Skip to content Skip to navigation


The Doctor of Innovation curriculum consists of the following components: 

Please note that the SMU DBA offers a track on Innovation with effect from the August 2017 Intake. DInn will not accept admission in AY 2017.

Coursework (8 Credit Units)

Students will spend the first year completing their coursework (foundation, core and elective) to prepare for their doctoral dissertation. Course content will include:

  • Innovation Management
  • Design Thinking
  • Research Design and Methods
  • Structured Idea Generation
  • New Product Development
  • Product Platform and Roadmaps
  • Pricing Strategy & Value Extraction
  • Intellectual Property Strategy
  • Business Acceleration
  • Globalisation of Innovations via Branding
  • Distribution Channels
  • Managing Technology-Intensive Product Markets
  • Organisational Innovation Agility and Capabilities

The on campus coursework is designed to fit the schedules of working professionals and courses will be offered in a modular format where classes are held over a weekend every 4-6 weeks. All courses will feature a combination of interactive seminars, coursework and project work.

Qualifying Exam

Upon completing the coursework, students will take the Qualifying Examination which assesses their ability to apply the concepts from the foundation, core and elective courses to practical scenarios.

Empirical Project (4 Credit Units)

In the second year, students will spend approximately 12 weeks on an Empirical Project. This project serves as a preparatory step towards the dissertation, providing students with the opportunity to carry out an empirical analysis and write a short paper.

Dissertation (28 Credit Units)

The Dissertation will address real issues including innovation programmes, practices, policies, case studies, methodologies, management instruments and other equivalent knowledge assets. While students can work on their dissertation project off-campus, they are expected to meet regularly with their dissertation supervisor and advisory committee until the successful completion of their doctoral dissertation.

Students in their second year are expected to form a Dissertation Committee and confirm a Dissertation Supervisor.  The Dissertation Supervisor will serve as the Chair of the Dissertation Committee, which comprises 4-5 members (inclusive of the Chair). The Dissertation Committee should include at least three SMU faculty members and one industry representative.

In Term 2 of the second year, students will prepare their Dissertation Proposal. Students are expected to submit the written Dissertation Proposal and orally defend the Dissertation Proposal to the Dissertation Committee by the end of Term 3.

In the third year, students will commence work on their Doctoral Dissertation under the Dissertation Committee's supervision. The student is expected to submit a written report of the completed dissertation by the end of Term 2 of the fourth year.

After reviewing the written dissertation report, the Dissertation Committee will conduct a final examination in which the student will orally defend his/her dissertation. The Dissertation Committee may also require the dissertation to be revised and resubmitted. After examining the dissertation, the Dissertation Committee will make a recommendation to the SMU Office of Postgraduate Research Programmes regarding the fulfilment of the dissertation requirements for the degree.

Note: It is expected that all dissertation work is to be performed by the student and that his/her report is to be 100% original unless properly cited. 

Information Systems Track with SIS 

SMU's School of Information Systems (SIS) has established itself as a global leader in research and practice across the following six areas:   
i) Cybersecurity;
ii) Data Management & Big Data Analytics;
iii) Intelligent Systems, AI & Decision Analytics;
iv) Software, Cyber‐Physical, and IoT Systems;
v) Socially and Behaviourally Aware Smart Nation Systems & Services, and 
vi) Management Aspects of Information Systems.
Doctor of Innovation students with the appropriate experience and qualifications can do the Information Systems Track under the supervision of our SIS faculty, while simultaneously working with LKCSB faculty on related management aspects.

Programme Schedule

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Modular Courses

Modular Courses

Modular Courses + Qualifying Exam


Empirical Project

Form Dissertation Committee
Prepare Dissertation Proposal

Submit Written Dissertation Proposal
Oral Defense of Proposal
Conduct Dissertation Project


Conduct Dissertation Project

Conduct Dissertation Project
Prepare to defend the Design & Implementation

Conduct Dissertation Project
Present and Defend the Design & Implementation


Conduct Dissertation Project

Conduct Dissertation Project
Submit Written Report of Completed Dissertation

Oral Defense of Dissertation
Revise & Re-submit Dissertation Report
Submit Approved Report to PGR Programme Office



The minimum duration for the programme is three years. Most students, however, are expected to take approximately four years to complete the programme. Students are required to apply for extension of study at least 3 months prior starting of their Year 5 and addtional tuition fee are chargable to students. The maximum duration of the programme is seven years, unless special prior approval for a longer duration has been granted by SMU.

Last updated on 2 Feb 2017.