Doctor of Business Administration - Structure

The DBA programme consists of two distinct, but linked stages.

In line with all doctoral programmes, you will begin your journey by developing your research skills. At Henley, you work towards an additional qualification whilst you undertake this part of your development. Therefore, unless you already have an equivalent research qualification such as MRes or MPhil, you will complete the MSc in Business and Management Research.

The MSc in Business and Management Research provides a thorough grounding in research methodology and techniques. You will be preparing and developing your ideas and proposals for your own research – through teaching inputs and structured assessment - and also developing your competence to undertake research. This stage is scheduled over 18 months, with four one-week compulsory workshops covering,

  • Research and Personal Development
  • Introduction to Research methodology
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Quantitative research methods

This stage also includes research colloquia and other optional seminars.

Your MSc will culminate in the development of a research proposal, providing the platform for developing research in the DBA stage.

Stage 1:

MSc in Business and Management Research

Your MSc will promote the development of a deep knowledge of the research process and a broad understanding of the available range of research methodologies. As you progress though the MSc, you will also be developing your research questions, broadening your knowledge of the literature in the area you intend to research, and selecting the appropriate methodology and methods. You’ll finally arrive at a detailed research proposal.

The assessed components of the MSc are:

  • Research outline interview: further develops your research ideas
  • Working paper: a scoping literature review of a selected area
  • Research skills: a critique of a selected research methodology and one other research target linked to your particular needs
  • Thesis critique: an evaluation of an existing doctoral thesis
  • Qualitative data analysis assignment
  • Quantitative data analysis assignment
  • Report on a pilot study: a report on a study involving a pilot collection of data
  • Research proposal: a detailed proposal for research – including literature review, methodology and methods – relating to a specific research area.

Stage 2:


Your DBA stage has two assessed components relating to the completion of a research thesis and the development of competences relevant to the application of this research:

  • Report on two targets for development in the areas of personal, teaching and consultancy skills competences
  • Doctoral thesis.

Support and Supervision

In joining Henley Business School you gain access to the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) with extensive facilities for undertaking research including journals, textbooks, newspapers and online resources, plus previous doctoral theses and research articles.

You will also be able to access the ARC Online via the Business School website, with full-text access to thousands of journal articles, company financial data and market research reports

Core Support

The overall academic content and quality of your programme will be led by the Director of the DBA Programme, and the Doctoral Programme Team will support you throughout the process through to graduation.


Each Programme Member is mentored through the MSc stage by a member of academic faculty, who will help you to develop your research expertise and achieve your competence development targets. At the pilot study/research proposal stage, you will begin to work with your supervisor.


Throughout the research process you will have the support of and guidance of at least one supervisor. Supervisors assess the Research Proposal and Pilot Study in the MSc and then guide the Programme Member through the research process to submission of the thesis for examination at the viva in the DBA stage.