Study Guide

About programme

The aim of the programme is to prepare Doctor of Science and highly qualified researchers and specialists in the Business Management sub-branch of management science, thus strengthening management science as an academic field in Latvia and making a significant contribution to the development of business and enterprises in Latvia and Europe. Joint Doctoral programme is implemented by RISEBA University of Applied Sciences and BA School of Business and Finance.

Degree awardedDoctor of Science (Ph.D.) in Economics and Business
Credit Points120 CP / 180 ECTS
Study formFull time; Part-time
LanguageLatvian and English

Objectives of the programme

1. To provide students with high-quality doctoral education, ensuring them the opportunity to develop research competencies in their chosen field.

2. To carry out and approbate research significant to management science theory and practice: prepare Promotion Theses, monographs, textbooks and teaching materials, and scientific publications, including:

  • developing and carrying out doctoral research programme;
  • discussing the results of doctoral research (including approbation of results: publications and presentations at conferences and seminars);
  • ensuring preparation and defence of Promotion Theses.

3. To present and discuss the results of scientific research at international conferences and seminars as well as in popular science publications.

The programme is implemented in Latvian and English language. In addition, studies in English are organized in the form of sessions (three sessions per year), allowing foreign doctoral students to continue their professional activities in their home country, combining them with studies in Latvia. International students can also participate in program meetings remotely (Moodle, Skype, Zoom, etc.) and discuss the dissertation at various stages of its development.

Results of the study programme

The intended study outcomes of the joint doctoral programme are oriented towards the preparation of doctoral students and meet the current requirements for the development of society and the economy in Latvia:


  • Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of current scientific theories and insights as well as a mastery of research methodology and contemporary research methods in management science or in a professional field and the interface of different fields


  • Is able to independently evaluate and select methods suitable for scientific research; has contributed to widening the frontiers of knowledge or has brought new insight to existing knowledge and its application in practice by carrying out a substantial amount of original research, some of which is internationally cited.
  • Is able to communicate verbally and in writing about management science with the wider scientific community and the general public
  • Is able to independently advance his/her scientific qualifications; to implement scientific projects, achieving results according to set criteria; and to manage research or development tasks at enterprises, institutions and organisations where extensive research knowledge and skills are needed


  • Is able to meet significant research or innovation objectives by independently carrying out critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation; to independently propose a research idea; and to plan, structure and lead large-scale scientific projects, including in an international context.

Study programme

Programme partCPECTS
Mandatory courses (part A):2233
Research Methodology in the Field of Social Sciences
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The purpose of the course is to enhance doctoral student’s knowledge about the role of research in the modern society, to develop further on advanced level general scientific and social science research methods. Fulfilled individual tasks, present their results:
  • Presentation of PhD thesis proposal based on analytical critical review of literature
  • Analysis of scientific paper
  • Presentation on freely chosen topic in framework of study course
Learning outcomes:
  1. Understand and use the research methodology and modern research methods in management
  2. Independently evaluate and choose appropriate methods for scientific research
  3. Independently plan research
  4. Critically analyze scientific papers
  5. Develop analytically critical literature review
Strategic Management
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Aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the latest strategic management theories and insights, research methodologies, and to develop ability of oral and written communication on strategic leadership research and ability to address significant research challenges related to strategic management in organizations. Independent studies organization and tasks:
  • Essay on the latest research findings in Strategic management
  • Critical review of a scientific article chosen by student on Strategic Management issues.
  • Practical assignment for discussions in the class on Industry classification and relevance for environment analysis, business portfolio analysis, business performance measurement and strategic decision making.
  • Practical assignment for discussions in the class: critical review of the article.
Learning outcomes:
  1. To demonstrate understanding of the latest theories in strategic management and its application in research design
  2. To select the appropriate research methods regarding the Strategic management studies
  3. To communicate Strategic management related issues with peers based on the knowledge and skills   acquired during the course from integrated (holistic) point of view
Contemporary Research in Business. Different Industries Perspective
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Aim of the course to ensure understanding about the specifics of business management in different industries, as well as to deepen knowledge about the industry development trends and influence on the sustainable development of companies based on the latest research results. Independent studies:
  • Preparation of the survey of latest publication about the development trends in the industry X
  • Preparation of the research paper (literature review) on the analysis of the latest research article on industry X challenges (8 – 10 pages)
Learning outcomes:
  1. Understand the environment specifics of different industries and factors influencing it
  2. Able to discuss about the latest research methods and theories on external and internal environment analysis of industry X and its application for elaboration of the Thesis
  3. Able to communicate with researchers and wider community about the specifics of different industries environment and influencing factors
How to write an article for the peer reviewed journal
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The key aim of this course is to provide doctoral students with the basic skillset required for publishing in international academic. Students will learn which are the ‘top’ journals in business and management area as well as related areas as well as how to select relevant journal. We will talk about- and practice- publication process, including how publications are reviewed and how to react to reviewers’ criticism. Most importantly, however, we will work on preparing academic article to be submitted for review in good quality academic journal and present our efforts to wider academic audience prepare To do that, focus of the course will be on acquiring and practicing skills on working with data bases, writing abstract, introduction (includes emphasizing contribution), literature review, method and conclusion parts of the paper as well as preparing presentation for academic conference. Learning outcomes:
  1. Knowledge of publication types, journals, data bases, principles of publication
  2. Ability to search relevant data bases, to find right publications, to analyse citations
  3. Ability to write abstract and summary
  4. Ability to prepare a manuscript and review
  5. Ability to communicate and present the results, react to criticism
Research Theoretical part
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Aim of course – to develop knowledge and skills of doctoral students in writing and presenting a doctoral thesis, which would include: analytical critical review of literature; high-quality scientific discussion; analysis of research methods concerning the doctoral thesis; in-depth analysis of environmental framework of a doctoral thesis. Independent studies organization and tasks:
  • Preparation of a scientific discussion
  • Development of a theoretical part of PhD thesis
Learning outcomes:
  1. Participate in scientific discussion
  2. Create a theoretical part of PhD thesis
Data mining
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Aim of the course is to introduce PhD students to various data mining concepts and technologies, with ascent on  application a range of advanced statistical techniques and using software tools to implement it in process of research and also planning and taking business decisions. Independent studies:
  • Case study write-ups.
  • Practical Assignment: Multivariate data exploring in SPSS software.
  • Practical Assignment: Segmentation of clients (objects) on the basis cluster analysis
  • Practical Assignment: Classification model development
  • Homework. Each PhD student will be expected to pick a data set or research problem and will apply one of these techniques to that problem. Preparing the short presentation for seminar
Learning outcomes:
  1. To understand data lifecycle, CRISP stages and main approaches of data collection, data quality evaluation
  2. To know and discuss different data mining algorithms, present their pros & cons, and perform applicability analysis for them in relation to a particular problem, providing insight and recommendations, and supporting decision-making
  3. To analyse domain related research process model, identify and analyse available data to identify research questions and/or organisational objectives, to suggest new data required for analytics tasks to deliver maximum insight and formulate sound hypothesis
  4. To verify data quality and veracity, to recognise value of data, to apply analytics and statistics methods for data preparation, pre-processing
  5. To evaluate data and information and transform data into useful and actionable information using considered algorithms
  6. To use effective visualization and storytelling methods to create data analytics reports
  7. To identify promising business and research applications of data analysis methods
  8. Using effectively appropriate data analytics and statistical techniques on available data to discover new relations and deliver insights into research problem or organizational processes and support decision-making
  9. To visualise results of data analysis and use storytelling methods and present to auditorium
  10. To read critically published research articles which make use of the techniques covered and an understanding of the role of data analysis in research, business and society. Contents may vary according to the interest of students
Partly elective courses (part B)69
Innovation Management
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Aim of the course is to develop an in-depth understanding of the latest scientific theories and insights in innovation management discipline, research methodology, and to develop the ability to communicate orally and in written form on innovation management research and to address significant research challenges related to innovation management in organizations. Independent studies organization and tasks:
  • Essay on the latest research topics in Innovation management
  • Critical review of a scientific article chosen by student on Innovation Management
  • The special emphasis on critical review of research methods used by author
  • Practical assignment for discussions in the class on National Innovation system
  • Practical assignment for discussions in the class: Measurement of Innovations
Learning outcomes:
  1. To demonstrate understanding of the latest theories in innovation management
  2. To select the appropriate research methods regarding the Innovation management studies
  3. To communicate Innovation management related issues with peers based on the knowledge and skills   acquired during the course
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research
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The aim of this course is to build upon and strengthen the research competences acquired in the A-level Research Design courses. In doing so, ‘Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research’ develops a more fine-grained understanding of all the research process stages, from conducting a literature review to creating impact. The course will help strengthen knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to conduct a scientific study and to write a doctoral dissertation. The main teaching methods employed in the course are guest lectures by internationally renowned scholars, interactive lectures by the course coordinator, group discussions, and reflections that also serve as the assessment method. Requirements for obtaining credit points
  • Short reflection reports after each session, before the beginning of the next
  • Exam/final reflection paper. It requires applying the knowledge gained and skills acquired to the doctoral thesis work
  • Presentation of the reflection (including examples of written papers or parts of the thesis)
  • Active participation (asking relevant questions, directing the discussion, providing constructive critique, demonstrating critical and analytical thinking, coming up with original solutions)
Learning outcomes:
  1. To develop a fine-grained understanding of all the scientific research stages, from conducting a literature review to creating impact. (Assessment: interim reflections, final reflection and presentation)
  2. To apply the new knowledge acquired/improved understanding to writing a doctoral dissertation (or related scientific articles). (Assessment: final reflection and presentation)
  3. To internalize the new knowledge gained and the skills acquired, while developing a constructive attitude towards completing the doctoral study programme (Assessment: Final reflection and presentation, in-class participation).
Human Resources Management
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The aim of the course is to develop students’ ability to perform research on human resources management and human resource strategy application to increase organization’s efficiency and competitiveness.  The main attention in the course is paid to the application of the theories and research methodologies into practice, to promote the development of a high-quality doctoral thesis, participation in international research projects and preparation on scientific publications. Requirements for obtaining credits
  • Analysis and discussion (presentation) of the latest research/ publications/ scientific articles on particular topic of HRM, covering the following issues: the most significant concepts used, previous theoretical or empirical studies in this direction, the problem studied in the paper, research methodology and conclusions;
  • The development of the research model of the freely selected HRM aspect, and it’s public presentation.
Learning outcomes:
  1. The ability to independently evaluate and select scientific literature
  2. The ability to prepare scientific report
  3. The ability to demonstrate understanding of the scientific article and independently analyze it.
  4. The ability to demonstrate the application of scientific theories in the scientific article
  5. Ability to design the research model in HRM
  6. The ability to deliver a scientific presentation
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
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Purpose of the course is to gain an insight into topics related to psychology in the context of management science. In scope of the course emphasis is placed on publication analysis, current research topics, as well as research methods in relation to management of people and organizations. Independent studies:
  • Analysis of a leader
  • Analysis of culture in an organization
  • Analysis of student’s own engagement at work and the factors the factors affecting it
  • Exam: review of a scientific article published in past 3 years on a topic discussed in scope of the course
Learning outcomes:
  1. Define management, leadership, team, organizational culture, work engagement; Understand different leadership theories; Understand different organizational culture types; Understand motivation theories;
  2. Analyse scientific articles related to leadership and organizational behaviour; Compare different leadership theories, motivation theories; Analyse organizational culture in a company; Analyse the level of work engagement and its factors
  3. Develop skills: Critical thinking; Communication; Presentation skills; Planning skills; Self-discipline
Contemporary Research in Financial Management
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The aim of the course is to provide overviews of research methods in some fields of social science, including business management and financial management. The course will engage with general issues of research methodology in financial management, while the primary focus will be on the practical issues concerned with identifying and using suitable source of data, and interpreting these data using best-practice techniques.
Independent studies
  • Analysis of 2 articles published in recent scientific journals, covering bright range of topics in the field of empirical finance.
  • Special attention should be paid to the research aims, hypotheses and methods used. Main findings and evaluation should be presented to the class in the middle of the course.
  • Preparation and oral presentation of individual research project in the field of finance, demonstrating understanding and application of tools, techniques and methods to undertake research project.
Learning outcomes:
  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key techniques and methods for the empirical analysis of problems in the field of financial management, along with application of these techniques in the contexts of finance research.
  2. Students will be able to apply research skills such as problem framing and solving, as well as be able to accumulate and evaluate complex evidence and arguments.
  3. Student will be able to communicate the meaning and significance of their findings, as well as they will demonstrate personal effectiveness through task-management, timemanagement, teamwork and group interaction.
Free choice elective courses (par C)46
Behavioural Economics34.6
Free choice course at another university
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An optional course subject is accepted by the scientific supervisor and program director. If CP in Part B exceed the required, they may cover CP in Part C
Research part of the programme (part D)88132
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For each publication or presentation 1-2 CP, depending on the edition (conference) rank. Determines the scientific supervisor and director of the program
Participation in conferences
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For each publication or presentation 1-2 CP, depending on the edition (conference) rank. Determines the scientific supervisor and director of the program
Doctoral seminars
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For getting 4 CP student has to participate in at least three seminars, at least at one present the presentation
Development and defence of the PhD thesis80120
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