Doctor of Business Administration Course (DBA)

Course Overview

  • Attendance

    Part Time
  • Venue

    Blended Learning 
  • Cost

    See funding information below

With a focus on the development of knowledge with practical application, our DBA is designed to support leaders, managers and professionals in industry to address real business issues in a contextual setting. Delivered part-time, the programme allows you to combine the managerial demands of your career with your drive to gain a professional doctorate, the highest level of professional qualification available in business and management.

Our DBA gives you the opportunity to join like-minded individuals and be part of an ever-developing relationship between academia and business, creating a valued learning experience whilst developing novel solutions to key challenges and making a real contribution to your chosen field.

The DBA will enable you to:

  • Make an original contribution to the enhancement of professional practice
  • Apply original thought to managerial-level practice
  • Conceptualise current research literature to identify gaps in knowledge
  • Demonstrate sound understanding of techniques to undertake research
  • Develop key skills in constructing research instruments (quantitative or qualitative)
  • Demonstrate advanced research analysis skills (for both quantitative and qualitative data)
  • Develop ability in judgement, foresight and problem analysis when assessing original research material derived from empirical research
  • Develop academic writing skills to enable you to submit researched work for publication, ensuring it satisfies peer review and merits a contribution to knowledge by extending the boundaries of professional practice
  • Clearly articulate your thesis to meet the academic standards of a doctoral award

Everything you need to know

Delegates on the DBA programme are experienced business professionals, usually educated to Masters level.  If you would like to discuss your position in relation to the entry requirements below please do not hesitate to contact the research office by calling +44 (0)113 812 5375 or emailing:

  Entry Requirements
Qualifications Undergraduate degree

Usually a Master’s degree or MBA

For candidates from non-English speaking countries outside of the UK - IELTs certificate of 7.0 with no sub score below 6.5
Work Experience 4 - 5+ years
Seniority Experienced professionals
Research Proposal 2000 words

Annual Fees

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) fees for the academic year 2021/22: 

£5,500 for Home applicants and £7,000 for International (Non-EU) Applicants. 

The writing up fee is £500.


For the latest information on any funding that may be available towards the DBA programme, please contact the research office by calling +44 (0)113 812 5375 or emailing

For information on how to apply, please find further details here.

Leeds Business School offers organisations a new perspective on challenges that have resulted in tremendous upheaval throughout the last decade, as a result of the global financial crisis, corporate scandals and more recently, Brexit.

These business challenges have been extensively researched by our academics who can offer you new insights in order for you to research and develop solutions to address these challenges within your sector.

For information on entry criteria, fees, structure and the application process please contact: - You are encouraged to verify your qualifications before entering into further discussions.

If you have any academic queries about the DBA programme, please email: and the school’s Postgraduate Research Student Programme Director (PhD and DBA) Dr Moade Shubita:

If you have any academic queries about the DBA programme, please email the school’s Postgraduate Research Student Programme Director (PhD and DBA) Dr Moade Shubita:


Delivery of DBA units

The first two years’ units will require attendance to three four-day blocks of scheduled programmes for each of the two years (six four-day sessions in total). Evenings and a potential further ‘day five’ offers you independent learning time or activities including guest speakers and ‘industrial visits’ to businesses. In total, a minimum of 24 days attendance will be required during the first 24 month period.

The blocks will initially be tutor-directed seminars or workshop-based tuition sessions that will evolve to tutor and participant-led discussion and activities. In the method and analytical units, you will use appropriate software for analysis. Students will be expected to read/prepare materials in advance of the sessions.

You will also spend substantial independent learning time undertaking wider reading, drafting assignments and revising your assignments after receiving formative feedback.

In year one, you will be able to attend three units to help develop your critical evaluation skills and writing style for academic reports. This will be complemented with an insight into research philosophies and how these can be applied to investigate contemporary practices.

Year 1 Subjects

  • Management Literature Review
  • Research Design for Business inquiry
  • Contemporary Management Challenges I

In year two, the foundation skills of management literature review, research philosophy for business, advanced analytics, and contemporary management challenges will be further explored to help you gain a deeper and richer understanding of the key skills required to undertake an independent research project. The units in years one and two will be delivered three times in a year, over a four-day intensive study period.

Year 2 Subjects

  • Critical Management Literature Review
  • Advanced Business Analytics
  • Contemporary Management Challenges II

Students will be required to submit an outline of their coursework for each subject, a week after the four-day workshop. Feedback will then be provided so that participants can start to prepare their critical review for each subject.

Each coursework submission will form the foundation chapters for the final thesis.

The final two year(s) will be dedicated to the thesis.

Class contact will be supported by electronic and personal meetings with the unit tutor(s) and DBA management team to help provide guidance on key reading material and assessment structure for each unit.

After each block of delivery, students will be required to submit a short synopsis of the outline of their subject assignment and academic feedback will be offered.

The DBA thesis will be comparable in structure to a PhD thesis (c. 60,000 words) and will be examined viva voce in the same way as any other doctoral programme.

Candidates seeking admission onto our DBA will be required to submit a research proposal on one of the following research priorities for Leeds Business School:

  • Accountancy & Finance
  • Business Strategy, Operations & Enterprise
  • Economics, Analytics & International Business
  • Leadership, Governance & People Management 
  • Marketing (Branding, Strategy, Innovation, etc.)
  • Public Relations, Communications & Journalism

Other business-related topics will also be considered.

Candidates who enrol on our DBA will be expected to start their research journey with a specific problem in mind. This will require candidates to initially submit a 2000 word research proposal on a topic / business problem they will investigate to make a contribution to knowledge and an impact in the sector.

Structure of Research Proposal

Section Description Word Count
1. Title of research What will you research and what will be the impact? 8 - 12 words
2. Aim / Purpose of the Research What specifically will you research and what do you hope to achieve from undertaking it? 200 - 300 words
3. Research Objectives List three to five focused objectives of what you will investigate and how you will make a contribution to knowledge. 3 - 5 sentences (max 50 words)
4. Literature Review (Contribution to knowledge) What are the current views / models in your research topic? Who has been critical of research issues in the subject? How will you make a contribution to knowledge and practice? 800 - 1000 words
5. Research Methodology How will you investigate your research topic? How will you collect and analyse the data? What is your sampling criteria? How will you prove your results are reliable and valid? 500 - 700 words
6. Proposed Outcomes List of three to five bullet points of your contribution to knowledge and practice 3 - 5 sentences (max 50 words)
7. References Cite all references used in your research proposal. Make sure you use contemporary references in your chosen research topic area and methodology selected  

For more information on how to develop your proposal, please contact us.

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