Plymouth Business School

DBA Business Administration

Are you a senior manager, consultant or entrepreneur who wants to draw together both the theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and managerial experience? Designed to enable you to develop professional practice, theoretical understanding and reflexive capability, the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is a high level, innovative qualification and an alternative route if you wish to research your professional practice at doctorate level.

Key features

  • Enjoy being central to the progress of the course - the DBA assumes that your organisation and society are continually changing, and will relate these issues to wider theoretical questions. 
  • Further your understanding of leadership and change and, through the study of specific situations, make general conclusions about practical problems. 
  • Develop a creative mind in relation to individual perspectives and organisational contexts.

  • Gain new perspectives and learn precise methodological approaches that add value in terms of effectiveness, capability and efficiency.​

Course details

  • Year 1
  • You will undertake an individual research project drawing on your practical experience and theoretical frameworks. Initially there is an emphasis on close direction through workshops, presentations and written papers. On the basis of the written papers and a research proposal, the second phase involves the completion of a thesis. You will be expected to concentrate on an issue directly related to your workplace, such as solving a problem or identifying new operational procedures. Before you start your thesis, you’ll agree your area of research with the University, individual student and any other participating organisations. Individual tuition and supervision will be available to you for the duration of the programme.

    Modules (block taught during the first two years):
    DOC8101 Induction and Introduction to Doctoral Study
    DOC8105 Understanding Paradigms of Inquiry
    DOC8106 Developing Methodological Approaches and Dealing with Methods
    DOC8103 Identifying and Explaining Theory
    DBA8004 History and Philosophy of Business and the Social Sciences
    DOC8102 Reflective Practice, Reflexivity and Participatory Research
    DOC8001 Thesis Proposal
    Core modules
    • GSRBUSM4 Research Business/Mgmt

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • GSRBUSM5 Research Business/Mgmt

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

Doctorate in Business Administration Part time 3817

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Five years relevant work experience and a master’s degree - a UK degree or equivalent overseas/professional qualification.  For overseas students, an IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required.

You will be interviewed and your capability to undertake the taught part of the programme will be established.

Progression onto the research element will depend on successful completion of six modules and a research proposal.

Fees, costs and funding


Part time Home/EU/Islands International
Years 1 & 2 (taught) £12,810 £12,810
Year 3 to 5 (research) £4,715 £4,715

How to apply

Applications should be made directly with the  International University in Geneva.

Meet the tutor

Professional doctorates allow interactions between theory and practice, which provide new insightful perspectives. Understanding relationships between theory and practice will equip you with research skills that can be applied in organisational contexts.

Professor Kerry E Howell, DBA Programme Manager

Learn more about Kerry

Join our postgraduate student community

Postgraduate study in the Faculty of Business can help you realise your ambitions and develop your potential as a manager and leader of the future. Whether you come to us as a newly qualified graduate or after a successful track record in industry we provide high quality, professionally accredited postgraduate programmes, and PhD and professional doctorate supervision.  

Find out more in the essential guide to everything you need to know about life as a student at Plymouth University


The DBA at Plymouth has research at its heart. It has been developed through the Plymouth Business School research community, which you will be involved with during the course of your studies.

Research areas include sustainable governance and leadership, institutional and public policy, finance and economics, and more.

Learn more about Plymouth Business School research

Our student network is your business network for the future

It’s our students that make us different. Prepare to join a very active community of engaged students. In partnership with our people they are the driving force behind Plymouth University’s internationally recognised focus on social enterprise and sustainability, as well as one of the best students' unions in the UK.

Be part of it now, find out more about the Faculty of Business.