The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been designed to increase your professional capabilities, make a positive contribution to your organisation, and produce publishable-level research.
The DBA is structured in a way that allows you to develop the necessary academic skills to complement your existing professional skills set.
STAGE 1 - Taught component
The first two years consists of four 30 credit modules. Each module takes place over a six month period (semester).
Module 1: Advanced Management Practice
This is the starting point for your final research project. It allows you to reflect on your own professional practice and explore emerging trends within your sector/industry. You will examine the area you intend to study from the practitioner perspective, analysing existing levels of practice, looking at the problem definition from the perspective of those within the sector/industry, and exploring new developments in your field. You will then develop initial research question(s) and objectives to guide you to the relevant extant literature.
Module 2: Understanding Management Theory
You will explore the theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research. It will involve undertaking a structured, thematic, analysis of your literature and explores the theory/practice nexus that underpins your DBA. You will also be introduced to how you conceptualise the issue you are researching and draw out key relationship to be analysed, which will allow you to refine your research question(s) and objectives and act as a guide to your methodological approach.
Module 3: Current Approaches to Management Research
This module will introduce you to the theoretical underpinnings of research methodology. It looks at the epistemology and ontology of knowledge generation, different research philosophies, alternative research paradigms, strategies, methodologies and methods. You will critically examine the approaches that are appropriate to your research question(s)/objectives in terms of reliability, validity and generalisability. It will also explore the ethical issues surrounding your research, especially in relation to the insider-researcher problem.
Module 4: Research Design and Implementation (pilot)
Through modules 1-3, you will have developed and refined your research question(s)/objectives, related these to extant literature and developed the overall methodological approach that is appropriate for your research project. You will now be in a position to operationalise your research. Through a pilot study, this module will allow you to test your research instruments, explore how you analyse and present data and form the basis of your main research study.
STAGE 2 - Research component
Research Proposal Approval
The research proposal is situated at 18 months as after this time period you will have completed three of the modules and produced the equivalent of 18,000 words. As these modules will have provided you with the initial problem definition (assignment 1), a review of the extant literature (assignment 2) and an examination of the methodological approach (assignment 3), you would normally be in a position to develop a coherent proposal.
Upgrade of Registration
By this stage of the programme you will have refined your research instruments, operationalised a pilot study for the main research and be in a position to proceed with their main primary research project. By building in supervisory meetings it will mean that you will have benefited from a structured programme of support that will have prepared you for the upgrade.
The Thesis and Viva
The final DBA is assessed through the production of a 60,000 word thesis, which is defended in a viva voce examination.