Doctor of Philosophy in Hospitality and Tourism

School of Hospitality


About The Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Hospitality and Tourism at Sunway University is a PhD by research. As a PhD student at the School of Hospitality and Service Management, you can delve into a research topic you are passionate about and pursue an issue which is relevant within your work environment. A PhD research can thus be of high relevance to your current employment and contribute to new knowledge in specialised fields related to hospitality, tourism, and the service sector industries.

This PhD programme strengthens your research skills through thought-provoking research seminars provided by renowned international scholars, research methods trainings and independent research under supervision. The features of the programme create research opportunities for students through our unique offering, and collaboration with our national and international partners and networks within ASEAN and beyond.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest level of academic qualification one can achieve and sets you apart and places you at the forefront of your chosen field of research. PhD students at the School of Hospitality and Service Management are also invited to join the Asia Pacific Centre for Hospitality Research (APCHR), supporting your journey to become part of an international community and a group of respected scholars who actively shape and promote the advancements in hospitality and tourism.




January & July



Full -Time: Minimum 3 year; Maximum 6 years

Part-Time: Minimum 4 years; Maximum 8 years


Career Prospects

  • Higher Education
  • Academia - the academic or administrative stream
  • Research and Development 
  • Consultancy



Programme Structure

All PhD students will enroll in the ‘Research Methods for Hospitality and Tourism’ subject, which advances students’ understanding in and application of developing, conducting, and disseminating their own research. The subject is not graded but must be successfully completed.

PhD candidates will be empowered to complete an in-depth study on a particular research topic in the form of a thesis, substantiated by a series of academic milestones including a proposal defense and a viva voce, where the research outcomes ultimately contribute to the knowledge base of hospitality and tourism and its scholarly and professional communities.

Additional required academic activities are regular consultations with the supervisory team, regular progress reports, the completion of a research ethics workshop and training programme, a conference presentation, and the submission of a manuscript to an academic journal.


Areas of Research

  • Hospitality and service management
  • Food, health, and well-being
  • Sustainability in tourism and the service industries
  • Events and destination management
  • Mobilities


Entry Requirement

A Master’s Degree (Level 7, MQF) or its equivalent in hospitality, tourism, or related fields as accepted by the University’s Senate.

Candidates who have a master’s in a field that is not related to hospitality and tourism may be accepted if:

  • the first Degree is in hospitality, tourism or related field; or
  • have three (3) years of working experiences in hospitality and tourism related industry.

Candidates whose master’s or first degree is not related to the fields of hospitality/tourism and without working experiences in the relevant fields, must undergo appropriate prerequisite courses prior to registering the programme.

Language proficiency:
Applicants whose medium of instruction for their master’s degree was not English will be required to provide evidence of language ability of:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.0 or equivalent
  • TOEFL 100 (internet-based)
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall


Application Procedure

Candidates are requested to send the completed application with the following supporting documents to shsm_phd@

  • Passport size photo
  • Photocopy of Identification Card or Passport
  • Official academic transcripts and completion certificate
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • IELTS 6.0 or equivalent (if applicable)

Research Statement
Kindly submit a research statement (1,000 words, excluding references) which includes the following:

  • A working title for the proposed research
  • Introduction and nature of research (including your motivation to study this topic)
  • Literature review
  • Research methodology
  • References you have read relevant to this research area.

The application documents will be evaluated by the PhD Committee which considers all applications based on the criteria approved by MQA. Shortlisted applicants are recommended to the University Research Degrees Committee for its consideration.


For more information, please email

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexander Trupp / Evelyn Loh Geok Yan at or visit our website 



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