The PhD / Doctorate in Political Economy is being offered jointly with Universidad Central de Nicaragua.

The PhD / Doctorate in Political Economy is an extensive study of the political and diplomatic trends of today, requiring learned to have a solid background in the field both academically and professionally. The program consists of courses which provide a broad spectrum of political international problems from the perspective of different parties involved. The program targets individuals who wish to excel in this field of ever increasing importance and who wish to obtain an international perspective on their previous education and career experience. It also is aimed at individuals wishing to give their career an academic direction, developing skills of applied research, political consulting and lecturing in the field of diplomacy/political science.

UCN Universidad Central de Nicaragua was founded in 1997 as a private Nicaraguan university in Managua, Nicaragua. It was accredited by the Consejo Nacional de Universidades and received the status of a fully autonomous university with unrestricted degree awarding authority by Act of Parliament and by the award of the fully autonomous university status by Decree of the President of Nicaragua.


The program is entirely flexible and thus its duration depends on your progress and on the time and effort you are prepared to dedicate. Students are free to start courses at any time, this is to honor and support the particular agendas of our students who are mainly working professionals in managerial positions. Nevertheless at the beginning of each course, together with your professor, you will construct a schedule for the completion of the course.


Core Stage

This course introduces students to the field of research. It examines the research process in depth and introduces doctoral candidates to the various aspects of doing scientific research, providing practical advice and insight in the field. Topics covered include hypothesis formulation and theory construction, data collection techniques, ethical issues in research, and research design.

Upon completion, participants will be able to distinguish amongst the different types of research, be aware of the tools used and their relative roles and reliability. Participants review the steps to be undertaken in the research design, writing, and in publishing the results. This is a very practical course aimed to guide participants through the work that lies ahead.

The Research Methodology and Design II course is divided in two parts, which will provide doctoral candidates with a solid foundation and valid framework to accomplish their research goals.

The first part of the course examines qualitative research and behavioral research. Topics covered include: criteria for valid and reliable research; advantages and disadvantages of different research strategies; electronic and paper tools for searching literature; research methods – observational, survey and experimental; general writing techniques and writing style; data analysis; and data presentation.

The second part of the course examines the fields of quantitative and econometric research. Topics covered include: scientific methods, cognitive guidelines, quantification and standardization in survey research and reconciling practical and scientific requirements for creating valid and unbiased surveys. It also examines research tools and applied econometrics. Topics include: regression analysis, estimation procedures, hypothesis testing, time series modeling, and forecasting.

The course permits learners to distinguish between the different methods of collecting data, analyzing data and the research techniques to be used for optimum results. A wide range of concepts and methods for observing, interviewing, recording and analyzing field data is covered, exposing the learner to quantitative and qualitative methods, and the ethical considerations in qualitative research practice. Furthermore the course provides a solid understanding of statistical tools used in empirical analysis enabling participants to develop solid analytical skills. Additional emphasis is placed on the process of rigorous formulation of research questions and design.

Specialization Stage

The module analyzes the nature of global capital today and its development trends. It discusses the role of government in the economy, the behaviour of the international sides involved, the structure of political–economic interests, the mediating effects of institutions, the conflict between classes and the distribution of wealth, inequality and globalization. Special attention will be given to the World Bank & the IMF and broader problems of global market governance.
This course presents a comprehensive overview and comparison of politics on an international level, examining different systems, their philosophies, impacts on a country, and the global economic and political scene. Learners examine the empirical, theoretical and normative foundations for understanding contemporary global politics; parliamentary systems, multi-party systems, one-party dominant systems, communist party dominated systems, and systems seeking to establish themselves. The course also deals with issues of achieving political change, maintaining power, relationships between economy and political systems, and other issues of statehood. Discussions include decisions of using force, defining the levels of analysis in international relations, and describing the major methodologies employed in this field. The course deals with decision making processes of international politics and an analysis of current international crises.
The purpose of this course is to review and discuss, in depth, the field and concepts of International Relations, to organize what is known and theorized about International Relations, and to convey the key concepts used by political scientists to discuss relations amongst nations.
This course conducts a critical analysis of the complexity of relations of the different legal systems, religions and traditions in the world and their relations to the state. Learners examine the different aspects of religion in education and family relations, as well as its roles within the state. Law is also examined from points of view of origination, perception of crime, and ethics.
This module is concerned with the many conceptual interdependencies of cultural evolution, economics, the law and social–philosophy. Emphasis is put on the leading thinkers, their main ideas and how their powerful insights led to different legal, political and economic ideals that continue to shape our culture. Not only the main controversial trains of thought that throughout history mutually influenced the legal framework and the economic actions of men: “the labor theory of value” and “the theory of subjective value” will be analyzed. An in–depth discussion of the controversial relationships between the various concepts of justice and freedom and the purpose of law, markets, public and private goods is also offered.

Dissertation Stage

An original, academic written product is prepared by each student, presenting the systematic study of a significant problem, applying a coherent methodology, independent research, and comprehensive thinking. Recognized academic standards of organization and documentation also are elements of learning.. A mentor (typically a SMC faculty member) is assigned to each student to provide an ongoing relationship of learning, dialog and challenge. They closely check students’ progress and academic responsibilities. Mentoring is a critical support strategy which positively impacts academic achievement.
Upon completion of the regular course work and Dissertation, students are required to pursue the obligatory Dissertation Defense. This oral performance review is structured as a hearing vis-à-vis the Academic Defense Committee of SMC. The Defense has the purpose to challenge aspects of the candidate’s research work, allowing him/her to prove its integrity by defending the underlying argumentation. The Defense is offered two or more times each year from different locations.


Swiss Management Center welcomes qualified applicants with no discrimination towards their gender, age, cultural, ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds. Distance learning candidates are admitted on a continuous basis.

Admission at Swiss Management Center sets minimum criteria which have been designed to identify applicants who have sound academic potential and who show creativity, critical thinking, social and moral values, evidence of English language proficiency and strong motivation.



As a student in the PhD in Political Economy program, you do not need to worry about student debt. We are here to help you do the math and figure out the best payment plan aligned with your situation. The tuition can be settled via our payment partners below or by bank transfer.

Tuition valid as of October 22, 2018. For more details please contact the administration at administration@swissmc.ch or +41 (0)44 586 5696.

We offer two payment options:

You may settle the entire tuition in a single payment of € 14,500 (no further costs apply).

The tuition can be settled via online payment or by bank transfer.

Flexible payment schedules available on demand – you will be contacted by our administration after applying with our application form.

The tuition can be settled via our payment partners below or by bank transfer.


Due to the flexible structure of the program, enrollment is on an ongoing basis. Supported through the asynchronous method of studying, admitted students may commence their studies at any time in alignment with their personal and professional commitments.



We’re here to help answer your questions. Our student helpdesk is on hand to help inform you of every aspect regarding your topic. Simply fill the contact form if you need any support. We take great pride in using our expertise for you and look forward to hearing from you.

We are located at Bahnhofstrasse 20, 6300 Zug, Switzerland.
You can also call us on +41 (0)44 586 5696.