Professional Doctorate in Doctor of Business Administration - DBA

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The Henley Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is one of only nine programmes globally to have gained the prestigious AMBA accreditation. Since its launch in 1992, the Henley DBA is thought to be the most established in Europe with the highest number of graduates to its name from over 30 countries around the world.

    The MSc/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 Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a part-time professional doctoral degree with an international scope and reputation, designed to enhance executive and professional practice 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 relevant 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 that contributes 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, 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 is more likely to involve cross-disciplinary work and mixed methods and contribute to developing students' own practice and development.

    Programme structure

    The DBA programme consists of two distinct, but linked stages.

    In line with all doctoral programmes, you will begin your journey by developing your research skills. At Henley, you work towards an additional qualification whilst you undertake this part of your development. Therefore, unless you already have an equivalent research qualification such as MRes or MPhil, you will complete the MSc in Business and Management Research.

    The MSc in Business and Management Research provides a thorough grounding in research methodology and techniques. You will be preparing and developing your ideas and proposals for your own research – through teaching inputs and structured assessment - and also developing your competence to undertake research. This stage is scheduled over 18 months, with four one-week compulsory workshops covering,

    • Research and Personal Development
    • Introduction to Research methodology
    • Qualitative research methods
    • Quantitative research methods

    This stage also includes research colloquia and other optional seminars.

    Your MSc will culminate in the development of a research proposal, providing the platform for developing research in the DBA stage.

    Stage 1:

    MSc in Business and Management Research

    Your MSc will promote the development of a deep knowledge of the research process and a broad understanding of the available range of research methodologies. As you progress though the MSc, you will also be developing your research questions, broadening your knowledge of the literature in the area you intend to research, and selecting the appropriate methodology and methods. You’ll finally arrive at a detailed research proposal.

    The assessed components of the MSc are:

    • Research outline interview: further develops your research ideas
    • Working paper: a scoping literature review of a selected area
    • Research skills: a critique of a selected research methodology and one other research target linked to your particular needs
    • Thesis critique: an evaluation of an existing doctoral thesis
    • Qualitative data analysis assignment
    • Quantitative data analysis assignment
    • Report on a pilot study: a report on a study involving a pilot collection of data
    • Research proposal: a detailed proposal for research – including literature review, methodology and methods – relating to a specific research area.

    Stage 2:


    Your DBA stage has two assessed components relating to the completion of a research thesis and the development of competences relevant to the application of this research:

    • Report on two targets for development in the areas of personal, teaching and consultancy skills competences
    • Doctoral thesis.

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

    Entry Requirements

    Visit the website for further information.

    FindAProfessionalDoctorate. Copyright 2005-2021
    All rights reserved.