Do you have a good record of scientific publication but no PhD yet? Are you looking for help in finding a shorter and smarter way to obtain a PhD by capitalising on your prior research and publications? Do you think spending 4-5 years for a conventional PhD is not worth it at this stage in your career?

If your answer is yes to these questions, then this course is for you!

This course will enable you to become better prepared for the PhD by prior publication at a university of your choice. Remember this PhD option is not available at every university, but we will help you identify those universities that match your interests. More than that, we will guide you through the process of better preparing and presenting yourself to this new and emerging approach to getting a PhD.

If you have a good record of research experience and publication, then you deserve the academic recognition that a doctoral degree brings!


In early 2018, IFSD professionals received several requests for information and guidance from around the world on alternative and shorter routes to getting a PhD. We have a strong team of academics, researchers and practicing professionals who are not only passionate about mentoring and teaching higher degree research students, but are also keen to engage in alternative approaches to PhD and higher degrees.

Furthermore, IFSD has spent time and effort in doing research on universities in the UK, Australia, Ireland, Malaysia and some parts of USA to find out alternative approaches to PhD on offer. We have located various innovative streams of PhD and higher degrees, and the PhD by Prior Publication (PhDP) is one suited to well published professionals.

Appreciating the value of this alternative route to PhD, IFSD has now developed a global database of universities offering PBPP on a variety of disciplines. We also have experienced academics and researchers to assess your publication and research standing, as well as suggest and guide you to strengthen your publication base so you have better chances of getting enrolled as a candidate for PBPP in a university.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand and explain the frameworks and procedures of PBPP as offered by various universities and prepare a list of relevant universities
  2. Fully explain the requirements for PBPP candidacy for at least 2-3 universities of your choice
  3. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current publication and research standing in relation to the PBPP requirements of the 2-3 prioritised universities
  4. Identify areas of improvements needed in your research and publication portfolio to become better prepared for PBPP degree
  5. Understand and apply experiential and self-reflective research methods (only in social sciences) to deepen your research skills and to capture practical/experiential insights into new and ongoing publications
  6. Improve skills in scientific writing to prepare 1-3 papers from your prior research and professional experience (subject to the adequacy of prior research and experience)
  7. Develop preliminary outlines for 1-3 additional papers based on your existing research and professional experience (subject to the adequacy of prior research and experience)
  8. Draft 1-3 scientific papers (subject to adequate prior research, data and evidence)
  9. Gain confidence in preparing yourself for your candidacy to PBPP to the universities of choice


Total duration of the course is 5-25 weeks depending on your current research and publication profile. Candidates will be accepted into any one of the three categories below:

Category A: Candidates who have good research experience but limited publication will be required to participate in the full course (25 weeks) and have enough time to publish a specific number of papers before they are recommended for enrolment into a university within 1-2 years. The full course fee is USD 7,000.

Category B: Candidates who have up to two scientific publications published recently and two others in the pipeline can complete the requirements within 15 weeks. They can be recommended to a university for enrolment within a year. The fee will be reduced to USD 5,000.

Category C: Candidates who have excellent record of publications can complete the course in 5 weeks for a fee of USD $3,000. They can then immediately be recommended to a university for enrolment.

                                                                                                                                             Table 1. Tentative Session Outline

Week Session number and titles
1 1.       Frameworks and procedures of PhDP
2-4 2.       Critical assessment of candidate requirements for 3 universities
5-6 3.       Review of publications and current research
7-10 4.       Experiential reflective research methods
11-12 5.       Scientific writing
13 6.       Paper outlines (1 week per paper)
14-15 7.       Draft papers (2 weeks per paper)
16-17 8.       Drafting application for PhDP


Once enrolled at IFSD for this preparatory course, you will be assigned a dedicated mentor who will guide you through the sessions appropriate to your level. You will also be assisted by a career advisor while you seek enrolment at a university towards the end of this course (or when you are recommended to start the application). All the courses will be delivered online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world as long as you have reliable internet connection. Individual session plans will be agreed between the mentor and the student.


If you are interested in this course, please send us:

  • An email stating what you hope to gain from the course
  • A CV detailing your publications and research experience
  • One-page research idea – connecting your research and publications
  • Any questions you want to ask about the course


This is not a degree course, nor is there any guarantee of securing a formal degree when you graduate from this course. IFSD provides the best possible assistance and support so you can achieve PhD by Prior Publication from a recognised University.