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The DBA in detail

The programme is offered on a flexible part-time basis and takes from 4 to 6 years to complete. It is structured in phases, which enables you to receive regular feedback to facilitate progression.

Years 1 and 2

Five taught modules delivered at the School (order of delivery may vary):

  1. The Ecology of Organisations
  2. Power, Control and Resistance in Organisations
  3. Marketing Theory and Practice
  4. Leadership in Organisations
  5. Research Design Workshop: Part 1 / Theory into Practice: Part 2

-Assessment is by individual written assignment for Modules 1-4.

-Between Modules 4 and 5 you will develop your research proposal.

-The individual written assignment for Module 5 has a 10,000 maximum word count.

View module detail

Years 3 to 6

Years 3 to 6 comprise individual supervised research and study.

  • Qualitative and Quantitative Groups: You attend regular research visits to give you the opportunity to meet your supervisor/module leader for teaching, guidance and advice.
  • Academic Progression Reviews: Formal progress reviews are scheduled to ensure you are making satisfactory academic progress. There is no formally assessed work to be completed for a research visit; it is assumed you will be self-regulating by the time you reach this phase.
  • The final thesis has a 60,000 maximum word count.

Research Seminar Programme

Throughout your studies you’ll have access to specialist training opportunities. These sessions provide the opportunity for you to meet with visiting researchers and work closely alongside Durham’s academic faculty. Additionally, you will be supported to present your research findings at other universities, research institutes and international conferences


In addition to Durham University’s libraries, the Business School library houses extensive specialist loan and reference collections of business, finance and management books; doctoral, MBA and Masters dissertations; a complete collection of Business School working papers and offers access to over 10,000 journals online.

You’ll be able to access up-to-date journal, financial and market research information, from sources such as FAME, Mintel, IMID, European Business asap and Pro-Quest. There’s also a wide range of information available via online databases, including: Emerald, FAME, Mintel, Lexis-Nexis, Reuter's Business Insight, and Datamonitor Business Information Centre.

Comprehensive IT facilities

Durham University’s IT service offers access to everything you’d expect to find in a leading business school including: Computer Centre open 24/7, fully IT-integrated classrooms, dedicated IT helpdesk and DUO – the University’s virtual learning environment.

Space to study

We’ve created an excellent setting for both individual and group study, including a dedicated doctoral research area.

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Why students choose the DBA