The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been designed to let you increase your professional capabilities, make a positive contribution to your organisation, and produce publishable-level research.
The DBA is structured in a way that allows you to develop the necessary academic skills to complement your existing professional skills set.
STAGE 1 – Taught component
The first two years consists of four 30 credit modules that occur over the full calendar year Each module takes place over a six month period.
Module 1: Advanced Management Practice
This is the starting point for your final research project. It allows you to reflect on your own professional practice and explore emerging trends within your sector/industry. You will examine the area you intend to study from the practitioner perspective, analysing existing levels of practice, looking at the problem definition from the perspective of those within the sector/industry, and exploring new developments in your field. You will then develop initial research question(s) and objectives to guide you to the relevant extant literature.
Module 2: Understanding Management Theory
You will explore the theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research. It will involve undertaking a structured, thematic, analysis of your literature and explores the theory/practice nexus that underpins your DBA. You will also be introduced to how you conceptualise the issue you are researching and draw out key relationship to be analysed, which will allow you to refine your research question(s) and objectives and act as a guide to your methodological approach.
Module 3: Current Approaches to Management Research
This module will introduce you to the theoretical underpinnings of research methodology. It looks at the epistemology and ontology of knowledge generation, different research philosophies, alternative research paradigms, strategies, methodologies and methods. You will critically examine the approaches that are appropriate to your research question(s)/objectives in terms of reliability, validity and generalisability. It will also explore the ethical issues surrounding your research, especially in relation to the insider-researcher problem.
Module 4: Research Design and Implementation (pilot)
Through modules 1-3, you will have developed and refined your research question(s)/objectives, related these to extant literature and developed the overall methodological approach that is appropriate for your research project. You will now be in a position to operationalise your research. Through a pilot study, this module will allow you to test your research instruments, explore how you analyse and present data and form the basis of your main research study.
STAGE 2 – Research component
Research Proposal Approval
The research proposal is situated at 18 months as after this time period you will have completed three of the modules and produced the equivalent of 18,000 words. As these modules will have provided you with the initial problem definition (assignment 1), a review of the extant literature (assignment 2) and an examination of the methodological approach (assignment 3), you would normally be in a position to develop a coherent proposal.
Upgrade of Registration
By this stage of the programme you will have refined your research instruments, operationalised a pilot study for the main research and be in a position to proceed with their main primary research project. By building in supervisory meetings it will mean that you will have benefited from a structured programme of support that will have prepared you for the upgrade.
The Thesis and Viva
The final DBA is assessed through the production of a 60,000 word thesis, which is defended in a viva voce examination.
Workshops are the mechanism through which the modules will be delivered and continuous support maintained. Therefore, in the first two years of the programme you will attend three full day workshops for each module. Workshops will continue after year two and will focus on:
• Candidates presenting their work and discussing specific issues
• Using your papers to create chapters for the thesis
• Tackling and working on generic issues
• Monitor progress
• Peer-to peer learning
• Individual tutorials
• Academic speakers to encourage critical thinking
• Maintenance of a community of practice
• Structuring a thesis
• Viva preparation
The Virtual Learning Environment
The virtual learning environment (VLE) provides candidates with access to a range of resources to support their development. This includes academic data bases, links to other websites and research software. In addition, it provides a mechanism through which candidates and staff can interact at a distance and facilitates electronic submission of work that is formally assessed and timely feedback from academic staff.
The role of supervision and the relationship with supervisors is one of the key determinants for successfully undertaking doctoral level study. For this reason, your supervisory team will be established at the outset, and is built into your programme of study. Supervisory support is, therefore, an on-going process during and after the completion of the taught modules.
The Lord Ashcroft International Business School is one of the largest business schools in the East of England, with nearly 100 full-time teaching staff and approximately 6,000 students from more than 100 countries.
Our striking and award-winning business school building in Chelmsford, as well as new buildings in Cambridge, offer the most advanced learning technologies. We’re well-recognised for our centres of excellence by students, employers and professional bodies alike.
What makes us stand out is that our courses don't just give you sound academic knowledge – they’re at the cutting edge of current business practice and highly relevant to employers. This is owing to the close links we have with the business community and the partnerships we've developed with a wide variety of businesses and public service organisations.
We're interested in people who are confident, ambitious and ready to take the challenge of making a difference in the world of business. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/ exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full and part time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview for a place. If have to pay bench fees this will be stated in your offer letter.
For 2018/19 the bench fee bands are:
Join us as for a Professional Doctorate and you’ll be joining a group of passionate leading researchers who are experts in their fields. Our research-active staff are dedicated to producing relevant and significant outcomes and solutions that can be applied in the real business world.
Our four research centres are at the heart of knowledge generation in our business school. All centres work on the latest research developments that emerge from challenges and issues in the business world. We rely on our close business partnerships to keep our research focused on where it matters: improving business practice across the world. Our DBA students are at the heart of ensuring we constantly address the most relevant issues. Visit our centre pages to learn more about the work we’re doing and how it could be significant to your organisation and professional development:
Looking for something else? Our departments cover all business subjects, with many of our people having professional backgrounds. Take a look at our people to see our range of expertise:
Marketing, Enterprise and Tourism department
This programme is based on the rationale that candidates will normally be in employment whilst they are undertaking it. In terms of employability, therefore, the aim of this course is twofold. First, to support career progression within the organisation and/or industry. Second, to support candidates who wish to embark on a portfolio career.
Research training is also an integral part of this course and will let you develop transferable skills in research methods, report writing, academic publishing, conference presentations, personal effectiveness and more.
Read more about studying a Professional Doctorate.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Full-time, part-time research ()
January 2019, April 2018, September 2018
Part-time research ()
Part-time research ()
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