Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) (Postgraduate Research)

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Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Park, Cheltenham

Develop your strengths in business through an in-depth research project on a topic of your choice and the development of advanced academic skills.

This DBA is for students with managerial experience who have a practical or professional position in an organisation and wish to develop their strengths in this area. Address a wide range of research topics from consumer behaviour to management accounting, or leadership to production control. Develop doctoral work that has relevance to theory and practice in whatever area you choose.The programme starts with a pre-thesis modular element which lasts, on average, 18 months, after which you present your formal research plan for an area focused on a topic of your choice. You then enter the thesis phase, which lasts a minimum of a further 18 months if studying full-time and 30 months as a part-time candidate. At its conclusion, you present and defend a thesis in viva voce. The great benefit of this period of study is that you achieve an understanding and perception of managerial work that cannot be attained by other means.

As a DBA graduate, you will become even more prominent in your area of practice. This provides significant benefits both you and to your organisation. It also offers a pathway to lecturing in your subject areas. DBA classes are recruited in cohorts of 10 and 20 participants who benefit from a collaborative learning environment.


Reflective professional development

Strengthen your ability to reflect on your business experience, research topic, and broader contexts. Develop your ability to analyse and synthesise the results of reflection. Work in action learning sets to complement your independent learning. The reflective practice developed in this module will be a continuous stream throughout the life of your research programme.

Systematic literature review

Engage systematically with a substantive body of relevant literature. Develop your skills in critical analysis and evaluation of previous research work. Work towards developing your research question(s). Learn to synthesise and interpret complex information allowing the development of novel approaches, models and frameworks. These latter elements are supported by consideration of ‘authorship’ and your role in text creation.

Methodological fundamentals

Develop your ability as a researcher using methodology. Understand philosophical positions to enable you to reveal the philosophical underpinnings of your research. This is essential at doctoral level. Become aware of competing and complementary paradigms to enhance your ability to critically judge the appropriateness of your decisions around your own research.

Research methods and analysis

Explore the principal styles of research such as case study, survey and ethnography. Consider a variety of methods for generating data such as questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Examine the implications of interventionist versus non-interventionist approaches. Consider analysis and synthesis approaches to apply to findings. Examine the role of research practice in a professional doctorate and techniques by which researchers can generate and apply knowledge.

For those interested in undertaking the taught element of the DBA in Germany, please visit our official partner's website at

Entry requirements

  • You will need a Masters degree or equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic
  • A minimum of two years' post qualification professional practice and ability to demonstrate professional competence of a high standard in the relevant research area
  • International students need IELTS 6.5 overall (no less than 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other band) or equivalent


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Join one of the largest DBA programmes in Europe

With 250 DBA students, from Germany and the UK, this programme is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has recently been ranked in the world’s top ten by its students and on

Benefit from additional training opportunities

The Business School runs a number of additional training sessions on subjects such as developing a research proposal, doctoral authoring, and preparation for the viva. It also organises an annual Doctoral Colloquium where research papers are presented to a scholarly audience.

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