he 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 recognised 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
There are a number of ways we can support you in preparing your research proposal. You can now access online guidance on how to write a research proposal, attend one of our global workshops, register for an online information session or if you want to experience all that the Business School has to offer, attend an introductory workshop here in Durham.
It is important that your general research interests match those of at least one member of our academic staff.
Successful application is based on your ability to meet the entry requirements, your research proposal and the School's capacity to provide relevant supervision for your research.
Our admissions process follows three stages:
Please ensure that:
- you meet our entry requirements (above)
- you can meet the financial requirements of the programme
- you have your research proposal ready.
Applications should be made using the on-line application form. You will be asked for the following information:
- academic qualifications and career to date
- an outline of your research interests
- the names and addresses of two academic referees
- any specific support needs you may have (see Disability Support)
- your chosen College. Find out more about the College system and the Durham colleges.
The following documents should also be submitted online as part of your application. Without these documents your application cannot be processed:
- Research proposal of between 500–2000 words. Please submit your proposal within the section of the online application entitled research proposal. However, if your research proposal contains tables or graphics, please upload your document via the section Supporting Documents under Scholarships/Other. Advice on writing a research proposal.
- Copies of certificates of degrees awarded (up to 3 may be uploaded)
- Copies of transcripts of modules studied (up to 3 may be uploaded)
- Evidence of proficiency in English (where this is not your first language)
- Two references, one of which must be academic. (Reference letters must be emailed directly to us by your referees using the downloadable reference form.)
- Your Curriculum Vitae.
If you have any problems attaching your supporting documents to your online application, you may email them to us.
We will process your application on the basis of all the information provided and will normally let you know our decision within four to six weeks. In certain circumstances we may need to request further information.
A successful application will be sent to Durham University's Student Recruitment and Admissions Office (SRAO) with a recommendation for approval. (We will contact you direct if we are unable to recommend your application for approval.)
The SRAO is responsible for approving all postgraduate applications. You should be aware that approval by the SRAO is not a formality and that in some cases where we recommended approval, the SRAO will be unable to support this. Until you receive an offer from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, you have not received a formal offer of a place.
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Last updated September 14, 2017