Doctor of

Business Administration

DBA students
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate research
  • Study mode(s): Part-time (day)
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The NBS Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is one of the oldest in the UK and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and in this time, we have had over 100 completions. The programme continues to attract chief executive officers and senior managers from around the globe, with participants from many prestigious private and publication organisations, including CapGemini Iberia, the United Nations, Nova Business School, the Oman Embassy in the US and KPMG, amongst others.

The NBS DBA is designed to improve your business and managerial practice through the development of your personal, intellectual and academic abilities, via a research-based project. It has a strong and committed focus on managerial and professional practice, and seeks to link the rigorous study of work-based problems and issues to personal and professional development, thereby ensuring transfer of learning into organisational and managerial practice.

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.

Whilst there is no such thing as a typical DBA student, our applicants have to hold a masters in a relevant discipline, be senior managers in full time employment and have a minimum of 5 years senior management experience. The programme is taught and assessed in English, therefore applicants are expected to have an appropriate level of spoken and written language proficiency.

The DBA  is designed to help you:

  • Explore the relationship between theory and practice, between understanding the world and changing it
  • Develop your judgement, foresight, and problem analysis by applying theoretical and forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations
  • Develop you as a reflective practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with organisational change and ambiguity
  • Develop communication skills which will enable you to communicate effectively with both academic and managerial and business communities, and to act as interpreters between the two
  • Help you design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge in your professional and managerial fields and thus make a contribution to academic knowledge and professional practice
  • We are 7th for the number of Research Doctorates studying Business & administrative studies (HESA data 2016/17)

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. Project topics tend to focus on strategic issues that are present within the applicant’s organisation and are sufficiently complex to warrant a large-scale research study.

The NBS DBA is aligned to the level 8 of the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and AACSB Standard 9. NBS is an active member of a number of international doctoral councils including the Arts & Humanities and the Health, Energy and Social Policy Research Council Doctoral Training Partnerships, Vitae, the ESRC Midlands Graduate School, the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC), the European Institute for Advanced Management Studies (EIASM) and the Association of Business Schools DBA Steering Group. Participation in these fora enable the programme leaders to network and influence initiatives pertaining to doctoral studies, such as the development of doctoral standards.

Accredited by:

What you'll study

The taught element of the DBA focuses on supporting research strategy and design including different methodological stances  and associated debates. Students will also be taught different qualitative and quantitative research methods . These elements are 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.

We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

  • Modules

    Introduction to the DBA & project scoping

    This module is designed to prepare you for the first stage of your doctoral journey. This includes helping you refine the overall shape of your DBA research project  by introducing you to different methodological stances and their relationships with research methods and techniques. As part of beginning to develop your research strategy, you will also explore which field of literature is relevant to your proposed study and develop preliminary research questions. You will learn the importance of conducting research in an ethical way and obtaining approval for your project. You will also explore how your research study will help you make a contribution to academic knowledge and to professional practice. You will also reflect on the impact on professional practice that you anticipate your research will help you make.

    Introduction to the literature review & conceptual development

    In this module you will build on the preliminary map of the literature which you identified in Module 1. You will learn how to critically evaluate and review relevant literature pertaining to your study and develop your research questions further. You will also develop a conceptual framework. At a later more advanced stage, you will build on this literature review and further refine both your research questions and your conceptual framework. You will start to identify the contribution to academic knowledge that your research study will enable you to make and the anticipated impact in terms of professional practice.

    Introduction to research methodology

    The purpose of this module is to develop your understanding of the different philosophical positions that can be adopted when undertaking doctoral research. You will explore both phenomenological and positivist paradigms and gain an understanding of the methodologies and research methods appropriate for these different world views. At a later more advanced stage, you will develop your thinking on this subject and utilise this to help you articulate and defend your own research approach. You will be taught how to evaluate the different research strategies and designs and be able to recognise the limitations inherent in both your own and in other people’s research studies. You will further refine your impact plan to add more specific detail of the impact your research has enabled you to make to-date and the future anticipated impact of your study.

    The Thesis

    This module is designed to help you bring together and build upon the work you have undertaken in Documents 1-3. You will learn how to further refine the scope of your research project and how to design and implement a rigorous research strategy that enables you to address your identified research questions. You will further develop and update your literature review and your conceptual framework and collect and analyse primary data in an appropriate and ethical manner. You will be guided in how to develop an original thesis that makes a contribution to academic knowledge and a fully developed discussion on the impact your doctoral journey has had on you both personally and professionally. This will include a detailed consideration of the impact on professional practice your study has enabled you to make. You will also be guided on how to write and present your thesis and how to participate in a viva voce examination.

  • Assessments

    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: Literature Mapping
    • Document 3:  Research Methodology and Methods
    • Document 4: The Thesis.

    The final thesis is a 50,000-60,000 word document that brings together the first three documents and extends this to include original, empirical research. This forms the basis of a contribution to academic knowledge as well as identifying impact on professional practice and personal development.

    Examination of your written thesis will involve a viva voce by an internal and external examiner with expertise relating to methodological aspects and/or the subject area of the thesis.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Testimonial

"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 firefighting 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

How you’re taught

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.

You will conduct a long- term research project that is highly relevant to management practice and based on up to date, evidence-based knowledge. Your research will make academically recognised contributions to your chosen fields, thus providing private and public sector organisations with doctoral dissertations that address their practice and policy needs.

During both stages of the DBA course, attendance at workshops is compulsory.  You cannot submit Stage 1 assessments or defend your thesis unless you have participated in all the workshops.

Which building will the course be taught in?

DBA participants are taught at the Nottingham City Campus  in the city centre. Wireless access is freely available throughout the University.  Refreshments are provided throughout the workshops.

Academic guidance

The course management team are as follows:

Dr Susan Kirk – DBA Programme Leader

Dr Rupert Matthews - DBA Programme Leader

Results from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES 2017) have shown that we have received a 95% overall satisfaction rate for our DBA

Careers and employability

The primary goal of the DBA programme is to enable you, the student, to earn a DBA degree that will help you to leverage your careers and/ or make a transition into the highest levels of academia. Through our course, we offer senior managers, independent consultants and senior academics the chance to gain new, relevant insights that will inform and enhance their own career profile and make a contribution towards the enhancement of business and / or professional practice.

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.

Notable alumni

We like to keep in touch with all our past students to see what they have been up to over the years. Notable alumni for our DBA course include:

  • Emmanuel Probst, Director, Media and  Digital Instructor, Consumer Market Research at Kantar Millward Brown and UCLA
  • Sue Shepherd, Director of East Midlands Major Trauma Network and East Midlands Spinal Network

Entry requirements

  • You will need an MPhil, MBA or Masters-level degree in Business, Management or Organisation Studies.

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 Masters qualification but with significant work experience and evidence can undergo a process of Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning.

Applicants with non-standard entry requirements and / or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Getting in touch If you need any more help or information, please email or call on +44 (0)115 848 8088

  • You will need an MPhil, MBA or Masters-level degree in Business, Management or Organisation Studies.
  • significant experience in a senior management post
  • the ability to conduct research and write a thesis at doctoral level.
  • There are English language requirements for International and EU students.

Those without a Masters 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.

Getting in touch If you need any more help or information, please email or call on +44 (0)115 848 8088

How to apply

All applicants are required to complete an application form, submit copies of their qualifications and provide two confidential references.

Please email Gradschool for further information and an application form.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

All applicants are required to complete an application form, submit copies of their qualifications and provide two confidential references.

Please email Gradschool for further information and an application form.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Fees

  • Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 = £11,000 per year
  • Years 5+ = £5,500 per year
  • (there is no separate completion year fee)

Funding

We are pleased to announce our new DBA bursary scheme, which becomes eligible for students starting this September. There are up to four bursaries up to the value of £11,000 available to students each year. The bursaries will initially cover your fees for stages one to three of the DBA programme, which should be completed by July 2020.

Getting in touch

For further information on tuition fees, please contact the Doctoral School by telephone +44 (0)115 848 8123 or via email.

Fees

  • Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 = £11,000 per year
  • Years 5+ = £5,500 per year
  • (there is no separate completion year fee)

Funding

We are pleased to announce our new DBA bursary scheme, which becomes eligible for students starting this September. There are up to four bursaries up to the value of £11,000 available to students each year. The bursaries will initially cover your fees for stages one to three of the DBA programme, which should be completed by July 2020.

Getting in touch

For further information on tuition fees, please contact the Doctoral School by telephone +44 (0)115 848 8123 or via email.

Still need help?

Nottingham Business School enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460