DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The Bradford Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is the pinnacle of management education and was launched in 2001. This doctoral degree is as academically rigorous as a PhD but is designed for senior experienced professional managers.

It connects academic theories and concepts with business and management practices.

In the first phase of the programme, you’ll undertake advanced studies on management practice, critiquing existing theory and studying research methods under the guidance of leading academics and practitioners.

The second phase involves conducting empirical research and writing a dissertation under the guidance of two experienced research supervisors.

The Bradford DBA offers a range of personal development and career opportunities, and some of our students to publish in leading academic and practitioner journals. DBA students at the University of Bradford School of Management will become part of our international alumni network of business people. Current and recent DBA students work for companies such as Shell International, Siemens, Bayer, ING Group and Phillips International.

Professional accreditation

We are proud to be in an elite group of business schools to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "Triple Crown".


The Bradford Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is one of only 26 DBA programmes in the world and one of five in the UK to be listed by CEO Magazine, based on accreditation, quality of faculty, geography and international standing.

The University of Bradford is ranked 301-400 in the world for Business and Economics in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Entry requirements

We welcome all applications for the DBA programme, particularly from applicants whose interests complement the expertise of our Research Centres (Accounting, Finance and Economics; People, Organization and Entrepreneurship; Logistics, Supply Chain and Technology; International Business, Marketing and Branding).

For the DBA, you should have:

  • A Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum of five years’ relevant managerial work experience.
  • A research proposal.
  • Two references (one academic, if possible).
  • A high level of fluency in English.

The research proposal

This is an important part of your application. Your research proposal will be used to assess the quality and originality of your research ideas, your critical thinking skills, grasp of relevant literature and the feasibility of the proposed research. It will also be used to identify suitable supervisors, so it is certainly worth devoting time and effort to it.

The research proposal should be between 1500 words and 2500 words. While we do not insist on a definite format, we do recommend you to follow the structure outlined below.

Title: the title should be a succinct summary of your proposed research.

Introduction: this section should provide a brief description of the subject area in which the research is to be located in, state your central research questions clearly and explain the reasons for proposed research convincingly.

Literature review: this section requires a short review of existing studies (particularly those published in research and practitioner periodicals). You need to explain how your research is being driven by the gaps in the existing literature and comment on how your research could be informed by the existing literature both theoretically and practically. A piece of good literature review should demonstrate how the proposed research is linked with previous studies, establish where its specific contributions could lie and show how the intended specific contributions could be materialised through drawing ideas and strengths from the existing research.

Research methodology: there are a variety of research methods. Therefore it is essential that this section provides a clear description of your choice of research methodology (i.e. quantitative or qualitative research) and explain why the chosen one is most suited to your research. This section should also include details of methods of data collection and data analysis and comment on the feasibility of data collection.

Contribution: it is important that DBA research influences and impacts upon both academic theories and concepts, and also business and organisational practices.

Reference: any studies cited in the proposal should be listed at the end of the document using the Harvard style of referencing.

Related links: Home Office UK Border Agency - for information on visas and immigration for international students.

English language requirements

The programme is taught, supervised and examined in English, so you must be able to prove your fluency in the language if it is not your first language. If we need evidence of your proficiency in English, you will be required to achieve a minimum score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS test (with no sub-test less than 6.0). TOEFL Test result min 94.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course.

What you will study

This involves equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in rapidly changing and challenging environments. You will develop the competencies to think critically and strategically and identify complex research programmes needed to develop new approaches or new knowledge that will drive organisational change and make a significant contribution to the development of your chosen profession.



  • Introduction to Research Methods for Doctor of Business Administration
  • Research Philosophy
  • Qualitative Research Methods for the DBA
  • Quantitative Research Methods for the DBA
  • Critique of Management Research Studies
  • Literature Reviewing for DBA Studies
  • Advanced studies in management and business studies (1): The practitioner as author
  • Advanced studies in management and business studies (2): Translating research into practice
  • DBA Thesis

Learning and assessment

The Bradford DBA provides a unique part-time structure of the rigorous, concentrated study, ongoing research practice and continual practical assessment. The course combines distance learning with the advantages of face-to-face study.

You will attend several residential workshops. In year one there are four residential sessions that are spread over the year, of three to five days in duration. In year two there are a further three residential modules, each lasting three days.

The taught stage of the DBA comprises lectures, seminars and workshops. You will also conduct your own empirical research.

During the research phase, there is close supervision, support and monitoring of student progress. There are also peer review workshops where you will discuss your research with fellow participants and share ideas.

Tuition fee

£41,000 payable over four years as follows:

  • Year 1: £13,000
  • Year 2: £13,000
  • Year 3: £7,500
  • Year 4: £7,500

An annual continuation fee of £5,000 is applicable for each year after year four.

The DBA tuition fees cover the cost of lectures, tutorials, assessments, examinations and supervision. It does not cover travel, accommodation, books, printing or thesis binding.

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from the Career and Employability Services, including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and utilise their extensive resources.

Designed specifically for doctoral researchers, there are extensive training and development opportunities included in our unique and flexible Postgraduate Research Framework. This bespoke offering tailored for research students provides training opportunities to support your future employability and your development as an independent researcher.

Career booster

During your time studying at the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences you will have the opportunity to take part in our distinctive career booster programme throughout the duration of your course. The programme is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and graduate attributes to be job-ready when seeking employment with leading innovative organisations.

The Career Booster Programme offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:

  • The European Computer Driving License (ECDL) - the benchmark for digital literacy
  • Sage 50 Accounting and Sage 50 Payroll - training that will allow you to develop leading accounting and payroll software skills
  • Project Manager Professional certificates - giving you the edge when seeking to become a Certified Project Manager
  • Big Data analysis and reporting skills - using Software and Services (SAS) that will lead to certification.

In addition, the programme will also include activities to promote teamwork, confidence, communication and many other skills sought by employers.

Developing a portfolio of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificates will demonstrate to employers that you are not only ambitious but also take responsibility for your own professional development.

Career prospects

The Bradford DBA is specifically designed for MBA (or equivalent) graduates who are looking for the next challenge in their careers.

Given that the DBA programme has first been launched in 2001 at the School of Management, our DBA students will be joining our international alumni network of prominent business people. Current and recent DBA students work for leading companies such as Shell International, Siemens, Coca Cola, Volvo, Bayer, ING Group and Phillips International.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

At the University of Bradford, you’ll benefit from - and be a part of – teaching and research that harnesses technology for the good of society. You’ll learn from academic and industry experts who are ... Read More

At the University of Bradford, you’ll benefit from - and be a part of – teaching and research that harnesses technology for the good of society. You’ll learn from academic and industry experts who are shaping the future of their sectors in world-class facilities. We’ve invested millions of pounds in high-tech learning environments, such as our motion capture studio and new School of Management facilities. During your time with us, you can become the very best version of yourself. The University is a place where you can expand your mind and make lifelong friends; where you can grow, learn, experience. Where you can belong, and where we support you every step of the way. Read less