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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

Study at Teesside University International Business School

See what it’s like to study at our modern, enterprising and dynamic business school

You learn through pre-recorded sessions, allowing you to manage your studies at a time and pace to suit you, and around your existing professional commitments.

You become a research-informed business leader able to apply best practice within your organisation and in your own managerial practices. The interaction between theory and practice provides you with a range of perspectives that add value in terms of business effectiveness, efficiency and capability. You reflect upon your own professional and personal skills and engage in dialogue with global peers, to challenge your assumptions and transform your professional practice.

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

You select a research topic aligned to your personal and professional objectives. Examples of previous research include 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

The course offers a stimulating and well-balanced integrated curriculum that places emphasis upon developing the skills and knowledge of those individuals who aspire to achieve senior organisational positions within their business or industry setting. You will develop your personal, professional, critical thinking and reflective skills to prepare you to manage, lead and transform your organisations.

The course comprises three modules. 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 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

The DBA programme makes best use of technology towards affording learners a high quality meaningful learning experience that captures the realities of the dynamic and disruptive professional world, and to find solutions towards addressing some of the global and social challenges.

We are ambitious for you, and aim to develop you to become future ready as global citizens, using the learning from the course to develop intellectual curiosity, creativity, and research action. The course also helps you to use the knowledge and skills gained towards addressing social, ethical and business challenges of our times in multiple fields.

The DBA has been designed to be flexible in its delivery to ensure it meets the needs of the busy professional. Content is broken down and introduced over the duration of each trimester to ensure deep learning takes place. As such, methods used to facilitate learning will be pre-recorded with additional continuous support as per individual needs and will include:

  • 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.

Whilst you will be enrolled within a cohort of peers, you will also benefit from cross-cohort learning experiences - an approach that will ultimately enrich your student experience and enhance your ability to become a self-directed and autonomous learner. You engage with module content – such as video lectures, reading and online tasks – independent of other learners. However, you are also expected to collaborate, network and immerse yourself in group learning activities and forums through online collaboration tools designed to support peer-to-peer learning.

Using future facing learning and teaching strategies, the course will facilitate your progression towards becoming a digitally-empowered autonomous learner, connecting students on a global scale. The skills, knowledge and collaboration between students and their tutors will ensure that you will be future ready and in a position to make high level impact within their respective organisations.

How you are assessed

The course adopts a range of formative and summative assessment methods to suit the demands and requirements of the contemporary business workplace. These include: research reports; literature reviews; case study analysis; individual presentations; self-diagnostic assessments; reflective analysis; research proposal. pilot study and thesis.

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessments will be administered via the VLE platform through relevant discussion forums and peer engagement; quizzes; doctoral colloquium etc. Formative feedback will be given on a regular basis and you will be given the opportunity to receive feedback ahead of each summative assessment opportunity. All summative assessment methods for online students mirror those experienced by the 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.
  • 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 e.g. proposed, project aim, identified research gap, literature review, research methodology and research contribution to knowledge
  • Anything else deemed appropriate by the tutor connected to the proposed research

For general information please see our overview of 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


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2022/23 entry

Fee for all applicants
£19,740 (£940 for each 20 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 27 months
  • Attendance: Online
  • Start date: October and March
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)

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2022/23 entry

Fee for all applicants
£19,740 (£940 for each 20 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 4 years
  • Attendance: Online
  • Start date: October and March
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)

Please choose the relevant option below:

Apply online (part-time)

Enquire now

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