Doctor of Philosophy in Hospitality and Tourism


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Hospitality and Tourism at Sunway University is a PhD by research programme.  PhD students at the School of Hospitality and Service Management can delve into a research topic which they are passionate about and is relevant to the field. For those pursuing a career in the hospitality field, PhD research can be of significance to the student's current or future employment. It can also contribute to new knowledge in specialized fields related to hospitality, tourism, and the service sector industries.

This PhD programme builds and strengthens research skills through thought-provoking research seminars provided by renowned international scholars, research methods training 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 will set graduates apart and places them at the forefront of their 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 their journey to become part of an international community and a group of respected scholars who actively shape and promote advancements in hospitality and tourism.

Rolling Intake
3 Years (full-time)
4 Years (part-time)
Career Prospects
  • Higher Education
  • Academia
  • Research and development
  • Consultancy
Estimated Annual Course Fee
  • RM59,980
    for Malaysian students
  • USD14,330
    for international students
International students must pay their fees in RM equivalent. The USD here is just an indicative/estimation and subject to the prevalent exchange rate

Programme Structure

Research Methodology

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. 


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.

Professional Development Activities

Additional required academic activities are regular consultations with the supervisory team, regular progress reports, participation in reserach seminars, 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

We have a team of dedicated Supervisors with expertise in areas of research including (but not limited to):

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

Entry Requirements

  1. A Master’s Degree (Level 7, MQF) or its equivalent in hospitality, tourism, or related fields as accepted by the University’s Senate.
  2. 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.

English Language Requirements

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@

  1. Sunway Postgraduate application form
  2. Research statement
  3. Scholarship application form (if applicable(
  4. Passport size photo
  5. Photocopy of Identification Card or Passport
  6. Official academic transcripts and completion certificate
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. IELTS 6.0 or equivalent (if applicable)

Research Proposal

The research proposal should comprise between 1,000 and 1,500 words (excluding references), and covers the following structure:

  1. An appropriate title for the research project (designated supervisor if known)
  2. Introduction and justification of the study, which includes
    • Research background
    • Problem statement
    • Research objective(s)
    • Research question(s)/hypothesis
  3. Literature review
  4. Research methodology
  5. Proposed research schedule
  6. List of references

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.


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Contact Information

For more information and to apply, please email:

Programme Leader 
Dr. Elangkovan Narayanan Alagas
Email: @email

General Inquiries

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship Available

Eligibility Criteria for Bursary or Scholarship


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: 30% tuition fee waiver 
  • PhD: 50% tuition fee waiver 

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the Master by Research or PhD programmes


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: 60% tuition fee waiver 
  • PhD: 100% tuition fee waiver 

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the Master by Research or PhD programmes. CGPA >= 3.5 or Merit (or equivalent)


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: Not eligible
  • PhD: 100% tuition fee waiver including registration and resource fees. Cost of living allowance of RM3,000 per month for 36 months

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the PhD programmes.   
CGPA >= 3.5 or Merit (or equivalent). One (1) published journal article indexed in WOS/Scopus as first or corresponding author. Eligible applicants will be interviewed, and Studentship awards will be given on a competitive basis

*Bursary is only offered to Sunway graduates from Sunway Education Group higher education institutions.   
**Scholarship is open to Sunway and non-Sunway graduates


For more information about the scholarships and financial aid, please visit the SEG Scholarships website.

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