The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctorate programme designed to develop applied research for managers in business, public services and non-profit organisations. Delroy Dennis, a public sector manager from the Bahamas, joined the DBA programme in 2021.

Throughout my tenure as a manager in the public sector, particularly in the Ministry of National Security, I have completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Edinburgh Napier University. To gain greater expertise in business, I pursued a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Edinburgh Napier University to build upon the knowledge gained via my master’s degree in business. 

I chose the DBA over the PhD because the PhD focuses on the 'theory' underpinning business management. In contrast, a DBA focuses on the 'practical' concepts or real-world applications which can be applied to the business context. Furthermore, I am uninterested in pursuing a career in academia. As a business professional, I am more focused on advancing my career in the business industry and the Public Sector. 

The professional Doctorate offered by Edinburgh Napier University sparked my interest over other universities because of the University's design to develop applied research for managers in business in public services and non-profit organisations, and their ability to blend theoretical evidence with practical experience based on the business context.  

I'm highly appreciative of the professionalism and positive attitudes of the professors and supervisors at Edinburgh Napier University Business School. They are always available and willing to guide each participant throughout the DBA process. The professors at the Business School not only taught me academic concepts and frameworks, but they also focused on how I could apply the knowledge learned in different circumstances. The virtual classroom environment allowed me to connect with numerous global participants, which improved my learning from various business managers in understanding international companies' behaviours and organisational preferences on some of their internal challenges and the methods used to curtail those challenges.

Experience is the teacher of all things, and I'm truly enjoying the experience and knowledge I have obtained during the DBA programme at Edinburgh Napier University Business School.

Delroy Dennis

DBA Student

Earning a doctorate is a challenging and rewarding process to improve my success. I set realistic expectations understanding the gravity of the difference between the DBA and the master’s degree. Additionally, I am very institutional about my time management – by proactively managing my time I ensured that I was fully committed to each task, prioritising the most important things such as family events, and giving myself a time frame to complete my assignments. I have a vibrant support system from my family, employer, and the University, who provide supervisors/advisors who guide me.  

My research is on the strategic financial response of institutional leaders in the public sector during economic hardship. The study allowed me to discover various activities and best practices – based on theoretical evidence – which I'm currently applying in my new role as a section head at the Ministry of National Security.

My advice for someone thinking about enrolling in a DBA programme is to determine what works best for you: full-time, part-time or online. The DBA programme offered by Edinburgh Napier University is part-time and primarily online. Participants can pursue their careers while also completing an advanced business degree at a reputable, accredited international university. The workshops and modules offered by the University support distance learning and development as an independent researcher. Therefore, each participant will be provided with the relevant workshop slides and other helpful material to improve success in completing the doctorate program.

What does completing the DBA programme mean for my career? Firstly, the DBA programme is developing my problem-solving skills, which are needed for executive-level employees in the Public Sector. Secondly, the skills learnt, such as research methods and data analysis, are applied in my business context. Lastly, though the DBA is focused on practical contributions, there are opportunities for me to pursue an academic or non-academic career. Many other sectors seek doctoral degree holders due to the advanced skills offered. While I am more interested in its practical application in the public sector, if I so desire in the future, I can pursue an academic career to teach business and business "best practices" to improve success.