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Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

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
  • Gain the advantage of engaging with supervisors right from the beginning and throughout every stage of the programme
  • In-country support for South African students
Greenlands campus
Subject area(s)
Business & Management
4-6 years
Programme Director
Anastasiya Saraeva
Dr Anastasiya Saraeva


The DBA programme contributes to the research excellence of Henley Business School and theses produced receive commendations from accrediting bodies and examiners alike. Candidates include prestigious competition winners and the quality of the research is regularly praised as being of the highest quality, by scholars with global reputations in their fields. DBA research students are members of our School structure and are encouraged to take part in the Business School’s research centre activities. By conducting original research in their specialist area, candidates are able to further their careers and build expertise to contribute towards growing competitive advantage and differentiating 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 and apply knowledge and theory, and a key element of the DBA is a programme of Personal Development 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 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 and is often cross-disciplinary.

The Henley DBA has two distinct stages:

Stage 1 – completion of five compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Academic Research
  • Introduction to Research Design and Methodology
  • Introduction to Qualitative Techniques
  • Introduction to Quantitative Techniques
  • Completing your Research - Contribution and Impact
  • Personal Development

The first five modules are to be completed within the first 18 months of the programme. Each module has mandatory workshops, normally held on campus in Henley-on-Thames, UK. Whilst the first workshop must be attended in-person, it may be possible to join the other workshops remotely, on request.

Each module has a number of assessed assignments.

There are also additional optional modules available via the Graduate School, for example, Advanced Qualitative Methods, Understanding Management and Financial Research, International Business and International Human Resource Management and Long Run Development of International Business Theory. Please note that these modules are subject to change.

Confirmation of Registration – a formal milestone to be completed around Month 18-36 into the DBA.

Stage 2:

  • Further developing own research area
  • Personal Action Research Project
  • Doctoral thesis (including a viva voce examination).

Support and Supervision

Core Support

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.

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. In addition to the physical Libraries at the Greenlands and Whiteknights campuses, you will also be able to access the Online Library via the Business School website. You will have full-text access to thousands of journal articles, company financial data and market research reports.


Throughout the research process, you will have support and guidance from two supervisors. They will guide you through the research process to submission of the thesis for examination at the viva.

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 align with one of the categories below will be considered.

Research areas

When writing your research proposal, please indicate at the top of the proposal to which topic/faculty member (where applicable) your research outline corresponds, and include your name.

2024/2025 DBA fees

Year 1 £13,900* **
Year 2 £13,900* **
Year 3 £13,900
Year 4 £10,900
Year 5 £7,250
Year 6 £7,250
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.

Applicants may be eligible to apply for funding/student loans:

Doctoral loans – Doctoral and Researcher College (

Student Finance GOV.UK (or please check information in your country of residence)

Entry requirements

If you are seeking to enter the DBA programme, you'll normally be expected to hold a Masters degree in the broad 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 Proposal detailing your DBA research topic (2000-3000 words). You should consult the Research Proposal Notes document before writing the Research Proposal and must select a topic from one of the areas shown on the Academic Areas page, as these are the areas of expertise within the Business School.

Please indicate on your Research Proposal under which topic/faculty member (where applicable) your research falls (and include your name). Topics not listed on the Academic Areas webpages 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

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us by email or by phone.

Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7593

Visit the South African support office website for Henley's UK DBA.

For the South African support office, please contact Professor Danie Petzer by email.

“Pursuing a DBA with Henley Business School is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has provided me with invaluable knowledge, skills, and connections, supported by an in-depth personal development journey. ”
Ole Petter Anfinsen Board Member of EDBAC and Founder of AEHP, United Kingdom/Norway Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
An image of Paul Orajiaka
“My Henley experience has been such an incredible one, right through from the admission process to my current DBA stage. The learning curve has been smooth due to the awesome learning support. ”
Paul Orajiaka CEO of Auldon Limited Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
An image of Georgette Zinaty
“My DBA experience was extraordinary, in terms of the learning whilst opening up my world to vast opportunities that allowed me to have a real impact in my career while aligning my passion with purpose.”
Georgette Zinaty Founder of WHEW! Women Helping Empower Women Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

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