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Doctor of Business Administration Course (DBA)

Doctor of Business Administration Course (DBA)

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.


Plus Icon Entry Requirements

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

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
Experienced professionals
Research Proposal
2000 words
Plus Icon Fees and funding for the DBA programme

Annual Fees

Year  Home Fees International Fees


 £5,500 £7,000
2  £5,500 £7,000
3  £5,500 £7,000
4  £5,500 £7,000
5  £500 £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

Plus Icon How to Apply

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

Plus Icon Leeds Business School

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.

Plus Icon More Information

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 Programme Director, Dr Moade Shubita:

Plus Icon Academic Queries
If you have any academic queries about the DBA programme, please email the Doctoral Programmes Director, Dr Moade Shubita:


Plus Icon DBA Structure and Delivery

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.

Structure of the DBA

For information about the DBA structure please download the DBA brochure.

Plus Icon DBA Units

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
Plus Icon Unit Coursework

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.

Plus Icon Support and Feedback

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.

Plus Icon DBA Thesis

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.

Plus Icon Research Topics

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:

  1. Accountancy & Finance
  2. Business Strategy, Operations  & Enterprise
  3. Economics, Analytics  & International Business
  4. Leadership, Governance  & People Management 
  5. Marketing (Branding, Strategy, Innovation, etc.)
  6. Public Relations, Communications  & Journalism

Other business-related topics will also be considered.

Plus Icon Research Proposal

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



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.

DBA Alumni

Dr Timothy D. McCulley, Facility Manager, ‎Pactiv Foodservice

Timothy McCulleyThe experience of achieving the DBA was indeed transformative. As a senior manager the DBA opened my eyes to how naturally creative people are, how to empower them, and how to convert ideas to capabilities. Mostly, it taught me, in very real, very detailed ways how organizational strategy can determine innovation capabilities.

Since completing my DBA I have presented my findings at various workshops and conferences. Many organizations, wanting to innovate, but frustrated not knowing where to begin, have received my research with excitement. The DBA programme at Leeds Beckett University was an incredible experience. The professors, academic advisors, and research committee are supportive, informative and dedicated to your success. This was truly the greatest and most enjoyable experience of my life and I recommend the DBA at Leeds Beckett University to anyone who wishes to pursue doctoral level education and research.

Dr Michael Agamah, General Counsel, Keystone Bank Limited

Michael AgamahI studied the DBA because of the desire to refine my research skills and deepen my knowledge of business processes, which I believe will advance my career.

My work consists of rendering advice on legal, regulatory and compliance implications of my employers' business. I also advise on corporate strategy; and sit on the board of an insurance a company which is a subsidiary of my employers. Possession of sound research skills, as well as deep understanding of the theory and practice of business and organizational processes (which the DBA has enabled) have improved my leadership and decision-making skills.

My research will cause business leaders in Nigeria especially to appreciate the place of risk management in corporate governance. It will make them realise that delivering shareholder value and achieving corporate sustainability is possible only when governance is anchored on a strong ethos of compliance and risk consciousness.

Dr Michail Kanakis, Regional Area Manager, Eurobank, Greece

Michail KanakisMy research in connection with the substantial guidance and encouragement of my experienced professors helped me to deepen practical and scientific skills in important areas of my work such as customer service, customer satisfaction, financial performance in retail banking etc.

My thesis, I believe, create added value to my organization providing important elements for recovery, reflection and action. The results of the customer satisfaction survey of the bank’s customers using the appropriate methods (linear regression, multicriteria methods etc.) gave concrete impact based on customer segmentation.

The flexibility of study at a recognized university, the educational level of professors and their effective guidance for the successful completion of the doctorate are the strengths of this course. This course can improve your ability of your mind to think. If you believe in your strengths, you have to take the chance.

Dr Goodluck Obi, Partner & Head Consumer Markets, Audit Services KPMG Professional Services

Goodluck ObiThe DBA has impacted me tremendously in my role as a professional. I have acquired knowledge on making informed decisions in the work place, mentoring employees and contributing articles and speeches to the Nigerian business environment.

My research will provide insights to governments and regulators in developing countries, in particular Nigeria on some important factors to be considered in developing an effective regulatory framework. The research provides justification that global and international reputation is very important (even more important than implementation) in the making of regulations. It further supports the need for proper stakeholder engagement in the regulation making process.

The DBA is important to Managers and industry leaders in order to enhance their professional profile as well as assist managers to develop a methodical process of decision-making. The DBA will also help improve the research attributes of Managers, challenge status quo so as to be able to make recommendations that will change and positively influence practice.

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