Postgraduate Research/Doctorate DBA

Doctor of Business Administration (The Salford DBA)

Salford Business School


Blended Delivery



Five year

Next enrolment

May 2020

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In a nutshell

The Salford DBA is designed to bridge the gap between professional practice and academic research. Developed for senior professionals, the Doctorate in Business Administration is a research-based qualification that is delivered in a blended format, allowing you to earn a doctoral-level degree without sidelining your career.

Whilst equivalent to a PhD, the part-time delivery and commercial focus of the DBA make it far more relevant to high-level business professionals. By helping you to build an advanced understanding of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques, the DBA provides you with the skills and knowledge to improve performance at both an individual and organisational level. The research you undertake in the second stage of the DBA will be directly linked to your own profession or organisation, meaning the ideas presented in your work can be implemented effectively in the workplace.

Throughout the programme, you will benefit from the tuition and support of our team of lecturers, all of whom have extensive academic and industry experience. In such a competitive international marketplace, the empirical strategic approach that the DBA encourages helps to set your business apart from the competition and equips you with skills that could transform your career. 

You will:
  • Earn a doctorate-level degree
  • Undertake research around an area from your own profession
  • Develop solutions that can be implemented in the workplace

students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to study for a doctorate without sacrificing your career


You have significant work experience


You see the value of bridging the gap between industry and academia


You are a critical thinker


You enjoy research and independent study


You want use research to improve organisational performance

Course details

All about the course

Like any doctoral-level qualification, the Salford DBA is academically rigorous and requires a master’s degree for entry onto the course. However, there are certain aspects of the design and delivery of the programme that set it apart markedly from PhD courses.

The following characteristics of the Salford DBA highlight the ways in which it differs from a PhD:

  • Significant work experience at a senior level is required                
  • The programme is aimed at people with careers in industry and academia              
  • Data accessed throughout the syllabus is often sourced from organisations that you are familiar with              
  • Work based problems are explored              
  • The course is split between two distinct taught and research stages              

Delivered part-time, over 5 years in a blended format, the Salford DBA is an intellectually challenging course that fits into the busy schedule of a business professional.

Course Structure

DBA Stage 1

Stage 1 takes place in the first two years of the course through four online taught modules and a research project. In years one and two, you will gain specialist knowledge via the development and application of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques.

You will complete the first stage of the programme by undertaking a 15,000 word applied research project concentrating on your specific area of interest.

DBA Stage 2

Stage 2 of the DBA is the research component. Over years three, four and five of the course you will put the skills you developed in the first stage into practice and produce a 60,000 word doctoral thesis that focuses on an issue from your own professional practice or organisation.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I be Doing?

The first stage of the Salford DBA is comprised of four online taught modules and an applied research project. The teaching for this aspect of the DBA takes place during year one and year two of the programme.

Through the four distinct modules, you will gain specialist knowledge via the development and application of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques. You will complete the first stage of the programme with the undertaking of a 15,000 word research project related to your specific research area.

Whilst the taught element of your DBA takes place in the first stage of the programme, you’ll receive regular support from your tutors throughout. In the second stage of the DBA, years three, four and five, you will put the skills you developed in the first stage into practice through the research component.

Here, you will expand on your research project and produce a 60,000 word doctoral thesis that will be relevant to and informed by your own professional practice or organisation.

Over the course of the first two years of the programme, you will have the chance to visit Salford on three separate residentials. During these visits to Salford Business School, you will consolidate your learning, meet your supervisors in person, get answers to any questions you might have and network with your fellow DBA students.

School Overview

Salford Business School aims to be the most business-informed, industry-relevant business school in the UK. Industry shapes everything we do, from informing our students’ learning to providing work placements, driving our research and influencing our academic staff.

We want you to gain the best academic and personal experience possible. As a student here, you’ll have access to a range of experiences and opportunities, including internships and work placements in the UK or internationally so you graduate with much more than a degree.

Our Facilities

Salford Business School is located at the heart of the University’s Peel Park campus and just minutes from Manchester city centre. Teaching facilities include Lady Hale and Chapman buildings, which offer stylish modern spaces with lecture theatres equipped with the very latest technology and large screen displays. A dedicated Employability team will help you with work placements and access to work skills. Throughout campus, there is a choice of individual study areas, communal learning and breakout spaces, plus a selection of food outlets.

Research Excellence

From undergraduate degrees, right through to doctoral level qualifications, we place an industry focus at the heart of everything we do at Salford Business School. Ensuring that our research is grounded in real-world issues guarantees that we are able to push the boundaries of current thinking, whilst maintaining our practical impact.

Through collaboration with industry and guidance from our expert academics, we have created a research environment that is stimulating and supportive. Our aim is to deliver business solutions that impact on everyday life and equip our researchers with skills to help enhance their careers.

At Salford Business School, our research projects have been utilised by institutes like the Premier League and the National Lottery. ERASMUS projects like JEMSS involve collaboration with universities from Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania and Poland on innovative solutions to current issues facing European organisations.

Through the partnerships we maintain, a variety of businesses and organisations benefit from our applied research projects: from regional government and digital marketing, to project management and logistics.

DBA Director

Dr Tahir Rashid 

Dr Tahir Rashid has extensive international higher education teaching and research experience at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional level and has taught and supervised students in UK, France, Germany, Austria, Lithuania and Pakistan. His areas of expertise include digital marketing, Islamic marketing, strategic management and marketing management.

As an experienced entrepreneur and management consultant with a background in fashion retail management, marketing and corporate strategy, Tahir has led government and European sponsored projects to assist SMEs to improve their management and IT capabilities. He is often sought out by news media for his views on consumer issues and has been a guest on BBC News 24.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

In a competitive global market, talented business people need the skills, knowledge and professional connections to set themselves apart. Our DBA programme gives high-calibre professionals the opportunity to do exactly that. At Salford Business School, we place industry at our core; the DBA is a doctoral-level qualification that provides business people the chance to combine academic research and professional practice. Peninsula, Sodexo, Manchester Storm Ice Hockey and Salford Red Devils are just a few of the commercial partnerships we maintain to ensure our curriculum is current and industry focused.

The DBA is about putting research into action, working on real managerial challenges and developing relevant theoretical models. The skills and knowledge acquired throughout the programme not only enhance you as an individual but improve performance at an organisational level.

Studying for a Doctorate in Business Administration is a challenging, but hugely rewarding way for senior managers and executives to reap the benefits of an empirical approach to problem solving. With a blended delivery, the DBA not only improves your career, but works around it.

Career Links

The University of Salford grew out of the institutes of the late 19th century that provided a talented, technically proficient and professional workforce to support the UK’s rapidly growing industries. In the 21st century, this still holds strong. Whilst industry has changed significantly, the need for industry-focussed education is equally relevant today.

In 2016, the University of Salford introduced its Industry Collaboration Zone programme to capture, share and expand existing best practice. Industry Collaboration unites colleagues, students, industry and communities through shared knowledge, learning and innovation. By pioneering exceptional industry partnerships, we lead the way in real world experiences, preparing students – at all levels - for life.

Industry Collaboration offers a real-world approach to learning with a flexible, industry-informed and research-based curriculum, co-created by the University and industry. For DBA students, this means that the skills you learn and knowledge you develop will be entirely relevant to challenges within your own organisation and the business landscape as a whole.


What you need to know

The DBA is a rigorous degree for high-calibre business people: people who work at an advanced level but retain the drive for self-improvement, pragmatic decision-makers who have the ambition to embark on a doctoral level qualification alongside their careers and creative thinkers who see the value of putting academic research into practice.

International Student – Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International Students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.

You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on

You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

Route one standard entry

Entry Requirements

For enrolment to the Salford DBA you must have:

  • An MBA, MSc or MA in a business or law related subject  
  • A minimum of three years post-degree work experience at management/executive level  

English Language Requirements

Normally international applicants must also provide evidence of proficiency in English.  A minimum total IELTS score of 6.5, including a minimum of 7.0 in elements of academic reading and writing, with no less than 6.0 in any other element.

How much?

As a postgraduate research student, you will need to pay annual tuition fees. These vary according to the programme you are studying. Both we and other organisations offer a range of scholarships and discounts to postgraduate research students.

More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on residential travel and accommodation visits.

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Enrolment dates

May 2020

September 2020