This Pre-doctoral Foundation Programme is an Executive Education Programme designed for prospective PhD students who need to upgrade their research skills. Doctoral attrition rates are high: an estimated 40% to 50% of candidates never finish, mostly because of lack of doctoral level research skills. Accra Business School’s Pre-Doctoral Foundation Programme will help you sharpen your research skills.


This 8-week Programme has been developed for those intending to undertake doctoral studies, whether PhD or DBA, in the English medium. Being accepted for doctoral study by universities throughout the world is increasingly competitive. It is therefore vital that you have a clearly defined and well researched proposal at the very outset of your engagement with an intended university. This Programme has been carefully structured to help you do just that!

This Pre-Doctoral Foundation Programme can be taken in 8 weeks and is designed for those who already have some research or dissertation experience, including teaching faculty in universities or colleges.

As can be seen from the content , the Pre-Doctoral Foundation Programme Programmes seeks to strengthen the academic English and doctoral research skills which are required from the very outset as you prepare your research proposal. Being able to conduct an effective literature review in your chosen field is a key element in your choice of research topic, research title and the research questions you will seek to address. Your ability to apply the various techniques for managing and analysing information and data will also play a key role in the design and implementation of your research proposal. Indeed having a firm grasp of the research methods available to you, both qualitative and quantitative, is the foundation stone for any successful doctoral activity. Whichever university you seek to join for doctoral studies, there will be a template or structure you will be expected to follow in presenting your research proposal and this Pre-Doctoral Foundation Programme will give you extensive practice and feedback in preparing the actual proposal you will present to your intended university.

  •  Research Methods (1): Research Proposal: Research Methods (1) provides an explanation of how to develop a research proposal

Module Content

  • Introduction
  • Research Planning and Time Management
  • The Philosophical Basis of Research
  • Developing Research Aims and Objectives
  • Research Strategy and Methodology
  • Writing the Research Proposal


  •  Research Methods (2): The Literature Review :Research Methods (2) develops and builds on the material covered in the first research course. It provides the understanding required by the candidate to develop a full critical literature review and outline methodology.

Module Content

  •  Introduction
  • The Literature Review and Synthesis
  • The Pilot Study and the Formal Theory
  • Working with the Supervisor
  • Literature Review Submission Orientation
  • Type A (Hypothesis-Based) Literature Review Submission Example
  • Type D (Exploratory-Based) Literature Review Submission Example


  • Research Methods (3): The Research Method, Data Collection, Analysis and Results : Research Methods (3) provides an understanding of how the candidate can develop and design a suitable research method, collect and analyse data, and generate results and conclusions.

 Module Content

  •  Introduction
  • Quantitative versus Qualitative Research
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Modelling
  • The Challenge of Writing
  • Writing the Thesis and Attending the Viva Voce Examination


  • Academic English for Doctoral Students: This course aims to improve the level of academic English of researchers who already have a good general knowledge of English. The course focuses on developing language skills which are indispensable within an academic context. At the end of the course, students should be capable of expressing themselves clearly in an academic context and of understanding complex lines of reasoning in spoken and written English.

     Module Content

  •  Introduction to Academic English
  • Argumentation and Academic English: An Introduction to Critical Thinking
  • Argumentative Writing
  • Application Form: GHC100
  • Fee: GHC5,500


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