PhD in Economics and Management

Part-time doctoral studies: Individual choice of topics, personal supervision

An extra-occupational doctoral programme offers you a path to a doctorate/PhD, without restricting your career or your private life to any great extent. In cooperation with universities, we offer a part-time PhD programme with excellent supervision to academics who want to complete their doctorate alongside work. The IfM takes care of all administrative and organisational work for you, in particular the compilation of all application documents, any translations and and active support during the application process.

Advantages of this PhD programme

The flexible seminars in the part-time PhD programme make it possible to write a dissertation alongside your job. With the individual choice of topics, there is the possibility of writing a scientific thesis that also ensures applicability and implementation in your company. Individual, personal supervision during the PhD programme is ensured as a maximum of 5 students are allocated per supervisor.

  • Low attendance time
  • Individual choice of topic for the dissertation
  • Personal supervision by a supervisor (mentor)
  • Flexible time management / no semester breaks
  • Study in English

Take advantage of these benefits and complete your doctorate while working!

Duration: 3 years (maximum 6 years)

Structure: Several 2-day seminars, four publications, three oral examinations and the final examination (Defensio).

Dates: The programme starts in the winter semester

Language: English

Characteristics: Part-time doctoral programme, which can be completed alongside work and family life

Admission: Completed Magister, Diplom or Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (may also be from other disciplines)

Academic title: PhD in Austria, Dr. or PhD in Germany

Sorry to inform that application period for study year 2021/22 has ended.

Admission criteria

The following requirements must be met for admission to the PhD programme:

  • Completed Master’s degree, Diploma or Bachelor’s and Master’s degree respectively.
  • Good command of English
  • Academics from different disciplines can be admitted.

We will be happy to inform you about the framework conditions for your doctorate in a personal consultation.

Target group

The part-time doctoral programme/PhD takes three years and is aimed at managers, High Potentials, executives and entrepreneurs. The PhD programme not only takes into account the  participants’ professional commitments, but also the compatibility of the doctorate with family and leisure time.


Content and Structure

The PhD programme is designed to allow completion of the doctorate within three years and graduation in under six years. Justified interruptions are permitted after consultation with the University. The seminars and examinations take place at the respective university.

In addition to the dissertation, four publications must be prepared in consultation with your supervisor. Publications can be made, for example, in the context of academic conferences and in the IfM Impulses.

The title PhD

The PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is the scientific doctoral degree in almost all subjects in English-speaking countries and is the highest degree of study. With the implementation of the Bologna Process to create a common European Higher Education Area, the academic degrees were adapted in their designations. With the changeover from diploma studies to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the PhD was adopted, replacing the doctorate “Dr.”, with the exception of medicine and law. The academic degree PhD is obtained by completing a doctoral programme. The corresponding subject is added with “in”, e.g. “PhD in Economics and Management”, and the title is added after the surname, e.g. Joe Bloggs, BA, MA, PhD.

Tuition fees and funding

The tax-exempt tuition fee is € 25,000 and is payable in four instalments: Deposit € 1000,- at the time of registration and three instalments of € 8,000,- each (before the beginning of the academic year).

The tuition fee includes:

  • Enrolment, enrolment fees for a maximum of 6 years.
  • Examination fees
  • Personal supervision by mentor
  • Provision of documents
  • Online access to libraries
  • On-site support
  • Invitation to IfM events

Tuition fees are tax-exempt and tax-deductible. We recommend contacting your tax consultant concerning tax deductibility.


In English-speaking countries, the PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is the scientific doctoral degree in almost all subjects and the highest degree awarded at university. With the introduction of the Bologna Regulation in Europe at the beginning of the 2000s and the changeover from diploma studies to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the PhD was adopted and replaced the doctorate “Dr.”, with the exception of medicine and law.


In terms of academic demands, there is no difference. In terms of “perceived” value, the PhD is considered superior to the doctorate in the Anglo-Saxon world. In the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the transition is still in progress, together with the changeover from the “old” titles, which are used before the surname, and the “new” ones, such as BA, MA, etc., which are used after the surname. Therefore, the personal address of academics will also change, i.e. titles will be dropped. This general trend can already be seen to some extent in business life on business cards.


From a formal point of view, both titles are equal. In the DACH region, some may still perceive the “Dr” as more valuable because it precedes the surname and is spoken as part of the name. Over time, however, this will change. For Generation Y and those following, the terms “BA”, “MA” and “PhD” are already established.

While doctoral programmes were originally quite scientifically oriented, you can now occasionally find part-time, practice-oriented programmes. The quantitative scope of a dissertation has also changed, it has become more compact.

Each university can regulate admission individually, although there is a legal framework in Europe. Usually, a full diploma programme (with a minimum duration of 4 years) or a Bachelor’s degree (3 years with 180 ECTS) and Master’s degree (2 years with 120 ECTS) must be completed.

No, also academics from other disciplines have the opportunity to complete a doctorate. This is particularly attractive for graduates of technical and scientific courses of study as well as lawyers. However, the dissertation topic must fit into the wide-ranging field of Management and Economics.

The programme takes minimum 6 semesters. Up to 12 semesters are possible without additional tuition fees.

The programme always begins in the winter semester. The topic of the dissertation should be defined at the outset. Additionally, 4 publications must be written. Opportunities for publication are offered by the IfM Impulse, at academic conferences and in reviewed journals. Usually, the publications are related to the topic of the dissertation. At the end of the first and second year of study, there is an oral examination covering the topic of the dissertation. The third year of study concludes with the subject-specific examination from the area of the dissertation and then the “defensio” (in which you defend your thesis against a panel of examiners).

The highest academic degree offers ideal opportunities for top management or a later teaching or leadership position at universities of applied sciences and universities. Well-known companies now also expect supervisory board members to have a PhD or doctoral degree.

The funding landscape is broad and highly diverse. There are hardly any fixed, state subsidies, except for tax deductibility for all further education expenses and tuition fees. You can find more information on fees & funding for part-time continuing education at the IfM. Furthermore, we highly recommend consulting your tax advisor.

None. The DBA (=”Doctor of Business Administration”), which is sometimes erroneously listed as a doctoral degree, does not correspond to a PhD.

Personal advice is very important to us!

Our graduates are happy to provide further information on their studies as well as personal reports on how their studies have affected their network, careers and personal progress.

Just make an appointment with us by email at
or call us on +43 (0)662 66 86 280

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