Middlesex University (London) DBA Program

Program selection
  • Posted by murozel on 02/08/14 9:03pm


    I am from Turkey, with BSc and MSc degrees in Statistics. I am searching DBA programs on the web and getting in touch with the schools that seem to meet my expectations. Among many alternatives I have seen, I now have a shortlist of 3 DBA alternatives: Middlesex, Strathclyde and Bradford. Of these three;

    • Middlesex is the only one without any professional accreditation. However, it is included in the QS top university rankings in the 651-700 category (the other 2 have higher rankings as well), has international partnerships, has a good reputation for professional doctorates and 2 awards for its work based learning programs. The program is the most reasonably priced one, requires campus attendance only for the induction day but gives the flexibility to visit and study on-campus whenever I desire. They do not require a research proposal at the application, which I find very logical since I would rather start my DBA formally as soon as possible and do the research during the program from the beginning, so that I can do it in a more guided and conscious manner. London location also seems to be a plus to me, for possible business relations. The expertise areas offered by the Business School and the University also seem to fit my research interests well.

    • Bradford has the "triple crown" accreditation. The university performs well in rankings (QS and The Guardian). The program is structured in a "hybrid" nature, with residency blocks offered tohgether with online study. The price is the highest among my three alternatives, which is near two folds that of Middlesex. Bradford also does not require a research proposal for the application.

    • Strathclyde has AACSB accreditation and performs rather well in the rankings. It seems to be the one with the best reputation among my alternatives. The price is only a bit higher than the price of Middlesex DBA. The faculty research areas cover a wide range and my research interests seem to fit well to these. The program format is "hybrid" again, with residency blocks and online learning. What I find uncomfortable about this program is that they require a research proposal at the application stage, which will require me to take a significant amount of time even prior to the application. Second point is the location.

    Given the summary above, I would be pleased to hear an "expert opinion" on my inclination towards a Middlesex DBA. I would also be more than pleased to hear about any other alternatives you may possibly propose.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 02/10/14 2:09pm

      Hi there,

      thank you for your question. First of all, I like your analysis. This is a good first step and you were able to narrow down the field to a short list of three schools.

      At this point, I recommend you to get into direct contact with the respective program managers at the schools. Eva Niemann is your person at Bradford University and you contact her through this platform the REQUEST INFO Button. For Middlesex it is Dr Shepherd. And for Strathclyde, it is Dr. Gounaris.

      I would openly talk about your considerations and see how they react. For example, confront Middlesex with the accreditation question (of course in a nice and polite way). Ask the other schools about the research proposal and that you have doubts as to whether this is the right entry for you (given that you would prefer to gain some experience in the program first and let the research proposal organically emerge in the first year of studies). Etc.

      Their reactions will tell you two things: First, you will get an answer about the issue itself. For example, they may relax you regarding the research proposal - or, alternatively, make clear that a research proposal is definitely necessary in advance - and since you don't want that this DBA is not your choice. Or Middlesex might provide you with some convincing arguments why they think that not having an AACSB/EQUIS/AMBA accreditation should not be a reason to decide against their program (e.g. maybe they are in the process of accreditation etc.).

      And second, you will get a meta-information on how nicely, politely, and competent you are treated. I would not underestimate this point. The DBA is very demanding program and having a top program manager that you feel comfortable with is very important.

      Moving on like twill definitely help you get a step closer to your decision.

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by murozel on 02/10/14 9:16pm

      Thank you very much for your reply. Well, I have already got in touch with Dr. Shepherd from Middlesex. He provided me with detailed explanations on whatever I asked including the accreditation issue. To be frank, with all the information he provided patiently and with his general approach towards me, the correspondence I held with Professor Shepherd has been a big plus regarding my consideration of Middlesex.

      As for the Strathclyde, I will follow your advice and ask about this particular research proposal issue directly to the school. I did not think this might be an alternative, but why not ask? Thank you for this.

      Best wishes,

      • Posted by EvaN on 02/12/14 1:40pm

        Hello compass user :-)
        I think it is great that you do such an intensive research before you make up your mind for a programme. I see that you identified three schools of interest.... well, I am the programme director of the third one: Bradford DBA. Indeed it is a petty expensive programme compared to other offers. However, there might be reasons. The structure of most DBA programmes (at least the good ones), seem to look pretty similar, but if you look deeper into it, you will see there are huge differences.

        If you wish to learn more about differences and I will be happy to talk with you.

        Kind regards from Bonn

        Dr Eva Niemann
        Bradford University

    • Posted by Dr_Ads on 07/22/14 5:16pm

      Hi there,

      I know that you posted months ago, but just a small point should anyone else have a similar query.

      Just because a school has an accredited MBA Programme does not mean that it has an accredited DBA Programme.

      AMBA accredit 216 schools for an MBA, but only 12 for the DBA (note that the Bradford DBA is not accredited - although I hasten to add that it is a perfectly good school):

      Aston Business School
      CENTRUM Business School
      Cranfield School of Management
      Gordon Institute of Business Science
      Grenoble Graduate School of Business
      GSCM- Graduate School of Corporate Management
      Henley Business School
      Hong Kong Polytechnic University
      Kingston Business School
      MSM -Maastricht School of Management
      QUT Graduate School of Business
      University of Portsmouth

      • Posted by murozel on 07/22/14 6:27pm

        Thank you for your reply. Personally, I appreciate the importance of professional accreditation, however consider it together with other important factors such as the national/regional accreditation or quality assurance, rankings, real-life alumni profiles, price range, the mood and satisfaction I feel during my direct contact with the school, etc. From this point of view, I still think that Middlesex DBA quite ok for me. I take the quality mark of the QAA -and recognition by HEFCE- as an adequate measure in terms of accreditation for the validity and recognition of the degree, and having read the QAA reports in detail, I perceive work-based learning and professional doctorates as strong points of this university.


        • Posted by Breitoni on 07/23/14 4:49pm

          Hi all

          One year ago I also was engaged in searching for the "right" DBA programme. I also read about rankings and elite universities.
          At the end it was most important for me to know that the university is officially recognised, secondly I can use the Dr title in Germany and not to forget, affordable expenses.

          Finally I decided for Middlesex University where all the mentioned parts best fit to me.

          As "murozel" already mentioned I can confirm that the support not only by the programme leader Professor Shepherd but also from other staff members is excellent. I am very happy with this DBA. If there is a question, I ask the programme leader per e-mail, in most cases he answers a few hours later (also on Sundays).

          Good luck with your decision ;-)


          • Posted by murozel on 07/23/14 7:52pm

            Hey, it's great to hear from inside! Thank you, Breitoni. I will be starting this fall. :)

    • Posted by murozel on 10/12/14 11:03pm

      Hello again,

      I am writing for the updates! Now I have started my program at Middlesex. I attended the induction, met with the program leader, the cohort and some business school and university staff. I am very pleased to say that my initial perception is very positive. The University is well established with a dynamic campus environment, which is equipped with lots of academic and social facilities, as well as an online learning platform which is full of study resources, including many opportunities for interaction. The approach of the Business School to its doctorate is rather confident, competitive, challenging and supporting. I really enjoyed the way we were welcomed and introduced to the program. Having a cohort of people both from the UK and from around the world, who are holding managerial and/or other senior positions in state or private organizations, I believe I will have found the opportunity to benefit from diverse points of view on many issues.

      That said, admittedly these are only the first days of a newly started long-haul journey and I hope things will all go this positive. I will do my best to be successful and benefit as much as I can from this journey. I will try to post updates here again from time to time, so that potential applicants may find something useful in my first-hand experiences, along with all the information and support being provided on the DBA Compass.


    • Posted by Fabiano on 10/13/14 9:06am

      Dear Murozel,

      Thanks for your update.

      Is the program delivered fully on online basis ? If so, how do you get to meet other students from the program ? Do you get online classes ?
      Have you already met your potential supervisor ? What are your expected deliverables in the next months ?

      I am sorry for so many questions but it would really help me understand how the program works.

      Best regards,

      • Posted by murozel on 10/13/14 8:00pm

        Hi Fabiano,

        Let me try to answer your questions in order:

        Is the program delivered fully on online basis?
        The only mandatory on-campus attendance is for the induction day, which we held last week. However, there are other occasions that we will normally be expected to be on-campus such as the viva of the research project proposals and the submission of the completed theses, face-to-face discussions with our academic advisors and other relevant business school staff, attending any relevant seminars, etc. However, even for the project viva meetings, we have been told that Skype could be an option in the case of exceptional circumstances.

        If so, how do you get to meet other students from the program ?
        We have met altogether on the induction day and from then on we have been in interaction via the discussion forums on the online learning platform. The program has a flexible structure so that we have been told that on-campus meetings could be organized by the School if we as a cohort desire to do so. It would not be always possible to have all of us on campus on the same dates since we all have our own business agendas and live in different parts of the world, even in different continents, however it is still good to have such an option. Other than that, we have full access to all the on-campus facilities throughout the entire program, whenever we want to be there. In a nutshell, we are encouraged for face-to-face meetings with our advisors and for campus visits in general, however this is not mandatory, which is quite fine for me.

        Do you get online classes ?
        Yes, but these are not "classes in a traditional manner" i.e. we do not necessarily watch pre-recorded videos, at least not at the moment. (see my answer just above) That said, there are vast amount of resources on the online learning platform to watch, read, etc. for those interested.

        Have you already met your potential supervisor ?
        Yes and no :) We have met a number of people, however our supervisors (advisors, in this program) will be determined in the coming few weeks.

        What are your expected deliverables in the next months ?
        The program capitalizes on the WBL (Work Based Learning) framework, which Middlesex apparently has a great deal of experience. First phase of our program therefore consists of a critical review of our professional capability and RAL (Review and Accreditation of Learning) claims, all of which are the expected outcomes of this phase. That said, though all participants will prepare the review, there will be optional modules available for those of us who would not like to make any (or both) of these RAL claims.

        I hope you find my answers helpful. If interested, I strongly recommend you to examine the program website and get in touch with the School for further details.


        • Posted by murozel on 11/20/14 5:24pm

          Here comes some good news! Middlesex University Business School has been included in the QS Global 200 list.
          Though entering the list from near the lower end, I think it is still quite fine to be in the list of QS Global 200 (and top 65 in Europe), considering there are thousands of business schools worldwide.


          • Posted by on 03/26/15 11:52am

            Hi All,

            Given that some of you have already started the DBA programme at the Middlsex University, would you be able to provide some insight as to how the first few months/year has been so far?

            What are the positives/negatives, and how have you found the structure of the programme so far? Any feedback would be much appreciated. Many thanks!


    • Posted by Breitoni on 03/27/15 10:46pm

      Hi all,

      I am happy to share my insights with you.

      First of all, it´s a great experience ! But I won´t regret my decision to start with the DBA at Middlesex.

      I think the programme structure is appropriate. The first phase is a reflecting one, whereas at the second phase you can apply the gained skills. It´s almost exactly as described on the homepage of MDX.


      • although there is a given time schedule you are able to do it in your pace
      • there is both enough guidance to give a structure and also leeway in doing it your way, e.g. writing the research proposal
      • there is guidance through your advisor
      • submitting deadlines help you not to procrastinate things ;-)
      • to undertake a DBA you need three things: time, time and time ;-)

      --> there are no issues I find really bad..... it was my own choice !!!

      Challenging are the following issues (at least for me):

      • the foreign language (I am from Germany)
      • doing the DBA besides a fulltime job, don´t underestimate this !!! (e.g. I investigated more than 520 hours for developing the research proposal)
      • your level of frustration tolerance has to be very very very high ;-)

      I would be happy to answer further questions.

      Best wishes

    • Posted by murozel on 03/29/15 7:12pm


      I second Breitoni. I am also quite happy with the University and the programme so far. I have just submitted my final assignments for the first module and waiting for the results, while in the meantime doing some prior research regarding my research proposal. In addition to what Bretioni has already said:


      • Prompt and useful replies whenever I need assistance.
      • Flexible structure of the programme: Though studying at a distance mostly, I have full access to campus facilities whenever I make it to campus. Face-to-face interaction, attendance to on-campus conferences&seminars are also encouraged.
      • Student support is very good i.e. IT support, library, online resources including access to many research sites.
      • University is passionate about its goals.

      Cons: None so far, considering my expectations.


    • Posted by Bruno on 06/13/15 10:10pm

      I am contemplating on applying for the DBA at Middlesex University. Does the first two modules also contain some solid component of research methods ie qualitative and quantitative research methods or that is assumed prior knowledge from one's masters. I note that most similar programs have some strong research methods modules prior to undertaking the proposal writing stage.

      Also just saw one from University of Derby, quite affordable. Any insights on the accreditation and rigour?

      • Posted by murozel on 06/14/15 8:01pm

        Hello Bruno,

        There are preparatory study units about these qualitative and quantitative research methods, particularly during the second phase of the programme i.e. after the Review and RAL Claims. However, these are not fully-fledged research methods courses that one can rely solely on to learn or refresh these skills. The learning in the first phase is generally about the concepts of reflection, reflexivity, reflective writing, types of knowledge, modes of research, practice based research, etc. The learning in the second phase is more research-methods oriented, but as I said above, this is again not a complete research methods course. The participants, provided they have earned the credits from the RAL Claims in the previous phase, are normally expected to have an understanding of these to some extent and to support their learning in the second phase with their own background reading as well.

        On the other hand, there might be an option as not to make a RAL Claim for Research Capability in the first instance, for example, and to take optional module(s) on research methods, then to make the necessary claim for credits. My humble advice at this point would be for you to ask these directly to the Business School prior to joining the programme so that you will have a clear understanding of all these possibilities (or perhaps lack of some possibilities), in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the way ahead.

        Best of luck with your studies!

  • Posted by rose on 04/25/18 10:51am

    Hi everyone, I am cosnidering starting a DBA at Middlesex and would appreciate feedback from the current or past students. How was your expereince - both good and bad?

    Many thanks in advance

  • Posted by FARRUKH IFTIKHAR on 11/20/19 7:49pm

    Dear All
    I am planning to do Dba from a good reputable UK University. I have seen comments in this thread from students at Middlesex University.
    Could anyone please share your experience at the University. Any former students who have completed the course please let me know about your experience. Also please let me know about how you benefited in terms of career. Thank you so much.