Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Winchester is designed for experienced senior managers or business professionals, who already possess graduate qualifications, and who wish to develop their professional expertise to an advanced level while making a contribution to professional knowledge. It is designed to meet the needs of executives who wish to strengthen their knowledge of leading-edge management thinking, whilst developing academic and industry-based research skills to equip them for more senior roles.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at University of Winchester

Entry requirements

The DBA is designed for experienced senior managers or business professionals who already possess graduate qualifications and who wish to develop their professional expertise to an advanced level. Applicants are normally expected to have an Honours degree in the first or upper second-class range, a professional management qualification, and a Masters degree in a relevant area. We will also consider applicants without a Master's degree as long as an ability to study at doctorate level can be evidenced by means of alternative professional qualifications. 

Applicants typically are actively engaged as a practising manager or professional in the workplace and have had five years middle or senior management experience with responsibility for people, and/or functions, and/or technical expertise. It is expected that applicants would have some experience of change management or leadership. In addition, suitable candidates who are in a career break, but who have access to a workplace for research purposes, will also be considered.

Participants come from a range of disciplines and whilst it is not expected that prior degrees will be in a related subject area, personal experience of and an interest in business is crucial.

Winchester offers an intensive research training programme with leading experts sharing the latest developments in social media, online methodologies and insight management.  Applicants should also be aware that the course stretches and challenges participants in the areas of values and ethics with a view to developing future-thinking, creative and responsible thought leaders who make a significant impact in their field.

If English is not your first language: 

IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL - formerly known as AP(E)L)

Applicants who wish to apply for advanced standing (exemption from part of a programme) based on previous study and/or experiential learning may apply for RPL. Please note that any credits or marks gained from previous study shall not be counted in your final result as your award is calculated solely on the credits and marks accumulated while registered at the University of Winchester.

An application for RPL to exempt the postgraduate research student from part of the research skills programme, or from a module of the pre-thesis stage of a professional doctorate programme should normally be submitted at the application stage.  Please note it can not be used in relation to the thesis for Professional Doctorate, MPhil or PhD qualifications. Please refer to the RPL Policy for further details or email

Degree Duration

Part-time only: 4-7 years

Start date: September

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

September 2017 Entry


  • Year 1 | £6,500
  • Year 2 | £6,500


  • Year 3 | £1,998
  • Year 4 | £1,998
  • Year 5 | £1,998
  • Year 6 | £1,998

Total cost | £20,992

For more information about tuition fees, visit our Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Distinctive features of the Winchester DBA include leading-edge teaching in Contemporary Research Methods with experts sharing the latest developments in social media, online methodologies and insight management. In addition, weekend teaching (Friday and Saturday) enables candidates to organise their studies more easily around work commitments. Winchester also provides a learning
environment that stretches and challenges participants in the areas of values and ethics helping to develop responsible, creative and future-thinking thought leaders who make a significant impact in their field.

The first two years of the programme are delivered via taught modules which equip students with the knowledge and skills required for the research phase of the thesis. This taught period culminates in the implementation of a pilot project which enables candidates to develop the advanced research skills necessary for successful completion of the thesis. A particular feature of these stages is the use of action learning sets, facilitated by experienced research-active academics, where students share their learning and experience and provide each other with both support and challenge.

Year 1

  • The Critical Reflective Practitioner
  • Thought Leadership in Context
  • Maximising Engagement and Impact

Year 2

  • Philosophy, Methodology and Ethics of Research
  • Contemporary Research Methods
  • Pilot Study

The module The Critical Reflective Practitioner is studied first as it initiates the journey into professional research. It involves an in-depth analysis of the student's personal experience, an examination of professional values and a critique of their personal management practice; all of which cultivates their ability to deconstruct and make well-supported knowledge claims. The module is designed to deepen thinking, support personal development, challenge assumptions and hone research interests - all vital steps towards the goal of developing an independent, creative and critically self-aware researcher and practitioner.

Thought Leadership in Context and Maximising Engagement and Impact are designed to help students to examine and critically appraise the knowledge claims in their fields of interest whilst learning how to engage the interest and support of both professional and academic colleagues. Presenting work at conferences is an important part of the dissemination of ideas and students will be taught how to do this effectively whilst also having the opportunity to practise this important skill.

Philosophy, Methodology and Ethics in Research, Contemporary Research Methods and the Pilot Study develop research skills and provide opportunities for students to study a wide range of different approaches to research - both through personal engagement with different techniques and through critical evaluation of management research published in peer-reviewed journals. By being exposed to different approaches to management research, students cultivate a creative approach to their own research and develop their ability to argue for innovative and engaging research approaches that suit their own values and objectives.

The final phase culminates in the development, presentation and defence of the thesis. This involves conceptualising, designing and implementing a major project in the student's workplace. Research is conducted within the context of a professional management role and is designed to contribute new knowledge and applications which lie at the forefront of professional management practice. Students are supported by a supervisory team throughout the process. The thesis is examined by viva voce with an internal and an external examiner.

Students are expected to attend six weekend workshops per year (consisting of a Friday and Saturday) to support the completion the modules prior to commencing the thesis.

Various teaching methods are used dependent on the nature of the subject and the size of the group. These methods include lectures, action learning, peer review, presentations and student-led seminars. A central feature of the weekend programmes is the action learning set discussions focused on professional practice development and progress with the modules. The sets include staff-facilitated discussions where peers offer each other feedback, support and challenge around each other's work. Further support is offered in the form of a personal advisor who will be accessible to students as they pursue their studies between the workshops.


A variety of assessment methods are employed during the taught phase of the degree. An indicative list of assessment types you might encounter includes literature reviews, reports, presentations, essays, portfolios and pilot studies. There are regular opportunities to receive formative feedback from both peers and tutors. After two and a half years, students move on to the thesis stage where, rather than submitting formal set assignments, progress is evaluated throughout the year. The candidate finally submits a 55,000-word thesis which is assessed by means of a viva voce.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Achievement of a Doctor of Business Administration can offer career advancement in a current organisation as well as providing an indicator to future employers of a capacity to lead change and innovation at a senior level. It is also well recognised as good preparation for a career in management consultancy and for those who wish to transition their careers into academia. It is an ideal qualification for any career that involves pushing the forefronts of knowledge, innovation or thought leadership.

In the first instance, please contact the Programme Leader for more information. Applicants may then submit an application online at UKPASS

Programme Leader: Dr Karen Blakeley
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 826422

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

The following policy documents provide additional information in regards to the application process for this course:

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