Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

We provide you with an opportunity to work alongside some of the world's most distinguished research-led academics and thought leaders.

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The Henley Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is one of only nine programmes globally to have gained the prestigious AMBA accreditation. Since its launch in 1992, it has become the most established DBA programme in Europe with the highest number of graduates from over 30 countries around the world.

The Henley DBA is a part-time professional doctoral degree with an international scope and reputation, designed to enhance executive and professional practice through the application of sound theory and rigorous research into real and complex issues in business and management.

It enhances the capability to develop knowledge and theory, and their application. Key to this is a programme to develop personal, consultancy and research skills in the context of rigorous and relevant research.

The DBA programme contributes to the research excellence of Henley Business School. The theses produced receive commendations from accrediting bodies and examiners alike. Candidates include prestigious competition winners and the quality of theses is regularly praised as being the highest quality by scholars with global reputations in their field.

Research associates are members of our school structure and are encouraged to take part in activities of our research centres. By conducting original research in their specialist area, candidates are able to further their careers and build expertise to contribute to grow competitive advantage and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

The Henley DBA will enable you to

  • Develop a sound understanding of the relevant conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research into business and management
  • Have a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic and management enquiry
  • Create and interpret knowledge through original research. Enhance both your performance as a reflective practitioner and your professional practice
  • Develop personal, consultancy and research competences to undertake rigorous research at an advanced level that contributes to theory and practice in business and management

Who should consider a DBA?

The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced senior executives, consultants, management educators and business school academics. A DBA from Henley will enhance professional capability and credibility, develop networks, and provide a firm foundation for further career development or a major career move. Employers benefit from supporting candidates for the DBA by attracting, developing and retaining key talent and building knowledge for competitive advantage.

DBA and PhDs โ€“ Equal but different
The DBA and PhD are both doctorate degrees having the same status and challenges. The DBA has both rigour and relevance as it contributes to theory and practice in business and management. The DBA typically focuses on research โ€˜inโ€™ organisations rather than research โ€˜onโ€™ organisations. It is more likely to involve cross-disciplinary work and mixed methods, and to contribute to developing studentsโ€™ own practice and development. The DBA is a better choice if you wish to continue your career in business, whereas the PhD might be a better alternative for a career in academia.

Programme details

The Henley Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) programme consists of two distinct, but linked stages.

Stage 1: MSc in Business and Management Research

In line with all doctoral programmes, you will begin your journey by developing your research skills. At Henley, you work towards an additional qualification whilst you undertake this part of your development. Therefore, unless you already have an equivalent research qualification such as MRes or MPhil, you will complete the MSc in Business and Management Research.

The MSc in Business and Management Research provides a thorough grounding in research methodology and techniques. You will be preparing and developing your ideas and proposals for your own research โ€“ through teaching inputs and structured assessment – and also developing your competence to undertake research. This stage is scheduled over 18 months, with four one week compulsory workshops covering:

  • Research and Personal Development
  • Introduction to research methodology
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Quantitative research methods

This stage also includes research colloquia and other optional seminars.

Your MSc will promote the development of a deep knowledge of the research process and a broad understanding of the available range of research methodologies. As you progress though the MSc, you will also be developing your research questions, broadening your knowledge of the literature in the area you intend to research, and selecting the appropriate methodology and methods. Youโ€™ll finally arrive at a detailed research proposal, providing the platform for developing research in the DBA stage.

The assessed components of the MSc are:

  • Research outline interview: further develops your research ideas
  • Working paper: a scoping literature review of a selected area
  • Research skills: a critique of a selected research methodology and one other research target linked to your particular needs
  • Thesis critique: an evaluation of an existing doctoral thesis
  • Qualitative data analysis assignment
  • Quantitative data analysis assignment
  • Report on a pilot study: a report on a study involving a pilot collection of data
  • Research proposal: a detailed proposal for research โ€“ including literature review, methodology and methods โ€“ relating to a specific research area.

Stage 2: DBA

Your DBA stage has two assessed components relating to the completion of a research thesis and the development of competences relevant to the application of this research:

  • Report on two targets for development in the areas of personal, teaching and consultancy skills competences
  • Doctoral thesis

Support and supervision

In joining Henley Business School you gain access to the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) with extensive facilities for undertaking research including journals, textbooks, newspapers and online resources, plus previous doctoral theses and research articles.

You will also be able to access the ARC Online via the business school website, with full-text access to thousands of journal articles, company financial data and market research reports.

Core support

The overall academic content and quality of your programme will be led by the Director of the DBA programme, and the Doctoral Programme Team will support you throughout the process through to graduation.

Mentors

Each programme member is mentored through the MSc stage by a member of academic faculty, who will help you to develop your research expertise and achieve your competence development targets. At the pilot study/research proposal stage, you will begin to work with your supervisor.

Supervisors

Throughout the research process you will have the support of and guidance of at least one supervisor. Supervisors assess the โ€˜Research Proposalโ€™ and โ€˜Pilot Studyโ€™ in the MSc and then guide the programme member through the research process to submission of the thesis for examination at the viva in the DBA stage.

Research topics

There are a number of Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) research topics across the various academic disciplines at Henley Business School.

Why study a DBA

Few business schools can provide you with an opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s most distinguished research-led academics and thought leaders. With its global reputation for business thinking, Henley attracts some of the most influential academics and practitioners – people who are widely published and who are proud to share their wealth of professional knowledge with you.

During your studies you will benefit from dedicated supervision, impressive facilities and high quality support. You will also be working with a diverse cohort of fellow students who have a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds to expand and broaden your outlook.

In studying for the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Henley Business School you will benefit from:

  • Outstanding research facilities
  • Internationally-renowned mentors and supervisors
  • A high level of ongoing and administrative support
  • Participating in a wide range of events within the school
  • Being a research associate of a business school underpinned by a leading research intensive university

The alumni network

Your cohort and cohorts from previous years are likely to form the most valuable network throughout your career. From day one you join the alumni association, a group of more than 70,000 people spread over 150 countries. There are regional and international alumni groups and special interest groups providing a priceless series of events, mentoring programmes, career advice, and industry contacts and information.

The environment

Taught at our Greenlands campus on the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshire within 30 acres of beautiful conservation parkland. We are less than an hourโ€™s drive from Heathrow Airport, within easy reach of London and close to many major motorway links. It is perfect for quiet reflection as well as stimulating debate with other leading business minds and provides an ideal learning environment for busy executives: you have the space and surroundings required to stretch your mind and think away from the pressures of the office.

Class sizes are deliberately small and delivered in board-room style seminar rooms to facilitate group work and discussion. Resources include the ARC (Academic Resource Centre) that holds books, journals, market research reports, dissertations, working papers and company information. The modern new space provides the perfect place for study, including a 24-hour quiet study space.

Leisure facilities include a fully equipped and professionally staffed fitness centre, outdoor sporting facilities, on-site accommodation and restaurant.

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  • GDPR policy

    The personal information you supply on this form will be used to help us respond to your request, for quality assurance and for data analytics purposes. Your personal data will not be sold to any organisation, and will not be shared with any organisations outside the university apart from those that help us to provide this service or unless required by law. The information that has been provided in this form will be treated in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (2016) and all applicable data protection laws. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information. If, at some stage, you wish to be removed from our database, please advise us by emailing to info@henley.fi.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.