The Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctoral programme designed to develop applied research for managers in business, public services and non-profit organisations. The programme is aimed at senior managers and leaders currently employed in an organisation that is committed to the continuing development of its employees.
Delegates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to:
- undertake research, critical investigation and evaluation of an approved topic in their professional area;
- integrate rigorous academic/critical analysis with practical relevance and application;
- make meaningful links from the research findings in the thesis/portfolio to the profession; and,
- clearly communicate their work and disseminate ideas to fellow professionals in order to develop practice and enhance the professional generally.
This programme can be completed in 36 months.
The Programme is divided into two stages:
- Stage 1 lasts two years and is based on structured learning with specified assessments. Each unit will involve an assessment and successful completion will be confirmed by an Examination Board at the end of Stage 1.
- Stage 2 lasts a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. During the second stage participants complete the main phase of empirical research in their organisation, under the guidance of their supervisory team.
The DBA is a research degree falling wholly under Edinburgh Napier University Research Degree Regulations. The structured learning elements provide focus on the stages of the research process. The assessments for each Unit follow the stages of the research process (i.e. research proposal, research philosophy, literature, methods and pilot study) and are applied to the delegate’s own topic of study.
In this way the units in Stage 1 provide the research training which forms the foundation for doctoral study and ensure formative feedback for the delegate. The final thesis/portfolio of journal articles may draw on the work completed in these assessments, although it would need to be significantly developed to ensure the achievement of Level 12 work; and it would need to be reframed in the context of a unified thesis/portfolio.
The formative feedback on assessments is provided by the Unit team (and commented upon by the supervision team). Edinburgh Napier`s Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) is used to support the structured learning elements in the same way as the home based programme, ensuring similarity of student experience.
- Researching Business
- Research Philosophies in Business and Management
- Locating Your Research in Practice and Theory
- Research Design
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Thesis / Portfolio and Viva Preparation
Final Research Project
Delegates have the opportunity to either:
- complete a doctoral thesis of 40,000 words; or
- complete a portfolio of journal articles in the thematic area of study, of publishable quality (3 journal articles of up to 10,000 words each, or their equivalent). The portfolio must include a report which outlines the nature of the theme that runs through the papers, the business relevance, methodological approach and contribution to practice and knowledge (up to 10,000 words).
For admission to the DBA programme, applicants should be currently employed in a senior management role and have:-
An MBA or a Masters qualification in a relevant area, coupled with relevant work experience in a senior management role (usually 5 years).
Exceptionally, applicants who do not have a recognised formal qualification may be considered on the basis of extensive senior management experience and evidence of appropriate academic ability.
English Proficiency Level
Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of an appropriate English language qualification, achieved no more than two years prior to the expected registration date:
- A minimum IELTS score (or equivalent) of 7.0 or
- TOEFL IBT score of at least 90 (or equivalent paper or computer based test) or
- Pearsons Test of English score of at least 60, or
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English score of at least Grade B, or
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English score of at least C.
Applicants who have been taught and assessed in English to UK degree or equivalent level will not be required to undertake the test.