Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
The First DBA in Leeds
The Leeds Business School Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme is designed for experienced professionals seeking to become a practitioner-researcher and thought-leader in their field. The DBA aims to support professionals from a wide range of occupations to enhance skills in order to develop novel solutions to address key challenges.
The programme is for individuals with managerial-level organisational experience who wish to develop research in an area that would impact on business practice and, potentially policy. It provides you with the opportunity to join like-minded professionals and make a contribution to your field.
You will develop a theoretical understanding of elected corporate problems and create sophisticated solutions to these. You will be encouraged to challenge and expand the existing frontiers of knowledge in order to make a major contribution to academic knowledge and professional practice.
The thorough grounding in business research methodology, advanced analytical training and critical skills that you will receive will allow you to research a topic and contribute to the body of knowledge in your area. This will benefit both your career and the organisation and profession you work (or go on to work) in.
Delivered part-time, our structured DBA programme allows you to combine the managerial demands of your career with your drive to gain doctoral-level recognition for your specific area of study.
As a manager, you have the advantage of being an insider to your own organisation, with ready access to data and respondents. Combine this with the academic research skills you will gain through studying with Leeds Business School and you’ll be in a strong position to undertake research that makes a powerful impact.
With a focus on the development of knowledge with practical application, our DBA is specifically designed to help professionals in industry address real business issues in a contextual setting. It will strengthen your knowledge of the fundamentals in undertaking doctoral research, enhance your expertise and academic knowledge, and instil an element of creativity and innovation in the research you undertake.
You’ll be part of a group with a common identity of industrial experience, and will be part of an ever-developing relationship between academia and business, that generates a valued learning experience for both parties.
Undertaking a DBA enables you to:
- Conceptualise current research literature to identify gaps in knowledge.
- Demonstrate sound understanding of techniques to undertake research.
- Develop key skills in constructing research instruments (quantitative or qualitative).
- Demonstrate advanced research analysis skills (for both quantitative and qualitative data).
- Develop ability in judgement, foresight and problem analysis when assessing original research material derived from empirical research.
- Develop academic writing skills to enable you to submit researched work for publication, ensuring it satisfies peer review and merits a contribution to knowledge by extending the boundaries of professional practice.
- Make an original contribution to the enhancement of professional practice.
- Clearly articulate your thesis to meet the academic standards of a doctoral award.
- Apply original thought to managerial-level practice.
A DBA is a research degree and therefore the entry requirements are the same as all our research degrees with the requirement that applicants also hold a Master’s degree, and – for those candidates from non-English speaking countries outside of the UK - an IELTs certificate of 7.0 with no sub score below 6.5.
Master’s degree or MBA
IELTs (7) for non-English speaking students outside the UK
||4 - 5+ years
||Junior to mid-level management
For information on how to apply please find further details here.
Leeds Business School offers organisations a new perspective on challenges that have resulted in tremendous upheaval throughout the last decade, as a result of the global financial crisis, corporate scandals and more recently, Brexit.
These business challenges have been extensively researched by our academics who can offer you new insights in order for you to research and develop solutions to address these challenges within your sector.
If you have any queries about the DBA please email: DBA@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
Delivery of DBA units
The first two years’ units will require attendance to three four-day blocks of scheduled programmes for each of the two years (six four-day sessions in total). Evenings and a potential further ‘day five’ offers you independent learning time or activities including guest speakers and ‘industrial visits’ to businesses. In total, a minimum of 24 days attendance will be required during the first 24 month period.
The blocks will initially be tutor-directed seminars or workshop-based tuition sessions that will evolve to tutor and participant-led discussion and activities. In the method and analytical units, you will use appropriate software for analysis. Students will be expected to read/prepare materials in advance of the sessions.
You will also spend substantial independent learning time undertaking wider reading, drafting assignments and revising your assignments after receiving formative feedback.
Structure of the DBA
|Year 1||Year 2||Years 3, 4 & 5|
Management Literature Review (Theory & Practice)
6000 word assignment
Critical Management Literature Review (Conceptual Development)
6000 word assignment
Development & submission of THESIS (60,000 words)
Defense of thesis – Viva Voce
Research Design for Business Inquiry
6000 word assignment
Advanced Business Analytics
6000 word assignment
Contemporary Management Challenges l
6000 word assignment
Contemporary Management Challenges II
6000 word assignment
|If conditions are met the potential for the exit award of ‘Masters in Research Methods’ (MRes)
||End of Year 3: Production of Conference Paper||End of Year 4: Production of Peer Reviewed Journal Paper|
Confirmation of Registration (at 6 months stage)
Annual Progression Interviews (year-end)
|Annual Progression Interviews (year-end)
||Annual Progression Interviews (year-end)
||Annual Progression Interviews (year 4 and 5 if required)|
In year one, you will be able to attend three units to help develop your critical evaluation skills and writing style for academic reports. This will be complemented with an insight into research philosophies and how these can be applied to investigate contemporary practices.
Year 1 Subjects
- Management Literature Review
- Research Design for Business inquiry
- Contemporary Management Challenges I
In year two, the foundation skills of management literature review, research philosophy for business, advanced analytics, and contemporary management challenges will be further explored to help you gain a deeper and richer understanding of the key skills required to undertake an independent research project. The units in years one and two will be delivered three times in a year, over a four-day intensive study period.
Year 2 Subjects
- Critical Management Literature Review
- Advanced Business Analytics
- Contemporary Management Challenges II
Students will be required to submit an outline of their coursework for each subject, a week after the four-day workshop. Feedback will then be provided so that participants can start to prepare their critical review for each subject.
Each coursework submission will form the foundation chapters for the final thesis.
The final two year(s) will be dedicated to the thesis.
Class contact will be supported by electronic and personal meetings with the unit tutor(s) and DBA management team to help provide guidance on key reading material and assessment structure for each unit.
After each block of delivery, students will be required to submit a short synopsis of the outline of their subject assignment and academic feedback will be offered.
The DBA thesis will be comparable in structure to a PhD thesis (c. 60,000 words) and will be examined viva voce in the same way as any other doctoral programme.
Candidates seeking admission onto our DBA will be required to submit a research proposal on one of the following research priorities for Leeds Business School:
- Accountancy & Finance
- Business Strategy, Operations & Enterprise
- Economics, Analytics & International Business
- Leadership, Governance & People Management
- Marketing (Branding, Strategy, Innovation, etc.)
- Public Relations, Communications & Journalism
Other business-related topics will also be considered.
Candidates who enrol on our DBA will be expected to start their research journey with a specific problem in mind. This will require candidates to initially submit a 2000 word research proposal on a topic / business problem they will investigate to make a contribution to knowledge and an impact in the sector.
Structure of Research Proposal
|1. Title of research
||What will you research and what will be the impact?
||8 - 12 words|
|2. Aim / Purpose of the Research
||What specifically will you research and what do you hope to achieve from undertaking it?
||200 - 300 words
|3. Research Objectives||List three to five focused objectives of what you will investigate and how you will make a contribution to knowledge.
||3 - 5 sentences (max 50 words)
|4. Literature Review (Contribution to knowledge)||What are the current views / models in your research topic? Who has been critical of research issues in the subject? How will you make a contribution to knowledge and practice?
||800 - 1000 words
|5. Research Methodology||How will you investigate your research topic? How will you collect and analyse the data? What is your sampling criteria? How will you prove your results are reliable and valid?
||500 - 700 words
|6. Proposed Outcomes||List of three to five bullet points of your contribution to knowledge and practice
||3 - 5 sentences (max 50 words)
|7. References||Cite all references used in your research proposal. Make sure you use contemporary references in your chosen research topic area and methodology selected
For more information on how to develop your proposal, please contact us.
Dr Timothy D. McCulley, Facility Manager, Pactiv Foodservice
The experience of achieving the DBA was indeed transformative. As a senior manager the DBA opened my eyes to how naturally creative people are, how to empower them, and how to convert ideas to capabilities. Mostly, it taught me, in very real, very detailed ways how organizational strategy can determine innovation capabilities.
Since completing my DBA I have presented my findings at various workshops and conferences. Many organizations, wanting to innovate, but frustrated not knowing where to begin, have received my research with excitement. The DBA programme at Leeds Beckett University was an incredible experience. The professors, academic advisors, and research committee are supportive, informative and dedicated to your success. This was truly the greatest and most enjoyable experience of my life and I recommend the DBA at Leeds Beckett University to anyone who wishes to pursue doctoral level education and research.
Dr Michael Agamah, General Counsel, Keystone Bank Limited
I studied the DBA because of the desire to refine my research skills and deepen my knowledge of business processes, which I believe will advance my career.
My work consists of rendering advice on legal, regulatory and compliance implications of my employers' business. I also advise on corporate strategy; and sit on the board of an insurance a company which is a subsidiary of my employers. Possession of sound research skills, as well as deep understanding of the theory and practice of business and organizational processes (which the DBA has enabled) have improved my leadership and decision-making skills.
My research will cause business leaders in Nigeria especially to appreciate the place of risk management in corporate governance. It will make them realise that delivering shareholder value and achieving corporate sustainability is possible only when governance is anchored on a strong ethos of compliance and risk consciousness.
Dr Michail Kanakis, Regional Area Manager, Eurobank, Greece
My research in connection with the substantial guidance and encouragement of my experienced professors helped me to deepen practical and scientific skills in important areas of my work such as customer service, customer satisfaction, financial performance in retail banking etc.
My thesis, I believe, create added value to my organization providing important elements for recovery, reflection and action. The results of the customer satisfaction survey of the bank’s customers using the appropriate methods (linear regression, multicriteria methods etc.) gave concrete impact based on customer segmentation.
The flexibility of study at a recognized university, the educational level of professors and their effective guidance for the successful completion of the doctorate are the strengths of this course. This course can improve your ability of your mind to think. If you believe in your strengths, you have to take the chance.
Goodluck Obi, Partner & Head Consumer Markets, Audit Services KPMG Professional Services
The DBA has impacted me tremendously in my role as a professional. I have acquired knowledge on making informed decisions in the work place, mentoring employees and contributing articles and speeches to the Nigerian business environment.
My research will provide insights to governments and regulators in developing countries, in particular Nigeria on some important factors to be considered in developing an effective regulatory framework. The research provides justification that global and international reputation is very important (even more important than implementation) in the making of regulations. It further supports the need for proper stakeholder engagement in the regulation making process.
The DBA is important to Managers and industry leaders in order to enhance their professional profile as well as assist managers to develop a methodical process of decision-making. The DBA will also help improve the research attributes of Managers, challenge status quo so as to be able to make recommendations that will change and positively influence practice.