The Independent Study Mode is designed for candidates who wish to complete fully independent, non-supervised studies. Independent study mode students enjoy many of the same benefits and resources of the standard mode students except that they complete the research and writing of the manuscript in a self-managed fashion. The study mode offers a high level of flexibility ideal for the busy schedules of working professionals.


Candidates choosing this study mode are self-motivated, research minded and well disciplined with a strong sense of academics. The study mode offers the candidate the ability to coordinate with an academic adviser but otherwise provides the candidate with full independence to complete their manuscript under their own schedule while availing themselves of the research resources of the school. Candidates should hold a research based degree as a prerequisite along with appropriate history of accomplishment within academic, personal and professional life.

Program Flow

The standard duration for the Independent Study Mode is 36 months. Students must complete the quantitative and qualitative research methods course and prepare the research plan. The full program flow is shown below

  • Acceptance Into The program (Month 0)
  • Quantitative Research Methods Module(Months 1 to 3)
  • Qualitative Research Methods Module (Months 4 to 6)
  • Research Proposal Perfecting Module (Months 7 to 8)
  • Dissertation Research Independent Phase (Months 9 to Month 26)
  • Submission of Dissertation For Review (Month 28)
  • Defense Preparation (Month 33)
  • Defense (Month 36)

Research Plan

Once in the program external students will work within the research proposal perfecting module to provide a research plan to the Administration before starting their research phase. An example of a research plan in acceptable form is found below:



Comparison Of Study Modes

The Independent mode includes many of the benefits of the Standard mode. The matrix above illustrates the principle differences between the two modes of study. Independent students may also attend Doctoral workshops and symposiums presented several times per year. There is an additional cost of attendance per event. Independent students also benefit from a full review of their dissertation once completed and obtain feedback for modification or suggestions of changes by the faculty before being scheduled for their defense. This helps to maximize the quality of the dissertation work presented to the defense committee.


The independent study mode has a rolling admission and be started at any time. Applicants should indicate the Independent mode when submitting the online application form.


All Independent study mode students must defend their thesis at the school in Switzerland. Defenses take place at the Rapperswil Castle on Lake Zurich.


Candidates wishing to enter the program as an Independent Study Mode student must apply to the necessary program indicating the independent study option. Upon being accepted into the program the candidate is provisioned onto the Student Learning Management System (LMS) and Email system and given access to the library resources of the university and thus may begin their research. Independent candidates must also complete the fundamental research modules within their first year, being: quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods and the research plan perfecting module.


The minimum duration for the internal study mode is the same as for the standard study mode being 36 months. Students have up to 60 months to complete the program.


The cost of the Independent Study Mode is 7,500 Euros per annum for PHD and 5,000 Euros per year for the DSC, DMGMT, DBA, DOAM and DOAL. Fees are paid on a semi-annual basis in advance.