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Postgraduate study

Course overview

The DBA is a professional doctorate equivalent to a PhD but with a strong focus on applied research. It enables you to make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice through the application and development of theoretical frameworks and perspectives.

This programme gives you the opportunity to combine advanced study with professional experience. The structure allows you to gain knowledge and confidence in academic research at the beginning of the programme, followed by support from your supervisory team during the DBA Advanced Independent Work module. Examples of previous research include studies of commitment to personal development, changes in public sector organisation, and the impact of organisational culture on efficiency. All DBA lecturers are research-active and able to supervise a wide range of academic and practical research topics. You are encouraged to develop your reflexivity, positioning yourself as a critically informed practitioner. There is a possibility to choose between two pathways (part-time or full-time) depending on personal and professional circumstances. The programme allows you to build on previous learning in an area of business and/or management and expand skills and knowledge to undertake a doctoral-level study.Please note this course is delivered at our Middlesbrough campus.

Looking for a little more flexibility? We also offer a DBA (Online)


Course details

The DBA programme involves taught modules, which provide the theoretical and interdisciplinary foundations necessary for undertaking research at doctoral level. Outside the formal sessions, you are encouraged to participate in University and school-level events, such as research seminars and conferences.

You start by getting your bearings with research, then learn how to engage with academic literature at a doctoral level, before formally reviewing the literature relevant to your proposed study. You are then asked to design a study, which brings to the fore some complex philosophical issues about what we can know from the data we obtain. Next you analyse and present your data in a meaningful way. Finally, you write up your study and prepare to defend it at an oral (viva voce) examination.

Course structure

Core modules

Applying Management and Organisational Studies Research

This module is structured around three key interrelated themes: internationalisation and globalisation, organisational practices, and theory of management. You develop a critical appreciation of contemporary issues in organisation behavior and development and apply research skills to produce a literature review signposting a preferred theoretical underpinning. Due to the nature of this module and its focus on emerging management issues, the content may change year-on-year. However, typical content is likely to include organisational development, change theory, comparative management theory, talent management and reflective practice.

DBA Advanced Independent Study

The module requires you to draw creatively and critically upon your academic studies to develop and apply a specific piece of research to the organisational and/or professional discipline setting. In addition to incorporating the usual doctorate-level critical literature and methodological review, this module examines, evaluates and makes recommendations relating to current and possible future professional practice, demonstrating a contribution to the development of new knowledge within the appropriate professional field.

You are required to submit a 40,000-50,000 word Advanced Independent Study report for assessment and will be examined by viva voce.

Research Methods for Doctoral Students

This module provides a thorough introduction to management research and forms the basis for research training for doctoral students in business and management. You are introduced to a breadth of research philosophies and methodological approaches to give you a sufficient understanding to engage critically with the literature and make informed methodological choices in your own research projects, taking into account data analysis methods and any ethical issues and considerations. The aim is to achieve a balance between generic coverage of relevant material, and bespoke workshops which respond to your specific needs in terms of the research methods you propose to use in your study. This module also acts as bridging module between master’s and doctoral level.


Modules offered may vary.


Entry requirements

The DBA is designed for people who have achieved, or expect to achieve, senior organisational positions and/or who wish to enhance their analytical and research skills and knowledge. Applicants should have a master's degree in a subject that has aspects that relate to business and/or management, together with a minimum of three years' managerial experience.
Applicants should include a short research proposal with their application.

All prospective students will be interviewed. Applicants must show they have recent and relevant study or practice in the field of business and/or management.

Applicants whose first language is not English will need to satisfy the English language requirements which are a minimum overall score of 6.5 IELTS, and 5.5 in each band.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Typically graduates move into senior management and strategic leadership roles, internal consultant/project leadership roles or into external consultancy roles. DBA applicants are expected to be relatively senior business-based professionals at point of entry, so whilst the course will allow you to build on your existing work experience and skills, it will develop you as a research-informed business leader who is able to apply best practice within your organisational context and towards your own managerial practices.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,875 a year

£19,750 in total

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£12,375 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 2 years and 3 months (27 months)
  • Attendance: Teesside University
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time)



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants

Full course fee. Not eligible for any fee discounts.

More details about our fees

  • Length: within 4 years
  • Attendance: Teesside University
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


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