Durham University Business School

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

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The Durham DBA is an executive doctoral programme for motivated, high achievers who want to develop their research, analytical and critical thinking skills to the highest level. The Doctorate in Business Administration is structured around a research project driven by the individual, with a focus on practical application in the business environment.

  • Develop the highest-level thinking and research
  • Present your findings at conferences globally
  • Contribute to your own professional practice

As a research degree, the Durham DBA offers skills and capabilities to discriminate between managerial “wisdom” and the results of rigorous, and relevant research, and educates our students to engage in the second of these both through the research philosophy and ethics, and the research methodology workshops.

The four substantive taught modules in the programme offer insights into various aspects of organisations.

  • The ecology module focuses on how environmental processes shape populations of organisations.
  • The marketing module concentrates on developing a critical understanding of marketing theory and practice, focusing specifically on key debates and cutting-edge knowledge that challenge conventional accounts and practices.
  • The power, control, and resistance module focuses on debates concerning the internal sociology of the organisations in terms of the division of labour, responsibilities and privileges.
  • The leadership module complements this approach with a dynamic, active, social and psychological framing that further seeks to interrogate methodological approaches to the study of leadership and its practice in organisations.

Programme outline:

The programme is offered on a flexible part-time basis and takes from four to six years to complete.

Years 1 and 2 comprise five taught modules delivered at the School.

Years 3 to 6 comprise individual supervised research and study.

Throughout your studies you’ll develop your research, analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills to the highest level. You’ll also gain a strategic focus that will enable you to contribute to your own professional practice and the wider subject area.


Teaching ModePart-Time
AccreditationsAACSB EQUIS AMBA
Tuition Fees

Year 1: £15,200

Year 2: £15,200

Year 3: £4,500

Year 4: £4,500

Year 5: £3,400

Year 6: £2,200

Year 7: Continuation fee

Length4 to 6 years
Application Deadline

The closing date for applications for October 2024 entry is Monday 19 August 2024.

Application Procedure


  • A Masters degree in a discipline related to business and management from a recognised university or other institution of higher education; or equivalent qualifications or experience
  • A minimum of five years management experience
  • A 1500-2000 word research proposal. Guidance on preparing your research proposal.
  • If English is not your first language you will need IELTS 7.0 (no element below 6.5) or Pearson Test of English Overall Score 70+ (No element below 62).


Applications are submitted via our Online Application Form. Please note you will have to register to begin your application