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Are you a private or public sector management professional looking to advance your career as you work? This Professional Doctorate in Business Administration uses scheduled teaching and independent research to help you do just that.
In your first year you'll attend the University and study specific topics, before conducting an applied, work-based research project that focuses on topics directly relevant to your organisation in the following years.
You'll develop your professional knowledge and skills as you learn, benefiting both your own career as well as your current employer.
The research on this course addresses real business issues — so you'll help solve organisational problems in your current workplace by providing research outcomes that are directly relevant to your organisation.
When you apply for this course you'll typically be working at a senior or executive level in your organisation, already hold a postgraduate qualification, and be keen to take your management and professional development to new levels.
Provide business solutions in your workplace as a result of your research
- Contribute to applied management research and understanding
- Develop your business and research knowledge
- Showcase your expertise with a prestigious doctoral degree
Advance your management career
- Connect with peers studying and conducting research across different sectors
The Professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is a wonderful opportunity to research a business problem in a way that not only enables you to develop potential solutions to that problem, but also to influence your practice and profession.
This stage of the course prepares you to conduct your research.
You'll study four modules:
- Professional Review and Development: This modules will enable you to conduct a critical self-evaluation and identify your own learning requirements in relation to your doctoral programme of study and your own continuous professional development (CPD).
- Advanced Research Techniques: This module is key to your research practice and will allow you to successfully employ appropriate research theory and methodology in your own doctoral study and professional practice.
- Publication and Dissemination: This module focuses on output – analysing and critiquing publication and dissemination routes/methods within the field of business and management. It will cover both academic and professional dissemination in journals, books and conferences, as well as examine the need to communicate effectively with a range of professional groups.
- Proposal for Professional Research and Development: This module will enable you to reflect upon and consolidate prior learning and will underpin the preparation of a costed, coherent, realistic, achievable and well-argued proposal for a programme of professional research and development. This proposal must have been successfully completed in order to be approved by the formal Progression Board.
In this stage of the course you'll study:
- Professional Research and Development: This research module spans years two, three and four. This will primarily involve supervision by your assigned DBA Supervisor. This work is overseen by the DBA Director.
The DBA thesis is comparable to a PhD in terms of effort, rigour, and contribution to knowledge, supervision and assessment.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
The DBA program acted as a catalyst for my professional career.
Thanks to the program I not only learned many new skills methodologically, but was able to become an expert in my research topic: the field of Risk Management of Leasing Companies.
I still benefit from this today and am now active as the managing director of a medium-sized leasing company.
How you'll spend your time
We recognise that you'll probably be juggling multiple demands and commitments when you do this degree, as you may be working or have family responsibilities.
We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.
On this course you'll study taught modules, explore research methodology, and conduct research.
This part-time programme involves one year of taught study, followed by a research phase of between four and six years depending on how you progress through the course.
The course has two key stages:
Stage 1 — Taught modules
In your first year you'll attend scheduled teaching activities on campus and complete assessments.
You can expect:
- to study in three one-week blocks on campus
- to attend in person study weeks in October, February and April
- to attend workshops and discussion forums
Stage 2 — Research phase
In the following years you'll conduct research and undertake a final assessment. Your research is likely to involve independent study within your own organisation,
In this stage you are not required to attend scheduled teaching on campus, but you will meet regularly with your supervisor.
Typically you'll study for four years in the research phase of the course, but there is no minimum registration in the research phase. This means you could submit your completed thesis at any time during this period of study. You could also request up to an additional two years to complete this phase.
How you're assessed
In your first year you'll be assessed through:
- coursework assignments
In further years, you'll be assessed through:
- research-based report, submitted in your final year
During your first year you'll have a mentor to help you develop your research topic and prepare you for the research phase of the course. After the first year you'll be guided by a team of two academic supervisors.
You'll also connect with a small group of 3 or 4 peers who are at the same stage of DBA research as you, where you'll benefit from sharing ideas and learning experiences.
Graduate School Development Programme
The Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) offers free online and in-person training, workshops and special interest groups to support students at all stages of their research degrees.
- research design
- doctoral process
- career development
Training is delivered by expert tutors.
The doctoral journey has opened up a number of doors along the way that would not otherwise have been available — I got chapters published in a couple of books, got to edit a book, and I got to connect and build relationships with some of the key writers and researchers in my field.
Course costs and funding
Home/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £7,600 a year
- International students: £9,400 a year
All fees are subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.
Loans, scholarships and bursaries
Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.
Funding for international students
Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.
Fees and funding for Master's courses
Discover how you can fund your Master's study at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.
DBA Professional Doctorate in Business Administration
- A postgraduate level qualification or equivalent in an appropriate management related subject.
- All applicants require a minimum of three years relevant business and management experience.
- Evidence of recent Continuing Professional Development or leadership experience in a relevant area of business and management/management science will also be considered.
All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview.
English language requirements
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Before you start your application you'll need the following documentation:
- A research proposal and a personal statement
- Proof of your first degree and grades (officially certified and translated copies if not in English)
- Proof of a relevant postgraduate degree with at least 60 credits having been completed
- Details of 2 referees or 2 references on official headed paper, one of which should ideally be an academic reference
- Proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language)
- An up-to-date copy of your CV
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.