Starthclyde vs. Heriot-Watt vs. Middlesex vs. Hertfordshire

Program selection
  • Posted by burla018 on 06/23/13 8:48pm


    I have been looking at this website and have found this very helpful for people planning to take up a DBA programme.

    I am planning to enroll in a DBA programme. I have shortlisted the 4 DBA programmes as above.

    I had to eliminate DBA programmes from other Business Schools (e.g., Cranfld. Manchester, Aston etc.) as the cost were more than £25,000 while these 3 schools offered something below £25,000. I checked the RAE scores for these 3 unis and they are reasonable (ref -Guardian site) - Strathclyde (2850); Heriot-Watt (2400); Herts. (2150), Middlesex (2150).

    I have a few questions and would really appreciate any insights this group may have:

    1. How expensive is Strathclyde? Could not find these details from their website? How easy it is to get into a DBA there?
    2. How is the rating of Heriot-W vs. Herts vs. Middlesex? Heriot-W has a good rating Research wise - but when I looked at their Research staff, could not really find who is really working for the uni. or are they having a lot of visiting faculty?

    Thanks a lot for any inputs.


    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 06/25/13 8:03pm

      Dear Satya,

      thank you for your question. Strathclyde has a system where you pay per academic year. The amount of tuition fees per academic year differs depending on the program and your area of origin. For overseas students, the DBA fees ("part-time postgraduate research degree" ) are not published, however. I have sent them an email and will let you know as soon as I have their answer.

      Screening your four aforementioned schools a bit closer reveals the following: None of them has the AMBA accreditation for the DBA program or AACSB accreditation for the institution. Strathclyde is the only one with EQUIS accreditation though. Please have a look at our article on accreditations.

      Secondly, if you take the FT Global MBA Ranking and re-rank it for the criterion "Research" (=publication of top-45 management journals), you only find Strathclyde included (out of your four selected schools).

      If you take the FT European Business School Ranking 2012, you only find - again - Strathclyde included (out of the four). Of course, this is no research ranking. Instead, it aggregates MBA, EMBA, MIM, and ExEducation rankings - but it tells you something about the exposure to managers and a likely reputation a school have in the business world - something that you may want to consider even for a research degree such as the DBA.

      As for the RAE, I could only find results for 2008 referring to research activities from 2001 to 2007.. so a while ago, actually. Here I find the percentages of worldclass research ratings:

      • Hertfordshire: 5 percent
      • Middlesex: 5 percent
      • Heriot-Watt: 10 percent
      • Strathclyde: 25 percent

      So, all of these are just indicators. It appears that Strathclyde is the strongest regarding publication exposure and recognition - but that doesn't mean that you do the DBA there.

      I would get into contact with the people that run the DBA program at each of these schools and even visit the campus. Do you feel treated well? Do you feel comfortable? Also, you can tell them that you are concerned about their reputation as a research institution and the value of the DBA - will be interesting to see what they answer to you.

      You can also ask them how they see their institution developing as a research institution - for instance, whether they plan to recruit more professors in the future. Also, I would ask them to bring you in contact with 2 or 3 current and ex DBA students. Interview them via Skype, for example.

      All of this will help you assess which institution is better apt for you.

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 06/27/13 1:31pm

      Hi there again,

      I investigated a bit more in the UK VISA regulations and exchanged some information directly with Strathclyde. Here is my brief summary:

      People need to find out first whether they need a Tier 4 Visa.

      • If they need a Tier 4 Visa, they cannot study the DBA on a part-time base. Then only the full-time option is possible and the tuition fees are £3,600 per year for EU students and £10,200 per year for non-EU students.
      • If they don’t need the Tier 4 Visa, they can study the DBA full-time or part-time. In that case, they pay £1800 tuition fees per year for the part-time track and £3,600/£10,200 per year fulltime (depending on whether they are residents of the EU or not).

      You can find more information on the UK Visa system here.

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by burla018 on 06/28/13 12:03pm

      Hi Thomas - Thanks a lot for this very useful information. Looks like Starth. scores best when it comes to Research. The fees information is also very useful.