What is the DBA?
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. It is specifically designed for senior professionals who wish to advance their careers by developing their research, analytical 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.
Why complete the Northampton DBA?
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 in several ways:
- encouraging your critical thinking and analytical skills to identify the core or ‘real’ issues
- developing your ability to identify and evaluate, as well as generate, relevant evidence on which to base decisions
- improving the clarity with which you present and support arguments
- providing the expertise for you to examine robustly ideas and options
- providing you with a strategic focus and wider perspective of business and management
Furthermore 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.
Case Study: Instead of fighting fires, Senior Executives can manage change thanks to the DBA course
With the relentless march of the digital revolution, the uncertainty of Brexit, increased overseas competition and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s fair to say UK plc is having to contend with some seismic changes to the business and political landscapes.
While the pressure may be on for senior executives to work out how to overcome these challenges, Shaun Hallam, a firefighter from Northampton believes the solutions already exist.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
Please see the DBA Module Progression Download for further information about module content.
GRA8016 Principles of Research
This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore the principles of research which underpin investigations in a variety of applied settings. Students will critically examine the various ontological and epistemological approaches to knowledge within their discipline and develop a critical awareness of the ethical dilemmas.
GRA8004 ‘Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis’
This module aims to develop skills in quantitative data analysis to an advanced level. Students will have the opportunity to develop operational familiarity with a wide range of data management and analytic techniques which are commonly in use in professional
research. They will explore how these techniques may be applied in practice by interrogating established research data sets. By the end of the module students will be conversant with a broad range of tools which may be considered for use in the doctoral thesis.
GRA8010 ‘Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis’
In recent years, the application of qualitative approaches to both research and evaluation within the professional arena has been steadily gathering momentum. Some would argue that such techniques can help bridge the gap between scientific evidence and professional work-based practice by enabling researchers to gather ‘richer’ descriptive data which provides valuable insights into the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and experiences of a range of stakeholders. By the end of the module, students may be conversant with a broad range of tools and techniques associated with qualitative methodological approaches, and their philosophical underpinnings, which will then be considered for use in the doctoral thesis.
GRA8001 ‘Developing Leadership in Business Research’
This module will develop skills in the translation of research into practice through the review of research culture, research opportunities, and investigation of issues associated with the leadership and management of research and research teams. Students will examine potential barriers to the development of a research-based work environment in business including those at organizational, strategic, inter- and intrapersonal levels. Students will then explore mechanisms for overcoming such hurdles and develop innovative research leadership strategies appropriate for their own working environments across blended interests of public, private, third or community sectors within a corporate citizenship paradigm.
GRA8002 Part one and Part two ‘Reflecting on Business Practice’
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to acquire appropriate evidence and to critically reflect upon existing practice and their own experiences within a professional context. Students are required to identify an appropriate topic aligned to their professional area and explore the appropriateness of current practice by designing, carrying out and analyzing an appropriate audit or evaluation with a clear reference to the contextual research literature. This may include examination of an issue related to business management or organisational related training or education. Students should reflect on their findings and make evidence-based recommendations for the improvement of practice environments across blended areas of public, private, third and community sectors within a corporate citizenship paradigm.
GRA8015 The Research Proposal
This module aims to draw together the knowledge and skills provided in the preceding modules so that students can define an original work-based research project with clear aims and research philosophical underpinning. Students will be expected to translate this into a research proposal and plan that covers methodology and methods and ethical considerations. and knowledge and skills to an opportunity to explore the principles of research which underpin investigations in a variety of applied settings.
GRA8006 Professional Research Project
The thesis element of a professional doctorate programme provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate high-level research skills in a written thesis and defend those at an oral examination.
Module information is quoted for 16/17 currently. The course modules for 17/18 will be confirmed in Spring, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
The facilitated modules take place during the first two years. These modules are delivered by workshop, supported with online learning resources to build a strong network of peer and tutor support.
The professional research project is undertaken over the third and fourth years of the course. You will be allocated a supervisory team, with supervision meetings being individually negotiated. You can typically expect to meet with your supervisory team approximately once every eight weeks.
A combination of written assessment including essays, portfolios, reports, data analysis as well as individual presentations and group discussions will be used. These are designed to support your learning and develop the skills required to implement your ideas at doctoral level.
The research project is assessed in the same way as a PhD by a written thesis and a viva voce examination. The thesis will be examined by an internal examiner from the University of Northampton and an external examiner who is selected for subject knowledge and comes from the wider academic community.
You will already be well advanced in your career. Nevertheless, the DBA enables you to differentiate yourself in the employment marketplace and so further enhance your opportunities in senior management and/or consultancy roles. The programme achieves this by developing your critical and analytical skills thereby building your capacity to address complex business problems of strategic significance through the creative and innovative application of scholarship.
How to apply
Applications for this programme are made directly to the University and will need to submit the following documents with your application:
- DBA Research Area Form – a 1000 word research proposal describing your proposed area of research
- a personal Statement which contains (at least) the following information:
- your reasons for wishing to study a DBA
- that you have a minimum of five years’ work experience, at least some of which should be at a senior level
- that you are currently employed in a leadership/management role capable of supporting the achievement of the programme learning outcomes
- whether you wish to be considered for a Changemaker Scholarship and how your area of research interest has the potential to contribute to the Changemaker Challenge ‘to make Northamptonshire the best county in the UK to start, build and run a business’
- two references
- photocopies or scans of degree certificates
- evidence of English language ability (where English is not the first language)
Applicants will also be expected to attend an interview. For further application information please see our how to apply for research degree study page.
Applicants will need to meet all of the following criteria
- hold a Masters degree in a business-related subject, 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.
English language entry requirements for Postgraduate Research study at the University of Northampton are currently an overall IELTS score (or equivalent) of 7.0 with no component less than 6.5. For a full list of acceptable English Language qualifications, please contact The Admissions Office.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£6,940 in Year One and Year Two (£5,340 with Changemaker Scholarship) £3,470 Year Three and Year Four (£2,670 with Changemaker Scholarship)|
In February 2013, the University of Northampton became the first Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in the UK. As part of its commitment to Transform Lives and Inspire Change, the University has set itself four Changemaker challenges, including ‘to make Northamptonshire the best county in the UK to start, build and run a business’ where a business can be a social enterprise.
So, if your area of research has the potential to contribute to making Northamptonshire the best county to do business because:
- the research will be undertaken within the context of Northamptonshire
- the outcomes of the research might be expected to be directly relevant for businesses in Northampton.
You may wish to apply for a DBA Changemaker Scholarship. The process is straightforward. In your personal statement you include a section on how your area of research interest has the potential to contribute to the Changemaker Challenge. This will then be covered as part of your interview for a place.
Any questions please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org