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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Information Systems and Technology Management

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  • How to apply
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Make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the fields of Information Systems or Operations Management under the tutelage of high profile academics.

The aim of the UNSW Business School's Doctoral Program in Information Systems and Technology Management is to train you with the skills to identify, analyse and solve problems using original academic research in either the field of Information Systems or in the field of Operations Management.

Rigorous coursework dealing with theoretical foundations of information systems/operations management as well as important methodologies within information systems/operations management will be undertaken. This is followed by full-time research culminating in a doctoral thesis.

You will be involved in research projects from an early stage and enjoy the interdisciplinary engagement with a high-quality cohort of research students across the whole Business School. There will also be exciting opportunities to develop your teaching portfolio.

Ultimately, your PhD thesis will showcase your research skills and contributions your research makes to knowledge by offering original insights into the field.


Year 1

The first year of study is designed to provide a rigorous foundation to conduct research in information systems using range of methodologies, as well as helping to build your communication and presentation skills. 

Common core coursework will cover fundamental qualitative and quantitative research methods, and key research skills such as identifying, framing, presenting, and writing academic contributions.

You will also work as an assistant on faculty research projects and start working on your own research as your skills develop. Through your interactions with faculty staff you will use this first year to identify your potential thesis supervisor for the PhD component of the program.

Throughout the first year, there will be invaluable ongoing engagement with a cohort of high-achieving research students, as well as integration into the community of scholars in the Business School.

Under the new UNSW3+ academic calendar, introduced in 2019, you will study one of the three common core courses in each trimester as well as additional Information Systems stream electives.

On successful completion of the first year, you will be awarded a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies and continue into the PhD in Information Systems & Technology Management stream.

Program typeTerm 1Term 2Term 3
Program CoreCOMM8100 COMM8101
or
COMM8102
COMM8103
Stream Core INFS5987
INFS5993
COMM8001
Research assistance work
COMM8002
COMM8003

Program Core Courses


The following courses are completed in your first year of study.

COMM8100 Foundations of Bus Research

This course covers the foundations of research for business research. In the first part of the course topics will include intellectual foundations of research, research methods and academic reading and writing. In the second part students will move into qualitative research design. The third and final part contains statistical methods and cover probability models, estimation, hypothesis testing and regression analysis.

COMM8101 Stats for Business Research

This course aims to provide a strong background in statistical methods.

It covers the foundations of statistical methods for business research and includes topics such as quantitative research methods, experimental design and analysis, survey design and analysis, linear and multiple regressions and discrete choice models, as well as case study research.

or

COMM8102 Econometric Analysis

This course aims to provide a strong background in advanced statistical methods.

Students will focus on advanced econometrics such as time-series econometrics and application to financial data, as well as field interventions and policy evaluations.

COMM8103 Research Project Seminar

This course aims to help students develop their skills in writing and presenting their own research.

The course includes topics on research integrity and ethics, how to develop research questions and conduct literature surveys, and how to present and provide feedback on research. Students will undertake an individual major written research project, a research presentation, and provide feedback on other students' research.

Stream Core Courses


You must complete the following courses in the first year:

COMM8001 Introduction to Research Methods

This course will enable student to acquire fundamental knowledge, skills and experience necessary to conduct a qualitative research study.

The course focuses on fundamental issues critical for qualitative inquiry, such as philosophical foundations, theory building, the design and conduct of qualitative study (of different types), methods of data collection and analysis, researcher role and relationships with subjects researched, the quality of qualitative research, presentation of findings and writing a research proposal and a thesis.

It will also include the review of exemplary papers adopting a variety of qualitative research methods from organisation studies, management, marketing, accounting, information systems, and other business disciplines.

COMM8002 Quantitative Research Methods

This course introduces students to various advanced quantitative data analysis techniques required to design research projects and conduct the necessary data analysis. In conducting empirical studies, it is necessary to understand the benefits and drawbacks of various techniques, so that appropriate analytical techniques can be selected to answer the research questions being tested. These skills are an integral part of research methodology in a project/thesis.

COMM8003 Qualitative Research Methods

This course will enable student to acquire in-depth knowledge, skills and experience necessary to conduct a qualitative research study.

The course focuses on advanced issues critical for qualitative inquiry. It will also include the review of exemplary papers adopting a variety of qualitative research methods from organisation studies, management, marketing, accounting, information systems, and other business disciplines.

The course will adopt a workshop style where students will actively engage in debates and work with empirical material.

INFS5987 Theoretical Foundations of Information Systems

The course aims to review and critically analyse major theoretical developments in the Information Systems (IS) discipline, and also engage students in deeper understanding and exploring theoretical problems in the IS discipline. Students are expected to participate in theoretical discourse and debates about the relevance of IS theory to practice.

The course examines the most influential and innovative works that apply a range of theories and theoretical approaches in the discipline. The course will motivate students to examine an interesting and relevant research problem using the theories studied or other theories. The seminar character of the course assumes active participation and contribution by the students.

INFS5993 Special Topic in Information Systems and Management

This course comprises of a specially assigned project, program or set of readings relating to information systems and management research.

* Specialisation course COMM8003 can be substituted with the approval of the stream convenor in cases where a student has a strong quantitative background and would benefit more from an econometrics course.

Year 2

During the second year, you continue in the Information Systems and Technology Management stream with a further year of advanced coursework while also identifying your thesis topic with your supervisor and engaging in literature review and research design.

Up to eight additional units of coursework will be undertaken covering topics such as advanced structural equation modelling, with an opportunity to take several courses outside of your specialised discipline to prepare you for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Years 3 - 4

In the last two years in the program, you will primarily conduct full-time research and work towards completing your doctoral thesis.

Your thesis gives you the chance to address some of the biggest challenges in Information Systems and Technology Management and make a significant contribution to research and practice in these areas.  You will conduct original research to explore ideas and generate new knowledge that contributes to ongoing academic debate in your field.

It will offer new critical thinking and withstand critical analysis from expert researchers in the area, setting you firmly on the path to a potential career in a high quality academic institution anywhere in the world.

  • The equivalent of a three-year undergraduate degree plus an equivalent postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline with an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction).
  • OR
  • The equivalent of multiple undergraduate degrees (e.g. a dual degree) with at least one in a relevant discipline and an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction).
  • OR
  • The equivalent of a four-year degree of Bachelor with first or upper second-class Honours in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements also apply.

NOTE: These are the minimum requirements for admission. Admission will ultimately be at the discretion of the UNSW Business School and will rely on the Business School having appropriate research supervision capacity and resources available for the applicant’s research interests.


Information on how to apply for this degree is available at How to apply for a research degree.

While the UNSW Business School is at the heart of the Kensington campus 'village' that is bustling with cafes, bars and retail, the whole of Sydney is right on our doorstep - including world-famous beaches, a wide variety of food, entertainment and culture, plus stunning scenery to enjoy and explore for free.

There are more than 300 clubs and societies at UNSW covering social activities such as music, movies and sport, but also academic interests including an Actuarial Society, a Business Society, an Economics Society and a Society of Financial Technology amongst many others. Joining a student club is a great way to meet new friends and broaden your experience. But as well as that, you may also make potentially important research or academic connections with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Find out more about UNSW’s Clubs and Societies

Stay active

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with UNSW’s state of the art sporting facilities on campus in Kensington, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Find out more about the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre

Explore

While the UNSW Business School at the heart of the Kensington campus ‘village’ that is bustling with cafes, bars and retail, the whole of Sydney is right on our doorstep including world-famous beaches, a wide variety of food, entertainment and culture, plus stunning scenery to enjoy and explore for free.

Find out more about UNSW Campus Life

Strong support

When you join the UNSW research community, you join a passionate collective of people who are using research to transform minds, transform lives, and transform the world.

We want all our research students to reach their maximum potential and to achieve this we offer in-depth faculty supervision and support, as well as study skills workshops and mentoring programs.

Our ‘Meet the CEO’ series offers unique behind the scenes business insights, and there are a number of orientation, leadership and mentor programs specifically designed for postgraduate students.

Find out more about student support

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Quick facts for students

Program code
1525
Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Assumed Knowledge
Information Systems, Research experience
Study Mode
Face to face
Duration
4 years full-time; 5-8 years part-time
Commencing terms
Term 1 – February

​​​​​​​​Research Study Options

Browse the list of study options available for research students

 ​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest