Research course

Doctor of Business Administration

Nottingham Trent University · Nottingham Business School

Entry requirements

You will need an MPhil, MBA or Masters-level degree in Business, Management or Organisation Studies.

Further entry requirements:

  • significant experience in a senior management post
  • the ability to conduct research and write a thesis at doctoral level.

Those without a Masters qualification but with significant work experience and evidence can undergo a process of Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning.

Applicants with non-standard entry requirements and / or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Months of entry


Course content

The NBS Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is one of the oldest in the UK and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and in this time, we have had over 100 completions. The programme continues to attract chief executive officers and senior managers from around the globe, with participants from many prestigious private and publication organisations, including CapGemini Iberia, the United Nations, Nova Business School, the Oman Embassy in the US and KPMG, amongst others.

The NBS DBA is designed to improve your business and managerial practice through the development of your personal, intellectual and academic abilities, via a research-based project. It has a strong and committed focus on managerial and professional practice, and seeks to link the rigorous study of work-based problems and issues to personal and professional development, thereby ensuring transfer of learning into organisational and managerial practice.

Our DBA demands commitment, energy and hard work. In return you will be provided with a stimulating and life-enhancing development experience with the award of an increasingly valued qualification.

Whilst there is no such thing as a typical DBA student, our applicants have to hold a masters in a relevant discipline, be senior managers in full time employment and have a minimum of 5 years senior management experience. The programme is taught and assessed in English, therefore applicants are expected to have an appropriate level of spoken and written language proficiency.

The DBA is designed to help you:

  • Explore the relationship between theory and practice, between understanding the world and changing it
  • Develop your judgement, foresight, and problem analysis by applying theoretical and forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations
  • Develop you as a reflective practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with organisational change and ambiguity
  • Develop communication skills which will enable you to communicate effectively with both academic and managerial and business communities, and to act as interpreters between the two
  • Help you design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge in your professional and managerial fields and thus make a contribution to academic knowledge and professional practice
  • We are 7th for the number of Research Doctorates studying Business & administrative studies (HESA data 2016/17)

Why study for the DBA at Nottingham Business School?

The Doctorate of Business Administration is a research-based qualification and has the same academic standing as a PhD. As a student you can therefore expect a challenging, stretching, and demanding experience conducted in a stimulating atmosphere of intellectual and academic debate.

Our DBA aims to have a wider impact and real-world influence, enabling you to make an important contribution to society, culture and business. Project topics tend to focus on strategic issues that are present within the applicant’s organisation and are sufficiently complex to warrant a large-scale research study.

The NBS DBA is aligned to the level 8 of the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and AACSB Standard 9. NBS is an active member of a number of international doctoral councils including the Arts & Humanities and the Health, Energy and Social Policy Research Council Doctoral Training Partnerships, Vitae, the ESRC Midlands Graduate School, the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC), the European Institute for Advanced Management Studies (EIASM) and the Association of Business Schools DBA Steering Group. Participation in these fora enable the programme leaders to network and influence initiatives pertaining to doctoral studies, such as the development of doctoral standards.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

The programme is delivered through a series of five modules and participants form Action learning sets intended to provide mutual support.

Course contact details

Admissions Team
+44 (0)115 848 2999