The Bradford DBA

Duration: 4-7 years
Study mode: Part time
Scholarships: Yes
Location: Bradford and other cities in Europe
Fee: £39,000 for 4 year programme
Start date: June

The Bradford DBA is the pinnacle of management education. This doctoral degree is as academically rigorous as a PhD but is designed for senior, experienced professional managers - average age 42 (with a range between 31 and 68) - and is highly applicable within your specific sector and career.

For MBA (or equivalent) graduates looking for the next challenge in your career, the Bradford DBA provides an unprecedented fast-track to the status of global expert in your chosen field. 

You will make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in your area of expertise while studying part time and remaining at work, which will act as a powerful asset to you, your company and your industry.

This will open up a new realm of personal development and career opportunities including teaching at international business schools, high level consultancy and board level roles.

Your fellow DBA students are an elite group of about 25 international managers, which you will meet, network and share ideas at several taught sessions in year one and two and during your research phase via regular peer review workshops in different locations. As a DBA student at University of Bradford School of Management, you become part of our international alumni network of business people. Current and recent DBA students work for companies like Shell International, Siemens, Bayer, ING Group and Phillips International.

The part-time programme is designed to fit into your busy schedule whilst ensuring that you have the support and guidance needed to help you translate your knowledge into proper academic thinking and writing. 

Our DBA supervisors bring a high level of support, as well as a high level of academic achievement, to your studies. Unlike many DBA programmes, all our supervisors are experienced in doctoral research supervision. Our other staff are also always available to help answer questions and give advice.

Course details

The Bradford DBA provides a unique part-time structure of rigorous, concentrated study, ongoing research practice and continual, practical assessment. The course combines distance learning with the advantages of face-to-face study. Participants make scheduled visits to Bradford and/or Germany each year for modules, peer review workshops and discussions with supervisors.

You will attend compulsory residential workshops spread throughout the year in years one and two. Year one consists of 4 residential sessions, spread over the year. Each of those sessions last between 3 to 5 days. Year two follows with another 3  residential modules - each of them lasting 3 days.

From year three onward you will attend a minimum of two, two-day Peer Review Workshops each year. They give you the chance to test your ideas with fellow participants and share ideas with others. The workshops also keep DBA students motivated, and contribute to our having fewer students fail to complete than most DBA programmes.

Twice a year you are assessed through our Monitoring Progress System, in which you report in to the DBA Review Team. This ensures that you are up to speed with your research and writing.

The schedule of modules and workshops is agreed well in advance and full details of dates for 2015/16 are available on request.

Course structure

Research skills training

In years one and two you will study eight modules designed to develop doctoral-level expertise in research methods and to take you to the point where you can start your own independent research. In this intensive period, you learn to translate your hard won management wisdom into a research framework that enables you to produce an academic thesis with practical business impact.

The modules are practically focused so that, if you wish, you can hone your research skills by focusing on current problems you have to tackle for your organisation. You will maintain a learning journal that will help you become more reflective as a business person and encourages professional self-improvement along the way.

Research proposal

Before progressing to the next stage, you will use the knowledge and skills gained from your research training to design, refine and defend your research proposal by presenting it at a ‘mini viva’.


In years three to four or three to six, you will complete a supervised research project leading to either a thesis of 60,000 words, or a combination of thesis and management reports that together total about 60,000 words.

Students choose their own research topic, based on their individual and organisational needs. It may be problem driven, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate where existing theories break down and new thinking is needed, or discovering a new way in which to tackle difficult issues. The project will provide you with skills and insights you will draw on throughout your career.

Recent projects have included ‘Measuring the Efficiency of Customer Retention Programmes’, ‘Productivity Improvement in Small and Medium-Size Enterprises’, ‘Organisational Learning in Context’, ‘External Communication and Corporate Performance’, and ‘Managing Cultural Integration in International Joint Ventures’.

Our students and alumni

Cara Antoine

DBA, 2008-2014

  • Nationality: American/Dutch
  • Previous qualifications: MBA, MSM

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Geellis Winkel

DBA, 2010

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Previous qualifications: Executive MBA (Strathclyde University)
  • Chief Executive Officer / Director and Advisor of Strategic Change

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Dr Sally Salter

DBA, 2007

  • Nationality: British
  • Previous qualifications: MBA
  • Group General Manager for Unicam

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Dr Anil Vaidya


  • Nationality: Indian
  • Previous qualifications: MBA (University of Akron, USA)
  • Global HRM Director for Philips International

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Leonard J. van der Heyden


  • Chairman and CEO of Mellonfrance
  • Marbella, Spain

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Dr Thomas Frey


  • Nationality: Switzerland
  • Previous qualifications: MBA (London Business School), BSc Chemical Engineering (Basel Institute of Technology)
  • Entrepreneur

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Dr Elizabeth Kariuki


  • Nationality: Kenyan
  • Previous qualifications: MSc Public Policy and Management, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales, BSc Mechanical Engineering
  • Director of Africa Policy Research Institute Limited (APRIL) and former Partner at PwC

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Dr Helen Collins


  • Nationality: British
  • Previous qualifications: MBA (University of Leicester)
  • Marketing Manager

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