The DBA at the University of South Wales is a professional doctorate programme specifically designed for senior managers and other professionals in private, public and non-profit organisations.
A specialist DBA in Public Service Management is also available for professionals working in third and public sector organisations, seeking to develop a thesis in this field of study.
You will develop a high level of independent and critical thinking, contributing cutting-edge knowledge through research in your field.
The DBA is ideal for ambitious managers who want to build on their already extensive and individual achievements, and who wish to engage in critical management thinking in a multidisciplinary and supportive environment.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
The delivery is described as ‘taught’ but at DBA level the delivery is much more about a process of engagement between the academic staff and the students.
The programme is delivered over five taught workshops, attendance at which is compulsory. Workshops normally take place at our Treforest Campus, within easy reach of the railway station and Cardiff airport.
On this Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) course you will study five modules. These are:
The DBA will be delivered at our Treforest Campus over three day blocks, approximately every six months.
The workshops will typically span a Thursday, Friday, Saturday to minimise disruption for students.
These are supplemented by additional update days where students are recalled for meetings with supervisors and additional input where necessary.
The taught workshops are spaced over approximately 30 months, with production of the final assessment document in the months following the final workshop.
You will attend regular, intensive study workshops that enable you to budget your time and focus your research effectively. You will be supported throughout the DBA course by a network of like-minded students, as well as a high level of support from the teaching team and research supervisors.
Please see our Graduate School pages for more information on support for research students.
Each module results in the production of an assessed piece of work, the length of which varies depending on the module. For example, the assessment for module one will be in the region of 8,000 words, whereas that for module two may be as much as 20,000 words to reflect the depth of enquiry demanded by that module.
In total, you will typically produce some 80,000 words throughout the programme. This is comparable with other methods of doctoral study. Your final examination will involve the submission of an 80,000 word thesis (combination of assignments) and a viva voce.
The course is designed for busy professionals based internationally and in the UK. Attendance is not overly burdensome, approximately three day blocks twice a year. International students can study this part-time course and attend by applying for a visiting student visa. Accommodation can be arranged on campus via the University’s accommodation services or if you prefer to be closer to the city centre, there any many types of accommodation available.
Admission to the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) normally requires a Masters degree from a recognised academic institution. In addition, all applicants are required to provide evidence of significant professional or managerial experience.
All applicants must be able to access organisations to conduct their research. This will normally be your employing organisation but may include others. Access to support for the research study is essential in terms of initial selection and for the duration of the programme.
Applications must include two references on headed paper from your referees which should be uploaded as a supporting document. Please note, we can not accept applications without these two references. At least one referee should be able to comment on your academic/professional ability. References provided by relatives are not acceptable.
You are required to provide a detailed doctoral research proposal prior to the acceptance stage. All applications will be considered by the University’s Research Applications Panel. Once your research proposal has been submitted and approved, you will be subject to a formal interview; this may be a panel interview.
International candidates whose first language is not English should have been taught and assessed in English and be able to evidence English fluency to TOEFL 570 or IELTS 6.5 or higher.
Part-time UK and EU: £3,300 per year; Part-time International: £4,350 per year.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
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No mandatory textbooks to purchase.
Career enhancement to strategic levels in organisations is often sought by successful DBA candidates. DBA graduates have the ability to create and interpret new knowledge through original research. They produce first-class original research of publishable quality that sets them apart from other managers. This encompasses robust design, implementation, execution, and dissemination. This research also makes significant contributions to practice on many levels, within organisations, on an industry level, and on a policy level. Many of our graduates have progressed to senior positions in public sector, private sector, and academia.