Doctorate in Business Administration

MQF Level 8 (Doctorate)

Doctorate in Business Administration

Business Administration

October 2024
Price  (Local/EU)
72 months
ECTS Credits
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Course Description

Phase One: Taught Stage

The taught stage of the Doctoral Programme will comprise six main units:

1. Critical Thinking and Analysis
2. Academic Writing for Doctoral Students
3. Research Philosophy, Theory and Methodology for Doctoral Students
4. Knowledge Management
5. Impact of Globalisation on Management
6. Specialism Individualised Studies (Students personalize their studies under supervisory guidance towards a specialized area of focus)

Phase Two: Thesis Proposal Stage

The formulation of a thesis proposal

Phase Three: Research and Thesis Stage
The Research and Writing of Thesis

The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) for which you have registered is a Doctoral Journey intended for high level practitioners in leadership and/or management positions in the various fields (e.g. business, education, finance, etc.) who have a particular interest in business innovation in general, or who are interested in embarking onto an academic career.

Throughout the Doctoral Journey you will be provided with opportunities not only to extend your knowledge and critical thinking but also to enhance your research abilities to influence your professional behaviour, as well as the context in which you operate. The DBA comprises three main developmental phases towards achieving a Doctorate. The first phase is a taught stage taking the classical didactic approach accompanied by enhanced independent self-study and research. In the second phase, you will be mentored through the processes of selecting a specific area of research, defining a research gap, and formulating a research question as part of your individual research proposal, which will be carried through to Phase three of the DBA. The third phase is more student-driven where research skills and scholarly writing, encompassing critical thinking, analysis and reflection, are put into practice and further enhanced with the support of assigned tutors, as you commence your research and write a Doctoral thesis.

The objective of this DBA is to get management practitioners to understand and appreciate how research can be a real time contributor to business success and that knowledge generation can happen also outside of a pure academic setting.

By the end of study journey participants should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of knowledge and competence in the latest academic theories, concepts, technologyenabled opportunities, financially justified analysis, research operations and marketbased economy in a global field of business administration.
  2. Demonstrate a high ability to integrate business and nonbusiness disciplines to generate novel ideas, strategies, and practical approaches to address business issues.
  3. Demonstrate high level research skills including formulation of research problem; review of previous publications; design of a research study; data analysis; ability to summarize and present the results in multiple formats according to audience.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to address complex industry challenges using the frameworks of industry rules and regulations to develop new ideas, build prescriptive conclusions and disseminate realworld experience and knowledge

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will require to be:

• Professionals whose academic studies include 1st cycle (undergraduate and Bachelor’s levels) and 2nd cycle (Graduate and Masters level) qualifications totaling not less than 240 ECTS in areas related to management, business administration, engineering, education. Any other professional who meets the Level requirements (L7 + L6 to a total of 240 ECTS) coming from a different area, but has 7 years of experience in a managerial position will also be considered.


• A Level 7 Masters Qualification (90 ECTS) related to management, business administration, engineering, education or any other professional career, together with a Level 5 Higher Diploma equivalent to 120 ECTS and a minimum of 5 years working experience in Management within a specialised sector which is directly related to and relevant to the subject being researched in the Doctoral Programme.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be considered for applicants with other high-level qualifications (e.g. OTHM L8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice). The maximum number of credits that may be gained through RPL will not exceed 50%.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language capability at IELTS level 6.5 or equivalent by presenting evidence (formal certificate) of an achieved pass at that level.

Target Audience

Academically qualified practitioners in business or other related fields who seek innovation through applied research and wish/need to be formally educated to achieve their objective.

Career Paths

As we move beyond the 4th and into the 5th Industrial Revolution organisations require empathic leaders, managers and employees that are creative, able to make complex decisions, effectively lead teams from purpose and with purpose, and unlock human potential to foster a community of action strong enough to face the ever-growing challenges society faces.

This calls business leaders and managers to action, to be among the key players shaping the developments and growth in their field of practice and to be leaders and drivers of effective change. The DBA is a proactive response to this, with a shift from the traditional doctorate to an innovative approach to Doctoral studies that places theory and research in action within contextualised fields at its core.
This programme may appeal to high level practitioners in leadership and/or management positions in the various fields (business, education, finance, etc.) interested in business innovation in general, or who are interested in embarking onto an academic career.

How you’ll be assessed

The Assessment methods include the following:

1. Weekend School Assignments
Assignment titles are thematic, designed to cover the discipline areas covered during weekend schools:
• Individual / group assignments,
• Six assignments (One assignment per weekend school of approximately 6,000 words)
In the taught part of this programme, for the successful completion of a study unit the student is required to achieve a minimum of 50% pass mark weighting.

2. Thesis Proposal
• Presentation of doctoral thesis proposal 80%
• Interview and defense of thesis proposal with the Level 8 Doctoral Theses and Professional Research Committee
• 20%
The thesis Proposal should not exceed 7,500 words (i.e. about 30 pages) in length (excluding cover page, abstract, table of contents, bibliography, and appendices).

3. The Thesis
The Thesis can take one of two forms:
A monograph in the traditional way which should not exceed 60,000 words and/ or 250 pages. (Refer to Thesis Guidelines)
A Compilation Thesis

4. The VIVA

Candidates who successfully complete their thesis will be required to sit for a viva. Internal and external examiners will be appointed to examine the thesis and participate in and/or chair the viva examination.

In the taught part of this programme, for the successful completion of a study unit the student is required to achieve a minimum of 50% pass mark weighting.


Specific Assessment of each module will be specified in the specific units. The General Assessment Methods for each Module shall be as follows:
0-49: Fail
50 – 84: Pass
85 -100: Pass with distinction
Progression between phase will be confirmed with a 50% pass mark in all assessments held within the specific component.


Course Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes for Knowledge obtained


By the end of the programme students will be able to:

  1. Analyse different philosophical assumptions behind management research appreciating how they lead to research paradigms.
  2. Draw on concepts in global economics and international business and analyse the foundational theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in international business management.
  3. Debate the cultural, political, economic and technological drivers (and implications) of globalisation.
  4. Differentiate between different approaches to critical thinking.
  5. Recognise intercultural and/or interdisciplinary differences in academic writing
  6. Value the importance of Knowledge Management and the role of organisational culture in enabling it.
  7. Examine qualitative and quantitative methodologies and research methods to make purposeful choices and carry out effective, valid and reliable research in the field of study

Learning Outcomes for Skills obtained

  1. Use Knowledge Management tools effectively.
  2. Create, implement, and supervise Knowledge Management Strategies.
  3. Analyse business opportunities in an international context.
  4. Analyse globalisation impacts upon a variety of management functions e.g. human resource management, marketing and supply chain management.
  5. Evaluate research methodologies on the capturing and codification of knowledge sharing and communities of practice.
  6. Compare local and global studies to evaluate business scenarios outlining the primary contextual variances and differences in challenges.
  7. Relate individual research projects to the general body of knowledge within the field of Business Administration.
  8. Pursue original indepth qualitative and/or quantitative research, making a significant contribution to knowledge in, or understanding of, a field related to Business Administration showing the rigour expected at Level 8.
  9. Analyse existing literature systematically to formulate a coherent literature review with supporting evidence through critical reading, identifying gaps in the area of specialisation.
  10. Formulate a research question/hypothesis for investigation.
  11. Relate epistemological and ontological stances to a chosen methodology.
  12. Apply the conventions, language and principles of academic writing in one’s own field with high standards of linguistic ability expected for publishing.
  13. Propose sophisticated arguments and produce material in a critical and scholarly way, worthy of publication.
  14. Adapt writing processes and strategies according to audience, purpose, and genre.
  15. Produce new insights and original work contributing to the field of study with scope for dissemination of new knowledge and further research.
  16. Disseminate the results of the research study contributing new knowledge to the field of Business Administration.
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