Doctor of Business Administration  DBA

Doctor of Business Administration DBA

Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Four-Seven years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    January and September

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The DBA is specifically designed for experienced practitioners in business, industry and the professions, who are seeking to engage in a part-time research-orientated programme of postgraduate study leading to the award of a professional doctorate. The DBA is regarded as being the same status as the more commonly known PhD and permits you to use the title of ‘Dr.’ upon satisfactory completion.

Find out more about our online events Find out more about our online events

Entry Requirements

To be considered for admission to the DBA Programme you should meet the following criteria:

  • Hold an approved Masters degree in business, management or in a subject that is relevant to the proposed research programme to be undertaken or hold an equivalent and relevant professional qualification
  • Have a significant level of relevant business, management or professional experience at a level appropriate to the proposed research programme
  • Demonstrate the potential to conduct research and write a thesis at doctoral level in a field which matches the areas of supervisory expertise available within the Business School
  • Demonstrate a high order of oral communications skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of motivation and a clear personal and professional rationale for undertaking the DBA programme
  • Provide two appropriate and satisfactory professional/academic references

For candidates whose first language is not English, they should provide evidence that either they possess an overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or an equivalent English language qualification recognised by the University) or evidence that their Masters degree was conducted entirely in English such as a sample assignment or chapter from the dissertation.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

  • Management, Rhetoric, Policy  and Practice
  • Research Methodologies and  Design
  • The Reflexive Practitioner

Year 2

Stage 1, Year 2 consists of modules on:

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research  Methods
  • Review of Management  Literature


Years 3-4
  • DBA Thesis

Further Information

As a professional doctorate, the DBA consists of two Stages: Stage 1 a taught programme taken on a part-time basis over a two year period, followed by Stage 2, a research programme which you should aim to complete in a further two year period of part-time study although the maximum period of study is 7 years.

Stage 1 DBA Taught Programme consists of six taught modules, each being completed through a four day intensive workshop plus a period of private study both before and after the workshop. During Stage 1 you will develop critical and reflective skills at doctoral level, through the requirement to think conceptually, apply critical thinking, and reasoning skills and to challenge orthodoxy relating to the body of knowledge and research relating to Management and Organisation. Action learning is incorporated within the study sessions and is an important and distinctive feature of our DBA. You will work in sets or small development groups with fellow participants throughout the Programme and also develop your skills as a critical and reflective learner.

Stage 2 DBA Research Programme - as part of the development process of your DBA project, you will have worked with the DBA staff to agree a suitable supervisory team, including a Director of Studies. This team will work with you throughout Stage 2 helping you to design and implement your own particular DBA project. This will normally take two years working on a part-time basis although you may choose to work at a pace that requires more time and you may therefore take up to five years.



open quote


UCLan DBA widened up my thinking towards research and business development. Since the start of my course in 2016;  I developed my personal business which I am well proud of seeing it grow today. Thanks to the experienced academics and respectful colleagues, supported by very caring and helpful program managers and admin staff.

Musaab Jasim Al-Kubaisi, Leadership Development Specialist, Qatar Ministry of Interior

close quote

open quote

The DBA has been an invaluable opportunity to reflect on my own current management practices, and explore current developments in research and leadership thinking.   I've benefitted from plenty of opportunities to discuss and learn from the staff and other students. A hugely rewarding experience, but also challenges the practicing manager.  You get out what you are prepared to put in to the course.

Ian Farrer, FTSE 100 company director

closed quote

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: Years 1 to 4 - £5000 per year, Year 5 onwards £1000 per year

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Learning Environment and Assessment

The DBA will run on the Preston Campus of the University and is based within Lancashire Business School. Stage 1 consists of a two year taught programme with tuition provided in 3 x 4 day blocks per year. Students have full access to the library and information resources of the University throughout the DBA and in addition may use all social, cultural and sports facilities of the University.

Assessment in Stage 1 will consist of individual assignments rather than formal examinations. Once you have passed all of the taught modules and have had your DBA project proposal approved, you then progress on to Stage 2 of the DBA. Assessment at Stage 2 will by via examination of the submitted thesis. 

I’m now in the final year of my DBA and hoping to submit my thesis within the next few months. The journey has been tough at times, but also immensely rewarding and it feels incredible to think that I will be making an original contribution to professional practice and academic knowledge! The programme itself is excellent; it is effectively organised, well-structured, and has exposed me to research-active professionals from across the School of Business and Management.  The taught elements introduced a complex range of organisational and managerial issues and have significantly enhanced my research, analytical and critical thinking skills.  The DBA group is, by nature, close-knit, fostering strong relationships through which we have supported and helped each other along the way. My Director of Studies and Supervisor have been wonderful.  They are both highly accessible, encouraging and hugely knowledgeable and have given me the confidence and self-belief to succeed even when I doubted my capabilities.  The whole experience has been an extremely positive one and I’m so glad that I made the decision to challenge myself both professionally and academically; it’s been worth it.

Julie Hardy