The RSIS PhD Programme is a rigorous research-led programme of study that allows students to explore their subject of interest in detail under the guidance of reputable faculty. Research areas range from Strategic Studies, International Relations, Defence and Security Management to International Political Economy. This programme is suited for professionals who are looking to advance their level of expertise for further career development.
The RSIS PhD programme objectives are three-fold:
- Provision of high level quantitative and qualitative skills to enable students to undertake advanced PhD programmes
- Application of these skills to support policy-oriented research of practical relevance
- Creation of opportunities for students to make an original contribution to knowledge in International Political Economy, International Relations and Strategic Studies disciplines, facilitating their pursuit of academic or professional careers
Doctoral students are directed to develop research proposals that address real-world policy problems and challenges. These include, for example, Maritime Security in the Asia Pacific region, Counter-Terrorism in Indonesia, the performance of Spanish defence offsets and ASEAN Multilateralism.
Students benefit from the reputation and acclaim of the RSIS PhD programme derived from its association with the School’s highly regarded think tank research activities and its well-received Masters programmes.
A Primary Supervisor will be appointed to offer guidance to the candidate throughout the period of study. The Primary Supervisor will act as the Chair of the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee, comprising other academics who have specialist knowledge in the subject area.
Candidates whose progress is not deemed satisfactory by the School may have their candidature terminated.
RSIS doctoral graduates will be attractive to a wide array of professional and academic employers in the government and diplomatic fields, as well as in business and consultancy organisations, international agencies, such as the World Bank, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and Universities, both in a research and teaching capacity.
The degree requirements for the PhD Programme are as follows:
- Pass two core PhD courses and two elective MSc courses (obtaining a minimum GPA of 2.5 in each course and a minimum TGPA of 3.5 overall)
- Pass the confirmation exercise no later than 24 months from enrolment in the programme
- The timeline applies to both full-time and part-time PhD students
- Full-time students on a scholarship are required to pass their confirmation exercise within 18 months
- Submit a final research thesis deemed satisfactory for examination by the Thesis Advisory Committee (no later than five years from the start of candidature for full-time students and seven years for part-time students)
- Pass an oral examination (Viva) on the subject matter of the thesis
The research thesis (written in English) must contain original work or critical interpretation worthy of publication. The length of the thesis should not exceed 80,000 words (including footnotes but excluding appendices, bibliography, maps, charts, statistical tables, graphs, illustrations, etc.).