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Doctor of Business Administration DBA

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme aims to provide you with relevant and leading-edge management and leadership awareness. You'll learn to operate in a reflective, reflexive and constructive manner as a world-level thought-leader in your chosen domain of expertise.

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more

Overview

Watch: Associate Professor and current student David Gordon speaks about his decision to study the DBA course, along with the course supervisors' expertise and breadth of knowledge.


 

Develop original solutions to real-world issues, further your professional skills and create novel, holistic and research-led solutions that bring lasting impact for your organisation.  

This course is for senior professionals, researchers in commercial or public organisations, managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and anyone else who wants to build their forensic and investigative skills to deal with knowledge-based investigations, organisational innovation, change and ambiguity. 

In contrast to a PhD programme, the DBA is an action-research based experience focussing on research which emerges from a field of practice informed by academic knowledge.

By taking this Doctor of Business Administration you will gain:

  • The ability to combine practitioner and academic knowledge.  Working with our extensive world-class faculty, you will build reflective skills and develop intellectual rigour to tackle organisational challenges and develop innovative insights and change.
  • Access to our diverse areas of research including people, organisations and work, evidence-based law, local governance, marketing/ digital marketing, applied economics, social value, enterprise and innovation, urban research and austerity, finance and banking, corporate social responsibility and strategy.
  • Membership of a community of UK and international peers from a variety of sectors with whom you’ll be exchanging ideas and knowledge.
  • The experience of implementing your research project, and seeing your work recognised in your organisation, profession and academia. This is an opportunity to bring impactful solutions to policy, communities and organisations.

The Leicester Castle Business School combines academic knowledge with consultancy experience, gathered in their work with organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, Topshop, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, among others. We also host world expert leaders and practitioners in the classroom, who share their experience and insights. 

 

 

 

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

Programme code: DBA800

Start dates: January 2021, April 2021, October 2021

Duration:

Full-time: three years (with the chance to take an extra year of study for £200)

Part-time: four years (year 4 at £200, and with the chance to take two extra years of study for £200 each)

Location of study: Leicester Castle Business School

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 Full-time tuition fees for UK students: £9,000 per year for three years and £200 for year four

Part-time: £9,000 per year for three years and £200 for year four (with the chance to take two additional years of study - years five and six – at a fee of £200 each)

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Institution code: D26

Programme code: DBA800

Start date: January 2021, April 2021, October 2021

Duration:

Full-time: three years (with the chance to take one extra year of study for £200)

Part-time: four years (with the chance to take two extra years of study for £200 each) 

Location of study: Leicester Castle Business School

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 Full-time tuition fees for EU and international students: £12,500 per year for three years and £200 for year four. 

Part-time: £12,500 per year for three years and £200 for year four (with the chance to take two additional years of study - years five and six – at a fee of £200 each)

Find out more about course fees and available funding

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Entry criteria

In order to enter the programme the student must have completed:

  • an honours undergraduate degree (2.1);
  • or have membership of a recognised (chartered) professional body;
  • or be able to demonstrate equivalent professional qualification or managerial/directorial experience.
  • and must have a substantial body of supervisory/managerial roles on a permanent or periodic basis. It is likely that this will have taken a period of time to accumulate and, for indicative purposes only, this might be, for example, five years.
  • and draft a detailed research proposal
  • and provide a CV.

English language requirements 

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 (including a minimum of 6.0 in each component) or equivalent is normally required.

English language tuition is available at DMU both before and during the course, if required.

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessment

 

Year 1: Framing the study (building on the research proposal) in order to connect professional business and academic research domains effectively


Research Log – The students will open a research log of their experience of moving through the various parts of the programme in relation to their professional lives. An indicative template and guidance will be provided to students. The log should have regular brief entries (at least every two weeks) and provide a commentary and reflection on making sense of the doctoral, work and general life experiences. The log does not employ academic references unless the student wishes to engage with particular sources as a part of the log and its experiences.

This log will operate, and be maintained, for the duration of the programme and will be submitted alongside the final thesis programme upon submission (minimum 2000 words in overall length). The student must receive a ‘pass’ mark for this element (pass threshold for progression). Non-achievement of a pass mark will require a resubmission of the log element.

Establishment of, and Engagement in, Action-Learning Sets - Action learning sets will be formed at the commencement of the programme. Action learning sets provide a well-established and acknowledged management development methodology which allows programme participants to exchange and learn in a structured manner. While these are essentially self-directed, these will be overseen at distance by supervisors/programme leader.

    • Module 1 - Year 1/ Assignment 1 (Sept - Dec) –  A structured review of research and leading professional practice literature
    • Module 2 - Year 1/ Assignment 2 (Dec - March) – Challenging assumptions underpinning practice - Research Paradigms and Philosophies
    • Module 3 - Year 1 (March - June) - Development of the Research Design – Preparation for Field Work/ Pilot Study
    • End Year 1 - Residential (June)

Year 2 (Sept - Dec): Operation of the Pilot Study and Development of Thesis

Year 3 to Year 4 (Full-time) and Year 4 to Year 6 (Part-time): Ongoing Field Work, Analysis of Findings and Writing up of Thesis Document

Researcher Development Programme - Throughout the course of the programme, students will have the possibility of undertaking modules from the extensive suite of available modules provided by the Graduate School Office/Doctoral College. This facility will provide a diverse range of opportunities for students to complement and supplement their learning. If students wish to take these modules they will be supported in contacted the appropriate contact points and accessing them. The modules are in addition to the validated programme and not part of it. They are undertaken entirely on the volition of the student but the course team will support and advise students in concert with colleagues from wider areas.

The programme structure allows students to complete the three input modules in year 1. Students who wish to complete the modules at a different pace will have two options: first, to submit outstanding assignments later in a negotiated extension timeline; secondly, - should they be unable to attend delivery of one of the three modules in the first year (due to private/professional circumstances) - to attend, for example, one or two modules in year 1 and join the new cohort in the following year 2 to undertake the remaining module(s) then. This pattern of three modules running each year will also allow students to catch up (on a cyclical /conveyor belt model) on resits should they not complete in year one or fail a first attempt. Students must successfully complete the assignments within the first two years of programme before being able to transfer to, and commence with, the thesis phase.

From the beginning of the programme students will also be obligated to keep and make entries in a Research Log which will operate on a yearly assessment basis throughout the duration of the programme (more is detailed below on the Log).

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is delivered through a mix of block sessions /formal lectures, informal seminars, tutorials, workshops, discussions, supervisory sessions and e-learning platforms. A number of modules use in-course situations to encourage deeper learning and develop on-the-job skills of future managers and entrepreneurs. Assessment is through a combination of individual assessments/presentations, logs, action learning sets and thesis preparation and defence. 

Teaching contact hours

Full-time and part-time will be structured as follows:

From the beginning of the programme students will also be obligated to keep and make entries in a Research Log which will operate on a yearly assessment basis throughout the duration of the programme (more is detailed below on the Log). This will be developed through independent study with periodic supervisory advice and support as required.

Establishment of, and Engagement in, Action-Learning Sets.

Action learning sets will be formed at the commencement of the programme. Action learning sets provide a well-established and acknowledged management development methodology which allows programme participants to exchange and learn in a structured manner. While these are essentially self-directed, these will be overseen at distance by supervisors/programme leader.

The first year of the programme will involve students undertaking three modules and these modules will be team taught 

Year 1: Framing the study (building on the research proposal) in order to connect professional business and academic research domains effectively.

Module 1

Year 1/ Assignment 1 (Sept - Dec) –  A structured review of research and leading professional practice literature

This will be supported by programmed 2 x 2 day taught sessions (32 hours direct contact/plus 100 hours indicative independent study)

 

Module 2

Year 1/ Assignment 2 (Dec - March) – Challenging assumptions underpinning practice - Research Paradigms and Philosophies

This will be supported by programmed 2 x 2 day taught sessions (32 hours direct contact/plus 100 hours indicative independent study)

 

Module 3

Year 1 (March - June) - Development of the Research Design – Preparation for Field Work/ Pilot Study

The student will combine the learning from the Assignment 1 and 2 and begin to develop and consolidate, in assignment 3, an overall research design. In this phase there will be 2 x two-day workshops (32 hours direct contact/plus 100 hours indicative independent study)

At the end of year one – both full-time students and part-time students will participate in two inter-linked events: the DBA residential (2-3 days) and also the BAL Faculty Milestone Day. 

Year 2 (Sept - Dec) – Operation of the Pilot Study and Development of Thesis

(However, for those students who have not yet successfully completed the three assignments and the Milestone Day – theses students will need to undertake the outstanding assignments).

Year 3 to Year 4 (Full-time) and Year 3 to Year 6 (Part-time) – Ongoing Field Work, Analysis of Findings and Writing up of Thesis Document

During this phase the student will conduct analysis on the findings and continue to develop the thesis document, building on the literature review and the research methodology sections, to generate the findings, discussion and conclusions sections of the work together with a list of references and sources. In this phase there will be no formal taught sessions and tutoring will take place through mutually arranged one-to-one sessions (approximately 10 x 1 hour meetings/per year) with the supervisory team or members thereof as appropriate. 

 

Facilities and features

Hugh Aston Building

You will have access to our purpose-built Hugh Aston Building, equipped with lecture theatres and classrooms, break-out spaces for group work, quiet study zones for individual work and IT labs. Wherever possible, students will be given home access to specialist software.

You’ll also have access to the building’s new £5.5 million extension called The Yard, which provides more than 22,000 square metres of extra space. This is designed to facilitate your learning experience with large and airy breakout spaces, a new Student Advice Centre, and a balcony on the top floor overlooking our beautiful campus. The Yard also features more comfortable classrooms and self-study spaces, allowing you to carry out independent study as well as group work.

 

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more
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#DMUglobal

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 

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Graduate careers

Enhance your existing qualifications and career prospects with a specialist focus on management in an international context. You will benefit from access to DMU’s established Careers and Employability Team, who offer employability sessions and workshops, with personalised support via a careers coach to advise you on your options and to help develop your plans

DMU Open Evenings

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of our postgraduate open events.

Here, you can speak with course academics and current students, discuss fees, learn about your career prospects and tour the campus.

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Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

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How to apply

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

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More about your DMU

Open evenings
Online chats
Research at DMU
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Open evenings

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of the postgraduate open evenings or events that take place all year round. If you can't visit the university in person, you can also sign up for one of our online chats. Find out more.

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Online chats

If you are unable to visit the university in person, we hold regular events where you can chat online with an adviser. Find out more.

Fees and Funding

Fees and finance

We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study. Find out more about fees, funding and scholarship opportunities.

Meet us in your country

Meet us in your country 

We frequently travel the world to meet talented and ambitious students where we offer guidance about your application and can often offer places straight away to suitably qualified students. Find out more.