DBA Study

Transform Your Business: Make an Impact

The DBA programme is cohort-based, with groups of up to 10 candidates mentored throughout their research degree by an expert academic team. The degree takes 4 to 6 years to complete.

The DBA is designed for practising managers with the experience and roles to facilitate impactful change within their organisations as a result of their research.

Whilst the programme contains some taught elements designed to enhance research skills and capabilities,the final award of the Doctorate is based on a portfolio of original research, presented in a thesis.

Is the DBA right for me?

Professional doctorates are for practising managers with the experience and roles which will facilitate impactful change in their organisations as a result of their research. Professional doctorates contain significant taught elements, but the final award of the doctorate is based on a portfolio of work, presented in a thesis. In the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), the professional doctorate is the DBA, which is a Doctorate in Business Administration. The DBA is located within the Centre for Business in Society, one of FBL’s dedicated research centres.

The DBA process

Stage one

Creating the foundation for the DBA: establishing the research question, context and methodology.

Stage two

Conducting the research: one or several practical focused projects.

Stage three

Assembling the thesis: critical reflection on reseach findings, implementation and observation of 'change'.


Candidates must apply through the University’s Research Admissions Process.

This includes an explanation of the subject area likely to form the focus of the studies leading to the final research thesis, showing how their own experiences, roles and career plan underpin this selection.  However, a full research proposal is not expected at this stage; this will be produced during phase one of the DBA.

Candidates will need to produce evidence of their academic qualifications or professional experience. They will need to have two references, plus evidence that funding is secure for their fees and that a practitioner mentor has been selected.

Short-listed candidates will be interviewed before a place on the programme is recommended.

Candidates must have:

i) a postgraduate Master’s degree with Merit or above, or with a minimum overall average mark of 60% or above, in a relevant discipline/subject area and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element or equivalent; OR

ii) a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a relevant discipline/subject area, or an approved equivalent award, with a minimum mark of 60% in the project element or equivalent; OR

iii) appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement.

Additional requirements are that candidates:

i) have a minimum of five years’ practitioner experience in a relevant field;

ii) are undertaking a role within an appropriate setting that will allow the implementation of innovation and change necessary to meet the requirements of the programme;

iii) have an identified mentor who is an experienced practitioner in a relevant field.

Dr Harjit Sekhon
DBA Strategic Director
Centre for Business in Society


Dr Carlos Ferreira
DBA Academic Director
Centre for Business in Society