The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been designed to increase your professional capabilities, make a positive contribution to your organisation, and produce publishable-level research.
• A good honours degree in a related area, along with appropriate professional experience
• If English is not your first language, you’ll also need a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.
• Whether you’re studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you’ll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
The DBA is structured in a way that allows you to develop the necessary academic skills to complement your existing professional skills set.
STAGE 1 – Taught component
The first two years consists of four 30 credit modules. Each module takes place over a six month period (semester).
Module 1: Advanced Management Practice
This is the starting point for your final research project. It allows you to reflect on your own professional practice and explore emerging trends within your sector/industry. You will examine the area you intend to study from the practitioner perspective, analysing existing levels of practice, looking at the problem definition from the perspective of those within the sector/industry, and exploring new developments in your field. You will then develop initial research question(s) and objectives to guide you to the relevant extant literature.
Module 2: Understanding Management Theory
You will explore the theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research. It will involve undertaking a structured, thematic, analysis of your literature and explores the theory/practice nexus that underpins your DBA. You will also be introduced to how you conceptualise the issue you are researching and draw out key relationship to be analysed, which will allow you to refine your research question(s) and objectives and act as a guide to your methodological approach.
Module 3: Current Approaches to Management Research
This module will introduce you to the theoretical underpinnings of research methodology. It looks at the epistemology and ontology of knowledge generation, different research philosophies, alternative research paradigms, strategies, methodologies and methods. You will critically examine the approaches that are appropriate to your research question(s)/objectives in terms of reliability, validity and generalisability. It will also explore the ethical issues surrounding your research, especially in relation to the insider-researcher problem.
Module 4: Research Design and Implementation (pilot)
Through modules 1-3, you will have developed and refined your research question(s)/objectives, related these to extant literature and developed the overall methodological approach that is appropriate for your research project. You will now be in a position to operationalise your research. Through a pilot study, this module will allow you to test your research instruments, explore how you analyse and present data and form the basis of your main research study.
STAGE 2 – Research component
Research Proposal Approval
The research proposal is situated at 18 months as after this time period you will have completed three of the modules and produced the equivalent of 18,000 words. As these modules will have provided you with the initial problem definition (assignment 1), a review of the extant literature (assignment 2) and an examination of the methodological approach (assignment 3), you would normally be in a position to develop a coherent proposal.
Upgrade of Registration
By this stage of the programme you will have refined your research instruments, operationalised a pilot study for the main research and be in a position to proceed with their main primary research project. By building in supervisory meetings it will mean that you will have benefited from a structured programme of support that will have prepared you for the upgrade.
The Thesis and Viva
The final DBA is assessed through the production of a 60,000 word thesis, which is defended in a viva voce examination.
Your faculty – Where you’ll research
You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.
Workshops are the mechanism through which the modules will be delivered and continuous support maintained. Therefore, in the first two years of the programme you will attend three full day workshops for each module. Workshops will continue after year two and will focus on:
• Candidates presenting their work and discussing specific issues
• Using your papers to create chapters for the thesis
• Tackling and working on generic issues
• Monitor progress
• Peer-to peer learning
• Individual tutorials
• Academic speakers to encourage critical thinking
• Maintenance of a community of practice
• Structuring a thesis
• Viva preparation
Canvas provides candidates with access to a range of resources to support their development. This includes academic databases, links to other websites and research software. In addition, it provides a mechanism through which candidates and staff can interact and facilitates electronic submission of work for formal assessment and allows timely feedback from academic staff.
The role of supervision and the relationship with supervisors is one of the key determinants for successfully undertaking doctoral level study. For this reason, your supervisory team will be established at the outset, and is built into your programme of study. Mentors will be assigned during stage 1 and the supervisory team at stage 2. Supervisory support is, therefore, an on-going process during and after the completion of the taught modules.