Heriot-Watt EBS on-line DBA program

Program selection
  • Posted by Stevemorgen on 01/03/14 3:15pm

    Hi Thomas,
    I have been doing some research on on-line DBA program. I would like your fair opinion on the on-line DBA program offer by EBS Heriot-Watt University. Any feedback from the students so far on the quality? How effective is an on-line DBA program and the success rate of passing?

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 01/07/14 12:12am

      Hi Steve,

      thank you for your question.

      Let me, first of all, mention that most DBA programs in fact are part-time programs, whatever they are called. Since they target executives who keep on working during their studies, these DBA programs are structured to acknowledge this and enable both acquiring the research degree and allowing the student to continue his or her career.

      How these programs are structured specifically, whether purely as "online program" or as a combination of face-to-face sessions and online courses depends on the respective school. From my personal experience I can say that blended programs (mixture of face-to-face and online classes) can be very effective.

      The actual question, hence, is not (in my opinion) whether an online DBA can be effective but rather how it is structured and how well it is managed. You can find this out for a specific school by checking, for instance,

      • the curriculum and structure
      • how long the program exists (how much experience they have with running it)
      • how many students have started and have graduated so far (=success rate of passing); the school can bring you in contact with alumni so that you can ask them about their learning experience

      Next, I have provided some articles on "How to find a quality DBA program" on this site that you may want to have a look at:

      • Accreditations: Is the DBA program certified by an international accreditation agency? Is the institution as a whole or any other program certified?
      • Faculty: Does the school have professors who publish in leading business journals?
      • Reputation, teaching experience, and exposure to executives: What reputation does the school have as a management institution? How much teaching experience does it have? How much exposure to executives (=the DBA target group)?

      As for Heriott Watt you can use these articles as a roadmap to assess the school and its DBA.

      Please note, however, that I am not saying that a specific DBA program needs to be top in all these dimensions to be YOUR preferred program. A school may provide a well-managed program, for instance, that fulfills your goals to learn how to do practical research without being internationally accredited - and you may want to study there. All I try to do is to provide you with some things to consider when you analyze a program.

      Best wishes,
      Thomas

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey