DBA programmes in the UK - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Shadowskimmer, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    Hi Guys,

    I am completely new to this site and this is my first post - so bear with me if this question has been asked 1000 times already.

    I am in the proces of identifying the right DBA program for myself with a projected start in 2013 (to be realistic) I have 11 years of professional experience and hold a MA in social Science from Durham University, an MSc in Organizational Psychology from Birkbeck College and a BSc in Economic Geography from the University of Copenhagen. I am not interested in doing a pdh as my life commitments doenst allow for taking out 3-4 years full time. I am interested in doing a DBA focusing on training and development issues (which pending who you ask is a business or educational discipline)

    I have spend the last couple of weeks looking into programs and have narrowed down some potential candidates. Before laying it down I am interested in getting the best school for the money - as well as having the BEST DBA experience. So let me lay it down.

    Cranfield School of Management 56000
    Aston Business School 24500
    Liverpool University: 35000 (full distance learning)
    Manchester Business School: 50000
    Henley Business School: 43500
    Edinburgh Business School: 20000 (full distance learning)

    all of the above is in Pounds Sterling.

    I would greatly appreciate all of your comments, thoughts and reflections - as well as hear about personal experiences with any of the above schools.


  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Since you are a graduate of Durham why did you exclude their DBA?
    Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) - Durham University
    This would be my first choice for a UK DBA provided the price was right.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What do you want to do that you cannot do now but would be able to do with a DBA?
  4. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    You are right Durham is a great place. I loved my years there. Thing is -I have already had the Durham experience. But I am glad that you are making me rethink that. I havent per se. excluded any program and now I am going to look into it again. In addition I am looking for a program that allows me to give my thesis a training and development angle. Not all do that..

    It would be a great personal, life archeivement. Per se there isnt anything I couldnt do with or with out a DBA. Except perhaps do teaching at university level. Does the fact that I have a deeply embedded drive to continually pursue knowledge make sense? I am just really deeply interested in going deeper into my area of expertise....
  5. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    just checked up on Durham - their restructuring their program, same as Aston is right now. More info to come later in the year...
  6. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    ok - have spoken with Henley. Got a good sense of the program and have a good feeling about that program at the moment. Interviewing Aston later today. Still I would love to hear from anyone with first hand experience with any of the mentioned schools as well as doing a DBA in general.
  7. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    You might want to consider a DBA program that has an MBA as a mid-point. That way should life interfere with your plans you have a useful consolation prize.

    Also, with your academic record so far, and your response to SteveF (post #4), have you considered a DPA?
  8. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    Hi Allan,

    Thanks for your post. Where are you located? If you fit the criteria of being a UK or EU resident, there are a large variety of UK doctoral programs that you could pursue on a part-time basis (limited residency) and the resident fees are much lower than the DBA programmes (most seem to have the same high fees regardless of residency).

    In regards to doctoral programs in business and management, you can look at the following thread, which focuses mainly on programs accredited by AACSB (important if you want to become a tenure track professor):


    In regards to your specialty, there is another interesting program, which is the PhD in Management Learning from the University of Lancaster (triple accredited and very respected):

    PhD Opportunities in Management Learning & Leadership

    While it is a PhD Program, most of the students appear to be part-time and the residency requirements seem very reasonable.

    If you are not concerned about AACSB accreditation or the name of the degree, there is also the Doctorate in Social Science, which is offered by the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the University of Leicester:

    Doctor of Social Science DSocSci — University of Leicester

    This program is 100% distance learning (I think) and is geared towards human resources, training and development. In addition, the University of Leicester recently introducted a PhD in Management by Distance Learning:

    Distance Learning PhD/MPhil in Management — University of Leicester

    There are two required visits (to defend your research proposal and thesis), but otherwise there does not seem to be any mandatory visits to campus.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.


  9. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for responding.
    @Ian I am not aware of any programs that have an MBA as a midway point. I know the Henley DBA gives you an Msc. after the first 2 years - but not an MBA. Can you direct me?

    @Michael. Thank you so much for your comprehensive research. I spoke with Lancaster as it was one of my first choices - and the first I located where it was possible to focus on training & development in a change context. They have tightened their requirements for attendance - and want you to stay full time for minimum a full term.

    I am located in Denmark so I fit the criteria. Also I am currently negotiating with my organization to cover the tuition as well as other fees. So I am more interested in finding the best program.

    I wasn’t aware of the Leicester program and am looking into that. I have been talking to both Henley and Aston and am speaking with some former students on their DBA programs to get a better sense of the programs.

    To you list I can add that the University of Sheffield has a distance Phd in the work and organizational psychology department - around 20k sterling (5 years) with no attendance requirements. The Leicester programs run around 15k with is very reasonable....and its is a pretty decent university.
  10. Woho

    Woho New Member

    This might be related largely to the framing of your research idea, but at Aston there is Paula Jarzabkowski ( http://www1.aston.ac.uk/aston-business-school/staff/academic/esg/prof-paula-jarzabkowski/ )- one, if not the founder, of the Strategy-As-Practice school (roughly oriented on understanding how strategy is translated into every-day business situations i.e. very "real world" oriented). Extremely respected in the Organisational Science community, but not sure in how far she is going to stay with Aston since there seem to be some transfer to Cornell going on. A while ago I thought about approaching her in regards to PhD studies as well ;)
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It seems that you live in the UK so attending the few sessions here and there shouldn't be a problem.
    If you are looking for a top school, the financial times ranks the schools below really high:

    Cranfield School of Management 56000
    Aston Business School 24500
    Manchester Business School: 50000
    Edinburgh Business School: 20000 (full distance learning)

    Business school rankings from the Financial Times - Global MBA Rankings 2012

    I would go with Edinburgh, it looks like a very good deal for a top ranked school. It is about half the price that an American virtual school and it is ranked high in FT times.
  12. major56

    major56 Active Member

  13. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    @Woho. I checked out Paula - she is certainly very competent. In terms of research I am slightly more in the direction of training and development. But they do have to good people at Aston. I have been interviewing some of the DBA students last week. They are quite happy with the program.
    @RFvalve. I live in Denmark. Attending is not a problem. Full residency would be. This isnt a problem with any of the DBA programs. Cranfield is world class. They seem very professional. its also expensive. With regards to EBS - its not the university of Edinbourgh one. Its heriot watt university....
    @Major56: I am adding your schools to my list for research. Thanks!
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I'm not aware of any DBA programs in the UK that offer an MBA but many UK (and some Australian) Ph.D. programs offer a M.Res. or other master degrees as an interim achievement.

    In the USA a doctorate typically requires 90 units beyond a bachelor degree and many universities will accept a masters degree towards meeting 30 to 45 of those credits.

    Why did I mention this?: Because many people who start doctorate programs drop out by the dissertation stage for many reasons and not necessarily academic. So gaining a masters means that your efforts have at least provided a useful reward.
  15. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    So far here is the compiled list of places in the UK that offer DBA/Phd programs where it is possible to work from a training/learning & development angle with minimal attendance:

    Cranfield School of Management
    Aston Business School
    Liverpool University:
    Manchester Business School
    Henley Business School:
    Edinburgh Business School - Heriot-Watt
    Strathclyde Business School
    University of Surrey
    Ashridge Business School
    Durham Business School
    Newcastle Business School
    Aberdeen-Robert Gordon University
    Lancaster Business School
    University of Sheffield
    Kingston University
    Bradford University school of management
    Liverpool’s John Moore’s University

    ….and I am sure I have forgotte a few.

    All of them are physical universities which offer part or all of their programs as distance learning with minimal attendance.
    Prices range from £20000 to £60000 for a period of 3 to 6 years of registration. This is excluding travel expenses for visiting, etc.

    They surely range in quality and prestige...I would still love to hear opinions and thoughts.

  16. Vedrik

    Vedrik New Member

    Hi all,

    I have just registered on this site as I am seriously looking into various DBA programmes offered, same as few others here. I guess my main motivator for taking DBA is a strong drive for professional development and academic curiosity. Also I want to do lecturing at the university level some day, but want to stay in business, therefore I find DBA a better choice as opposed to PhD.

    Due to my job and family commitments, distance learning only works for me, I live in Central Europe. I have been doing a lot of online research lately and it occurred to me that the Aston Business School (ABS) DBA course is the only DBA delivered through distance learning that is accredited by AMBA, which is a good indication of quality. Also I find triple accreditation (AMBA, AACSB, EQUIS) very important in finding the right course - ABS as university has it too.

    So at the moment I am closest to Aston, but I have not ruled out any other DBA yet. My main criteria is accreditations, one of the three mentioned at least, and the best value for money.

    Shadowskimmer, you mentioned you talked to some former DBA students, would you mind sharing that info with me, nothing beats first hand accounts in deciding which DBA to take, many thanks.

  17. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

    Adding Bath DBA in Higher education management to the list....19500
  18. Shadowskimmer

    Shadowskimmer New Member

  19. DBAAA

    DBAAA New Member

    Hi Guys,

    How about DBA from university of liverpool?!!

    Please advice.

  20. kuojason

    kuojason New Member

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