Online DBA Program

Doctor of Business Administration

The DBA is the most advanced business degree. Our online DBA program is a thoughtfully designed course, which is delivered 100% online. It is perfect for students working in advanced corporate positions or entrepreneurial environment seeking fundamental academic and practical development on business interests and socio-economic ideas, as well as flexibility to align with their busy schedules.

DBA Program Overview

Doctorate of Business Administration via Distance Learning

Our DBA program is provided online in a synchronous cohort mode and follows a distinct calendar with several intakes per year (calendar and dates are available on request). Physcial presence is not required. The curriculum exposes the learner to cutting edge business and management concepts and theory as they apply these to real-world business problems. The students enhance their analytical and critical thinking skills while contributing to the body of professional business knowledge through their own research project (i.e., the dissertation). Our DBA balances the rigor of academic research, with the practical focus of working professionals. Dissertation topics are applied in nature, i.e., the student will focus their research to solving real issues confronting their organization. This program is designed for individuals with significant business experience who strive to increase their stature in the business community, either through the pursuit of executive leadership positions or applied business research employments. Certain academic career options are also open.

DBA Program Objectives

The Doctor of Business Administration is the ultimate business degree

The program combines workplace and professional engagement with the scholarly rigour of the academic institution. The DBA aims to develop the participant’s ability to undertake independent research at an advanced level and make a significant contribution to knowledge and professional practice through the evaluation of business structures, contexts and processes from the perspective of a critically reflexive research-practitioner. SMC focuses on helping you become an exceptional leader in your profession. This means that every course we offer is designed with enterprise, leadership, and your success in mind.

Providing relevant business knowledge and advanced tools for critical assessment and application to experienced business professionals.
Offering opportunities for significant personal development. In the duration of the program, participants will be able to achieve increased professional efficiency.
Providing relevant opportunities to examine and study epistemologies and methodologies in the field of management and business research.
Encouraging and helping professionals to perform substantial focused research on a consistent basis so as to create fresh knowledge that can be easily applied in their specific field.
Providing opportunities to research associates for integrating theoretical knowledge and practical application by performing research that produces fruitful results for professionals in business management and related fields.

Doctor of Business Administration

DBA Program Participants

The typical DBA students are mid-career individual who have already established themselves as business leaders or are on track to being appointed to executive positions and are supported in their academic ambition by their employing organisation. SMC DBA applicants should also display a competence in solving problems analytically and in separating opportunities and challenges in terms of cause and effect, as well as the potential to conduct research. Hence, the programme has been designed for senior practitioners in their field, who are used to identifying and dealing with various “real life” issues. Potential DBA candidates expect policy and practice within their organizations to improve in light of their doctoral research and recognise that in investigating problems as research-practitioners, they (and their organizations) will undergo transformative change.

Doctor of Business Administration Curriculum

DBA Program Course Outline

All courses are at EQF Level 8. Although ECTS credits do not apply at this level, each course has an indicative number of 7 ECTS credits. The total program learning hours amount to 4500 (indicative).

Quantitative Research Methods

The quantitative research methods course introduces students to the field of social science research. It examines in depth the research process and introduces doctoral candidates to the various aspects of conducting scientific research, with a specific focus on quantitative methodology. Topics covered include problem statement development, research question/hypothesis formulation, theory synthesis, validation of research instruments, sampling strategies within a unique cultural context, data collection techniques, ethical issues in research, and data analyses methodologies. The course will also introduce big data and its relevance to business research.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Qualitative Research Methods

This course provides students with the foundation for conducting applied qualitative business research, i.e., to design, conduct, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. Attention is given to the role qualitative research can play alongside quantitative research, for example in defining variables, or ‘quants’, or in describing the ‘why’ behind quantitative results. The course also presents the strength of qualitative research in providing rich descriptions and context to observed phenomenon. Various models of qualitative methods and designs will be explored including program evaluations, case studies and interviews. Student practice the skills by designing a qualitative research.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Corporate Finance & Governance

The need for better corporate governance practices is self-evident. This course explores the system by which firms are financed, directed and controlled and the role the various stakeholders play. Attention is given to reviewing and critically evaluating rules, regulations and procedures for making sound financial and managerial decisions. A focus is placed on exploring contemporary research in such areas as the agency problems between stakeholders, executive compensations, investment and financial considerations, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Performance Management

This course reviews the practices, theories and guiding philosophies that drive performance management programs. The design, implementation and controlling of such programs is critically evaluated through case studies from diverse companies with different performance management schemes. These programs are evaluated according to their organizational effectiveness, employee acceptance and ability to influence productivity.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Managerial Economics

In this course students learn how to use economic principles as analytical tools for managers, enabling them to make more informed production and pricing decisions. Students also learn how different market structures affect business performance and strategy. Topics include: demand and forecasting, production and cost, pricing and output decisions, and market structures.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Advanced Management Strategy

This course addresses the complexity and multidimensional nature of advanced management systems. It exposes students to the academic debates in the field of strategy and critically evaluates three areas: 1. institutional strategic perspective, 2. behavioral strategic perspective, and 3. emerging strategic management perspectives. Most importantly, the course challenges students to apply theoretical models and practical experience to specific regional business issues from a strategic perspective.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
International Marketing Management

The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive framework of international marketing by exploring the ever-evolving global business environment facing today’s marketing managers. Theoretical and practical knowledge of International Marketing, its operations and strategies, is used to understand, analyze and evaluate the factors that influence marketing success across global markets.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Advanced Leadership

This module aims to shape and develop a critical understanding of contemporary leadership and its impact on organizational functioning. Learners will be introduced to the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to organize, evaluate, and apply the state of science in leadership research using a systematic and process-oriented approach. The module will facilitate an in-depth engagement with leadership theories in relation to both their own leadership skills and capacities and leadership practice within organizational contexts. Learners will further their research skills with a focus on quantitative research methodology, especially survey and experimental research designs.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175
Action Research

This course provides an in-depth exploration of action research, a form of self-reflective systematic inquiry on a possible solution to a business problem. The course seeks to help student design an action research project at the doctoral level, by integrating theory, the scientific method and practical experience and applying them to solving an actual business problem. The course introduces the stages of action research: entry, contracting, diagnosis, action and evaluation and guides student researchers in developing mutually agreed research objectives with the research site. The final student output of this course is the dissertation research proposal.

  • Contact Hours: 35
  • Self-study Hours: 130
  • Assessment Hours: 10
  • Total Hours: 175

DBA Program Dissertation

As a final requirement for program completion, all SMC DBA students must complete a dissertation. Focus of the research is the thorough investigation of a significant business problem or challenge of strategic importance facing their own organization, industry or market and design an intervention with measurable outcomes. Within this final dissertation, students must apply relevant interdisciplinary knowledge and select the appropriate research design and methodology for their study. The student’s dissertation is expected to make a significant contribution to the understanding of a business phenomenon. 203 Contact Hours, 2597 Self-study Hours, 100 Assessment Hours, 2900 Total Hours.


DBA Degree Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, learners will have acquired the following competences, knowledge, and skills (click on each heading to see the details):

  • Develop significant knowledge and systematic understanding of the theoretical foundation of business theories and concepts in both a global and organisational context
  • Design and autonomously conduct original research with consideration for contemporary societal perspectives that contributes to or advances empirical and theoretical knowledge in business
  • Develop effective communication skills to authoritatively engage and empower a diverse (specialized and non-specialized) audience as a scholar-practitioner regarding the relevance of theories, applications and practical solutions for both organisational and global business challenges
  • Introduce solutions to challenges in the local and global business domain based on original and scholarly research that substantially advance professional practice and drive innovation in business procedures and policy
  • Develop personal, consultancy and research competencies sufficient to continue to undertake rigorous and relevant research at an advanced level that contributes to theory and practice in business and management, and to continue a lifetime of self-reflective development
  • Develop a systematic awareness of social and ethical issues, both within the business domain and in a wider societal context, and assume a leading role to promote remediation and change
Communication Sklills
  • Engage in full professional and academic communication with others in their field and place of work in both national and international contexts and give papers/presentations to ‘critical communities’ for developmental purposes
  • Provide a convincing argument to initiate a major change initiative within an organization
  • Demonstrate the ability to disseminate evidence-based management practice through identifying and communicating to various stakeholder groups
Learn to Learn
  • Act as an independent, self-critical, and self-directed student who professionally guides and supports the learning of others and manages his or her own professional development while being fully aware of relevant implications of his or her study.
  • Use a full range of learning resources and learn through reflection on practice and experience.

DBA Program Tuition Fees

Tuition can be settled as per the following optional payment plans:

Option 1: monhtly installments

  • Deposit: 5,000 Euro
  • 36 monthly installments: 550 Euro

Total tuition: 24,800 Euro

Option 2: annual installments

  • Year 1: 7,000 Euro
  • Year 2: 7,000 Euro
  • Year 3: 7,000 Euro

Total tuition: 21,000 Euro

Option 3: advance payment

  • Single payment: 18,000 Euro

Total tuition 18,000 Euro

Additional fees may apply after 5 years of study. SMC does not provide full scholarships for the DBA program. Doctoral candidates are expected to be at an advanced stage of their career, having achieved a financial position to be able to fund their Tuition. If necessary, we encourage applicants to seek financial support from external sources. SMC provides reductions to SMC Alumni.

DBA Program Admission

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate Degree
min. 180 ECTS Credits or equivalent) from an internationally recognized academic institution.
Graduate Degree
min. 90 ECTS Credits or equivalent) from an internationally recognized academic institution.
Extensive Professional Experience
Candidates are expected to possess work experience in a high management position with regional or organizational leadership authority.
English Language Proficiency
SMC requires all applicants who are not native speakers of English to meet one of the following requirements. IELTS overall 7.0, or TOEFL iBT overall 100.
All students need to sit for an online interview (via Teams) to ascertain their suitability for the course.

DBA Program Admission

Application Process

Step 1
Prepare your documents
Applicants must upload the following documents during the application process: CV, Academic Transcripts & Diplomas, copy of ID.
Step 2
Submit your application
The DBA online Application Form can be accessed by clicking the "Apply for Admission" button below or on top of this webpage.
Step 3
Initial review
The SMC Doctoral Admissions Committee will assess your application upon receipt. Reviews are conducted on a monthly basis.
Step 4
Interview & final decision
If your application is considered for acceptance, you will be invited for an online interview. This marks the final step in the decision process.