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Doctor of Business Administration

Edinburgh Napier University

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The Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctoral programme designed to develop applied research for managers in business, public services and non-profit organisations. The programme is aimed at senior managers and leaders currently employed in an organisation that is committed to the continuing development of its employees.

Delegates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • undertake research, critical investigation and evaluation of an approved topic in their professional area;
  • integrate rigorous academic/critical analysis with practical relevance and application;
  • make meaningful links from the research findings in the thesis/portfolio to the profession; and,
  • clearly communicate their work and disseminate ideas to fellow professionals in order to develop practice and enhance the professional generally.




  • Rated 5 Stars for Teaching, Employability and Internationalisation
    (QS Stars 2018)

Programme Structure

Programme Duration

This programme can be completed in 36 months.

The Programme is divided into two stages:

  • Stage 1 lasts two years and is based on structured learning with specified assessments. Each unit will involve an assessment and successful completion will be confirmed by an Examination Board at the end of Stage 1.
  • Stage 2 lasts a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. During the second stage participants complete the main phase of empirical research in their organisation, under the guidance of their supervisory team.


Programme Delivery

The DBA is delivered through regular week-long sessions involving tuition, discussion, reflection, and development. During Stage 1, delegates attend 5 week-long workshops – prime support comes from Unit Tutors, although they are allocated a Supervisory Team at the beginning of the Programme; during Stage 2, they work independently under the guidance of their Supervisory Team, formal contact varies from delegate to delegate, although each Supervisory Team is allocated a total of 60 hours per year to support the delegate in their research (the 60 hours includes reading, review and feedback as well as meetings, in person or via electronic means).


Assessment and Examination

The programme is assessed by a combination of practical and written research-based assessments and project based work. Graduates of the DBA will be equipped with research, problem solving and decision-making skills which will enable them to make key contributions to their organisation.

The final research project will be examined in line with University regulations for doctoral examination and will include a viva voce examination. In addition, delegates must complete a Continuing Professional Development Portfolio (CPD) to be submitted at the end of Stage 2. CPD runs throughout the Programme.

Delegates must complete and pass all elements to gain the award of DBA. The DBA represents a unified body of academic work around a new research project and therefore prior work or experience cannot normally be used to gain advanced entry. It is also based on cohort development, where the group learns collectively through the programme.

Programme Outline

The DBA is a research degree falling wholly under Edinburgh Napier University Research Degree Regulations. The structured learning elements provide focus on the stages of the research process. The assessments for each Unit follow the stages of the research process (i.e. research proposal, research philosophy, literature, methods and pilot study) and are applied to the delegate's own topic of study.

In this way the units in Stage 1 provide the research training which forms the foundation for doctoral study and ensure formative feedback for the delegate. The final thesis/portfolio of journal articles may draw on the work completed in these assessments, although it would need to be significantly developed to ensure the achievement of Level 12 work; and it would need to be reframed in the context of a unified thesis/portfolio.

The formative feedback on assessments is provided by the Unit team (and commented upon by the supervision team). Edinburgh Napier`s Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) is used to support the structured learning elements in the same way as the home based programme, ensuring similarity of student experience.

Structured Units

  • Researching Business
  • Research Philosophies in Business and Management
  • Locating Your Research in Practice and Theory
  • Research Design
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Thesis / Portfolio and Viva Preparation


Final Research Project

Delegates have the opportunity to either:

  • complete a doctoral thesis of 40,000 words; or
  • complete a portfolio of journal articles in the thematic area of study, of publishable quality (3 journal articles of up to 10,000 words each, or their equivalent). The portfolio must include a report which outlines the nature of the theme that runs through the papers, the business relevance, methodological approach and contribution to practice and knowledge (up to 10,000 words).

Upcoming Intakes*

Part-time: October 2018

* For information on further intakes, please contact our programme consultants.

Programme Details

Contact Hours

As the DBA is built on an assumption of the integration of participants’ study time and work within their organisation, it is not possible to indicate specific hours of study. This will also vary significantly between delegates. The times below are therefore indicative.

Indicative time to be spent on DBA: 15 hours per week.

  • 60 hours per month x 36 months = 2,160 hours

Maximum Candidature Period

Maximum period: 48 months

Delivery Mode

Lectures, tutorials and project assignments will be conducted within our City Campus.  

Structured units are delivered by our university partners’ teaching staff in an intensive block mode.

Minimum Number of Students Before a Class Commences

Minimum 12 students are required before commencement of classes. 

Admission Criteria

Local Student Admission

Admission Requirements

For admission to the DBA programme, applicants should be currently employed in a senior management role and have:-

An MBA or a Masters qualification in a relevant area, coupled with relevant work experience in a senior management role (usually 5 years).

Exceptionally, applicants who do not have a recognised formal qualification may be considered on the basis of extensive senior management experience and evidence of appropriate academic ability.


English Proficiency Level

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of an appropriate English language qualification, achieved no more than two years prior to the expected registration date:

i) A minimum IELTS score (or equivalent) of 7.0 or

ii) TOEFL IBT score of at least 90 (or equivalent paper or computer based test) or

iii) Pearsons Test of English score of at least 60, or

iv) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English score of at least Grade B, or

v) Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English score of at least C.

Applicants who have been taught and assessed in English to UK degree or equivalent level will not be required to undertake the test.


Selection Procedure

Complete applications will be considered by a panel including the Edinburgh Napier Programme Leader and PSB Programme Leader. An interview to discern the candidate’s ability to critically analyse issues and problems and to discuss the justification for the research topic is an important part of the process and will be undertaken face-to-face or through a telephone conversation. In the unlikely event of a dispute, the decision of the Edinburgh Napier Programme Leader is final. A record of application decisions will be maintained and made available to the regulators when required. The decision-making process will enable the University to assure itself that balanced and independent admissions decisions have been made, that support its admissions policy.


Local Student

Programme Fees: S$45,967.20*

Singaporean/PR graduates of PSB Academy are entitled fee rebates for subsequent programmes. For more information, please complete the Enquiry Form and we will be in touch with you soon.

* All fees inclusive of 7% GST and may be subject to change annually
* Programme fee excludes textbooks
* Click here to view other charges for students

Financial Aid / Available Grants

Please click here to view financial aid and available grants.

Local Applicants

How to Apply

Completed application form should be submitted to PSB Academy accompanied by:

  • Academic transcripts and certificates (certified true copy by PSB Academy authorised staff)
  • Curriculum vitae / résumé detailing key roles and responsibilities
  • An overview of the research area that the applicant wishes to explore (maximum length 5000 words). The overview should include:
    • A rationale and justification to investigate the research topic
    • A brief review of key literature related to the research area
    • A demonstration of the ability to critically analyse issues and problems
  • A copy of NRIC/FIN
  • Passport photo (hardcopy required)
  • A non-refundable and non-transferable application fee of S$107 (inclusive of 7% GST) by the following avenues:
    • City Campus (Cheque, NETS, Debit and Credit Card)
    • Post (Cheque - please indicate payee as “PSB ACADEMY PTE LTD”)
    • Internet Banking

Please note that an incomplete application will delay the processing duration. All completed applications may be submitted via post, email or in person:

PSB Academy City Campus
#03-200, Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard
Singapore 039594

If you require assistance, please speak with our Programme Consultants:

Programme ConsultantsContact
Suresh Ponnusamy

DID: +65 6390 9056

Whatsapp: +65 9824 3854