Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The Doctor of Business Administration is a professional doctorate programme designed to develop applied research for managers in business, public services and non-profit organisations. The programme is aimed at senior managers and leaders currently employed in an organisation that is committed to the continuing development of its employees.

The DBA blends theoretical learning with practical experience based on a business context to create a reflective practitioner. Rather than working towards a single output, the DBA is assessed by combining continuous evaluation with a major research project focusing on the participant’s workplace. The learning outcomes of the DBA Programme are set out below.

Delegates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • undertake research, critical investigation and evaluation of an approved topic in their professional area;
  • integrate rigorous academic/critical analysis with practical relevance and application;
  • make meaningful links from the research findings in the thesis/portfolio to the profession; and, clearly communicate their work and disseminate ideas to fellow professionals in order to develop practice and enhance the professional generally

The DBA programme is equivalent to the PhD in terms of application, originality of work and contribution to business knowledge.

Entry requirements

Academic: For admission to the DBA programme, applicants should be currently employed in a senior management role and have an MBA or a Masters qualification in a relevant area, coupled with relevant work experience in a senior management role (usually 5 years).

Exceptionally, applicants who do not have a recognised formal qualification may be considered on the basis of extensive senior management experience and evidence of appropriate academic ability.

English language: You will also need excellent English written and oral communication skills to undertake a professional doctorate. We may ask you to provide evidence of your ability to read, speak, write and listen in English. Your English ability can be demonstrated in a number of ways, but as a guideline, we expect an IELTS score of at least 7.0. Further details are available in our English Language Policy.

References: All applicants for DBA must include two references. One should be an academic reference and one should be a professional reference.

Intakes and deadlines

Our standard entry time for the DBA is October, but you may submit your application at any time and it will be considered for the next available intake.

The deadline for applications for October 2018 entry is Friday 17th August 2018.


You can find information about our fees here.

Formal applications

Applications should be made online to join our DBA programme

Documents to include

  • Two references, using the Research Academic References Form
  • A personal research statement. This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of what you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction. If you are not responding to an advertised project, then your personal research statement will need to include an outline of the project you are proposing.

What's next?

After you've submitted your application, the postgraduate admissions team will send it to the Business School for consideration. Once the School has made a decision, the admissions team will email you to let you know whether you have been selected for interview.

Contact us

Email the postgraduate admissions team:

The postgraduate admissions team will be able to give you general advice on the application process.

University Terms & Conditions

The University’s Terms & conditions aim to provide applicants and students with key information they need to know before starting their studies. The Terms & Conditions are updated annually each year.