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.
The DBA aims:
- to explore the relationship between theory and practice, between understanding the world and changing it
- to develop your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations
- to develop you as a reflective practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with organisational change and ambiguity
- to develop communication skills which will enable you to communicate effectively with both academic and managerial / business communities, and to act as interpreters between the two
- to help you design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge in your professional and managerial fields.
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.
Established approaches to advanced study through independent research are traditionally focused on academic training. Nottingham Business School’s DBA focuses on meeting the professional and personal needs of those working in demanding managerial roles.
Challenging traditional management understanding
The DBA will encourage you to challenge currently assumed knowledge and understanding of management. We support individuals’ commitment to finding new, innovative and personal responses to their organisational and managerial roles.
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The taught element of the DBA focuses on supporting research design and application through examining current methodological questions and debates. This element is provided by the School's leading professors and researchers. By way of support for your research, you will be assigned two supervisors who provide specialist subject knowledge and expertise in designing and conducting management research.
Study and support
The course delivery has been designed to meet the needs of participants in demanding jobs. A series of four modules with six workshops, represents the taught element over the first three years of the course.
- Introduction to the DBA and Project Proposal
- Critical Literature Review and Conceptual Development
- Introduction to Research Methodology
- Reflection, Impact, Academic Writing, Submission and the Viva Voce.
The award of the DBA will be on the basis of successful completion of the four pieces of assessed work:
- Document 1: Introduction to the DBA and Project Scoping
- Document 2: Induction to the Literature Review and Conceptual Development
- Document 3: Introduction to Research Methodology
- Document 4: The Thesis.
Nottingham Business School recognises that some individuals may not complete the final thesis of 50,000 – 60,000 words. Should students exit the course before the thesis phase of the programme, there is the possibility to earn a postgraduate certificate in Research Methodology. Students who reach the viva stage but who do not achieve a DBA, may be awarded a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil).
Examination of your thesis will involve a viva voce and an external assessor with expertise in the subject or topic area of the thesis.
You will submit a number of documents for assessment during the four years of the course. The documents all focus on a common management theme or issue.
Which building will the course be taught in?
DBA participants on the UK programme are taught in the Nottingham Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University’s prestigious Newton building in the City Centre. With easy access, the versatile boardroom-style spaces for DBA workshops have comfortable executive-level seating and new presentation technologies. Wireless access is freely available throughout the conference centre. There are beverage hubs where cups of bean-cup coffee or breakfast tea are provided throughout the day, together with supplies of fresh fruit. Lunch is provided, together with pastries and cakes at breaks.
The academics that teach on this course include:
Professor Helen Shipton - Head of Doctorate Programmes
Dr Carley Foster - DBA Programme Leader
Dr Sue Kirk - DBA Programme Leader
Dr Hafez Abdo - DBA Associate Programme Leader
How many places are available?
Our programmes usually recruit around 15 to 20 members each cohort and places are usually available.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed thinking about methodologies and the different angles to re-investigate current issues. This helps to pull me out of the current fire-fighting approach that we tried every day, re-look at the issues that we are facing, and approach them more holistically, with a broader view and deeper thought."
Anna L. Q. Zheng, China DBA programme
DBA tailored to corporate organisations
Our DBA is a prime example of how we enable individuals to achieve respected qualifications while undertaking research that's focused on, and beneficial to, their organisations and sectors. The course has been established since 1998 but in 2007 we launched the first cohort purely recruited from China. Students are taught in Nottingham while carrying out research in their organisations in China, which include major brands like Nike, Intel and Motorola.
For more information contact +44 (0)115 848 8139 or email us.
We’ve invested £170 million to create what we believe to be the finest city centre campus in the UK. Nottingham Business School is based in the Newton building, a multi-million pound fully refurbished Grade II listed building in the heart of the city site. It houses modern first-class teaching and learning facilities.
Library and learning resources
All students have access to our outstanding libraries. With over 500,000 books, and tens of thousands of eBooks and journals, thousands of hours of audiovisual material and an array of special collections, all the information you need is right here for you. Many of these resources are available online and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
You will form Action Learning Sets at the start of the programme which will operate throughout the four years. Sets are intended to provide a mechanism for mutual support and will be required to meet for a minimum of once per term.
You will be assigned two supervisors to support your research, and will be entitled to a specified minimum number of hours for supervisory meetings.
International student support
We have a dedicated international student support team, offering help and support throughout your studies on both academic and personal issues. You will also have support from your supervisors, course learning sets and in workshops.
While this course does not offer placements, the DBA has a strong focus on managerial and professional practice. Many of our graduates are promoted within their chosen fields.
This course does not offer placements, however the DBA has a strong focus on managerial and professional practice.
- You will need an MPhil, MBA or master's-level degree in Business, Management or Organisation Studies.
- There are also English language requirements for International and EU students.
Please see the how to apply section for more information.
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 master's qualification but with significant work experience and evidence can undergo a process of Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning.
English language requirements
English language entry requirements for courses at Nottingham Business School and a full list of all English language qualifications accepted by the University are available on our website.
How to apply
All applicants are required to complete a Nottingham Trent University application form, submit copies of their qualifications and provide two confidential references.
Please email Gradschool for further information and an application form.
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 8088
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"Since completing my MBA back in 2005, I have been dreaming of pursuing my studies and starting to preparing for a doctorate degree. I was, however, confused between the PhD and the DBA course. After many years of research, comparisons and evaluations, I found that the DBA would suit me best.
This course is a great contribution to my personal experience and a perfect complement to my previous studies. I believe that this course will enhance my capabilities and skills to the level of professionalism that I am seeking. NTU provides internationally recognised qualifications of a high standard, and offers a high degree of sophistication and education excellence that is backed up by experienced management and qualified staff.
I have done extensive research covering most of the UK's academic institutions and found that NTU is an exceptional and real-world university. The DBA course offered by NTU balances the richness of content and the flexibility required by the researcher, whilst also being a manager or a business owner.
The outlines and timings of the workshops, the structure of the documents / models, and the level of support provided by the two appointed supervisors sets NTU ahead of any other choice for the DBA. I consider myself lucky for being a member of such a great cohort and lovely team with incredible unity. The staff, as well as the admin team, my supervisors, and the head of the cohort are all wonderful.
Being an owner of a business, I believe that the DBA will certainly add great value to my clients and will open new doors for greater opportunities in the future.
I’ve taken my first step into entrepreneurship immediately after completing my MBA, and I am certain that larger steps can be achieved after a successful completion of the DBA. I can say with all honesty, if I had to go back and make the choice again I would still chose NTU."
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