The Durham DBA is an executive doctoral programme for motivated, high achievers who want to develop their research, analytical and critical thinking skills to the highest level. The Doctorate in Business Administration is structured around a research project driven by the individual, with a focus on practical application in the business environment.

  • Develop the highest level thinking and research
  • Present your findings at conferences globally
  • Contribute to your own professional practice

How is the programme structured?

The programme is offered on a flexible part-time basis and takes from 4 to 6 years to complete.

  • Years 1 and 2 comprise five taught modules delivered at the School
  • Years 3 to 6 comprise individual supervised research and study.

Throughout your studies, you’ll develop your research, analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills to the highest level. You’ll also gain a strategic focus that will enable you to contribute to your own professional practice and the wider subject area.

The DBA in detail

The programme is offered on a flexible part-time basis and takes from 4 to 6 years to complete. It is structured in phases, which enables you to receive regular feedback to facilitate progression. Years 1 and 2 Five taught modules delivered at the School (order of delivery may vary):

  • The Ecology of Organisations
  • Power, Control, and Resistance in Organisations
  • Change in Organisations
  • Leadership in Organisations
  • Research Design Workshop: Part 1 / Theory into Practice: Part 2

-Assessment is by individual written assignment for Modules 1-4. -Between Modules 4 and 5 you will develop your research proposal. -The individual written assignment for Module 5 has a 10,000 maximum word count. Years 3 to 6 Years 3 to 6 comprise individual supervised research and study.

  • Qualitative and Quantitative Groups: You attend regular research visits to give you the opportunity to meet your supervisor/module leader for teaching, guidance, and advice.
  • Academic Progression Reviews: Formal progress reviews are scheduled to ensure you are making satisfactory academic progress. There is no formally assessed work to be completed for a research visit; it is assumed you will be self-regulating by the time you reach this phase.
  • The final thesis has a 60,000 maximum word count.

Research Seminar Programme

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to specialist training opportunities. These sessions provide the opportunity for you to meet with visiting researchers and work closely alongside Durham’s academic faculty. Additionally, you will be supported to present your research findings at other universities, research institutes, and international conferences


In addition to Durham University’s libraries, the Business School library houses extensive specialist loan and reference collections of business, finance and management books; doctoral, MBA and Masters dissertations; a complete collection of Business School working papers and offers access to over 10,000 journals online. You’ll be able to access up-to-date journal, financial and market research information, from sources such as FAME, Mintel, IMID, European Business asap and Pro-Quest. There’s also a wide range of information available via online databases, including Emerald, FAME, Mintel, Lexis-Nexis, Reuter's Business Insight, and Datamonitor Business Information Centre.

Comprehensive IT facilities

Durham University’s IT service offers access to everything you’d expect to find in a leading business school including Computer Centre open 24/7, fully IT-integrated classrooms, dedicated IT helpdesk and DUO – the University’s virtual learning environment.

Space to study

We’ve created an excellent setting for both individual and group study, including a dedicated doctoral research area.

What do I need first?

You will need:

  • A Master’s degree in a discipline related to business and management from a recognized university or other institution of higher education; or equivalent qualifications or experience
  • A minimum of three years’ business and management experience at an appropriate level
  • A 500-2000 word research proposal. Guidance on preparing your research proposal.

English language requirements:

  • If English is not your first language you will need IELTS 7.0 (no element below 6.5) or Pearson Test of English Overall Score 70+ (No element below 62).

Please note that these can be no more than 2 years old at the month the programme starts, eg. for a programme commencing in October 2014 the IELTS or PTE test must have been taken in or after October 2012. TOEFL IBT is no longer accepted as an English Qualification for visa purposes.

Making an application

Applications should be made using the online application form. Please visit our website.

Program taught in:
Durham University Business School

See 4 more programs offered by Durham University Business School »

This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Aug 2019
6 years
40,000 GBP
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