Doctor of Business Administration DBA

Key Facts

  • Level:

    Postgraduate

  • Duration:

    Part Time: 4 Years

  • Starting:

    September

  • UK Fees 22/23:

    Year 1 and Year 2: £8000 per year
    Year 3 and Year 4: £4000 per year

  • International Fees 22/23:

    Year 1 and Year 2: £8000 per year
    Year 3 and Year 4: £4000 per year

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 893981

Overview


This course has been suspended for September 2022. The next expected intake is September 2023.

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctorate with the same status as a PhD. It is the highest qualification available in business and management, designed for senior professionals who wish to advance their careers by developing their academic research and critical thinking skills. The Northampton DBA is a part-time programme that typically runs over four years. The first two years are structured around facilitated modules that provide the foundations for the research project, the main element of the DBA. This research project needs to make a significant contribution to professional practice by developing existing theories and knowledge.

It may be possible for international students to attend some modules or workshops in Northampton using a Visitor Visa. Please contact Hala Mansour: hala.mansour@northampton.ac.uk to discuss this option.

Updated 12/08/2022

Highlights


  • Further enhance your opportunities in senior management and/or consultancy roles.
  • Part time study to fit around you.

Course Content


  • The DBA provides the opportunity for you to cultivate the skills needed to find better solutions for intractable problems and develop new paradigms for the increasingly complex, turbulent and interconnected business environment. It does this by:

    • honing your critical thinking and analytical skills to identify the core or ‘real’ issues
    • refining your capability to evaluate evidence on which to base decisions
    • developing your ability to produce robust and reliable research
    • improving the clarity with which you present and support arguments
    • providing the understanding for you to question ideas and options appropriately

    Through undertaking rigorous research into a meaningful and complex issue within your own organisation, you will make a direct contribution to your executive or professional practice.

    In this way, the Northampton DBA will enable you to differentiate yourself, not just in terms of having the qualification, but also in the way you work and think.

    Modules

    Information about the modules for this course can be found on the award map:

    DBA modules

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

    Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme

    The Doctor of Business Administration programme is part of the Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELCS). The ELCS is an opportunity for members of the Armed Forces to further or expand on their education. The scheme offers support financially in a maximum of three separate financial years for higher level learning of a nationally recognised qualification at a Level three or above.

  • Applicants will need to meet all of the following criteria

    • hold a Masters degree in a business-related subject, normally completed within the last ten years.
    • have a minimum of five years’ relevant work experience, at an appropriate level.
    • be employed in a senior leadership/management role capable of supporting the achievement of the programme learning outcomes, including the professional research project.

    Please visit the application support page for further information and download the Research Topic Form. For more information on how to apply, please visit the ‘how to apply for research degrees’ page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in categories (or equivalent)
      for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 22/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Part Time: £8000 in Year One, £8000 in Year Two, £4000 in Year Three and £4000 in Year Four
    • International Distance Learning: £8000 in Year One, £8000 in Year Two, £4000 in Year Three and £4000 in Year Four
    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2022. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Part Time: £8000 in Year One, £8000 in Year Two, £4000 in Year Three and £4000 in Year Four
    • International Distance: £8000 in Year One, £8000 in Year Two, £4000 in Year Three and £4000 in Year Four
    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2021. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

  • Application Form

    It may seem obvious, but please fill out your application in full. Missing information can cause delays in processing your application. It’s really important that you include a current email address that is personal to you and one that monitor regularly, as we use email to arrange interviews and to get back to you with any additional information that we may need for your application. It’s also important to include a current mobile telephone number (with the country code). This is just in case we need to contact you urgently about your application. Our first form of contact will be email but there are occasional situations when we may need to call you so make sure to include your contact number.

    CV
    Submit an up-to-date CV

    Remember that one of the entry requirements for the DBA is that you are in a senior management/leadership position. Those reviewing your CV may not be from your industry and so you will need to include the roles and responsibilities associated with your job title – we need the key points.

    It may be that you are involved with another organisation outside of work, such as a professional body or charity. Remember to include it so it can be taken into consideration.

    Another entry requirement is five years experience at an appropriate level. Does your CV show how you meet this requirement?

    Qualifications and other management training or development that supports your application

    Make sure you give all your qualifications from your Bachelor’s degree onwards. Please include professional qualifications as well as academic qualifications, if you have them.

    If you were awarded your Masters 10 or more years ago we will need to understand how you might have kept up to date with developments in management and your functional area since then. One way of doing this may be through training and development, so make sure that you include it. Even if you have recently completed your Masters it is still important to include this because it strengthens your CV and application.

    Make sure you give information about who provided the training/development, what it was, when and whether or not it was certificated. If you have written or delivered conference pages include that information also.

    Personal Statement
    This should be about one side of A4 and cover all of the following:
    • What is your motivation for undertaking a doctoral level qualification?
    • Why have you chosen to apply for a DBA rather than a PhD?
    • What has attracted you to the University of Northampton’s DBA?
    • If you MBA was completed 10 or more years ago, how have you kept up to date with developments in your field and generally in business and management? You may want to refer to your CV for this.
    • How you meet the requirements for 5 years of relevant experience and currently in a management/leadership position? You may want to refer to your CV for this.
    • What is your thinking on how you will find the time to undertake the DBA alongside, work, family and other commitments?

    For all the areas you do not have to write a lot but what you do write must be specific to your situation – avoid general statements.

    References
    How many references do you need?

    You need submit two references with your application. If you do not do this your application may be delayed.

    Who do the references need to be?

    Ideally, one of your references should come from your current manager and another from an academic from your Masters programme.

    If a reference from your manager is difficult, try to get someone who is not your manager but knows you and is senior to you. It is very helpful if the reference can show that the organisation will support you in undertaking the DBA by being flexible so you can attend workshops and giving you access to information to complete assignments based on your workplace.

    Getting an academic reference may be harder if it is a while since you did your Masters and we do understand that. Make sure that the reference is for a DBA and not a PhD. Please do not use a reference written for another course or University.

    If it is not possible to get one or both  if the above, then we will accept other references. If the referee wants to submit the reference directly to the University please contact pgradmissions@northampton.ac.uk for advice on doing this.

    Make sure your references are recent, they should not be more than 4 months old when submitted.

    Qualifications Certificates/Passport

    Please make sure you provide a scanned copy of all your degree certificates (together with their transcripts), any professional qualifications and your passport. Your application cannot be processed without them.

    Language Capability

    If you are not a native English speaker, for Doctoral level of study, you will be required to demonstrate language capability equivalent to IELTS 7.

    Normally those with Masters from the UK will meet this requirement.

    If you are successful in being offered a place, and the place is conditional on language capability, you will need to take IELTS or an equivalent recognised language test.

    Research Topic Form

    We’ve put together a document for Research Topic form guidance, which provides all the details you’ll need for filling out the form. We have also completed an example form so you can see how it should look.

    Interview
    When will I know about the interview?

    If your application form and research topic form pass the initial review you will be invited for an interview. The interview is a vital element of the selection process of the DBA.

    What will the interview cover?

    The interview will cover all aspects of your application, so you should be prepared to discuss and expand on anything you submitted. Typically, most time is spent discussing the Research Topic Form. This means that you need to be very familiar with what you have written and the sources you have used. You will need to be prepared not only to explain and defend your thinking but to consider alternative ideas and approaches that the interview panel may wish to discuss.

    What are the arrangements for the interview?

    All interviews are conducted by a panel of at least two people. Once a suitable panel has been formed, with a time and date that all members of the panel can make, you will receive a calendar invitation with a Go-to-Meeting link. You must accept this invitation as soon as possible.

    If you are unable to make the time and date of the interview again let us know as soon as possible and we will look to rearrange the interview. Please note it may take a week to find a new time and date and the new interview maybe two to three weeks after the original date.

    If we have not heard from you within 5 days of sending out an interview invitation, the interview will be cancelled, and the application rejected.

    It is important that you undertake the interview on a laptop or desktop (not a smartphone or tablet) and that you have checked out the internet connection as well as your camera (yes we do need to see you!), microphone and speakers. We often find that bandwidth can be an issue so it is important that you arrange to be somewhere with a strong internet connection for your interview.

    Interviews normally last 35 – 45 minutes and need to start within 5 minutes of the time given. If you are not there then the interview will be cancelled.

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Careers and Employability


After becoming the first recipients in the University’s history, our new DBA graduates are ready to put their learnings into practice in their high-flying careers.

“I knew when I completed my MBA that I wanted to embark on a DBA programme so as soon as one became available at the university, I applied and have never looked back. Completing the DBA has already helped me to progress in my career and the skills I have gained from achieving this qualification will certainly equip me with the tools I need to achieve my professional goals.”

Read more about DBA graduates.

Image - DBA graduates-min

Student Story

Shaun’s Story

“With so much change taking place in the UK, there’s no better time to study a DBA, it is this link between academic research and developing real practical solutions that is so important,” said Shaun.

“I genuinely believe it’s something for senior executives who are looking for a professional development programme that’s going to help them manage change and come up with solutions.

“I chose the DBA route instead of a PhD because it allows you to apply theory in your workplace. For example, I’m carrying out research on the importance of identity and how this links to organisational performance and the wellbeing of our staff, so important at this time of change. Academic research is one thing, but it is the ‘so what’ factor that is important to me.”