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Liverpool John Moores University

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Liverpool John Moores University

Doctorate in Business Administration

This Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) provides senior executives and managers with the opportunity to achieve the highest academic degree while remaining in full time employment. Equivalent to a PhD qualification, the DBA is ideal for those pursuing a professional career.

Entry requirements

DBA: You will need:

A DBA, which is a doctoral level qualification, is a challenging, but also rewarding journey. In order to make sure you are suitable for the programme we have defined the following entry requirements for the programme:

A master's degree in the area of business and/or management
At least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience

In order to make an application to the programme you need to provide the following documents via the online application:

Curriculum vitae
Master's certificate and transcript in the area of business and/or management - these must be official English translations
Evidence of at least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience - this can be e.g. a confirmation by your current employer or a reference letter from a former employer
An academic reference, which recommends you for the programme - this can be e.g. from your master's institution
An industry reference, which recommends you for the programme - this can be e.g. from your employer, from a client and/or professional body
Personal statement (max. 2,000 words) - this is not a full research proposal, but should address why you would like to do a DBA, why you think you are suitable for the programme and what you expect from the DBA. You should furthermore provide a brief outline of your research topic and its contribution to theory and practice, including:
title of your research
introduction of your research
literature review of current studies
research methods
contribution of your research.

How your application is considered:

The application is screened to ensure the candidate meets the entry requirements and has submitted all their supporting documents.
If the candidate meets the minimum entry requirements and all documents have been received, the application is passed to the appropriate academics within the School for consideration and to identify a suitable supervisory team.
The DBA Team and/or an appropriate academic member of staff will interview the applicant and make a decision following the interview. For applicants in the UK, they are invited to attend the interview in person at Liverpool Business School. For applicants based elsewhere, the interview will normally take place by telephone, Skype or Adobe Connect.

The deadline for applications for the January 2019 intake is 30 November 2018. Should you have any queries regarding the entry criteria or documents required, please contact the Faculty Admissions Office at busadmiss?

International Applications

LJMU welcomes applications from international candidates. Most of the studying and learning will be undertaken via distance learning in your home country and there are only a small number of residential days in Liverpool required.

In addition to the outlined entry requirements for home applicants, you will be expected to demonstrate a good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no single component below 6.0) or equivalent.

For UK visa requirements, please contact the UK Entry Clearance or contact LJMU's International Advice Team:
DBA: Candidates should be well-qualified in their chosen field and possess a business related Masters degree (e.g. MBA) or equivalent qualification supplemented with sufficient recent business and management experience appropriate to the research being undertaken.

To be considered for the programme, candidates must complete the online application form and provide the following documents: Completed application form; Master's degree certificate; Transcript of master study; 1 Academic reference; 1 Reference from current employer; Evidence of Language - IELTS 6.5 (or CEF B2) with no components score below 5.5 (if required); A personal statement (1500-2000 words) to include: Reasons why you want to study DBA course; Reasons why you are suitable to the course; Previous experience of research; Brief introduction of your research to include: Title of your research; Introduction of the research; Literature review of current studies; Research method; Contributions of your research.

The deadline for applications for January 2018 entry, will be 30th November 2017.

Course modules

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study. Please note, these modules are subject to validation.

The DBA consists of three core modules: Planning module: planning of your research supported by taught elements (planning your research, de- and refine your topic and basic research methods).

Investigative Project module: execution of your research supported by taught elements (literature review, research design incl. data collection and analysis, discussion of findings).

Reflective module: reflection on your personal development during the DBA journey supported by taught elements (module processes and portfolio).

The supervision during doctoral studies is a key element of the experience. Our DBA candidates are supervised only by full-time academics employed at Liverpool Business School who are research active themselves and have a track record of publications and conference presentations.

The supervisory team is usually made up of two supervisors. If the circumstances require it a third supervisor can be added to the team. All our supervisors attend regular supervisor training workshops and are familiar with the most recent developments in supervising professional doctorate candidates.

If a DBA is undertaken within an organisation, an industrial advisor can be added to the supervisory team to represent the interests from practice. This is usually a manager or senior professional who is already an expert in the field of research.

Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Assessment methods

There are various assessment throughout the duration of the programme. During year 1 there are three deliverables to submit in relation to each of the residential workshops (research plan, research proposal, methodological considerations). Furthermore, in year 2 and 3 there are four deliverables to submit which are again linked to the residential workshops (literature review, presentation, publishable paper, impact plan). These assessments are graded on a pass/fail basis.

The final submission which leads to the award of the doctorate the thesis. The thesis can be submitted earliest after completion of year 3 and it is 80,000 words long (+/- 10%). The assessment of the thesis takes place in form of an oral examination (viva voce) undertaken by two examiners, who should be experts in your field. One examiner is internal to LJMU and one is external.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
DBA Part-time £ 10,200 (Academic year) Home/EU 4 Years
DBA Part-time £ 11,250 (Academic year) International 4 Years
DBA Part-time January 2019 11,900 (Year 1) International 3 3 Years
DBA Part-time January 2019 10,475 (Year 1) Home/EU 3 3 Years
DBA Part-time January 2020 10,475 (Year 1) Home/EU 3 Years
DBA Part-time January 2020 11,900 (Year 1) International 3 Years

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