Professional Doctorate in Doctor of Business Administration - DBA

    Course Description

    The DBA programme contributes to the research excellence of Henley Business School. The theses produced receive commendations from accrediting bodies and examiners alike. Candidates include prestigious competition winners and the quality of theses is regularly praised as being the highest quality by scholars with global reputations in their field. Research associates are members of our School structure and are encouraged to take part in activities of our research centres. By conducting original research in their specialist area, candidates are able to further their careers and build expertise to contribute to grow competitive advantage and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

    What is a DBA?

    The Henley DBA is a part-time professional doctoral degree with an international scope and reputation. The programme is designed to enhance executive and professional practice. This is through the application of sound theory and rigorous research into real and complex issues in business and management.

    It enhances the capability to develop knowledge and theory, and their application. Key to this is a programme to develop personal, consultancy and research skills in the context of rigorous and relevant research.


    The Henley DBA will enable you to:

    • Develop a sound understanding of the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research into business and management.
    • Have a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic and management enquiry.
    • Create and interpret knowledge through original research. Enhance both your performance as a reflective practitioner and your professional practice.
    • Develop personal, consultancy and research competences to undertake rigorous research at an advanced level. Also, to contribute to theory and practice in business and management.

    Who should consider a DBA?

    The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced senior executives, consultants, management educators and business school academics.

    A DBA from Henley will enhance professional capability and credibility. You will 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.

    DBA and PhDs – Equal but Different

    The DBA has both rigour and relevance as it contributes to theory and practice in business and management. The DBA typically focuses on research ‘in’ organisations rather than research ‘on’ organisations. It involves cross-disciplinary work and mixed methods and contribute to developing your own practice and development.

    Programme Structure

    The Henley DBA has two distinct stages:

    Stage 1 (Month 1-Month 18) – completion of five compulsory modules:

    • Introduction to Academic Research
    • Introduction to Research Design and Methodology
    • Introduction to Qualitative Techniques
    • Introduction to Quantitative Techniques
    • Personal Development

    The first four modules each have a mandatory workshop of 5 or 6 days, normally held on campus in Henley-on-Thames, UK.

    Each module has a number of assessed assignments.

    There are also additional optional modules available (for example:. Advanced Qualitative Methods, Understanding Management and Financial Research, International Business and International Human Resource Management, Long Run Development of International Business Theory).

    Confirmation of Registration (Month 18-Month 36) - Pilot Study, Research Proposal and Presentation

    Stage 2 (Month 36 onwards):

    • Personal Action Research Project
    • Doctoral thesis (including a viva voce examination).

    Support and Supervision

    Core Support

    The overall academic content and quality of your programme will be led by the Director of the DBA Programme. The Doctoral Programme Team will support you throughout the process through to graduation.


    Throughout the research process you will have the support of and guidance of at least one supervisor. They will guide you through the research process to submission of the thesis for examination at the viva.

    In joining, you will gain access to the Henley Business School library which has extensive facilities for undertaking research. This includes journals, textbooks, newspapers and online resources, plus previous doctoral theses and research articles.

    You will also be able to access the Online Library via the Business School website. You will have have full-text access to thousands of journal articles, company financial data and market research reports.

    Research Topics

    There are a number of DBA research topics across the various academic disciplines at Henley Business School. These have been organised by research areas. Only proposals that fall under one of the categories below will be considered.

    Research areas

    When writing your research outline, please indicate at the top of the proposal to which topic/faculty member (where applicable) your research outline corresponds.

    Visit the Doctor of Business Administration - DBA page on the University of Reading website for more details!

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    Entry Requirements

    See website for entry requirements.

    Course Fees

    Year 1 - £13,900
    Year 2 - £13,900
    Year 3 - £13,900
    Year 4 - £10,900
    Year 5 - £7,250
    Year 6 - £7,250

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