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Postgraduate study
Business Administration (DBA) (Online)

Business Administration (DBA) (Online) Doctorate

Today’s global business environment is disruptive and dynamic, posing a range of leadership challenges for organisations. You develop the knowledge and skills required of business leaders within the complexities of the fourth industrial revolution, on this 100% online DBA course.


Course overview

Dr Ryan Thomas Williams, Teesside University Online

Hear from Dr Ryan Thomas Williams about studying DBA with Teesside University Online.

Learn through a combination of pre-recorded sessions and manage your studies at a pace that suits you, to work around existing professional commitments.

You become a research-informed business leader, applying best practices within your own management and in your organisation. Get a range of perspectives on business effectiveness, efficiency and capability through theory and practical study. Reflect on your skills, speaking to global peers and challenging your assumptions to transform your professional practice.

Working autonomously with support from your supervisory team, you build on previous knowledge and experience, gaining confidence in academic research to study at doctoral level.

You select a research topic aligned to your personal and professional objectives. Previously, examples of these have included studies of commitment to personal development, changes in public sector organisation, challenges in technological adoptions, leadership development and the impact of organisational culture on efficiency.

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Course details

Develop your knowledge through a well-balanced and integrated curriculum. Build on your personal, professional, critical, thinking and reflective skills, preparing you to manage, lead and transform your organisations.

You study three modules. Start by getting your bearings with research, then learning how to engage with academic literature at doctoral level, before formally reviewing literature relevant to your study. You are required to design a study, which brings to the fore some complex philosophical issues about what insight we can gain from the data you obtain. You then analyse and present your data in a meaningful way. Finally, you write up your study in the form of a thesis 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:

1. internationalisation and globalisation
2. organisational practices
3. 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.

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.


How you learn

You have a high-quality and meaningful learning experience through the best use of technology, capturing the reality of the dynamic and disruptive professional world and finding solutions to global and social challenges.

Become future-ready on this course by developing intellectual curiosity, creativity and research action. Use your knowledge and skills to address social, ethical and business challenges of our times in multiple fields.

This programme is delivered flexibly to meet your needs. Content is broken down and introduced over each trimester to ensure deep learning takes place. Learning is pre-recorded with additional support tailored to individual needs. This includes:

  • interactive video materials
  • individual and group tutorials
  • readings and accompanying interactive exercises
  • online discussion forums
  • virtual action learning sets
  • pod/vod casts, with accompanying tasks
  • online resources through the library.

Benefit from cross-cohort learning experiences, enriching your student experience and enhancing your ability to be self-directed and autonomous. Engage independently in video lectures, reading and online tasks. Collaborate, network and immerse yourself in group learning activities and forums using online tools to support peer-to-peer learning.

You progress towards becoming a digitally empowered learner, connecting yourself with other students globally and positioning yourself to make high-level impact in your organisation.

How you are assessed

A range of assessment methods is available to suit the demands of the workplace. These include research reports, literature reviews, a case study analysis, self-diagnostic assessments, a reflective analysis, a research proposal, pilot study and thesis.

Formative assessment:

Formative assessments are administered on the VLE platform through relevant discussion forums and peer engagement. You receive regular formative feedback and can receive feedback ahead of each summative assessment opportunity. All summative assessment methods for online students mirror those experienced by on-campus and blended-based students.


Entry requirements

The DBA (Online) 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.

  • A master's degree: applicants should have a master's degree in a subject that has aspects that relate to business and/or management.
  • +3 years' management experience: all applicants should have a minimum three years' managerial experience.
  • Research proposal. All applicants are required to complete a short research proposal. Please find our research proposal template. We recommend allowing one month to create your research proposal (prior to application). It's best to download the template now. Your proposal must be submitted using this template otherwise it will not be accepted.
  • English language: 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.

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.

The interview will normally explore
  • reason for your application
  • work experience
  • previous postgraduate qualifications
  • research experience
  • research areas of interest
  • all aspects of the research proposal
  • anything else deemed appropriate by the tutor connected to the proposed research.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

As a graduate, you may move into senior management and strategic leadership roles, or internal and external project consultancy roles. At the point of application, you are expected to be a senior business-based professional, as the course builds on your existing work experience and skills to develop you as a research-informed business leader.


Learning platform

Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is the platform you use to access your online course


Teesside University online learning courses are delivered through the Brightspace Learning Environment.

Here are some of the benefits.

  • You can use it on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
  • And you can use it anytime, so that you can plan your learning to fit your own schedule.
  • It's easy to use and navigate.
  • Modules are set out by topics and themes. You can use the progress bar to understand where you are in your modules, and appreciate your achievements.
  • We support you to become familiar with your VLE, helping you to start learning quickly.
  • You get feedback, help and guidance from tutors throughout your course through the VLE, and you can ask questions at any time.
  • Our tutors use a live activity feed to keep you updated about your course.
  • You can create a student profile, collaborate with other students and take part in online discussion forums.

Software requirements


Online learning

Online learning allows you to get a university-level qualification from the comfort of your own home or workplace. You'll have access to all of the world-class teaching and support that Teesside University has to offer, but all of your lectures, tutorials and assessments will take place online.

Find out more

University of the Year

Teesside University was named University of the Year at the Edufuturists Awards 2022.


  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for all applicants
£22,050 (£1,050 for each 20 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 4 years
  • Attendance: 100% online
  • Start date: October and March
  • Semester dates

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