University of Huddersfield

Doctor of Business Administration

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is one of the highest and most prestigious management qualifications in the UK. Here at Huddersfield we understand that the professional leaders of the future need the highest level of leadership and personal development. The course encourages the application of sound theory and rigorous research to complex issues in business and management; the foundation for which is the development and application of knowledge and theory.

A taught programme of study is carried out in the first two years and provides preparatory training for the doctoral research phase, culminating in the submission of a research thesis. It contains four taught modules which address major aspects of research methods knowledge in a classroom-based setting. You may only progress to the research phase once you have successfully completed the taught element.

The doctoral research phase constitutes the substantive component of the DBA programme. You are required to conduct an individual supervised research project which is written up in the form of a doctoral thesis. You’ll have critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic, resulting in an independent and original contribution to knowledge in a relevant professional discipline, usually with a practical application. Applying the skills learnt in the taught element of the programme, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field. In addition, you are required to submit a personal reflection and impact statement to demonstrate learning over the period of study. This should capture professional and personal reflections on your experience, and how these relate to the professional and research curiosity, critical thinking, creativity and innovation in your working environments.

The Thesis The thesis should be a substantial submission of 50,000 words and should demonstrate publishing potential in the field of managerial/public administration/ leadership in business or other organisations. It is an individual document that synthesizes the professional experience, the original applied research undertaken, the academic insights achieved and the potential for contributing to practice and to the professional development of the author. The thesis should normally include: a review of the literature; research questions; conceptual framework; methodology; results; discussion on key findings and their contribution to academic and managerial/public administration/leadership practice; conclusion. The thesis will not be assessed unless it is accompanied by the PRIS.

The Personal Reflection and Impact Statement (PRIS) Successful DBA candidates will be able to demonstrate their self-awareness regarding the impact your DBA experience has had on your personal, professional and academic development. The statement should therefore include a future orientated strategic leadership personal development plan. The PRIS should showcase your ability to critically reflect on your own actions, experiences and learning during your DBA studies. You must demonstrate critical attention to the influences that have shaped development by examining practice reflectively and reflexively, and to consider the impact of these on professional effectiveness and ability to lead and implement strategic change in your organisation into the future.

Supervision All students are required to submit a research proposal on application to the Doctor of Business Administration. This will ensure that you have some idea of the focus of the research you wish to undertake and will allow the School to identify supervisors with appropriate subject specialisms. On admission to the course all will be allocated a supervisor who will be required to hold bi-monthly 1:1 sessions with their students. The research proposals from International students whose first language is not English will be diagnostically tested by colleagues in the Learning Innovation and Development Centre who will then identify bespoke academic writing support, and will be supported by online resources and 1:1 sessions when on campus.

The Doctor of Business Administration is equivalent to the PhD but is centred around bridging the gap between your academic knowledge and professional practice. The programme retains emphasis on your own contribution to your organisation while enhancing your analytical and research skills

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • A Masters level, or equivalent qualification and have held/or hold a Senior Management position for three or more years.
  • Applicants must submit a 3,000 word (maximum) research proposal that indicates the area of Business/Management/Administration/Leadership that is likely to be researched.
  • A reliable internet connection is required.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. 

Course Details

A taught programme of study is carried out in the first two years where you will study the following modules:


Managing Literature
Research Methods
Research Proposal
Applied Research: Responsibility, Reflection and Impact

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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