Professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description


    Our Professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is our flagship programme in business and management. It’s designed for private and public sector management professionals – typically at a senior or executive level – who want to advance their careers through a doctoral degree, while continuing their career. 

    When you join our DBA course, you'll experience an intensive taught phase before conducting applied, work-based research that deals with topics that are directly relevant to your organisation.

    So as you learn, you'll develop your professional knowledge and skills to help solve concrete organisational problems in your current workplace – benefiting both your employers and your own career.

    What you'll experience

    DBA students can:

    • Experience a unique approach to intellectual inquiry emphasising the integration of theory and practice
    • Conduct practice-oriented research
    • Contribute to applied management knowledge
    • Develop intellectually and personally as an individual, as an executive and as a contributor to the professional community
    • Gain a prestigious doctoral degree achieved through a rigorous, structured and comprehensive educational experience

    Structure and teaching

    Our part-time programme involves between three and four years study which includes taught units, research methodology and action research. It's assessed by assignments primarily during year one (taught year), culminating in the assessment of a doctoral level, research-based report in your final year. 

    Supervision and support is also a major component of the course. An allocated supervisor will guide and support you throughout your research programme and you will benefit from the ideas and learning experiences of your peers in what we call a ‘learning set’ (a small group of 3 or 4 peers who are at the same stage of DBA research as you).

    The course comprises two key stages:

    • Part one – year 1:

    The taught component and assignment assessments. There will be workshops and discussion forums and must be available to attend these. There's no attendance requirement in subsequent years, as your research is likely to comprise independent study in your own organisation, although regular meetings with your supervisor will be necessary.

    • Part two – years 2, 3 and 4: 

    The research component and final assessment. A formal ‘Progression Board’, by which students should have successfully completed all first year assignments, denotes progression from stage one to stage two.

    A formal ‘Progression Board’, by which students should have successfully completed all first year assignments, denotes progression from stage one to stage two.

    How you're assessed

    Assessment is by coursework assignments at the end of the first year and students progress to the individual research phase after having passed the year one assessment. During the first taught year, students are allocated a mentor to help them develop their research topic in more depth and to prepare them for the research phase where they will be guided by a team of two academic supervisors over the following years.

    Visit the Professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

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    Entry Requirements

    A postgraduate level qualification or equivalent in an appropriate management related subject. All applicants require a minimum of three years relevant business and management experience. Evidence of recent Continuing Professional Development or leadership experience in a relevant area of business and management/management science will also be considered. All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview.

    English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

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