Professional Doctorate in DBA Doctorate of Business Administration

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The Durham DBA is an executive doctoral programme for motivated, high achievers who want to develop their research, analytical and critical thinking skills to the highest level. The Doctorate in Business Administration is structured around a research project driven by the individual, with a focus on practical application in the business environment.

    • Develop the highest level thinking and research
    • Present your findings at conferences globally
    • Contribute to your own professional practice

    Course content

    The programme is offered on a flexible part-time basis and takes from 4 to 6 years to complete. It is structured in phases, which enables you to receive regular feedback to facilitate progression.

    Years 1 and 2

    Five taught modules delivered at the School (order of delivery may vary):

    1. The Ecology of Organisations
    2. Power, Control and Resistance in Organisations
    3. Change in Organisations
    4. Leadership in Organisations
    5. Research Design Workshop: Part 1 / Theory into Practice: Part 2

    -Assessment is by individual written assignment for Modules 1-4.

    -Between Modules 4 and 5 you will develop your research proposal.

    -The individual written assignment for Module 5 has a 10,000 maximum word count.

    View module detail

    Years 3 to 6

    Years 3 to 6 comprise individual supervised research and study.

    • Qualitative and Quantitative Groups: You attend regular research visits to give you the opportunity to meet your supervisor/module leader for teaching, guidance and advice.
    • Academic Progression Reviews: Formal progress reviews are scheduled to ensure you are making satisfactory academic progress. There is no formally assessed work to be completed for a research visit; it is assumed you will be self-regulating by the time you reach this phase.
    • The final thesis has a 60,000 maximum word count.

    Research Seminar Programme

    Throughout your studies you’ll have access to specialist training opportunities. These sessions provide the opportunity for you to meet with visiting researchers and work closely alongside Durham’s academic faculty. Additionally, you will be supported to present your research findings at other universities, research institutes and international conferences.

    Making an application

    There are a number of ways we can support you in preparing your research proposal. You can now access online guidance on how to write a research proposal, attend one of our global workshops, register for an online information session or if you want to experience all that the Business School has to offer, attend an introductory workshop here in Durham. Find out more >

    It is important that your general research interests match those of at least one member of our academic staff. For information on the range of expertise and experience of our academic faculty and details of their research interests see Our People.

    Successful application is based on your ability to meet the entry requirements, your research proposal and the School's capacity to provide relevant supervision for your research.

    Our admissions process follows three stages:

    Stage One

    Please ensure that:

    Stage Two

    Applications should be made using the on-line application form. You will be asked for the following information:

    The following documents should also be submitted online as part of your application. Without these documents your application cannot be processed:

    • Research proposal of between 500–2000 words. Please submit your proposal within the section of the online application entitled research proposal. However, if your research proposal contains tables or graphics, please upload your document via the section Supporting Documents under Scholarships/Other. Advice on writing a research proposal.
    • Copies of certificates of degrees awarded (up to 3 may be uploaded)
    • Copies of transcripts of modules studied (up to 3 may be uploaded)
    • Evidence of proficiency in English (where this is not your first language)
    • Two references, one of which must be academic. (Reference letters must be emailed directly to us by your referees using the downloadable reference form.)
    • Your Curriculum Vitae.


    Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.

    The maximum file size is 5MB.

    If you have any problems attaching your supporting documents to your online application, .

    Stage Three

    We will process your application on the basis of all the information provided and will normally let you know our decision within four to six weeks. In certain circumstances we may need to request further information.

    A successful application will be sent to Durham University's Student Recruitment and Admissions Office (SRAO) with a recommendation for approval. (We will contact you direct if we are unable to recommend your application for approval.)

    The SRAO is responsible for approving all postgraduate applications. You should be aware that approval by the SRAO is not a formality and that in some cases where we recommended approval, the SRAO will be unable to support this. Until you receive an offer from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, you have not received a formal offer of a place.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries about the application process, contact:

    Doctoral Admissions, Durham University Business School

    Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3TH, UK

    Tel: +44 (0)191 334 5404 

    Email: .

    Visit the DBA Doctorate of Business Administration page on the Durham University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    - A Masters degree in a discipline related to business and management from a recognised university or other institution of higher education; or equivalent qualifications or experience
    - A minimum of five years management experience
    - A 500-2000 word research proposal. Guidance on preparing your research proposal.

    If English is not your first language you will need IELTS 7.0 (no element below 6.5) or Pearson Test of English Overall Score 70+ (No element below 62).

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