Research course

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

University of Worcester · Worcester Business School

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to be active experienced professionals who have recently (within the last 6 years) been awarded a relevant Masters qualification. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they have a minimum of three years senior management / business experience. We are now recruiting for a January 2018 start. All applicants must complete the application form and submit this to the University of Worcester’s Research School. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2017 with interviews being held at the end of November.

Months of entry


Course content

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctoral degree designed to enhance business leadership and professional practice.

The programme is designed to provide an opportunity for business professionals to work creatively by analysing and synthesising research literature, and their own research evidence, to understand their own professional contexts more critically and to find solutions to key challenges in their working environment. In doing so it is envisaged that our students will become (and ultimately lead) communities of practice for their profession. The degree is delivered as part of a University professional doctorate programme.
The Professional Doctorate award is distinct from the PhD award in the following respects:
  • There is a considerable weighting given to a taught component which comprises an integral and key part of the programme, and the assessment of the taught component contributes directly towards the final award.
  • The thesis produced by Professional Doctorate students will make an original contribution to knowledge within the relevant area or areas of professional practice.
The benefits of the DBA are both organisational and personal. Research-led insights are likely to impact greatly on practice; the professionals undertaking the DBA developing as a result.

The Professional Doctorate is designed for busy working professionals so the taught programme begins with a one-week workshop followed by ten in depth teaching blocks delivered either by face-to-face meetings or by virtual tutorial, delivered over an 18 month period, to complement your workload.

The taught programme is shared across our three Professional Doctorate Programmes therefore offering you the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the health and education disciplines.

Although the delivery is described as ‘taught’, at DBA level the delivery is about a process of professional critical engagement between academic staff and participants. The learning process includes lectures, facilitated discussions and participant presentations, as well as online interaction and workshops focusing on aspects of professional culture and the research process. These activities are informed not only by knowledge and skills relevant to the modules, but are importantly based around the research questions and issues brought to the programme by those involved.

The research stage of your programme usually takes 2-3 years to complete and will culminate in the production of a 50,000 word thesis that will be examined by viva. It is expected that you will commence the thesis stage of the programme following notification that you have passed the taught element of the programme.

Information for international students

A full-time/International version of the DBA is not currently available.

Fees and funding

UK students
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International students
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Qualification and course duration


part time
36-48 months

Course contact details

Graduate Research School
01905 855214