Create Stalwart Leaders & Business Analysts

High Expertise Level

Related to Financial TechOf WOU professors Aims to Produce Graduates with Critical Thinking Skills nology & Risk Assessment

WOU Postgraduate Studio

Content by Industries Leaders

Peer Support

And Study Groups Through Diverse Backgrounds of PhD Alumni

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”
Helen Hayes

Learning Path

Elementary skills in identifying and building the research topics.

Designing the research and defending your proposal.

Data collection, analytical representation of findings and thesis writing.

Completion of thesis writing and defending your work.

Graduates can become qualified scholars, researchers or professionals with the capability to undertake research projects in relevant areas of specialisation.

With relevant experience or professional certification, you can also specialise a career in:

  • Recruitment
  • Industrial Relations
  • Compensation
  • Occupational Safety 
  • Health
  • Training and development. 

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates must possess at least one of the below to be eligible to be considered for admission:

  • A Master’s Degree; OR
  • A First Class Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent OR a Bachelor’s Degree with a CGPA of at least 3.67 or its equivalent from an academic programme or a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme

(Note: The student is not to be awarded a M.Phil qualification as an exit award if the student does not fulfill the PhD graduation requirements);


  • Any other equivalent qualification recognised by the Malaysian Government and approved by the Senate of the University

English Language Proficiency Requirements (For International Candidates)

Candidates wishing to enrol in the research programmes will need to have the following English Language proficiency qualification:

  • IELTS – minimum of a Band 5.5, or
  • TOEFL – minimum score of 550, or iBT of 80, or CBT of 213, or
  • Is a Native speaker, or graduated from an English-medium Higher Education Institution


Fee Schedule 





Number of Courses


Number of Credits


Tuition Fees






10,310 -14,050

Bachelor Degree

26 - 39

120 -126

24,390 - 43,850


Postgraduate Diploma



7,500 - 9,888

Master Degree

8 -13

41 - 46

17,400 - 30,890

Doctor of Business Administration(DBA)



41,600 - 47,350

PhD in Philosophy (PhD Phil)(Research)

By research

By research

23,535 - 25,200


  • A one-off payment Processing and Administration fee (P&A) is chargeable for new students and varies according to programme.
  • Registration, Resource and Services (RR&S) fee is chargeable every semester and varies according to programme.
  • All tuition fees are merely indicative and fees are subject to change without notice.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Sciences Supervisors and Research Areas

Interested candidates may contact the supervisors for enquiry to explore and agree on the research topic before submitting a formal application. This list is subject to periodic update and revision.



Level of Supervision

Research Subject Areas and Topics



PhD MPhil

  • Media Studies and Communications
  • Women Studies
  • Sociology and Anthropology

Dr Ooi Chia-Yi

  • PhD (Media Studies) MA (Communications)
  • BSoc Sc (Hons) (Sociology) (USM)

Email address: cyooi@wou.edu.my


PhD MPhil

  • Human Resource Development
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organisational Behaviour Industrial Relations
  • Employment Law (Malaysia)
  • Vedanta (in Management/Leadership)

Dr Balakrishnan Muniapan

  • DBA (Philippines)
  • MSc(HRM) (Portsmouth)
  • BEcons (UKM), CIWT (AUST)

Email address: balakrishnanm@wou.edu.my


PhD MPhil

  • Accounting, Taxation, Auditing
  • Qualitative Research

Dr Loo Choo Hong

  • MBA (USM)
  • CA (M)
  • ACMA (UK)
  • BPA (Hons) (UUM)
  • Registered Financial Planner (Malaysian Financial Planning Council)

Email address: chloo@wou.edu.my

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