Doctor of Business Administration DBA

Business Administration DBA

1. Overview

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctorate which provides a dynamic, research-based view of real world management issues.

This course is designed to generate new knowledge and understanding which will contribute to enhancing the policies and practices of modern management. It was created at Aberdeen Business School in conjunction with public and private sector leaders to encourage future leaders to enhance their professional careers and provide a route for them to gain academic recognition. A DBA is equivalent in terms of academic study to a PhD but more applied in nature.

Students on the course will have the opportunity to blend the latest academic thinking with business knowledge, skills and practice, to enable them to make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice. The Aberdeen DBA has been specifically designed to:

  • Build on management experience and skills, and past academic achievements as part of a carefully considered career plan;
  • Provide maximum professional credibility and open doors into more senior management positions, consultancy or academia
  • Enhance research and project management skills and increase understanding of research methods and techniques

It is studied full-time over 3-4 years and part-time over 4-6 years.

2. What you will study

The DBA programme will give you a foundation in research methods and offer you the opportunity to research in one or more of the following areas:

  • Corporate Communications, Sales and Marketing
  • Finance, Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour
  • Entrepreneurship and the Performance of SMEs
  • Leadership and Strategic Management
  • Environmental and Operations Management
  • Public Policy and Not-for-Profit Studies
  • Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Management
  • Technology, Innovation and e-Business.

In the first taught stage you will consolidate and extend your specialist knowledge and research competence and advance your research proposal.

In the second stage you will take your proposal forward to a full dissertation.

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course disclaimer for more information. 

3. Entry Requirements

The DBA is a challenging programme demanding a combination of intellectual ability and experience. We welcome applicants from across the world. To qualify for consideration you will need to demonstrate:

  • An MBA or Masters degree in a relevant area of business and management
  • A minimum of three years business experience
  • Ability to demonstrate competence in written and oral English
  • All candidates will be interviewed and be required to produce a research outline prior to formal acceptance onto the course.

4. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2018/2019

All Students

  • £12,500 per academic year

For Academic Year 2017/2018

All Students


  • £12,140 per academic year

For Academic Year 2016/2017

All Students

  • £11,785 per academic year

For Academic Year 2015/2016

All Students

  • £11,360 per academic year

For Academic Year 2014/2015

All Students

  • £11,000 per academic year

For Academic Year 2013/2014

All Students


  • £10,300 per academic year

For Academic Year 2012/2013

All Students

  • £9,900 per academic year

For Academic Year 2011/2012

All Students

  • £9,625 per academic year


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


5. How to apply

All applications should be made via the University's application form for research students.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:

  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)
  • For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English -Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement

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Course Length

3-4 years

Mode of Attendance


Academic School
Aberdeen Business School

Read full course information...

  1. Professional Doctor of Business Administration