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Please note, this course is not currently accepting applications for September 2023 entry.

The Doctor of Business Administration at Winchester is designed to give you the tools to become thought and practice leaders in your field, with the capabilities to gather and make sense of the information you need to operate and lead in a global environment.

During this period of exponential change, there is increasing demand for business professionals who can make sound decisions in situations of complexity and uncertainty. At Winchester, we focus on helping you to become a recognised thought leader, known for leading-edge expertise in your field and able to network with recognised experts all over the world. We also build your leadership capacity by equipping you with high-level research skills that enable you to build confidence and demonstrate evidence-based decision-making, which assists in career progression to more senior roles. Graduating with the title of ‘Doctor’ could open important career and professional opportunities for you.

As a UK Champion school for the UN PRME (Principles for Responsible Education) initiative, we stretch and challenge you in the areas of values and ethics, helping you develop as a responsible, creative and future-thinking leader who will make a significant impact in your field. Find out more about the University of Winchester Business School.

For the first two years of the programme, there are taught modules that equip you with the knowledge and skills required for the research phase of the thesis. A pilot project then further develops your advanced research skills. Finally, you submit a 55,000-word thesis which is assessed by means of a viva voce. A particular feature of these stages is the use of action learning sets, facilitated by experienced research-active academics, where you are able to share your learning and experience while simultaneously supporting and challenging your peers.


The Doctor of Business Administration at Winchester is designed to give you the tools to become a thought and practice leader in your field, with the capabilities to gather and make sense of the information you need to operate and lead in a global environment.


Learning and teaching

Students are expected to attend six weekend workshops per year (consisting of a Friday and Saturday) to support the completion of 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 by attending an Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Further information 

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures. 



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.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the programme leader Dr Malgorzata Radomska for a discussion prior to making an application.

The entry criteria for the Winchester DBA will normally be:

  • A masters level qualification at merit or above
  • Five years experience at a senior managerial level
  • Attendance at an interview

The business school can exercise discretion based on professional experience and overall suitability for the DBA.

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 

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 Recognition of Prior Learning (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 cannot 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

Contact us

Telephone +44(0)1962 827234

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International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester at one of our Open Evenings.


Course structure

Modules Credits

The Critical Reflective Practitioner 40

This module supports the student’s development of critical self-awareness and the importance of this for future theoretical, analytical and practical approaches to research.   Competing paradigms around self-reflection will be taught and students will undertake a self-analysis from a range of perspectives.   They will be encouraged to explore their own professional development and the goals, values and priorities that led them to make critical decisions at various junctures in their career.  They will position themselves in relation to the latest theoretical findings and debates in their field and critically evaluate those positions.   Whilst reflecting critically on the past, students will also explore what future successful  thought-leaders and practitioner researchers will look like, constructing a challenging professional development plan to supplement the more formal taught academic modules and hence encouraging the independent learning required for success at this level.

Thought Leadership in Context 40

This module is designed to cultivate an ability to identify, analyse and creatively engage in the discourses, debates, problems and opportunities at the forefront of the professional field or discipline.   Students are encouraged to adopt multiple perspective taking, cognitive flexibility, creativity and originality, systemic thinking and global mind-sets in the addressing of complex issues which may involve conflicts of values, interests, goals and needs.  The module will explore in particular the debates about the role of capitalism in society and students will be encouraged to critically analyse, evaluate and apply the arguments to their own research.  Having engaged in the issues, the module helps students identify how their research can contribute to further understanding and generate original, insightful and useful knowledge which can make an important contribution the development of their field.

Maximising Engagement and Impact 40

In this module students will be introduced to the various channels through which research is incorporated into knowledge.  This includes academic conferences, scholarly and professional journals and conferences and seminars held by professional bodies.   Students will acquire the skills of adapting writing and presentational styles to different audiences in order to maximise engagement with their topic. The significance and importance of engaging in a range of communities of practice and reaching out to relevant disciplines and professions will be emphasised.

Philosophy, Methodology and Ethics of Research 40

This module develops your understanding of research practice by examining different theoretical positions and approaches to research.  You will explore issues of ontology and epistemology and the ways in which these influence choices of research approach and methodology in greater depth.  You will develop your understanding of the situated nature of research ethics, and different positions taken by researcher in relation to ethical issues, as well as exploring the ethical demands of research governance. In particular the issues around workplace insider action research will be explored as this will in most cases be the context for the DBA thesis. This module also includes an element of dissertation planning, to enable you to embark on development towards your thesis.

Contemporary Research Methods 40

In this module students will be introduced to the latest techniques in research methods including the use of social media, gaming technology and insight analysis, whilst also developing skills in more traditional quantitative and qualitative methods.  Students will develop their understanding of how different techniques can be used in handling simple and complex data.  They will consider the theoretical and practical contexts in which researchers choose particular quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods and will develop an in-depth understanding of a variety of data collection methods.  The relationship between data collection methods and different techniques for data analysis will also be explored.

Pilot Study 40

In this module students will apply the learning they have acquired over the taught modules in the implementation of a pilot study.  They will experience, evaluate and analyse a range of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques, which they will then be able to apply in management research contexts.  Students will experience the practical and theoretical strengths and limitations of various approaches to research and be able to incorporate this learning into their final research proposal.

Thesis 300

The candidate will plan, develop, implement, theorise and critically analyse a professional intervention in the workplace which demonstrates doctoral level understanding as identified by FHEQ. The candidate, in consultation with a proposed supervisory team, will submit a proposal for the thesis to RDQC.  Approval by RDQC registers the thesis title.  The progress of the project will be monitored by RDQC in line with the regulations for postgraduate research programmes.

Preparation for Progression Viva 0

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.


UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK student starting your professional doctorate in 2024/25, the fees are £7,920 per year (part-time only) for the pre-thesis stage of the doctorate. The annual fee for the thesis stage is £2,420 (part-time only). The doctorate is expected to be completed in 5-7 years part-time therefore the total costs are indicative. 

Pre-thesis (2 years): £7,920 p/a
Thesis (3-6 years): £2,420 p/a

Total Cost: £25,520 (6 years)

Key course details

Part-time only: 4-7 years
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester