Doctor Of Philosophy (Science)

Open throughout the year
Course Duration
3 years
Course Location
Kuala Lumpur
Course Mode
Full-time / Part-time
Approval Code
R/420/8/0026 ; 08/2023
Accreditation Code


The Doctorate of Philosophy is the Faculty of Applied Sciences’ leading postgraduate credential. Bringing together the best minds from academia and the industry, the programme sees academics working in tandem with their students on research in diverse fields. The University places much emphasis on fundamental research that provides greater understanding on the nature of science and applied research that leads to technology and innovation.

* This programme received a 100% graduate employability score in the Ministry of Higher Education’s Graduate Employability 2020. (Source:

About the Programme

Pertinent research projects at the Faculty currently include:

  • The exploration of Malaysia's biodiversity for natural product development
  • The development of seed oil and fruits and functional food and nutraceutics
  • The study of anti-cancer, antioxidant and pharmacological properties of bioactive compounds from natural sources (e.g. fungi, plants and seaweeds)
  • The nutritional and dietary aspects of patients in relation to metabolic disorders or cancers.
  • Association studies of genetic variants with obesity, myopia and other disorders.
  • The production of recombinant antigens and allergens
  • The development of toxin therapy.
  • Quorum sensing and gene discovery.
  • The detection, isolation and characterisation of food pathogens.
  • The extraction and purification of enzymes from plants and microorganisms.
  • The optimisation of media formulation and growth conditions of fungi for industrial purposes.
  • Bioremediation of hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

Our mission in research

Our academic staff realise the importance of sharing our research experience with students and building a partnership with students, while actively engaging and promoting research in diverse fields. The university has placed a great commitment and enormous efforts in (a) the fundamental research to understand the nature of science and (b) applied research leading to innovation and technology. 

Our research focus addresses the key areas of national importance as shown below.

  • Exploring the biodiversity of Malaysia for natural product development
  • Development of seed oil and fruits as functional food and nutraceutics
  • Study of anti-cancer, antioxidant and pharmacological properties of bioactive compounds from natural sources (eg. fungi, plants, seaweeds)
  • Nutritional and dietary aspects of patients in relation to metabolic disorders or cancers
  • Association study of genetic variants with obesity, myopia and other disorders
  • Production of recombinant antigens and allergens
  • Development of toxin therapy
  • Quorum sensing and gene discovery
  • Detection, isolation and characterisation of food pathogens
  • Extraction and purification of enzyme from plants and microorganisms
  • Optimisation of media formulation and growth condition of fungi for industrial purposes
  • Aquatic seed production of sea cucumber and giant freshwater prawn
  • Bioremediation of hydrocarbons and heavy metals

How do we enhance the student experience?

The programme aims to provide excellent supervision, quality project and adequate research facilities to students. Students will learn to develop professional capability, intellectual creativity, personal confidence, leadership skill and scientific skill sets, and become an independent researcher. Students are provided with:

  • Four research relevant subjects that assist in the management of research
  • A panel of supervisors to support the student throughout his/her academic programme
  • Conference funding that supports student presenting his/her research at national/international conferences
  • Access to online journals
  • Platforms such as journal club for students to improve review and presentation skills
  • A range of workshops on academic, IT and statistical analysis skills
  • Office of Postgraduate Studies that acts as a liaison between students and various departments

Research facilities

We currently have a total of 9 laboratories in our faculty equipped for different research needs. The laboratories can accommodate 20 to 50 students.

  • Biochemistry lab
  • Biotechnology lab (inclusive of Cell & Tissue Culture room and Fermentation room)
  • Chemistry labs 1 & 2
  • Food Science lab
  • Microbiology lab
  • Molecular Biology lab
  • Phytochemical lab
  • Physiological lab (inclusive of a separate animal house)

For the last 6 years, the university has invested more than 3 million ringgit to bolster the research capacity by purchasing high-end equipment. In addition of having a series of basic instruments required for a research laboratory, additional equipment have been bought in to upgrade the existing facilities. These include the Carl Zeiss Axo Vert. A1 Fluorescence Microscope, Applied Biosystem Real-time PCR system, Gel Doc XR+ system, Multi-mode Spectrophotometer, Nanodrop, High-speed Counter-current Chromatography, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography, BioLogic DuoFlow System, Encapsulator B-390, Homogenizer, Freeze Dryer, Bioreactors, etc.

Research funding and scholarship

In 2012, our researchers have received over RM300,000 external grants (MOHE, MAKNA and FOSI) and RM500,000 internal research grants (RGS) from CERVIE (Centre of Excellence for Research, Value Innovation and Entrepreneurship). As our research capacity continues to grow, internal funding has increased to RM2 millions in 2013 and research clusters were formed to consolidate and boost research resources and strengthen national and international research collaborations.

In 2011–2013, the university has awarded the UCSI University Trust Graduate Fellowship to international and local postgraduate students with the approximate amount of RM500,000. In addition, our postgraduate students have also successfully secured MyBrain scholarships from the Ministry of Higher Education. All applications and enquiries can be made in writing to UCSI University Trust at [email protected] or UCSI University, Office of Postgraduate Studies.

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

​M. Sc.

  • A relevant Master’s degree from institution of higher learning recognised by Senate; OR
  • Other certificates that are recognised as equivalent to a Master’s degree or other relevant professional qualifications and experience that are recognised by Senate; OR
  • A relevant bachelor’s degree with CGPA 3.67 or its equivalent from an academic programme or a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme may direct progression to PhD programme and approval by Senate; OR
  • A relevant bachelor’s degree with CGPA 3.00 may convert their candidacy to the PhD programme after one year of studying at Master level and approval by Senate.

English Language Requirements

As the programme’s medium of instruction is English, students must possess one of the following qualifications:
  • TOEFL: a minimum score of 410 (writing-based) or a minimum score of 79 with no less than 17 in each four components (computer-based)
  • IELTS: a minimum score of 5.0
  • An undergraduate degree with English as its medium of instruction
Note: Candidates who fail to fulfil the above criteria may be required to take an English Proficiency Course at the University.

Courses Offered

Semester 1
  • Research Ethics & Academic Integrity
  • Project & Laboratory Management
  • PhD Research Project Planning & Proposal Presentation
Semester 2 to 8
  • PhD Research Project
Semester 9
  • Viva and Dissertation

The University may allow exemption for outstanding students to complete their studies within a shorter period.

Career Opportunities

Higher education institutes, government agencies, research institutes as well as any other companies that require knowledge worker.


Local Students

Approximate Total Fees:

RM 63,390

International Students

Approximate Total Fees:

RM 72,400

Note: This is an estimated fee, as different countries have different visa processing charges and administrative fees. For more information, kindly refer to your region’s counselor for the detailed fee breakdown.

All information is correct at the time of upload and UCSI University reserves the right to make amendments without prior notice.


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