Research course

Doctorate in Business Administration

Staffordshire University · Staffordshire Business School

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Entry requirements

Educational qualifications You must have a first degree in any subject and have (or expect to acquire prior to starting) a Masters degree in Management (MBA, MA or MSc) from a UK University or the equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution. Practitioner experience You must have senior management experience of at least 5 years pre- or post-Masters qualification. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without a Masters qualification will be considered where they have substantial compensating business and/or professional experience (a minimum of 10 years senior management experience), and, a high score first degree (Upper Second Class minimum) in an appropriate field (e.g. Business, Management, Organisation Studies), plus other relevant experience (e.g. research training) would be considered. English language competency The DBA is conducted in English, with the final thesis written and examined in English. Participants whose first language is not English or who have not already studied successfully in an English-speaking environment will be required to provide evidence of advanced proficiency in English. Recent minimum lELTS 7 will be required. Initial research interest proposal In conjunction with the initial inquiry form obtained from the award administrator a research proposal of approximately 1500-2000 words, indicating the academic and practitioner fields of proposed inquiry is to be submitted prior to any consideration of candidate’s suitability for the programme. This submission is important to determine the University’s adequacy to future supervise the prospective participant at the thesis research stage (years 3 & 4). Candidates must be prepared to be called for discussion to explore their interest further.

Months of entry


Course content

  • A part-time professional doctorate with a broad and flexible research-based programme
  • Explore management and organizational research interests in context with your professional role
  • Investigate practice, policies and theories relating to management and organizational studies to an advanced depth
  • Delivery and supervision by a highly supportive academic team
  • Work to achieve the DBA over 4 years of part-time study (maximum 6)
  • Attractive to professionals from private, public and third-stream organizations
  • Has attracted participants globally
  • Offers usually two entry opportunities each year
  • Associated with the University’s Centre for Applied Business Research (CABR)

The world of business and commerce demands highly competent professionals – individuals who are equipped with the abilities to make key decisions and face strategic challenges head on. Such people need to be able to support their judgments with evidence-based data, resulting from being able to focus deeply and critically on the work they do, and bring measurable change to their organization. This is the role of the Doctorate in Business Administration.

The Doctorate in Business Administration (equivalent to the PhD) is the highest qualification achievable in Higher Education (Level 8). It is a natural choice for practising managers and senior professional practitioners who wish to pursue their academic, personal and career development beyond Masters Level (Level 7) through a rigorous and challenging programme of study and research. The DBA is aimed at those who want to make a difference to the way that management and professional practice in the fields of organisation and management will be developed in the future.

Programme of Study

The course is organised as a 2 (years) plus 2 (years) award structure:

Years 1 & 2: Developing critical knowledge and contextualised understanding of; contemporary issues and challenges to management, and principles of research design. Advancing contemporary issues and challenges to management, and research methods and analyses. Research design, consisting of a ‘literature review’ that ‘reflects’ the participant’s developing line-of-inquiry, and the completion of the ‘research proposal’. There is also the development of the first stage ‘Reflective Practice-into-Theory’ Portfolio.

Years 3 & 4: The continued development of a ‘Reflective Practice-into-Theory’ Portfolio, and the research and development of an extended academic project (Thesis).

  • Either three blocks of four days, or two blocks of six days, during years 1 & 2, and research thesis supervision years 3 & 4
  • Six taught and facilitated modules for first two years
  • Reflective management portfolio developed over life of the programme
  • Thesis submission at the end of year four

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Enquiries Team
+44 (0)1782 294400