Taught course

Doctor of Business Administration

London Metropolitan University · Guildhall School of Business and Law
DBA by taught

Entry requirements

The DBA is designed for those who already have appropriate business experience In order to provide a contextual setting for their research, candidates must have the ability and opportunity to carry out detailed research activity in one or more organisations. Access to and support from the appropriate organisation(s) is considered critical in terms of initial selection of candidates and for the duration of the programme. Candidates will be well qualified in their chosen field and will normally have already gained an MBA or other business-related master’s degree or equivalent qualification, together with a sufficient amount and level of business and management experience appropriate to the research being undertaken. However, subject to a successful panel interview, candidates with an undergraduate degree of at least 2:2 in the wider social sciences area coupled with significant relevant business experience are also welcome to apply. Panel interview If the application is assessed to be interesting and relevant to the DBA scope and requirements, the candidate will be invited to an interview, where more information will be sought about the proposed research, and the skills and suitability of the candidate. Candidates will be interviewed by two or more members of the course team about their chosen organisation and research ideas. Topics must be related to management practice in organisations.

Months of entry


Course content

Course overview
The programme seeks to advance your proficiency in applied management, methodology and analytical skills via the critical review and systematic application of appropriate theories and the undertaking of research in order to maximise your performance and decision making abilities in your chosen area.
The course has three mains aims:
  • to contribute to knowledge in the area of organisational studies
  • to contribute to the effectiveness of the organisation in which the research takes place and
  • to enhance the management competence of the researcher
The programme is split into two stages: Stage 1, which is the taught MSc in Applied Management Research, and Stage 2, which is the doctoral investigation.
By the end of the course you will be equipped with the theoretical organisational lenses to proceed with the conceptualisation of organisational phenomena, and the critical skills to challenge the appearance of normality and one-dimensional way of thinking. You'll also gain the research and analytical skills to understand and analyse complex phenomena, and the reflexive skills to challenge your own self and thinking. Most critically, you'll develop the identity of an independent researcher.
These skills are considered essential in order to successfully complete the doctoral thesis. These three areas, i.e. theoretical knowledge, research skills and researcher’s identity, are the building blocks and the strengths of the programme.

Course structure
The first stage of the programme which consists of the taught MSc in Applied Management Research is designed to equip you with the necessary investigative research tools to successfully complete the Masters level course and to prepare you for progression onto the doctoral element of the degree.
The program is designed to encourage reflexivity in the practitioner and is aimed at those employed in management positions who seek to explore their own intellectual knowledge and skills and reflect on key areas of change within their own practice.
The structure and design of the initial stage encourages specific engagement with a variety of approaches to practitioner-based research which underpins the course. The first stage has been designed to provide a logical but adaptable programme of study for individuals who wish to develop their own reflexive skills in their specific area of management and organisational interest.
The executive block mode of delivery during the first stage creates an appropriate learning environment to conduct the intensive and interactive series of activities that underpin the programme and is combined with peer support through a Participatory Research Group and online support through the Virtual Learning Environment, where you are encouraged to interact throughout the duration of the course.
The second stage is structured around milestones set by University regulations, and supported with frequent meetings with the supervisory team, and the doctoral cohort, where you have the opportunity to discuss the progress of your study.
The Master's course (i.e. Stage 1) includes the following modules, which intend to equip the students with the theoretical knowledge, research skills and reflexive capabilities to undertake investigation at the doctoral level as independent researchers:

Organisational Analysis and Research
  • Practice Based Research
  • Reflexivity in Action
  • Research Methods Toolkit
An overall performance of 60% during Stage 1 is considered critical in order for the student to advance into Stage 2, and proceed with the doctoral research.
Stage 2 has no compulsory taught element; you undertake the proposed study working under the supervision of two academics with considerable experience in the area of inquiry. The Doctoral Stage is further supported by workshops and training courses, and the student is encouraged to actively seek and attend in order to further extend the knowledge and expertise in specific areas of research.


Assessment of the first stage is through a mix of approaches including written coursework, presentation, empirical research, and an individual reflective and progressive log.

It is envisaged that both formative and summative feedback, both oral and written, will be provided across both the taught and the research stage of the degree.

On completion of Stage 1, you are expected to present the updated research proposal in front of an academic panel, in order to assess whether the proposed study meets the doctoral research criteria. The decision of the panel will enable you to upgrade to the doctoral stage and work towards the completion of the thesis.

On the doctoral part of the degree, you will be required to complete discrete milestones in terms of your progress. These are set by the University in its regulations covering all postgraduate research qualifications but under the Professional Doctorate, you will be provided with a more structured framework than that is commonly associated with a PhD route.

Together with formal and regular (normally monthly) meetings with supervisors, you'll benefit from structured VLE support where constant updates and virtual tutorials can take place. You will also participate in regular supervised cohort meetings at least once a semester, sharing and presenting ideas; these will be supported by the opportunity for cohort members to meet virtually between these formal supervised meetings.

By the end of the doctoral stage, you'll complete a thesis of c. 60,000 words on a significant practitioner-oriented issue. Aspects of the research should be of a standard to present at an Academic Conference, and be published in the Conference Proceedings.

Career opportunities

Successful candidates will enjoy improved career opportunities in their selected fields and they will have a distinctive qualification to pursue senior management and/or academic positions in a variety of organisations both at national and international levels.

Fees and funding

UK students
Stage 1: £12,150 per year; Stage 2: £7,200 per year
International students
Stage 1: £14,400 per year; Stage 2: £12,480 per year

Qualification and course duration

DBA by taught

full time
36 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
020 7133 4202