At a glance
- One of only eleven programmes globally to have gained the prestigious AMBA accreditation
- Choose from a range of DBA research topics
- Take part in activities run by our research centres
- Develop your competency to undertake research
- Benefit from a mentor and supervisor throughout each stage of the programme
The DBA programme contributes to the research excellence of Henley Business School. The theses produced receive commendations from accrediting bodies and examiners alike. Candidates include prestigious competition winners and the quality of theses is regularly praised as being the highest quality by scholars with global reputations in their field. Research associates are members of our School structure and are encouraged to take part in activities of our research centres. By conducting original research in their specialist area, candidates are able to further their careers and build expertise to contribute to grow competitive advantage and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
What is a DBA?
The Henley DBA is a part-time professional doctoral degree with an international scope and reputation. The programme is designed to enhance executive and professional practice. This is through the application of sound theory and rigorous research into real and complex issues in business and management.
It enhances the capability to develop knowledge and theory, and their application. Key to this is a programme to develop personal, consultancy and research skills in the context of rigorous and relevant research.
The Henley DBA will enable you to:
- Develop a sound understanding of the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen area of research into business and management.
- Have a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic and management enquiry.
- Create and interpret knowledge through original research. Enhance both your performance as a reflective practitioner and your professional practice.
- Develop personal, consultancy and research competences to undertake rigorous research at an advanced level. Also, to contribute to theory and practice in business and management.
Who should consider a DBA?
The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced senior executives, consultants, management educators and business school academics.
A DBA from Henley will enhance professional capability and credibility. You will develop networks and provide a firm foundation for further career development, or a major career move. Employers benefit from supporting candidates for the DBA by attracting, developing and retaining key talent and building knowledge for competitive advantage.
DBA and PhDs – Equal but Different
The DBA has both rigour and relevance as it contributes to theory and practice in business and management. The DBA typically focuses on research ‘in’ organisations rather than research ‘on’ organisations. It involves cross-disciplinary work and mixed methods and contribute to developing your own practice and development.
The Henley DBA has two distinct stages:
Stage 1 (Month 1-Month 18) – completion of five compulsory modules:
- Introduction to Academic Research
- Introduction to Research Design and Methodology
- Introduction to Qualitative Techniques
- Introduction to Quantitative Techniques
- Personal Development
The first four modules each have a mandatory workshop of 5 or 6 days, normally held on campus in Henley-on-Thames, UK.
Each module has a number of assessed assignments.
There are also additional optional modules available (for example:. Advanced Qualitative Methods, Understanding Management and Financial Research, International Business and International Human Resource Management, Long Run Development of International Business Theory).
Confirmation of Registration (Month 18-Month 36) - Pilot Study, Research Proposal and Presentation
Stage 2 (Month 36 onwards):
- Personal Action Research Project
- Doctoral thesis (including a viva voce examination).
Support and Supervision
The overall academic content and quality of your programme will be led by the Director of the DBA Programme. The Doctoral Programme Team will support you throughout the process through to graduation.
Throughout the research process you will have the support of and guidance of at least one supervisor. They will guide you through the research process to submission of the thesis for examination at the viva.
In joining, you will gain access to the Henley Business School library which has extensive facilities for undertaking research. This includes journals, textbooks, newspapers and online resources, plus previous doctoral theses and research articles.
You will also be able to access the Online Library via the Business School website. You will have have full-text access to thousands of journal articles, company financial data and market research reports.
There are a number of DBA research topics across the various academic disciplines at Henley Business School. These have been organised by research areas. Only proposals that fall under one of the categories below will be considered.
- Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
- Finance (ICMA Centre)
- Management (International Business and Strategy)
- Management (Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour)
- Management (Marketing and Reputation)
- Real Estate & Planning
When writing your research outline, please indicate at the top of the proposal to which topic/faculty member (where applicable) your research outline corresponds.
2022/2023 DBA fee
|Year 1||£13,900* **|
|Year 2||£13,900* **|
|Year 6 +||Additional registration beyond Year 6 would need to be approved by the PGR Dean and a continuation fee would apply.|
*10% discount for University of Reading alumni for Year 1 and Year 2
**10% discount for applicants with full exemption from taught element (including Henley MSc Business and Management Research graduates) for Year 1 and Year 2.
If you are seeking to enter the DBA programme, you'll normally be expected to hold a Masters degree in the area of business or management together with at least five years' relevant experience.
To apply for the Henley DBA please complete the online application form and provide the required documents. You will need to include one business reference and one academic reference. You will also need to provide a Research Outline detailing your proposed DBA dissertation topic (4-6 pages - 1200-1800 words). You should consult the Research Outline Notes document before writing the Research Outline and must select a topic from one available on the Research Topics page, as these are the areas of expertise within the Business School.
Please indicate on your Research Outline under which topic/faculty member (where applicable) your research falls. Topics not listed on the Research Topics will not be considered.
Please click on the DBA alumni clips below to further understand why undertaking a DBA at Henley Business School may be right for you and your career.
Dr Sharon Varney
Director of organisational consulting and research practice
Dr Sharon Varney is a specialist in developing people and organisations. She works at a strategic level and engages at a very human level. Her doctoral research applied complexity theory to explore organisational change and its leadership. Sharon now uses that research to help leaders discover emerging organisational patterns in the midst of change.
Dr Kathryn Hall Newton
“As a branding strategist, I now have a unique point of difference in the marketplace. I am able to add value to branding strategy and marketing research because I have gained leading edge academic insight and rigour through the DBA program which I can combine with my traditional brand management work experience.”Dr Kathryn Hall Newton
Dr Ben Van Den Assem
Consultant and Researcher
“The DBA has opened up different avenues to explore given my theoretical and practical experience…which positions me well for my next consultancy piece.”Dr Ben Van Den Assem