DBA Doctor of Business Administration

Entry year
Course code
Bristol Business School
Five years, September and April intakes
Distance with Attendance
Programme leader
Dr Amit Mitra

This course is open for applications

To apply for entry to this course in April 2024 please visit the 2023/24 course page

Page last updated 2 May 2024


Our Doctorate in Business Administration will give you the practitioner skills, specialist knowledge and business understanding to become an industry shaper.

UWE Bristol's Doctorate in Business Administration is a focussed, carefully curated course that will enable you to meet the higher intellectual and professional practice demands of your role.

It's a challenging, game-changing opportunity that has the potential to transform your leadership vision, your individual performance and your organisation.

Designed for senior managers with significant experience and decision-making responsibilities, it will enable you to apply current business knowledge and original thinking to develop comprehensive research skills in your area of interest.

Over the duration of the course, we'll equip you with all the skills you'll need to conduct an independent research project with a demonstrable impact on your organisation.

With the support of a carefully selected specialist supervisor, you'll develop a personalised learning plan that allows you to address the challenges facing your business whether that includes HRM, organisation development, marketing, digital transformation, supply chain, mergers and acquisitions, or leadership vision.

You'll be taught by experienced lecturers and widely published researchers who represent excellence in a broad variety of disciplines - from HR and finance, to organisational strategy and law. Teaching takes place in the technology-enhanced learning spaces of our world-class Bristol Business School, where you'll be able to engage with academics from across several disciplines. You'll also have opportunities to network with guest lecturers from amongst our partners, who include well-known names such as FMCG companies like Nestlé.

Take your business career to the next level by developing the specialist knowledge, research skills and networks you need to achieve greater effectiveness as a professional practitioner.



The structure of the DBA course incorporates two complimentary stages, parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 consists of creating a doctoral development plan and two 30 credit modules:

  • Research Principles and Practice in Business Management
  • Ways of knowing.

In the following year the modules will be:

  • Discovery: Research Methods
  • C-Suite.

Part 2 includes revising of the doctoral development plan, followed by seeking RD1 approval which would signify that the student is on course to develop the project further.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you

Learning and Teaching

The face-to-face element of this course is made up of four modules taught at UWE Bristol and supported by online resources and materials. Learners will be supervised from the start of their studies, with an allocated Director of Studies as their first point of contact throughout the course.

The Director of Studies provides formative feedback on module work, and supports the student to develop their Doctoral Development Plan, which captures their learning journey and will be part of their final submission. They will also offer guidance on capturing the data that will be used as a benchmark for evidence of research impact.

Where students are based overseas, a geographically local second supervisor will normally be appointed as part of the supervisory team.

The UWE Bristol DBA emphasises original thought, empirical research and leading-edge teaching. It is unique in its distinctive approach to professional development, which is an integral component of the course.

The course incorporates three strands:


Explore the processes through which new knowledge is created and disseminated in business. You'll develop thorough research training and high-level transferrable skills through the study of professional research practice, research methods, primary and secondary data collection, intervention, epistemology, conceptualisation, theorisation and argumentation.

Professional Development

Improve your business, management and professional skills and carry out research-based organisational initiatives.

Business and Management Knowledge

Develop extensive subject-specific knowledge through engagement with long-standing and current debates, theoretical reflection, argumentation and evaluating evidence. Explore literature and undertake fieldwork, taking you to the edge of knowledge in your chosen specialisms.

Study time

Part 1 of the course is made up of two years of study, with two 30-credit modules to be completed each year.

Each module equates to 300 hours of learning, and includes one week of face-to-face teaching. The remaining study will be done in the student's own time.

The four 30-credit modules develop individuals' skills and capabilities in preparation for their personal research, and must be completed before the student can continue to Part 2.

Learners will write a self-reflective learning document and a doctoral development plan, as well as working to collect any required background data to evidence impact in Part 2.

Part 2 consists of a supervised research project, usually within the learner's own organisation. This may take between two and four years to complete.


Learners will be assessed on a 60,000 word thesis outlining the development and impact of their research project.  

Before beginning the research project, they must also pass a progression examination, which includes a written report and viva.

At the end of each year, learners will complete a review of progress, which they must pass in order to register on the next stage of the course.

Final examination arrangements and final thesis title must be submitted three months before the final viva.


Study facilities

As a DBA student at Bristol Business School, you'll have access to dedicated rooms with WiFi and study space for individual and group work. You'll also be able to access the Business School's Postgraduate Resource Centre, as well as the Academic Support Centre and Executive Development Centre.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Business Management facilities and see what's on offer here for you.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

The DBA course will help you move your career forward, providing you with agenda-shaping skills and capacities of thought leadership in your field of business.  

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events. Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.


Entry requirements

Participants normally should have an MBA or Masters degree and a minimum of two years senior management experience.

All shortlisted candidates will be required to attend an interview.

Read more about postgraduate applications.  

English Language Requirement

If English is not your first language, you will be required to meet the UK Border Agency and Universities minimum English Language requirements such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component. For further details please visit our English Language requirements page.

How to apply

Apply now

Initial enquiries should be directed to Amit Mitra, email: Amit.Mitra@uwe.ac.uk or telephone: +44(0)117 32 87108

Read more about postgraduate applications.  

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information