HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education

DBA Business Administration

The HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) is a leading provider in the field of lifelong education in Hong Kong and functions as the University of Hong Kong’s extension arm. HKU SPACE works closely with the University to offer opportunities to the local community for personal and career advancement through programmes of professional and continuing education.

Key features

  • Flexible course length enabling possible course completion in four (4) years. Years 1 & 2 are taught modules followed by a minimum of 2 years research phase. The research phase can be up to 3 years plus an additional 1 year writing up if required. The maximum duration of the DBA is 6 years.
  • The programme is studied part time through a blended learning approach (via the university’s DLE, online media and traditional face-to-face teaching) and offers the support of working in a structured manner and with a cohort of peers from a range of professional practices. It is therefore ideal for those who are juggling study with a busy professional life.
  • 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. Providing candidates with an opportunity to reflect on the nature of their professional practice, the consideration of data collection approaches and the analysis of data that can influence policy, practice and business decision making processes.
  • 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.
  • We assess your work through a carefully constructed set of assignments which gradually and supportively induct you into a research community. You will be given the opportunity to conduct a conference presentation, write a paper for submission to a journal and undertake a pilot study in preparation for the larger thesis.
  • Benefit from direct involvement with the Plymouth Business School research community.
  • There is an opportunity for you to “step-off” the programme at a number of points with a recognised UK postgraduate level qualification.
  • 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. The programme is carefully structured so that in early taught stages there is considerable support, but with the opportunity to develop this thinking in a range of directions from the research proposal stage through to the thesis/research phase.

    Core modules

    Advanced Qualitative Research Methods for Doctoral Study (DBA701HK)
    This course addresses the nature of qualitative research in the business and social sciences, with opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting the findings. Students will discover the complexities and opportunities associated with undertaking rigorous and comprehensive qualitative research that are applied to practice.
    Advanced Quantitative Research Methods for Doctoral Study (DBA702HK)
    This course is designed to familiarise students to the applications of quantitative methods for business management analysis of which data-based decision making is a part. The focus throughout the course is about real world data preparation and analysis using a statistical software package. The module provides a balance between the theoretical and practical application of quantitative design, data collection methods and a range of univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis techniques. It requires students to critically engage and apply techniques to real world business and/or social data.
    Applying Theory to Professional Practice (DBA703HK)
    This module is designed to help students develop theoretical foundations, critically analysing their development and application as a practitioner in a globalised business environment. The candidate will reflect on how theory influence practice together with signposts for future development. This module identifies the correlation between perspectives of theory, paradigms of inquiry and methodological approaches. Consideration is given to future actions and applications within the professional context.
  • Year 2

  • Upon the successful completion of the three taught modules in Year 1, you will embark on the fourth module, the Research Proposal. Further workshops and seminars will be conducted to help you to design, develop and implement a doctoral research project. A Research Adviser will also be allocated to help you develop effective and feasible aims, hypotheses and analytical strategies.
    The successful completion of this module will enable you to embark on Phase 2 (Year 3) of the research element where you will develop and complete a substantive doctoral research project in your choice of business domain to create and contribute to knowledge.

    Core modules

    Doctoral Research Proposal (DBA801HK)
    This module requires students to plan and begin to implement a substantive doctoral research project in an attempt to create new knowledge. Students will develop and synthesise components of a research proposal and practice developing effective aims, hypotheses, background materials and analytic strategies. The module will also be dedicated to understanding the scope of the field and the many facets of becoming a professional researcher.
  • Year 3-5

  • Years three to five form the thesis stage of the programme. Under the supervision of your Director of Studies, you will build on the work from the first two years, and develop your research proposal into the final thesis. The thesis comprises a substantial piece of original research into an area of practice of your own choosing, through which you make an original contribution to knowledge.
    This programme has a taught phase in years one and two. The programme specification details the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment for the taught phase. 
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

The potential to study at FHEQ Level 8. This would normally be indicated by the successful completion of a Masters’ degree (FHEQ Level 7 equivalent), although candidates with strong professional experience may be considered. We welcome candidates with other equivalent international qualifications.
You have relevant middle to senior level management experience. If you do not, but you have appropriate and sufficiently extensive experience in the business context, you may be considered at the discretion of the admissions tutors.
You have a strong commitment to educational enquiry and critical reflection on practice as a means of professional learning.
You have an ability to work collaboratively in exploring and developing experience.
Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent, see our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements.
You will be required to complete an application form, write a personal statement and your research idea. 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 the four taught modules in years 1 and 2 and a research proposal.

How to apply

Applications should be made directly with HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE).

Our partnership with HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

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