Edinburgh Business School

DBA Business Administration

The DBA is a professional research degree, designed to support you and give you the skills you need to deliver unique solutions in your sector or organisation, based on accurate and unbiased analysis of situations.

We have designed the DBA to fir around your working life as a self-study, online programme. The average time needed to complete the DBA is five years. There is no fixed start date so you can begin at any time.

The programme consists of two stages: the course stage and the research stage, and builds on the learning gathered on completion of an MBA or MSc programme. 

The course stage will equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to develop the topic of your thesis and your understanding of the research process. The stage comprises of three courses, Doctoral Business Research 1, 2 and 3. Each course is assessed by a three-hour examination.

Doctoral Business Research 1: Introduction to Research Methods

This course presents the first step in a basic review of the nature of research and methods for business and management doctoral students. It will provide students with the practical research tools and the theoretical background for critiquing and designing research on a variety of topics. It also serves as a useful guide as to the content required in a thesis, the nature of examination for a doctoral degree, and how to generate research questions and write in an appropriate ‘academic’ style. Download course taster

Doctoral Business Research 2: The Qualitative Researcher

This course introduces qualitative research methods for business and management doctoral students. It will help students to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different qualitative methods and look at how they can combine with each other. Moreover, it provides a holistic understanding of the qualitative research process starting from outline of philosophical underpinnings to qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting. Download course taster.

Doctoral Business Research 3: The Quantitative Researcher
The Research Stage

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This course introduces quantitative research methods for business and management doctoral students. It will provide an understanding of the different techniques available from data collection through to analysis. The course is designed as an introduction to quantitative techniques, bridging into more advance ones with a comprehensive coverage of the most commonly used methods. The course will also train students on the use of SPSS statistical software to carry out analysis and apply the techniques covered within the course. Download course taster.

The Research Stage

On completion of the three courses and the submission of a viable research idea, you will commence the research stage. Here you will have the support of a dedicated Edinburgh Business School supervisor to guide you throughout the development of your proposal to the final thesis. You will have approximately six hours of contact time with the supervisor every month; electronic communication takes place on a secure web board within your student portal and is supplemented by telephone/Skype conversations. Your final thesis will be examined by an oral defence (viva voce) of your research.

On successful completion of the three courses, not only will you have you have the theory, knowledge, tools and techniques required to embark on a doctoral research programme but you are also awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Research Methods, a significant University award in its own right. 

Apply to the DBA programme

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If you are interested in applying to our DBA programme, you can do this via the applications section of our website. 

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Jesus Canduela
"The DBA programme at Edinburgh Business School offers a unique opportunity to study a part-time, flexible doctorate. It couples first-class research methods training with senior academics to produce world-leading practitioners of research-based business solutions."

Dr Jesus Canduela ,
Head of the DBA programme and Assistant Professor in Business Research Methods

Seminar timetable

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We offer an optional on-campus 4-day seminar. Available at our Edinburgh and Dubai campuses for each of the courses. Please contact us for a timetable.

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Meet our Academic Staff

The DBA is suitable for professionals with a number of years of work experience who wish to explore advanced principles of business administration.

It is led by expert academics at the Edinburgh Business School, who will provide guidance and support throughout your duration of study. 

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