DBA Doctorate of Business Administration

Study options available at our Glasgow campus and by distance learning.

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is an innovative alternative to the traditional PhD. The DBA course is designed to enable professionals to use applied research and become influential leaders in business, gaining a recognised qualification.

Business leaders recognise the operational and strategic challenges they face, for example, new technologies, increased business outsourcing, greater political uncertainty and business volatility.

Such complexities require that organisations identify and respond more quickly to changing risk profiles, providing innovative solutions to complex problems.

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) course provides an opportunity for you to do so. You will study taught modules and, via applied research, you will make an impact upon your organisation by delivering unique solutions based upon accurate analysis of global challenges.

This is the ideal qualification to enhance your career projection, which allows you to learn in work and at work, combining full-time employment with studying for a flagship Doctorate of Business Administration.

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a part-time, distance learning or full-time doctoral course. Study includes: taught modules (years one and two) and independent, applied research undertaken in your own work environment/organisation (years three/four).

In the first two years, students will undertake advanced studies on leadership and management practice, critiquing existing theories and learning about applied research methods.

Module list

Work-based Responsible Leadership, Contextualised Strategic Management, Creating Contextualised Organisational Value, Applied Operations and Analytics for Management Decision Making, Research Methods, Project Design, Development and Management.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

  • Strengthen your strategic thinking skills, develop a robust theoretical underpinning in your sector, enhance your skills in presentation and analysis
  • Create a focused portfolio of academic work which can establish your organisation as being at the 'cutting edge'
  • Advance your professional standing and recognition in the field
  • Flexible taught study offered part-time, distance learning and full-time over 21 months, combined with independent research
  • Research projects are undertaken in your work environment and complements current employment
  • An innovative emerging qualification designed to meet the increasing demands of applied business environments equivalent to a traditional PhD
  • Taught by leading professors and academics in the field of business and management

Study Options

  • 2020/21


Mode of study


Start date



Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
29 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
4 - 6 Years
18 Jan 2021
GCU Glasgow
Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
29 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
4 - 6 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
DBA Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 29 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
DBA Part Time 4 - 6 Years 18 Jan 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
DBA Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 29 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
DBA Part Time 4 - 6 Years 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

Minimum requirements

UK Honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, plus three to five years work experience in a relevant field.

Flexible Entry - Credit Transfer and RPL

An applicant can seek entry to the programme if they do not have the normal entry requirements, but can demonstrate that they have achieved the prerequisite skills and knowledge through their experience, or informal learning (Recognition of Prior Learning).

Applicants may be granted entry with advanced standing, if they can demonstrate equivalence to the learning outcomes of a module. A student can gain credit towards an award through a combination of prior informal and prior certificated learning.

Exemptions may be granted for stage 1 modules as follows:

• Research Methods, if the applicant possesses a Masters in Research or Philosophy or equivalent
• Other stage 1 modules if the applicant possesses a Master of Business Administration or equivalent

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element less than 6.0.

International Pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Join GCU in September 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming you to what will be a great new academic year at GCU and we hope you choose this as your study destination. Your experience as an applicant and new student remains our priority. We will be doing everything we can to make sure you enjoy learning through our blended approach of online and face-to-face teaching and to give you as many opportunities to create new friendships and experience everything the GCU community has to offer you!

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority as rules around social distancing are eased. For more information on the things what you can expect from your first term at GCU, visit our Frequently Asked Questions pages or make an enquiry today.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2020/21 (part time)

Home: £3,200
RUK: £3,200
EU: £3,200
International: £6,000

Distance Learning


Annual fee: £4,480
Total fee: £6,000


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2 million per year.

View our Postgraduate scholarships.

Students on this course are assessed by continual assessment.