PhD in Strategic Communication Management

Studies > PhD in Strategic Communication Management

PhD in Strategic Communication Management

The doctoral study programme Strategic Communication Management is an interdisciplinary study, focusing on new strategic managerial values (personal, intercultural, economic, political, cultural, artistic, religious, health-related, scientific, global, regional, national, and local), leadership competences, soft skills and communication.

Over the course of six academic quarters, the PhD programme focuses on theoretical and methodological approaches to the Humanities and a variety of social approaches to the field of communication. Moreover, strategic managerial skills and profound knowledge of communication management lies at the heart of this particular PhD programme.

Doctor of Science in Communication Management

Duration of programme
6 semesters

180 ECTS credits


Online, part-time

Programme start
October 2021

Occupational Areas


Nowadays, organisations of all kinds are expected to be both rhetorically and aesthetically convincing, and to formulate strategic visions and goals convincingly. Members are also supposed to be integrated with shared values and symbols of identification – often across physical and cultural distances. The aim is to be able to predict the attitudes and demands of the growing number of shareholders, and then manage the relationship across various media.

In other words, organisations are expected to be able to organise and manage messages to and from a variety of recipients across formal organisational boundaries. As a result, communication has become a strategic management concern that includes leadership and human resources as well as marketing, public relations, and advertising.

Occupational Areas

A PhD allows you to take the next step in your career. A PhD is a prerequisite for a leadership position in many areas. It also provides the opportunity to devote a lot of time to a topic and become a real expert in this field.

After successful completion of the programme, you will be able to work in the following areas and many more:

  • Public relations
  • Leading media, economic and political campaigns
  • Managing crisis communication
  • Corporate communication
  • Press office – corporations and political groups
  • Media relations
  • Communicology research
  • Political marketing
  • Communicology specialists for work in institutes and higher education institutions (researchers)
  • PR agencies – management
  • Strategic and communication counselling
  • Communication analysis of competition (benchmarking and SWOT analysis)
  • Strategic communication in tourism, etc.

Details on the programme schedule

Structured doctorate

In addition to an individual doctorate, which is still the most frequent form of acquiring a PhD in Germany, the “structured doctorate” has become firmly established in recent years.
The “structured” doctorate is distinguished from the “individual doctorate” by some special formal features, but it primarily strengthens the professional and social integration of the doctoral students compared to an individual doctorate.
The doctorate programme covers a standard period of 3 years, including completion of the dissertation and completion of the oral doctoral examination. 180 ECTS credits must be earned.

Programme requirements

The following must be completed in the course of doctoral studies:

  • At the end of the first academic year, the candidate has to submit a completed dissertation concept of about 25 pages (6 ECTS) to the examination secretariat. The dissertation concept is assessed as passed or not passed by both supervisors. Exceeding the deadline for submission will result in the loss of admission to the doctorate programme, unless the doctoral candidate is not responsible for exceeding the deadline.
  • In the course of the doctorate programme, doctoral seminars and case studies are to be attended in which oral presentations are to be held

Participation in the curriculum

The choice of programme and admission to a programme usually entails a thematic focus. Doctoral students in a programme therefore not only regularly attend the specialist colloquium of their supervisor, but can also benefit from a generous range of additional courses that are specially tailored to the programme’s goals and the needs of its doctoral students. By participating in courses and workshops, both within the framework of the degree and across programmes, you will benefit from the opportunity to discuss and network.


Supervision and mentoring in the programmes is distributed among several persons (at least two, often three) who advise on dissertations in a team. A supervision agreement signed by all supervisors, the doctoral student and the spokesperson of the programme sets minimum standards and formulates the expectations of both parties. Naturally, the aim of these agreements is not to further formalise the doctorate in legal terms, but to increase the binding nature of agreements and advisory meetings and to improve the overall supervision.

Difficulties that repeatedly arise while working on the dissertation and which easily impair progress for weeks can be discussed and solved quickly and simply with other doctoral students. And since there usually is a programme coordinator, you also have a contact person for questions and problems that are not directly related to your dissertation.

Admission requirements

  • Completion of a first professional degree in a subject closely related to the curriculum offered and that corresponds to the acquisition of at least 120 ECTS credits (Diploma / Master's degree or an equivalent domestic or foreign degree).
  • One of the most important admission requirements for the doctorate is the sponsorship of one of the research professors in programme, in which he or she agrees to supervise the candidate’s planned doctoral project. Applicants should therefore familiarise themselves with the research areas of the faculty members and contact potential supervisors before applying for admission. This contact and the preliminary agreement should be indicated in the research project’s description. This precondition is intended to ensure that no doctoral student is left without a supervisor after enrolling in the programme. The commitment is provisional and the supervisors of the thesis may be changed after the start of the programme if all parties involved agree. This is especially the case if the project should be redefined later on.