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Doctor of Business Administration - Part-time

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  • Objectives
    This is a research-based doctoral degree that will expose participants to an intellectually rigorous programme of study. It is designed to enable participants to synthesise and develop professional practice, theoretical understanding and reflexive capability.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry criteria will reflect the status of the programme and include workplace experience as well as previous qualifications. All candidates will be interviewed and their capability to undertake the taught part of the programme established.
  • Course description
    Programme highlights

        *      Cohort teaching and research environments
        *      Direct involvement with a research community
        *      Emphasis on action learning and research
        *      Interaction between theory and practice
        *      Reflexivity and reflective methodological approaches


    3 years minimum to 6 years maximum

    General programme structure

    The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme provides the basis for candidates to undertake an individual research project through the synthesis of practical experience and theoretical frameworks. Through the DBA and the interaction between theory and practice, individual understanding is enhanced and practical solutions for organisational difficulties may be established. The interaction between theory and practice through precise methodological approaches give individuals and organisations new perspectives that add value in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and capability.

    Initially there is an emphasis on close direction through workshops, presentations and written papers. On the basis of the written papers and a research proposal the second phase involves the completion of a thesis. Individual tuition and supervision will be available for the duration of the programme. Candidates bring their own practical expertise to the programme, consequently the tuition and supervision concentrate on areas new to candidates.

    Candidates will be expected to concentrate on an issue directly related to their workplace; such a project could take the form of solving a problem or identifying new operational procedures. Before the thesis is started the area of research will be agreed by the university, individual student and any other participating organisations.

    Detailed programme structure

        *      Induction and introduction to doctoral research
        *      Reflective practice, reflexivity and participatory research
        *      Identifying and explaining theory
        *      History and philosophy of business and the social sciences
        *      Understanding paradigms of inquiry
        *      Developing methodological approaches and dealing with methods
        *      Research proposal and thesis

    Plymouth Business School (PBS) is offering a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) for candidates who wish to draw together both theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and managerial experience. This programme is a high level innovative qualification and a flagship programme for PBS and emanates from the recognition that a DBA is an alternative route for individuals in organisations wishing to research their professional practice at doctorate level.

    The DBA at Plymouth has been developed through PBS research units and individual candidates will be involved with one or more of these units as well as the Business School research community in general.

    Our research units and areas of academic capability include:

        * sustainable governance and leadership
        * institutional and public policy
        * finance and economics
        * logistics and transport
        * entrepreneurship, small businesses and services.

    This programme should be of interest to senior executives and managers in the private and public sectors as well as entrepreneurs and consultants. The candidate is central to the DBA and even though doctoral research of this nature concentrates on practicalities it assumes that the organisation and society are continually changing and that these can be related to wider theoretical issues. The DBA will enable candidates to further understand leadership and change and through the study of specific situations make general inferences about practical problems. High level study through the DBA will enable creative thinking regarding specific situations in relation to individual perspectives and organisational contexts.

    Through theoretical consideration of practicalities within organisations new perspectives may be brought to historic problems and in some instance this may lead to solutions for organisational difficulties. The interaction between theory and practice through the DBA can provide the candidate and organisation with new perspectives that add value in terms of effectiveness, capability and efficiency.

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