Professional Doctorate in Doctorate in Business Administration DBA

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    LJMU’s DBA provides senior executives and managers with the opportunity to achieve the highest academic degree while remaining in full-time employment.

    • Equivalent to a PhD, the DBA is ideal for those who would like a doctoral level qualification whilst remaining in their chosen professional career  
    • Focus on situational issues from your own workplace, whilst continuing your employment
    • Enhance not only your ability to develop new knowledge, but also the ability to apply that knowledge to a professional context
    • Gain the necessary skills to carry out rigorous research
    • Carry out individual projects that impact on your organisation and industry
    • Undertake your research amongst a carefully-selected, highly diverse group of professionals, drawn from a wide range of nationalities, industries, cultures and backgrounds
    • Develop your skills and meet your supervisors at a number of residential workshops in Liverpool 

    Join a cohort of senior professionals and apply your research directly to the needs of your business, driving forward organisational progress without putting your learning or your business on hold. You will contribute to commercial and academic knowledge and, on graduation, will possess a specialist range of problem solving and decision making strategies that will take you to the next level of success.

    The DBA at Liverpool Business School is unique in its design and structure and the level of support it provides to the candidates. It has been running successfully for 10 years.

    The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced business professionals. A DBA will enhance professional capability and credibility, enable you to develop networks, and provide a firm foundation for further career development or a major career move. Employers benefit from supporting candidates for the DBA by attracting, developing and retaining key talent and building knowledge for competitive advantage.

    Liverpool Business School is a member of the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC) and, as such, we believe in fostering excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programmes.

    The DBA will enable you to develop a sound understanding of the relevant conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen are of research into business and management. By learning research techniques for advanced academic and management enquiry you will be able to carry out your own original research. In becoming a reflective practitioner you will enhance your professional practice, as well as contribute to theory and practice in business and management.

    In contrast to a PhD, a DBA requires a contribution to both theory and practice. Candidates on the DBA are therefore required to demonstrate that they make an impact on the development of a profession and/or an organisation. 

    This impact can be demonstrated within the organisation the candidate is employed in or in another organisation, including professional bodies or policy. This close link to industry and practice can be highly beneficial for the employer too, with many previous DBA research projects resulting in large financial savings for organisations that candidates implemented them in. 

    As part of the course, you will benefit from the following:

    Workshops (year 1 – 3 only)

    • 4 residential workshops each 5 days long at Liverpool Business School
    • Catering throughout the day
    • Accommodation for 4 nights including breakfast at the hotel for each workshop
    • Networking event during each workshop (includes catering)
    • Dinner at a local restaurant


    • Supervision throughout the duration of your doctoral studies by two qualified DBA supervisors

    Other opportunities and events

    • Participation in the DBA Writing Retreats which are facilitated twice per year at Liverpool Business School including catering
    • Participation in the Doctoral Conference at Liverpool Business School including catering
    • Participation in research methods training offered by NARTI (Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative)
    • Participation in the monthly Action Learning Sets which are facilitated by an academic member of staff of LBS via Adobe Connect
    • Access to thousands of academic journals and books including e-books through the LJMU online library resources

    You also have access to the doctoral facilities at LBS whenever you decide to come to Liverpool. 

    Course modules

    Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

    The design is based on two principles:

    1. Allow full-time professionals from all over the world to undertake doctoral studies part-time.
    2. Provide the full-time professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge, tools and techniques to undertake high quality research on a doctoral level and contributing to their professional practice.

    Based on these two principles we've designed the following structure:

    Year 1

    Two residential workshops (taught elements) each 5 days long will take place in Liverpool. These workshops focus on the planning process of the research, on refining the topic and basic research methods.

    Year 2 and 3

    One 5-day residential workshops, will take place in Liverpool. These workshops focus on the execution of the research, i.e. data collection and analysis, but also on a dissemination and impact strategy, as well as academic writing and viva preparation.

    Year 4 – 7

    Our experience shows that DBA candidates typically take four years to complete their thesis, whereas the maximum duration of the programme is seven years. During year 4 – 7 no residential workshops take place. The thesis can be submitted any time during year 4 – 7. 


    LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

    If you are employed during the course of your DBA, you will probably undertake research which directly links to your employer's area of business. This will be of great benefit to you and your employer, particularly if you are focused on a large-scale project. 

    Visit the Doctorate in Business Administration DBA page on the Liverpool John Moores University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    You will need a DBA, which is a doctoral level qualification, is a challenging, but also rewarding journey. In order to make sure you are suitable for the programme we have defined the following entry requirements for the programme:
    •A master's degree in the area of business and/or management
    •At least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience

    Please see the LJMU website for further details on required documents

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