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 Doctorate in Business Administration (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 and brings together academic theories and concepts, with business and management practices.

The Bradford DBA is specifically designed for MBA (or equivalent) graduates who are looking for the next challenge in their careers. Every year 15-25 international managers enrol on this specialist part-time DBA programme, which comprises a taught and a research phase. In the first phase, there are specialist modules delivered by leading academics and practitioners on research methods, critiquing literature and advanced studies in management practice. DBA students will be allocated two experienced supervisors to guide them through the research phase, which involves conducting empirical research and writing a dissertation.

We welcome all applications for the DBA programme, but particularly those students with interests which complement the research centres at University of Bradford School of Management.

Centre for Research in Organisations and Work (CROW) – Human Resource Management , Leadership, Gender and Diversity, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Organisational Learning and Employment Relations

Bradford Centre for Business in Society (BCBiS) – Business Ethics, Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development in Business

Bradford Centre for International Business and Finance (BCIBF) – International Business, Economic, Finance, Accounting

Bradford Research in Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship Lab (BRITE) – Entrepreneurship, Knowledge and Innovation, Technology, Diffusion and Supply Chains

The Bradford DBA offers a range of personal development and career opportunities, and some of our students publish in leading academic and practitioner journals. DBA students at University of Bradford School of Management will become part of our international alumni network of business people. Current and recent DBA students work for companies such as Shell International, Siemens, Bayer, ING Group and Phillips International.

Course details

The Bradford DBA provides a unique part-time structure of rigorous, concentrated study, ongoing research practice and practical assessment. The course combines distance learning with the advantages of face-to-face study. DBA students have to attend compulsory residential workshops. In year one there are 4 residential sessions that are spread over the year of between 3 to 5 days in duration. In year two there are a further 3 residential modules each of them lasting 3 days.

During the research phase, there is close supervision, support and monitoring of student progress. There are also Peer Review Workshops where students discuss their research with fellow participants and share ideas.

Course structure

Research skills training

In years one and two, DBA students will study eight modules specifically designed to develop doctoral-level expertise in research methods. The modules are taught by leading academics and cover: research philosophy, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, literature reviewing for DBA students, together with advanced studies in management which includes the practitioner as author and translating research into practice. This will then build an excellent foundation from which students will develop their empirical research. 

Research proposal

Before progressing onto the research stage,  students will use the knowledge and skills gained from your research training to fully develop and refine their DBA research proposal and have to pass the ‘mini viva’.


In the research stage, students will complete a supervised research project leading to a thesis of 50,000 words.

DBA students select their own research topic, which may be based on their academic and practitioner interests or organisational needs. The project will provide students with the skills and insights to draw on throughout their careers. Recent projects have focused on ‘Environmental and Socially Responsible Management’, ‘Human Resource Development’, ‘Improvements of Global Access to Medicines’, ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Small Business Growth Rates’.

DBA Structure - June 2016 Start

Year One

Students will submit an up to 7000 word paper for this Modules

80 credits

Module 1:
Induction & Introduction to Research Methods and reflective learning journal at Doctoral Level

Five Days in Bradford
13-17 June 2016

Module 2:
Philosophical approaches to research for DBA students

Four days in Bradford
September 2016

Module 3:
Qualitative Research Methods

Three days in Bradford
November 2016

Module 4:
Quantitative Research Methods and Mixed approach

Four days in Bradford
March 2017

Year Two

Students will submit an up to 7000 word paper for Modules 5-8

100 credits

Module 5 & 6:
a. Critique of management
research studies (1 day)
b. Literature reviewing for DBA studies
c. Mini conference
about thesis proposal (1 day)

Three days in Bradford
June 2017

Module 7/8:
Advanced studies in
a. The practitioner as author
b. Translating research into practice

Five days in Bradford
September 2017

Module 9:
Presentation of Thesis Proposal
(Mini Viva)

As soon as you feel prepared

Years Three until Submission

Until submission of your thesis we ask you to participate in at least two Peer Review Workshops (PRW) per academic year (to choose out of 6 yearly possibilities)

Year three is usually needed to do the research; year four for writing up the thesis.

The thesis should have a max word count of 50000 and will be guided by our supervisor.

Total amount for the thesis: 360 credits

Exit awards:
60 Credits: Certificate in Management Research
120 Credits: Diploma in Management Research
180 Credits: MSc in Management Research
540 Credits: DBA
Definitive dates will be announced as soon as possible
Please notice that dates can be changed if necessary

Aims in year 1:

To develop basic and intermediate skills in research methods at DBA level and the ability to apply those skills
To commence developing knowledge and understanding of the relevant literature in the student´s management sub-discipline.

Aims in year 2:

To develop thorough understanding of the literature in a specific area of management and business studies;
To develop the ability to critically analyse the literature
To develop advanced skills in research methods, leading to the production of a research proposal by the end of year 2

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)
  • Current Employer: Add-Va Strategy & Change
  • Position: Managing Director

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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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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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