What is a DBA?

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctoral degree with an international scope and reputation. This programme is designed to enhance executive and professional practice through the application of sound theory and rigorous research into real and complex issues in business and management. It enhances the capability to develop knowledge and theory, and their application. Key to this is a programme to develop personal, consultancy and research skills in the context of rigorous and relevant research.

In the current business climate, it is increasingly important for business managers and leaders to update and advance their business knowledge and skills. It offers the opportunity for those who wish to make a career progression from middle/senior manager level to the board level.

The three core themes on which the DBA is founded are – Value Creation, Strategy and Leadership. When integrated, these management skills are an essential formula for all businesses seeking to deliver sustainable value to shareholders.

What are the aims?

The DBA will enable you to:

Develop a sound understanding of the relevant conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research into business and management

Have a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic and management enquiry

Create and interpret knowledge through original research. Enhance both your performance as a reflective practitioner and your professional practice

Develop personal, consultancy and research competences to undertake rigorous research at an advanced level that contributes to theory and practice in business and management

Who should consider a DBA?

The programme will be of benefit to experienced senior executives, consultants, management educators and business school academics. The DBA will enhance professional capability and credibility, develop networks, and provide a firm foundation for further career development or a major career move. Employers benefit from supporting candidates for the DBA by attracting, developing and retaining key talent and building knowledge for competitive advantage.

DBA and PhDs – Equal but Different

The DBA has both rigour and relevance as it contributes to theory and practice in business and management. The DBA typically focuses on research ‘in’ organisations rather than research ‘on’ organisations. It is more likely to involve cross-disciplinary work and mixed methods and contributes to developing students' practice and development.

Duration: 3 years


» A UK Master's level degree with merit or an equivalent recognised University/Institution Master's Degree qualification in business, management or relevant subject areas or have a good Masters level degree in a cognate subject area or field of study.

» Overall IELTS 6.5 or equivalent with a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and a minimum of 5.5 in listening and speaking components

» Candidates are normally required to have relevant management experience

Course Plan: The DBA programme has two parts:

↘ Part one of the Programme

Stage one of the programme is composed initially of eight taught compulsory core modules, each of which is studied in an allocated learning period of typically eight weeks duration. Seven of these modules carry 20 credits each and Research Methodologies is a 40-credit module amounting to 180 credits in Stage One of programme. In each of these modules, candidates study a core aspect of the discipline. The overall learning experience in Stage One,therefore, provides an integrated programme of directed studies, which forms the foundation for further independent study and research in Stage Two of the programme.

Core Modules:

» Value Creation for Business
» Strategic Thinking and Critical Analysis
» Strategy Road Maps
» Leading Innovation and Change
» Organisational Transformation
» Value Management
» Interpersonal Leadership
» Research Methodologies

↘ Part two of the Programme

In Stage Two of the programme, candidates are required to propose an area and field of study, which is sufficiently comprehensive and challenging to meet the requirements of a thesis/research project submission amounting to 360 credits at Level 8. All topic/titles and thesis/research project areas are required to be approved by the University Research Degree Committee and are also subject to Ethics approval before candidates progressing to Stage Two study (Doctoral Thesis)

Career Options Do I Have with a DBA

Although there are many career options for graduates of DBA programs, your area of specialisation and a specific career goals will dictate your career path. Some of the more common DBA program tracks are finance, accounting, marketing, strategy and operations management.

Once you have your degree, you are eligible for upper management and executive positions in research organisations, firms, banks and other types of businesses. You may advance within your current company into a broader role or seek employment in another company that offers better advancement opportunities. Some of the job titles that you might consider pursuing include operations manager, chief financial officer, dean of business, chief executive officer, senior managerial consultant and director of human resource management.  

Many graduates become business professors and combine teaching with research in their area of expertise. Business professors generally work in colleges and universities but may also teach in professional schools, junior colleges and business training centres.

Interested in this course?