Research course

Doctorate in Business Administration

Liverpool John Moores University · Liverpool Business School

Entry requirements

  • A master's degree in the area of business and/or management
  • At least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience

International requirements

  • IELTS: In addition to the outlined entry requirements for home applicants, you will be expected to demonstrate a good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no single component below 6.0) or equivalent.
  • LJMU welcomes applications from international candidates. Most of the studying and learning will be undertaken via distance learning in your home country and there are only a small number of residential days in Liverpool required.

Extra Requirements
In order to make an application to the programme you need to provide the following documents via the online application:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Master's certificate and transcript in the area of business and/or management – these must be official English translations
  • Evidence of at least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience – this can be e.g. a confirmation by your current employer or a reference letter from a former employer
  • An academic reference, which recommends you for the programme – this can be e.g. from your master's institution
  • An industry reference, which recommends you for the programme – this can be e.g. from your employer, from a client and/or professional body
  • Personal statement (max. 2,000 words) – this is not a full research proposal, but should address why you would like to do a DBA, why you think you are suitable for the programme and what you expect from the DBA. You should furthermore provide a brief outline of your research topic and its contribution to theory and practice, including:
  • title of your research
  • introduction of your research
  • literature review of current studies
  • research methods
  • contribution of your research.

How your application is considered:

  • The application is screened to ensure the candidate meets the entry requirements and has submitted all their supporting documents.
  • If the candidate meets the minimum entry requirements and all documents have been received, the application is passed to the appropriate academics within the School for consideration and to identify a suitable supervisory team.
  • The DBA Team and/or an appropriate academic member of staff will interview the applicant and make a decision following the interview. For applicants in the UK, they are invited to attend the interview in person at Liverpool Business School. For applicants based elsewhere, the interview will normally take place by telephone, Skype or Adobe Connect.

Months of entry


Course content

LJMU’s DBA provides senior executives and managers with the opportunity to achieve the highest academic degree while remaining in full-time employment.
  • Equivalent to a PhD, the DBA is ideal for those who would like a doctoral level qualification whilst remaining in their chosen professional career
  • Focus on situational issues from your own workplace, whilst continuing your employment
  • Enhance not only your ability to develop new knowledge, but also the ability to apply that knowledge to a professional context
  • Gain the necessary skills to carry out rigorous research
  • Carry out individual projects that impact on your organisation and industry
  • Undertake your research amongst a carefully-selected, highly diverse group of professionals, drawn from a wide range of nationalities, industries, cultures and backgrounds
  • Develop your skills and meet your supervisors at a number of residential workshops in Liverpool
Our strong cohort-focused ethos
You will develop a strong and engaging cohort identity by joining a group of like-minded senior professionals and apply your research directly to the needs of your business, driving forward organisational progress without putting your learning or your business on hold. You will contribute to commercial and academic knowledge and, on graduation, will possess a specialist range of problem solving and decision making strategies that will take you to the next level of success.
The DBA at Liverpool Business School is unique in its design and structure and the level of support it provides to the candidates. It has been running successfully for 14 years.
The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced business professionals. A DBA will enhance professional capability and credibility, enable you to 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.
Liverpool Business School is a member of the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC) and, as such, we believe in fostering excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programmes.
Becoming a scholar-practitioner
Being a scholar-practitioner comes with the responsibility of being able to use scholarly research methods in order to make an impactful contribution to professional practice.
You will learn to simultaneously navigate both practitioner and academic worlds to develop strategies to understand a complex work-based problem. You will use your experience and expertise as a starting point, to enable you to engage with the academic body of knowledge to make sense of the intricacies of becoming a scholar-practitioner.
The DBA will enable you to develop a sound understanding of the relevant conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen are of research into business and management. By learning research techniques for advanced academic and management enquiry you will be able to carry out your own original research. In becoming a scholar-practitioner you will enhance your professional practice, as well as contribute to theory and practice in business and management.
In contrast to a PhD, a DBA requires a contribution to both theory and practice. Candidates on the DBA are therefore required to demonstrate that they make an impact on the development of a profession and/or an organisation.
This impact can be demonstrated within the organisation the candidate is employed in or in another organisation, including professional bodies or policy. This close link to industry and practice can be highly beneficial for the employer too, with many previous DBA research projects resulting in large financial savings for organisations that candidates implemented them in.
As part of the course, you will benefit from the following:
Workshops (year 1 – 3 only)
  • 4 residential workshops each 5 days long at Liverpool Business School
  • Catering throughout the day
  • Accommodation for 4 nights for each workshop
  • Networking event during each workshop
  • Supervision throughout the duration of your doctoral studies by a qualified DBA supervisory team.
Other opportunities and events
  • Global engagement and participation with our collaborative partner programme at SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Participation in the DBA Writing Retreats, both virtually and face-to-face
  • Participation in the Faculty Doctoral Conference
  • Participation in research methods training offered by NARTI (Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative)
  • Access to thousands of academic journals and books including e-books
You also have access to the doctoral facilities at LBS whenever you decide to come to Liverpool.
Liverpool Business School at Liverpool John Moores University is a member of AACSB International- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
AACSB International is a global association of leaders in education and business dedicated to supporting and advancing quality business education worldwide. Through membership, accreditation, research, thought leadership, professional development, and advocacy, AACSB partners with over 1,500 organisations, from more than 90 countries globally. Membership or participation in the Global Education Alliance does not imply accreditation.

Information for international students

View country specific entry requirements

Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Fees and funding

Please see the course page for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • DBA
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
0151 231 5090