Course details

Study options

Part-time: 4-6 years

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Derby Management School brochure

The programme provides significant opportunity for the development of professional knowledge through applied research.

The DBA offers an annual research conference to all cohorts, which provides a unique opportunity for students and academics (from a range of business topics) to showcase their research. A cohort Leadership Coach supports students in their senior leadership development.

The Doctorate of Business Administration:

By studying the Doctorate of Business Administration students will achieve:

How Derby is giving students skills in hi-tech industries

Our Business and Management research is internationally recognised through the Research Excellence Framework (2014), and we possess expertise and research excellence in areas such as marketing, low carbon and the green economy, supply chain management and logistics, and economics. We can also support interdisciplinary projects with our law and criminology colleagues.

What you will study

The programme comprises of four core modules, one negotiated module in the taught stage (year 2 of the programme), and one substantial project module in the ‘Independent Research’ stage. An optional sixth module is available at the end of year two for students wishing to exit with an MSc Business and Management Research.

The Theory for Practice Stage (years 1 and 2) begins to prepare the learner for the greater learning autonomy expected in the Independent Study stage of the programme. The stage also encourages argument, critical evaluation, analysis and reflection. Assessment outputs at the Theory for Practice stage include preparation towards a research progress review at the end of the year 2 of the programme, which needs to be successfully passed for a student to be transferred onto Independent Research stage of the DBA programme. The programme structure is as follows:

  • Introduction to research (20 credits)
  • Designing research projects (40 credits)
  • Developing the professional self (20 credits)
  • Negotiated module (20 credits)
  • Communicating your research (20 credits)

Practitioner project (420 credits) – PhD thesis of 50,000-60,000 words

How you will learn

Teaching and Learning

Doctoral level study requires a great deal of independent study and you should be prepared for around 20 hours of independent study per week.

Scheduled taught sessions occur in blocks throughout the first two years of the programme. All students can access online resources through the virtual learning environment (Blackboard/Course Resources). All students can access tutorials via online, phone or face-to-face options.

Students will engage through seminars, practical activity, supervision, tutorials, guided independent study and work-based learning. One-to-one tutorials are arranged between the learner and tutoring/supervision team (typically 10-15 hours per year).


Assessments have been designed to be broad, wide-ranging, flexible and innovative, facilitating professional learning and allowing students to produce work relevant to their own specialism. Assessment will review the students’ ability to apply and evaluate skills, apply theory, critical reasoning and problem solving, use self-reflection and demonstrate evidence-based practice. Academic writing and language skills will also be taken into account. Students must pass all the taught stage modules (year 1 and 2) in order to be transferred onto the independent research stage.

Students on the independent research stage are required to undertake progress reports which act as progression milestones. The final assessment for a doctoral award is through examination of the major practitioner project and a viva voce. Support is available through mock viva voice examinations.

Throughout the programme, tutors and supervisors will also give formative feedback; this serves to provide on-going support and guidance to students. Formal records of supervision meetings will be held and provide additional feedback to students.

Who you will meet

Dr Polina Baranova

Entry requirements

The programme seeks to admit highly capable individuals able to demonstrate motivation, interest and aptitude for doctoral level study with interests in business and management research. Both home and international applications are encouraged.

Where English is not the first language:

Potential applicants are strongly advised to discuss the programme and alternative doctoral study options with the Programme Leader prior to applying to ensure a best fit in terms of personal, professional and career aspirations.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

How to apply


Additional information

  • All applicants must include a research proposal with their application
  • All applicants must comply to English proficiency entry standards as outlined in the entry requirements


Students undertake doctoral research for many reasons and many see benefits in terms of promotions in their professional area.

Students are likely to be in full-time employment and considering the research within their own work context; as such the learner links their employer with the University.

As the highest academic qualification that can be studied there is no further academic scheme of study for students to progress to.

Students are encouraged to maintain links with the University beyond their programme, possibly to contribute to joint research projects, associate lecturing, or publication with their former supervision team.

Dr Polina Baranova
Programme leader

Polina Baranova is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management. Her research lies at the intersection of strategy, business and society. In particular, she specialises in the development of the environmental capabilities in various organisational settings through stakeholder engagement and stakeholder management.

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Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.