DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)
Attendance mode: Part-time
Start date: June
Faculty of Management & Law
The Bradford Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is the pinnacle of management education. This doctoral degree is as academically rigorous as a PhD, but is designed for senior experienced professional managers.
It connects academic theories and concepts with business and management practices.
In the first phase of the programme you’ll undertake advanced studies on management practice, critiquing existing theory and studying research methods under the guidance of leading academics and practitioners.
The second phase involves conducting empirical research and writing a dissertation, under the guidance of two experienced research supervisors.
We welcome all applications for the DBA programme, but particularly those students with interests which complement the research centres at University of Bradford School of Management:
- Centre for Research in Organisations and Work (CROW)
- Human Resource Management
- Leadership, Gender and Diversity
- Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Organisational Learning
- Employment Relations
- Bradford Centre for Business in Society (BCBiS)
- Business Ethics
- Corporate Governance
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Sustainable Development in Business
- Bradford Centre for International Business and Finance (BCIBF)
- International Business
- Economics, Finance, Accounting
- Bradford Research in Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship Lab (BRITE)
- Entrepreneurship, Knowledge and Innovation
- Diffusion and Supply Chains
The Bradford DBA offers a range of personal development and career opportunities, and some of our students do publish in leading academic and practitioner journals. DBA students at University of Bradford School of Management will become part of our international alumni network of business people. Current and recent DBA students work for companies such as Shell International, Siemens, Bayer, ING Group and Phillips International.
We are proud to be in an elite group of business schools (less than 1% in the world) to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "Triple Crown".
"The overall structure of the DBA allows students to learn academic approaches to becoming a qualified researcher and each segment of the programme thoroughly teaches the necessary stages to getting to write the final thesis. Beyond the academic lectures however, students will find incredible inspiration from the network of other DBA students, supervisors and administrative staff."
The School of Management is the oldest university-based business school in the UK, with a reputation for excellence. You'll study at our historic Emm Lane campus, and benefit from outstanding facilities and support.
Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive learning environment where cutting edge knowledge, and its application to the business and decision making context, are well integrated and delivered by a highly trained, professional faculty.
Ranked 16th in Europe in the Global DBA Rankings Euro 2016.
For the DBA, you should have
- a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree from an accredited institution
- a minimum of five years’ relevant managerial work experience
- a research proposal
- two references (one academic, if possible)
- a high level of fluency in English
The Research proposal
This is an important part of your application. Your research proposal will be used to assess the quality and originality of your research ideas, your critical thinking skills, grasp of relevant literature and the feasibility of the proposed research. It will also be used to identify suitable supervisors, so it is certainly worth devoting time and effort to it.
The research proposal should be between 1500 words and 2500 words. While we do not insist on a definite format, we do recommend you to follow the structure outlined below.
Title: the title should be a succinct summary of your proposed research
Introduction: this section should provide a brief description of the subject area in which the research is to be located in, state your central research questions clearly and explain the reasons for proposed research convincingly.
Literature review: this section requires a short review of existing studies (particularly those published in research and practitioner periodicals). You need to explain how your research is being driven by the gaps in the existing literature and comment on how your research could be informed by the existing literature both theoretically and practically. A piece of good literature review should demonstrate how the proposed research is linked with previous studies, establish where its specific contributions could lie and show how the intended specific contributions could be materialised through drawing ideas and strengths from the existing research.
Research methodology: there are a variety of research methods, therefore it is essential that this section provides a clear description of your choice of research methodology (i.e. quantitative or qualitative research) and explain why the chosen one is most suited to your research. This section should also include details of methods of data collection and data analysis and comment on the feasibility of data collection.
Contribution: it is important that DBA research influences and impacts upon both academic theories and concepts, and also business and organisational practices.
Reference: any studies cited in the proposal should be listed at the end of the document using the Harvard style of referencing.
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English language requirements:
The programme is taught, supervised and examined in English, so you must be able to prove your fluency in the language if it is not your first language. If we need evidence of your proficiency in English, you will be required to achieve a minimum score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS test (with no sub-test less than 6.0). TOEFL Test result min 94.
Language Support and Courses at the University of Bradford - for international students wishing to improve their English.
If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.
Find more information on our module descriptors page.
In years one and two you will study eight modules specifically designed to develop doctoral-level expertise in research methods. The modules are taught by leading academics and cover:
- Introduction to Research Methods
- Research philosophy
- Quantitative methods
- Qualitative methods
- Literature reviewing and critiquing literature for DBA students
- Advanced studies in management e.g. translating research into practice.
This builds the foundation from which you develop your empirical research. In years 3-7 you are assigned a supervisory team to guide and support you through the research stage of the programme. You will use the knowledge and skills gained from the research training to fully develop and refine your DBA research proposal , and have to pass the ‘mini viva’.
In the research stage, you complete a supervised research project leading to a thesis of 50,000 words.
You will select your own research topic, which may be based on your academic and practitioner interests or organisational needs. Recent DBA projects have focused on ‘Environmental and Socially Responsible Management’, ‘Human Resource Development’, ‘Improvements of Global Access to Medicines’, ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Small Business Growth Rates’.
Learning activities and assessment
The Bradford DBA provides a unique part-time structure of rigorous, concentrated study, ongoing research practice and continual practical assessment. The course combines distance learning with the advantages of face-to-face study.
You will attend a number of residential workshops. In year one there are four residential sessions that are spread over the year, of three to five days in duration. In year two there are a further three residential modules, each lasting three days.
The taught stage of the DBA comprises lectures, seminars and workshops. You will also conduct your own empirical research.
During the research phase, there is close supervision, support and monitoring of student progress. There are also peer review workshops where you will discuss your research with fellow participants and share ideas.
Certain modules and peer review workshops are also held in Europe and the Middle East.
Career support and prospects
During your time studying at the Faculty of Management and Law you will have the opportunity to take part in our distinctive career booster programme throughout the duration of your course. The programme is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and graduate attributes to be job-ready when seeking employment with leading innovative organisations. The Career Booster Programme offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:
- The European Computer Driving License (EDCL) - the benchmark for digital literacy
- Sage 50 Accounting and Sage 50 Payroll - training that will allow you to develop leading accounting and payroll software skills
- Project Manager Professional certificates - giving you the edge when seeking to become a Certified Project Manager
- Big Data analysis and reporting skills - using Software and Services (SAS) that will lead to certification.
In addition, the programme will also include activities to promote teamwork, confidence, communication and many other skills sought by employers.
Developing a portfolio of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificates will demonstrate to employers that you are not only ambitious but also take responsibility for your own professional development.
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
DBA students at the University of Bradford School of Management become part of our international alumni network of business people.
Current and recent DBA students work for companies including:
- Shell International
- ING Group
- Phillips International
Fees, Finance and Scholarships
2017/18 fees are £39,000 payable over four years as follows:
- Year one £12,500
- Year two £12,500
- Year three £7,000
- Year four £7,000
An annual continuation fee of £5,000 is applicable for each year after year four.
The DBA tuition fees cover the cost of lectures, tutorials, assessments, examinations and supervision. It does not cover travel, accommodation, books, printing or thesis binding.
Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.
How do I find out more?
Contact the Faculty
DBA Programme Team
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 00 44 1274 234321
Steps to Postgraduate Study
Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).
How to apply
Applications are considered on a rolling basis. We encourage you to get in touch with us early, so we can guide you through the application process.
Apply online now:
- Apply for 2017/18 entry (September 2017 - July 2018 start)
- Apply for 2018/19 entry (September 2018 - July 2019 start)
You should indicate your:
- motivation for joining the programme
- academic and professional qualifications
- career history
- positions of responsibility held
- areas of professional interest
You should nominate an academic and a professional referee. These two referees should be asked to return their completed references directly to the School of Management recruitment office.
We welcome applicants who have entered academic study by non-traditional routes, but who nonetheless can demonstrate a mature attitude to study and relevant professional experience.
Download application forms
You need to download and print an Application Form plus the Confidential Reference Form (two printed copies).
Send the completed Application Form (with a covering letter and any supporting documentation) to:
University of Bradford School of Management,
Send the Confidential Reference forms to your two referees asking them to forward them to our address (printed on the form).
DBA Application Forms
Download the programme specification for DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)
This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.