Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School

Business Administration (DBA), Doctorate


Doctorate of Business Administration

Our DBA is designed to improve your business and managerial practice through the development of your personal, intellectual and academic abilities via a research based project. It has a strong and committed focus on managerial and professional practice, and seeks to link the rigorous study of work-based problems and issues to personal and professional development, thereby ensuring transfer of learning into organisational and managerial practice.

Why study for the DBA at Nottingham Business School?

The DBA is a research-based qualification and has the same academic standing as a PhD. As a student you can therefore expect a challenging, stretching and demanding experience conducted in a stimulating atmosphere of intellectual and academic debate.

Practical perspective

Established approaches to advanced study through independent research are traditionally focused on academic training. Nottingham Business School’s DBA focuses on meeting the professional and personal needs of those working in demanding managerial roles.

Challenging traditional management understanding

The DBA will encourage you to challenge currently assumed knowledge and understanding of management. We support individuals’ commitment to finding new, innovative and personal responses to their organisational and managerial roles.

Supportive research community

Nottingham Business School’s DBA provides a supportive environment, encouraging networking between peers, academics and guest speakers.

Our DBA aims to have a wider impact and real-world influence, enabling you to make an important contribution to society, culture and business.

The DBA aims:

  • to explore the relationship between theory and practice; between understanding the world and changing it;
  • to develop your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations;
  • to develop you as a reflective practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with organisational change and ambiguity;
  • to develop communication skills which will enable you to communicate effectively with both academic and managerial / business communities, and to act as interpreters between the two; and
  • to help you design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge in your professional and managerial fields.

Course overview

Nottingham Business School’s DBA demands commitment, energy and hard work. In return it offers a stimulating and enjoyable development experience with the award of an increasingly valued and valuable qualification. The delivery has been specifically designed to meet the needs of participants in demanding jobs. A series of four modules with six workshops represents the taught element over the first three years of the programme.


The award of the DBA will be on the basis of successful completion of the four pieces of assessed work.

Nottingham Business School recognises that some individuals may not complete the final thesis of 50,000 – 60,000 words. Should students exit the course before the thesis phase of the programme, there is the possibility to earn a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology. Students who reach the viva stage but who do not achieve a DBA, may be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil). Examination of your thesis will involve a viva voce and an external assessor with expertise in the subject or topic area of the thesis.


You will form Action Learning Sets at the start of the programme which will operate throughout the four years. Sets are intended to provide a mechanism for mutual support and will be required to meet for a minimum of once per term.

You will be assigned two supervisors to support your research, and will be entitled to a specified minimum number of hours for supervisory meetings.

Our DBA demands commitment, energy and hard work. In return you will be provided with a stimulating and life-enhancing development experience with the award of an increasingly valued qualification.

Teaching ModePart-Time
Length4 Years
Application Deadline


Application Procedure

Entry requirements

  • You will need an MPhil, MBA or master's-level degree in Business, Management or Organisation Studies.
  • There are also English language requirements for International and EU students.

Further entry requirements:

  • significant experience in a senior management post
  • the ability to conduct research and write a thesis at doctoral level.

Those without a master's qualification but with significant work experience and evidence can undergo a process of Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning.

English language requirements

English language entry requirements for courses at Nottingham Business School and a full list of all English language qualifications accepted by the University are available on our website.

How to apply

All applicants are required to complete a Nottingham Trent University application form, submit copies of their qualifications and provide two confidential references.

Please email  for further information and an application form. 

Any questions?

Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 8088