Doctoral Research Degrees / PhD

Course Details
Course Name

PhD Research Doctorate

Course Type

PhD / Postgraduate Research Degree

Course Sector

Business & Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Sports & Service Management

Course Duration

3-4 years

Entry Points Per Year


Next Starting Date(s)
Degree or Qualification

PhD - Doctoral Degree awarded by University of Brighton (UK)



Tuition Fee

9.800.- per year (full time)


Wittenborg offers 3- to 4-year PhD research degrees together with its UK partner, the University of Brighton.

Students study at Wittenborg in Apeldoorn, and have two supervisors, one from the University of Brighton and one from Wittenborg.

The PhD degree is awarded by the University of Brighton.

PhD programme overview

'The Doctoral school offers a three-year full-time or four-year part-time degree programme. The core delivery in a doctoral programme is via regular meetings between students and supervisors, and self-generated work by the PhD-student. As a PhD-student at WUAS, you will be able to draw on research approaches from a variety of social sciences.'

PhD students will develop research plans and apply methods involving both quantitative and qualitative data, supported by appropriate applied research methods training. In general the outline of a doctoral programme is comprised of the following:

  • Carrying out a literature review (a survey of current scholarship in your field)
  • Conducting original applied research and collecting your results 
  • Producing a thesis that presents your conclusions. Preferably in the form of articles for scientific journals
  • Writing up the thesis and submitting it as a dissertation
  • Defending the thesis in an oral exam

This programme is offered jointly with:


Areas of Research

Research Proposal

The focus of PhD research programmes will be in line with Wittenborg's 5 Schools, which have been in turn mapped to the research cores and values and research groups at the UoB. WUAS has the following research interests:

  1. Business (Management, Finance and Human Resources)
  2. Hospitality, Tourism & Sports 
  3. Internationalisation, Diversity and Ethics.

Currently, we specifically welcome research proposals in the area of Hospitality and Tourism. For inspiration and more information about current research, see the website of the UoB Sport, Tourism and Leisure research group. For more information please visit the University of Brighton website.

The list with research interests will give an idea of the areas in which we can potentially offer supervision, and help you develop a research proposal of your own. Some areas recruit doctoral students to specific research projects, but in these instances you would still be expected to take ownership and shape it into an independent piece of work which would normally make an original contribution to knowledge. Other areas expect applicants to propose a research topic of their own prior to considering for them for admission.

If you are in doubt about whether we can offer the appropriate supervision, please contact our Head of Doctoral College -  Dr.Nicolet C.M. Theunissen. In some instances, we may have to tell you that we cannot supervise as it would not be in your best interests to accept you if we are unable to provide the necessary facilities and supervision.

PhD Support

A doctoral study is considered a difficult but very rewarding one. Researchers with highly developed skills are vital to our globally connected social, cultural and economic future. The Doctoral School is committed to delivering a support programme which addresses the specific needs of doctoral students. Therefore, PhD students will receive excellent support to develop themselves as a researcher of applied sciences, by means of:

  • Support of two supervisors
  • Research development sessions
  • On-line researcher development materials
  • Researcher community

Two supervisors

Students will benefit from a supervisory team comprising two members: one of the WUAS and one of the UoB academic staff. Depending on the chosen research specialism, students may also have an additional external supervisor from another institute.

PhD supervisors will be knowledgeable in the chosen field of research and they will provide guidance and advice throughout your doctoral programme. It is important for students to recognise that a research degree is an independent piece of work and together with their supervisors will need to agree the amount and nature of that support at the start of their studies.

The research activities will be undertaken with regular meetings with the first (WUAS) supervisor and periodic meetings by Skype with the full team. Intervening communication will be via email, which is common with all doctoral students.

Research development sessions

The Doctoral College offers a training programme for postgraduate researchers, covering research methods and transferable (including employability) skills.  Academic and technical staff also provide more subject-specific training.

All PhD students will follow the same programme as that followed by students at UoB. All students will spend at least 6 weeks a year at UoB, with the timing of the visits coinciding with major events such as introduction, the core Research Development  programme, the Festival of Research and annual progression reviews. 

WUAS will also have its own researcher development programme in Apeldoorn. At WUAS there will be regular sessions in which specific aspects of the Doctoral course will be discussed (e.g. literature review, data collection, academic writing) together with your peers and experienced researchers.

On-line researcher development materials

All students are provided with desk space and access to a desktop PC on the Apeldoorn campus. The PhD student will have access to all on-line researcher development materials of both UoB and WUAS. For instance, the online courses provided by Epigeum: The research skills programme and the  statistical method for research programme.

Students will have access to a range of electronic resources via the university’s Online Library (WUAS and UoB), as well as to the physical book and journal collections. In addition, the PhD student will have access to key WUAS and UoB resources, including Information Services, Conference Support Fund and the placements scheme.

Researcher community

PhD students form an integral part of our WUAS research community and take an active role in a range of intellectual and social activities within the school. They will join regular online and offline meetings of the Research Centre with researchers from all experience levels (junior to senior researchers).

Additionally, PhD students will join one of UoB research groups that fits the PhD research subject. These groups provide students with opportunities to present ‘work in progress’ and network with other researchers.

Entry Requirements

The normal entry requirements for registration for the PhD degree are:

  • A recognised master's degree or other qualification which is regarded by UoB  as being equivalent, and which is normally relevant to the programme or study proposed.


  • Substantial appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level which resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment. Or exceptionally, a first class honours degree, or other qualification which is regarded by the UoB as being equivalent, and which is normally relevant to the programme of study proposed, where there is clear evidence of work at postgraduate level. An application made by someone with this experience will be considered on its merits and will normally require independent academic references.


For non-native speakers of English
IELTS 7.0 overall, with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in the other elements.

Application Procedure for PhD programmes

The following basic procedure should be followed when applying to become a PhD student on the Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (WUAS)/University of Brighton (UofB) programme:

  1. Send application documents to WUAS (e.g. draft research proposal, CV and motivation letter)
  2. Undergo a global admission check by WUAS and UoB
  3. Informational interview with WUAS research management 
  4. Formal application and application assessment
  5. Application interview with UoB and WUAS supervisors

For all enquiries regarding PhD studies, please send anEmail to Ms Florian Oosterberg at

Apply / information Request

Request Information

For all enquiries regarding PhD studies, please send an  Email to Ms Florian Oosterberg at

or: Call us today: +31(0)628364624

For direct contact with our admissions team, just pick up the phone and call our office number (+31) (0)88 667 266 or our mobile phone number +31 (0)628364624, and speak to Ms Florian Oosterberg, our Senior Admissions Officer or Mr Santosh Aryal, our Student Registrar. If you would like us to call you back, we will!