DBA Doctorate of Business Administration

An innovative alternative to the PhD, enabling professionals to use applied research and become influential leaders in business

DBA Doctorate of Business Administration

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is an innovative alternative to the traditional PhD. The DBA course is designed to enable professionals to use applied research and become influential leaders in business, gaining a recognised qualification.

Business leaders recognise the operational and strategic challenges they face, for example, new technologies, increased business outsourcing, greater political uncertainty and business volatility.

Such complexities require that organisations identify and respond more quickly to changing risk profiles, providing innovative solutions to complex problems.

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) course provides an opportunity for you to do so. You will study taught modules and, via applied research, you will make an impact upon your organisation by delivering unique solutions based upon accurate analysis of global challenges.

This is the ideal qualification to enhance your career projection, which allows you to learn in work and at work, combining full-time employment with studying for a flagship Doctorate of Business Administration.

Please note to join the DBA September 2021 intake, you must submit your application by 14 August 2021.

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What you will study

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a part-time, distance learning or full-time doctoral course. Study includes: taught modules (years one and two) and independent, applied research undertaken in your own work environment/organisation (years three/four).

In the first two years, students will undertake advanced studies on leadership and management practice, critiquing existing theories and learning about applied research methods.

Module list

  • Work-based Responsible Leadership
  • Contextualised Strategic Management
  • Creating Contextualised Organisational Value
  • Applied Operations and Analytics for Management Decision Making
  • Research Methods
  • Project Design, Development and Management.

Why choose this programme?

  • Strengthen your strategic thinking skills, develop a robust theoretical underpinning in your sector, enhance your skills in presentation and analysis
  • Create a focused portfolio of academic work which can establish your organisation as being at the ‘cutting edge’
  • Advance your professional standing and recognition in the field
  • Flexible taught study offered full-time, combined with independent research
  • Research projects are undertaken in your work environment and complements current employment
  • An innovative emerging qualification designed to meet the increasing demands of applied business environments equivalent to a traditional PhD
  • Taught by leading professors and academics in the field of business and management

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements

UK Honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, plus three to five years work experience in a relevant field.

Flexible Entry – Credit Transfer and RPL

An applicant can seek entry to the programme if they do not have the normal entry requirements, but can demonstrate that they have achieved the prerequisite skills and knowledge through their experience, or informal learning (Recognition of Prior Learning).

Applicants may be granted entry with advanced standing, if they can demonstrate equivalence to the learning outcomes of a module. A student can gain credit towards an award through a combination of prior informal and prior certificated learning.

Exemptions may be granted for stage 1 modules as follows:

• Research Methods, if the applicant possesses a Masters in Research or Philosophy or equivalent
• Other stage 1 modules if the applicant possesses a Master of Business Administration or equivalent

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element less than 6.0.

International Pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications
Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Fees and funding

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees 2020/21

Total full-time fee (over four years):

Scotland and RUK: £12,800

EU and International: £24,000

Annual part-time fee:

Scotland and RUK: £3,200

EU and International: £6,000

Total distance learning fee (over four years) for all student fee status types: £17,920

Writing up fee

An additional writing up fee of £525 per year can be charged where students do not complete within the designated timeframe.

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs

Writing up fee

An additional writing up fee of £525 per year can be charged where students do not complete within the designated timeframe.

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only. Fees and refund policy.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2 million per year.

View our Postgraduate scholarships.

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