Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

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Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Oxstalls, Gloucester

This programme is for executives able to engage in major projects inside their employing organisations. It benefits you, makes a contribution to knowledge, and can significantly develop your organisation. You can address a wide range of research topics, from consumer behaviour to management accounting, or leadership to production control. The key is that you are able to develop doctoral work that has relevance to theory and practice.

The DBA is a structured route to doctoral-level achievement. The initial pre-thesis modular element lasts 18 months, after which you present your formal research plan. You then enter the thesis phase, which lasts a minimum of a further 18 months. At its conclusion, you present and defend a thesis in a viva voce exam. You achieve an understanding and perception of managerial work that is difficult to obtain by other means. The DBA provides a vocational and professional doctorate that is better suited to your needs, and that of your industry, than a more traditional PhD. DBA classes are limited to a maximum of 20 participants who benefit from a collaborative learning environment.

Based in our new, purpose-built Business School at our Oxstalls Campus, Gloucester, our postgraduate students develop themselves professionally, build their connections and enhance their knowledge and skills on our range of flexible courses, many of which are accredited by industry bodies. Our lecturers are current and active business professionals, experts and researchers who apply real-world industry experience to their teaching.


Reflective professional development

This develops practices of deep ongoing reflection on your business experience, research topic and broader contexts, and is a continuous stream throughout the pre-thesis phase of the programme.

Systematic literature review

You are introduced to theoretical frameworks and approaches to systematically and critically review the body of literature relative to your thesis, to help you develop your research problem.

Methodological fundamentals

Gives you a core platform for research thinking and ensures you have considered your own philosophical position and specifically its implications for the methodologies that you might use. It also lays the foundation for discussion of research ethics.

Research methods and analysis

You will consider a range of different research methods and their principles to determine which will be most appropriate to use in your research, and why.

This is a critical decision in your research design and it can profoundly influence your thesis outcomes develop towards higher executive positions in your chosen profession, through demonstrating Doctoral-level expertise.

Get Doctorate in Business Administration course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic
  • A minimum of two years’ post-qualification professional practice and ability to demonstrate professional competence of a high standard in the relevant research area
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent 


Fees - 2020/21 Academic Year
Home Students
Full-Time Fees Part-Time Fees
Year 1 £7638 £7637
Year 2 £7638 £7637
Year 3 £7638 £7637
Year 4+ £7638 £7637
International Students
Full-Time Fees Part-Time Fees
Year 1 £7638 £7637
Year 2 £7638 £7637
Year 3 £7638 £7637
Year 4+ £7638 £7637

For further information on our tuition fee policy please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.

Dr. Philippa Ward

Staff Profile

Dr. Philippa Ward

Reader in Services Marketing

"With over 25 years of retail and academic experience, Philippa has a range of journal and book publications, over 20 doctoral completions and a similar number of examinations. Her research centres on the effects of the in-store environment on customers, de-shopping, and retail theatre. These areas are also the focus of her doctoral supervisions. This interest in retailing was generated through her management roles within Debenhams and Asda. She also continues to work with a number of retailers, manufacturers and marketing agencies as a consultant. Philippa is also a Head of the Marketing and Retail Analysis Research Centre – where research on issues including consumer behaviour and services marketing is located."


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Join one of the largest DBA programmes in Europe

With around 150 candidates working across 5 continents, the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

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DBA study in the UK or Germany

2018 sees us celebrate ten successful years of working closely with IHP, our official German DBA partner. IHP has introduced us to many high-calibre German DBA applicants and more than 40 of them have now graduated from our programme. If you are interested in studying the taught element of the DBA in Munich, Germany, please visit their website.

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Benefit from additional training opportunities

The School of Business and Technology runs a number of additional training sessions on subjects such as developing a research proposal, doctoral authoring, and preparation for the viva. It also organises an annual Doctoral Colloquium where research papers are presented to a scholarly audience.

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