Programmes by Coursework & Research

Programme by Coursework and Research (mixed-mode) is a combination of coursework and research activities. The assessment depends upon both the coursework and dissertation (research work). The component for the coursework is not more than 50% and the dissertation contributes the other 50%. The mixed mode programme develops the research skill of the students on top of enhancing the theoretical knowledge of the subject area.

Academic Duration

AeU academic year is divided into three (3) semesters

  • January
  • May
  • September
Semester Duration in Weeks
Study weeks 14
End of Semester Examination 1
End of Semester Break 2
Study weeks 14
End of Semester Examination 1
End of Semester Break 3
Study weeks 14
End of Semester Examination 1
End of Semester Break 2
Grand Total 52

Subject Registration (Audit Courses)

Credit Load / Limit Per Semester

  • The total credit hours for part-time students shall normally be 9 credit hours (approx 3 subjects) in a semester
  • The total credit hours for full-time students shall normally be 15 credit hours (approx 5 subjects) in a semester
  • Students are allowed to register for more credit hours in a semester with the approval of the Dean, subject to the students’ academic performance
  • For programmes in modular mode, the total credit hours at each registration shall normally be 6 credit hours

Registration Period

  • Registration is open until the fifth (5th) week of the semester

Adding and Dropping Subjects

Credit Load / Limit Per Semester

  • Students may ADD subjects within two (2) weeks of the commencement of the semester
  • Students may DROP subjects within seven (7) weeks of the commencement of the semester

Credit Transfer

  • Students may apply for credit transfer for the purpose of obtaining an exemption from one or more subjects required by their programmes because they have taken and passed similar subjects of the same credit value in other institutions
  • Applications for credit transfer shall normally be made within seven (7) weeks of the first semester at the University for new students
  • Applications for credit transfer must be accompanied by the transcripts of examination results and syllabus or outline of the subjects pursued at the relevant institutions

*Detailed information on Credit Transfer can be found in the AeU Student Handbook

Deferment of Study

Programmes by Research

  • Students may apply for deferment of study any time before the final examination week
  • Each application is for one semester of deferment
  • Students are required to inform the University in writing within 2 weeks after the registration of the new semester if they wish to apply for a second deferment
  • Activation fee of RM 50 (Malaysian Students) or USD 30 (International Students) will be charged for each deferred semester upon registration of new semester.

Stages of Programme Structure by Research

Research Proposal

Candidates should conduct an initial literature search and review the existing literature related to the research topic in terms of the  content and methodology. Candidates are required to discuss with their supervisor or supervisory committee member(s) on the focus and purpose of the research proposal as stipulated above.

A Doctoral research proposal should normally be around 30,000 words excluding appendices and references, whereas a proposal for Masters’ degree research programme normally comprises about 6,000 words.

Writing a Research Proposal

The following is a checklist of items which are typically included in a research proposal. Not all of the suggested categories are necessary or appropriate for all studies, and the order of items within chapters may vary somewhat. These items are intended to serve as a guide (Isaac & Michael, 1997).

Typically, the research proposal must use the APA formatting and it consists of three parts as suggested below:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Lists of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Symbols / Abbreviations / Nomenclature / Transliteration
  • Chapter 1  :  Introduction
  • Chapter 2  :  Review of Literature
  • Chapter 3  :  Methodology
  • Research Plan / Timeline
  • Capability of Researcher
  • References
  • Appendices

Submission of Research Proposal 

A candidate is required to submit the SOM 003 (PD) Submission of Thesis Dissertation Proposal, final research proposal and presentation slides (maximum 25 slides) to at least two (2) months before the vetting process.

Research Proposal Defense 

In the proposal defense session, candidate must formally defend the research proposal to the Proposal Defense Committee. During the session, the candidate needs to present the proposal, including the problem identification, background literature and rationale for study, hypotheses, procedural details, analysis plan, and expected limitation. This is the time for dialogue between the candidate and the committee in order to clarify any questions, discuss and negotiate any suggested modification, recommend resources, and provide support to the research efforts of the candidate.

Data Collection 

Permission to Gather Data from Relevant Authorities

A candidate is requested to seek the permission from the relevant bodies of each country that approves the conduct and the ethical considerations of the research before the candidate is allowed to embark onto the proper data gathering procedures.  The letters of consent from the relevant authorities must be disclosed to the supervisor(s) and attached in the thesis as appendix.

Informed Consent and Protection from Harm

Researchers obtain informed consentby ensuring that research participants enter the research of their free will and with the understanding of the nature of the study and any possible dangers that may occur. This requirement is intended to reduce the likelihood that participants will be exploited by a researcher persuading them to participate when they are not fully aware of what the study’s requirements are.

Authenticity of Data

The researcher must declare that the thesis is his/her own work and that all contributions from any other persons or sources are properly and duly cited. The researcher further declares that it does not constitute any previous work whether published or otherwise. Candidate and supervisor(s) have the obligation to ensure the authenticity of data.

Thesis And Dissertation

A thesis, or a dissertation represents the research component of the postgraduate research programme.

At AeU, a thesis contributes to 100% fulfilment of the degree programme through original research under an academic supervision and in a research environment for a prescribed period.

A dissertation contributes to a partial fulfilment of the postgraduate degree by research under a proper academic supervision and in a research environment for a prescribed period.

The thesis, or dissertation demonstrates authority in the candidate’s field and shows evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields.

No Programme Minimum Maximum
1 PhD (Thesis)

(BA, ICT, Humanities, Finance, Social & Behavioural Science)

50,000 80,000
2 PhD (Thesis)


80,000 100,000
3 DBA (Thesis) 35,000 60,000
4 MSc (Dissertation) 30,000 60,000

Writing a Thesis / Dissertation

There are many styles of writing thesis and dissertations. For consistency, students are encouraged to conform to the format approved by AeU.

Typically, the format of thesis and dissertation consists of 3 parts as suggested below.

  • Cover and Spine
  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Approval Page
  • Declaration Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Contents
  • Lists of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Symbols / Abbreviations / Nomenclature / Transliteration
  • Chapter 1  :  Introduction
  • Chapter 2  :  Review of Literature
  • Chapter 3  :  Methodology
  • Chapter 4  :  Results and Discussion
  • Chapter 5  :  Summary, Conclusions and Implications
  • References
  • Appendices

Submission of Thesis / Dissertation

A candidate is required to submit the SOM 006 (VIVA) Notice of Submission of Thesis Dissertation, Table of Contents (TOC) and Abstract of the dissertation/thesis to SOM at at least three (3) months before the actual date of submission of thesis / dissertation and the plagiarism report.

The submission has to be completed during the term of candidature. An unbound copyof the thesis/dissertation shall be submitted to SOM to be checked for conformity to the format requirements. Next, five (5) soft bound copies of the completed dissertation/thesis, plagiarism report and power point slidesmust be submitted to the SOM for examination purpose.

Publication And Authorship


A student is encouraged to publish his/her doctoral work during his/her candidature, especially in an internationally refereed journal, and is advised to refer to the Standards of specific discipline on the number of internationally refereed publications required by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency before graduation.

A student may choose to submit parts or the entire thesis as a series of related papers, or manuscripts intended for publication. This requires prior consent of the supervisor/supervisory committee and appropriate copyright permission.


Single or multiple names of authorship is permissible in the publication, provided that the student has made a substantial contribution to the work. Academic unit guidelines may specify the number and/or order of authors in accordance with discipline practice. The student’s contribution to both the research and the writing of any multi-authored paper must be clearly specified either in the introduction to the thesis or at the beginning of each relevant chapter.

Research Ethics

Research Ethics involves all the moral and professional issues relating to research. The most serious breach of ethical standards in writing research report / dissertation / thesis is the offence of plagiarism: the expropriation of then intellectual property of another. Plagiarism is defined as the use of original work, ideas or actual texts created by others, without acknowledging the original source. Such acknowledgement should be made by:

The use of ideas or words of others must be acknowledged individually in the text.  In addition, each of the work consulted has to be included in the ‘references’ or selected bibliography.

If the quoted citation contains more than four sentences, it should be placed within a paragraph of its own with a 1 cm indentation. For example:

The general theory of relativity, on its own, cannot explain these features or answer these questions because of its prediction that the universe started off with infinite density at the big bang singularity. At the singularity, general relativity and all other physical laws break down: one couldn’t predict what will come out of the singularity (Hawking, 1988:122).

If only part of the quotation is cited, the citation should be marked with an ellipsis (…), for example:

There must be give and take, with the teacher being a participant as well as leader and.., a source of answers’ (Sizer, 7984:9).