The Stirling DBA develops both researcher and practitioner skills for senior roles in management and related fields. Graduates will be able to work within both universities as research-active academics and industry as research-informed senior managers, consultants and business leaders. You will gain the level of research competency of a PhD combined with the in-depth and reflective knowledge of management theory and practice gained on a traditional DBA programme.
A guided, stepped transition is provided to support individuals from a variety of educational and practitioner backgrounds to successfully become doctoral level researchers and practitioners. This DBA programme will guide your development towards a reflective, self-critical professional and give you the confidence and resilience to respond to continually developing business environment and to practise in the context of new problems and circumstances.
Successful DBA students will have developed principal professional skills, techniques and practices to conduct cutting edge research and have accumulated theoretical and practical knowledge at the forefront of business and management research. After successfully completing the programme, you will be prepared to successfully manage the pressures and challenges of an increasingly dynamic business environment and to offer original and creative solutions to emerging issues.
Whilst most DBA programmes focus on only conducting applied research in a corporate setting, through our unique focus on teaching fundamental business and research skills and allowing adequate time for academic research, our graduates will generate new knowledge for the whole field. This is aided by developing a thorough understanding of management theory across core disciplines. With this higher level of understanding, you will be able to conduct pure applied research in your organisation with a greater ability, or work within academia, leaving two career paths open.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
The DBA is intended for experienced professionals; you will normally need the equivalent of a minimum of three years' appropriate professional experience. For entry onto our programme you will also normally need an Honours or Masters degree from a UK university or equivalent. Credit may be awarded for previous study, according to SCQF guidelines, including exemption from some modules for holders of existing MBAs (AMBA accredited or equivalent standing) or Masters degrees with high levels of research training (eg Masters degrees satisfying the ESRC 2015 training requirements). As we expect our doctoral students to show high degrees of identification with our university, we might also ask you for a reflective statement on your motivation to study with us during the application process. We recognise that everyone’s path is different and want to be inclusive in our acceptance, so we encourage candidates who think they may not meet these requirements to discuss their suitability with the Course Director prior to applying.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English Language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements.
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your course of study.
Home/ European Union
|Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Full Programme (3 years)
|£4,195||£12,930||Year 3 - Home RCUK fee, OV PhD fee|
|£4,195||£12,930||Year 4 (if required)- Home RCUK fee, OV PhD fee|
Home/ European Union
|Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
|RCUK||£13,250||Year 3 - Home RCUK fee, OV PhD fee|
|RCUK||£13,250||Year 4 (if required)- Home RCUK fee, OV PhD fee|
|From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all Professional Doctorates are to be held at level upon entry|
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all postgraduate taught courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
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In Years 1 and 2, the full-time course has taught modules during two full semesters per year (September to December, and January to May), involving lectures, workshops, seminars and computer labs. In addition, two research projects which are suggested and supervised by a leading research academic on an apprenticeship model will run throughout the years and are concluded over the summer periods of Year 1 and Year 2 (May to August).
In Year 3, students will develop their Year 2 project into a major original contribution to knowledge presented in a thesis. Support will be given to publish the research projects in academic journals throughout the programme. This will support career development, particularly in academia, as well as allowing the researcher practitioner to make a wide and lasting contribution to the field during their DBA.
Full time attendance is required during the semesters in Year 1 and 2, with greater flexibility of where to be based out of semester and during the whole of Year 3 (and if applicable 4). Such flexibility for instance extends to being supervised whilst abroad for fieldwork, although non-EU students on Tier 4 visas will need to seek advice on the extent of flexibility and how this can be accommodated.
Students completing all credits in all years will leave with the DBA. However, we realise that life changes, and we have options to leave the course each year and still graduate with a prestigious qualification. Students successfully completing a minimum of 180 credits in Year 1 may leave the programme with an MBA. Students successfully completing all 180 credits in Year 2 may leave the programme with a MRes in Business and Management Research Methods. Various certificates, diplomas and degrees are available if less credits are completed.
Year 1: Enhancing Business Skills and Understanding
Autumn Semester: You will study five functional business modules during this semester, plus a Personal and Professional Development module, which will provide a robust foundation for the remainder of the programme and will be built upon in the Spring Semester.
Spring Semester: This semester builds on the understanding developed in the Autumn Semester providing insights into cutting edge management research and application. You will undertake three core modules and complete the second part of Personal and Professional Development module.
In addition, you will select four elective modules from a range of modules (popular choices are Managing Change, Project Management, Leadership & Responsible Business, Business Analytics, Innovation Management; the offer of electives is continuously updated based on student demand).
Summer: The Summer period in Year 1 will be used to conclude the first doctoral research project. During the semester period, you will already have shaped your focus for this project and met and discussed research plans with expert advisors or members of the relevant supervisory teams. Over the summer period you will prepare the project for submission (which is usually in August).
Year 2: Research methodology training
Autumn Semester: Based on the understanding and skills to critically analyse management challenges and to apply new knowledge which allows the development and provision of adequate, original solutions, Year 2 will deepen you understanding of doctoral research. Critically reflecting on your research conducted over the summer period your will study to expand your skills to conduct high quality research into business, management, organisations and related areas, focussing on the following areas:
Spring Semester: This semester builds on the foundations set for different logics of discovery and the introduction to research designs, data collection and analysis and the application of various research methods in the autumn semester. You will study advanced qualitative methods for management research but also get familiarized with key aspects of statistical analyses and experimental designs that can provide novel insights and aid managerial decision making.
Summer: The Summer period in Year 2 will be used to conclude the second doctoral research project. During the semester period, you will have developed research skills under the guidance of experts publishing in leading journals at the forefront of business and management related research. During the summer period you will prepare a method-focused project for submission (which is usually in August).
Year 3: Completing the Doctoral Thesis
To start Year 3 you will have successfully built on your prior professional experience and refined your academic interests. For the award of the DBA you will successfully complete a research project in form of a doctoral thesis with academic rigour and demonstrable practical relevance. To merit the award and meet the requirements for doctoral-level research output, the submission in Year 3 will make a contribution to the enhancement of professional practice in management as well as a contribution to knowledge via the application and development of theoretical frameworks, methods, and techniques.
Year 1 – Autumn
BUAP001 - Personal and Professional Development
BUAP003 - Accounting and Finance
BUAPD04 - Managing the Human Resource
BUAP005 - Marketing Management
BUAP006 - Economics for Sustainable Business
Year 1 - Spring
BUAPD08 - Operations Management
BUAPD12 - Strategy for Sustainable Success
BUAP014 - Personal and Professional Development
1 elective from:
BUAP007 - Managing Change
BUAP010 - Leadership and Responsible Business
plus 1 elective from:
BUAP007 - Managing Change
BUAP017 - Organisational mis(Behaviour)
BUAP018 - Business Analytics
FINP015 - Corporate Finance
BUAP013 - Managing Emerging Economies
BUAP015 - New Venture Creation
BUAP016 - Innovation Management
BUAP019 - Business Improvement
BUAP020 - Business Consulting
plus 1 elective from:
BUAP009 - Project Management
BUAP021 - Mastering STEPs of Strategy
Year 1 – Summer
DBAP001 - First Doctoral Research Project
Year 2 – Autumn
BSMPD02 - Psychology of Work
Year 2 – Spring
BSMPD05 - Survey Measurement and Analysis
Year 2 – Summer
DBAP002 - Second Doctoral Research Project
Year 3 – Autumn, Spring & Summer
DBAP003 - Third Doctoral Research Project
This programme is offered on a full-time and part-time basis. Full-time attendance is required during the semesters in Years 1 and 2, with greater flexibility of where to be based out of semester and during the whole of Year 3, with the possibility to reside overseas, although non-EU students on Tier 4 visas should seek advice on how this can be accommodated.
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognized in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an examination conducted by the UK government, which confirmed our place in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management (out of over 100 schools).
In Scotland, the School was ranked within the top five. 64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigor and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organizations.
Teaching provision in Business and Management has been assessed by the Scottish Funding Council and rated as ‘highly satisfactory’.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
When studying for the DBA you’ll join one of the best 100 UK business schools, recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management. The School has a strong research culture and identity of “management in the public interest”; management not just for short term profit, but for sustainable, ethical business that supports employees and the wider society.
We have a high calibre of academics available to supervise DBA students. Our academics are publishing in the top-rated international academic journals.
Dr Markus Kittler, the Programme Director is an experienced doctoral coordinator for the Management, Work and Organisation Division and the Director of the MRes programme. Since 2007 he has taught International Management, IHRM and Research Methods at Stirling. For his achievements in the UK higher education system Dr Kittler is accredited as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently Chair of the Strategic Interest Group International Management at the European Academy of Management.
As a practitioner focused doctoral degree for professionals, the DBA offers students more than one career pathway: Career advancement in business, either in management consultancy or within a wide range of private/public sector organisations. The course also provides an opportunity to develop an academic career in a wide range of institutional settings, both in the UK and internationally. Our graduates should be equally as able to be a research lead academic within a university or to lead in the boardroom.
Our links with industry help with opportunities to gather research data, and our personal development modules will help you to build resilience and become a reflective researcher practitioner in management and related fields.