Doctorate of Business Administration

Provided online via distance learning
Program Overview

The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program is provided in a synchronous cohort mode and follows a distinct calendar with several intakes per year (calendar and dates are available on request). 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.

Program Structure

The program is structured as a flexible distance learning program, which can be followed either part-time or full-time, targeted at working professionals. It is conducted entirely online in a cohort mode. Regular online-meetings are held in the evenings to align with the work schedules of our participants. Physical attendance is not required.

The minimum duration as mentioned in the Key Facts reflects a full-time study approach. Full-time is defined in such way, that students follow all courses in the given sequence as per the ongoing calendar. Each new course starts every two months, except July (Summer Break). Students choose to follow the program part-time and skip a course or courses in order to align with their personal and professional commitments. Part-time students will subsequently pursue skipped courses once offered on the calendar.

Click here for further details on Structure, Standards & Procedures.

Program Name: Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

Program Category: Higher Education Program

Program Level: EQF / MQF Level 8

Total ECTS Credits: 180

Total Program Learning Hours: 4500

Total Learning Hours per Module: 175

Language of Instruction: English

Mode of Instruction: Online via Distance Learning

Mode of Teaching: Lectures, workshop, placement, asynchronous forums, VLE, etc.

Mode of Assessment: Examination, assignment, project, blog, etc

Live Online Classes: yes

Physical Presence: no

Degree Awarding Body: SMC Education Group

Accreditation & License: Accredited by MFHEA

License Number: 2019-014

Program Objectives


  • 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.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • 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

Learning Outcomes for Communication Skills

  • 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

Learning Outcomes for Learn to Learn Skills

  • 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
Admission Process

Target Group

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.

The programme 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 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.

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.

DBA applicants with an entrepreneurial or public sector background will be assessed against the above outline respectively.

The typical DBA candidate is expected to have achieved the following:

  • A minimum of five years of experience in a supervisory or higher work role (manager, director, etc.)
  • A demonstrable record of accomplishment (e.g. noteworthy client or internal projects introduced/lead, measurable contributions to company success or value creation, introduction of change or innovation initiatives, evidence of successful team leadership, evidence of successful entrepreneurship lasting 3 or more years)
  • A Graduate degree (EQF or MQF Level 7 equivalent) from an internationally recognized academic institution

Entry Requirements

  • Graduate degree (MQF Level 7 equivalent) from an internationally recognized academic institution
  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in an executive, leadership, managerial, supervisory, or advisory position involving independent decision-making
  • GPA Requirement in their master program from an accredited institution: minimum of 3.0
  • Personal statement of min. 1000 words

Required Documents

  • A completed online application.
  • Copy of your Transcript of your recognized Master degree. If the transcript is not in English it must be translated by a certified translation service.
  • Copy of your Master degree certificate showing the date of graduation .
  • Proof of English proficiency. Not needed for native speakers, or applicants who previously attended  an English-speaking institution or working environment.
  • Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
Course Descriptions