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Doctorate of Business Administration (Part Time) - DBA

Birmingham City University, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences


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Study method
Distance learning, self-paced
4 years
Doctorate of Business Administration (Part Time) - DBA
Postgraduate What's this?
Additional info
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Our online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) course is intended to assist career professionals who wish to enhance, contribute to and transform practice. It is a professional doctorate completed on a part-time (Executive) basis. An internationally established highest level qualification, the course enables you to earn the title of Doctor without putting your career on hold.

The course will enhance your professional capabilities, credibility and standing, and you will contribute to practice through action research.


Doctorate of Business Administration (Part Time) - DBA


What's covered in the course?

The DBA is designed to help you apply action research-based thinking to ideas in practice and work, or practice based problems whilst deepening and broadening your understanding of application to professional practice.

You will also develop essential research skills which will enable you to play a leading role in strategic and operational development, policy formation and evaluation in practice.

Our DBA is aimed at enhancing the level of professional capabilities and credibility of practising professionals, and the research undertaken on the course is focused on contributing to, and transforming, practice.

The course combines workshops, research based activities and a substantial research enquiry thesis.

What Our Students Say

“The DBA programme at Birmingham City University was a big step, but definitely one worth taking. As a way of consolidating the learning that anyone who is successful in business has to do, it is unrivalled. Learning to think and act like a researcher whilst maintaining a business perspective adds value in so many aspects of a business career. Achieving the designation of 'Dr' is the icing on the cake that visibly sets you apart from your peers. It is hard work and it takes time, but the return on that investment is life-changing.”

Dr Deb Bannigan
Portfolio Executive - CEO, Chair, NED

Why Choose Us?

  • Our flexible online delivery means that you can study with us from anywhere in the world, at a time that suits you. See ‘course in depth’ to find out more.
  • On our course you will gain a professional focus and practice based experience of action research and its application to practice, ensuring you are equipped to make an impact in or accelerate your career or standing.
  • You will have the opportunity to work in conjunction with our thought-provoking supervisors who will guide you to gain specialist insight into your chosen field(s).
  • Candidate support is at the forefront of our approach, with everything designed to give you the skills you need to succeed.
  • You will be able to work on exciting projects for real-life clients through our Business Advice Centre, giving you exposure to the challenges and issues faced by businesses as well as the chance to develop successful solutions. Opportunities are available with local, regional, national and even global businesses such as BMW.
  • The Centre also offers expert support for your own entrepreneurial ideas, so you can start planning your own start-up or take your existing business to the next level. Following graduation, you will have the opportunity to apply for STEAMhouse Business Incubator membership.


To join the DBA programme, you must have completed an MA, MSc or MBA degree in a particular area of business-related professional practice and have at least 5 years related professional practice experience, as well as being employed in the professional capacity that you propose to study.

You must have the formal agreement and active co-operation of the organisation where the DBA studies are to take place.

A full research proposal is not required as you will build this during the first year. We do however need to know that you have a level of clarity on what your research is and how you would access the research opportunity.


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What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as Quality Licence Scheme and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.