To Professor Kennedy

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Felipe C. Abala, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Good day Professor!

    I have been looking at EBS DBA program for quite a number of times. In fact, I have just recently received an info pack. And in all those times that I look at the program I have always had a second thought, not due to anything but the question of whether I'll be admitted or not. Of course budget, too, is one of the factors.

    Assuming all becomes favorable (let say my job status got changed making EBS affordable to me) and I apply to the program, what do you think is the probability that I’ll be admitted? Of course, that’s in your personal opinion, not EBS’s.

    I’ll be completing an MBA in few weeks…more about my details can be found here, if you please.

    Thank you Professor.

    Kind regards,
  2. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member


    I cannot possibly say anything about your status for admittance to EBS without details of what you have been doing recently. I have read a few of your postings on Degreeinfo, of course.

    The sole criteria for graduating from EBS (Heriot-Watt University, UK) is your performance in our exams, which are sat in our exam Diets in 350 exam centres across the globe. If you have a prior degree from an reputable university (recognised as such by your country's dept of education) or can pass three of our exams, you can matriculate at our University.

    You sit the same exams as everybody else, no choice of questions, no off campus and out of sight assignments, no marks for class participation or attendance, no allowance for past achievements in degree work, no sight of questions or hints in class, no penalties for poor English or spelling (as long as we can read what you are trying to demonstrate to us about your competence in the examined subjects) and no grade inflation. Those who pass our exams deserve to pass, and they and their employers notice the difference in their work performance.

    If you have questions about these matters, send me a personal message on this board or e-mail: [email protected]

    I will give a candid answer, but be clear I am not on this board to recruit anybody to EBS; I am interested in spreading the practice of DL (not distance teaching) across the world, whichever institution you choose to attend or work in. My mission is to encourage people to take their second chance in education when the only thing stopping them is not their ability, but their circumstances - the EBS exam regime will show if you do not have enough ability, and it will demonstrate your right to overcome your circumstances.
  3. Friendlyman

    Friendlyman New Member

    Professor, he asked about DBA and your answer is about the MBA. I am just posting this to help prevent any misunderstandings.
  4. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member

    Hi Friendlyman

    Thank you for pointing out what could have been an embarrassing mistake, but the message describes the EBS DBA and not just the EBS MBA!

    They take the same format, proven to work over the past 14 years. They are what I call Distance Learning (DL) not Distance Teaching (DT) models.

    The DBA consists of two main elements: a) DL MSc programme, 'Strategic Focus', which consists of 11 courses (core and elective), purchased individually ('pay as you learn'); b) a 70,000 word dissertation on an applied business subject, currently heavy weighted towards strategy in business, broadly defined. This is supervised by appointed faculty (rigorously selected), both local and at EBS.

    To pass from the first element (the MSc), three research courses must be undertaken and passed (research methods, literature research and hypothesis derivation).

    The scalable infrastructure developed for the EBS MBA (specially written texts, online web boards with more cases, exercises and essays, the Profiler, and faculty boards, 3 hour final exams on the EBS model of tough but fair assessments, no chocie of questions, etc., 350 exam centres, independent invigilation, Externally examined, and so on) is the same for the DBA programme (and the new DL MSc programmes available now, and being developed for 2005-6).

    Where I may have misled you is in reference to the basic conditions for 'matriculation' at Heriot-Watt University - i.e., to be a registered student of the university, which apply to all our degree students. I was not referring there specifically to the DBA; I was alluding to our approach to the preparation for receiving our 'attestation of fitness'.

    We do not take much note of prior attestation, with or without a degree. That is a rationing device for a campus or DT programmes - fixed number of places available and too many applicants. In DL there should be no limit to the places available; we ration output not inputs by requiring you to pass our exams. So, pass three exams and you can matriculate; to get into the MSc DL porgrammes your passes must include certain specified subjects. For the DBA/Msc, this would require a pass in 'Strategic Planning' (ours or a reputable alternative, and, where doubts remain, you may be required to sit and pass our 'exemption examination' in SP). For the forthcoming MScs it will require a pass in the core subjects.

    Apologies for confusing the issue.
  5. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Where can one find these DL MSc programmes you are talking about?

    The website seems to only talk about the MBA, and on the HW University website, there also seem to be no other business admin. programmes...


  6. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member

    Hi Triggersoft

    Sorry again. I tend to work on projects ahead (a three year planning horizon) and in this case I am referring to the next version of the website not the current one (I haven't looked there for months!).

    The current DL MSc is in 'Strategic Focus' (for which I have just finished writing the new elective Text and website: 'Strategic Negotiation'). This is the entry course for the DBA but may be taken separately (with scope to change minds and apply to continue to the DBA). The MSc in Strategic Focus is available now entirely by DL (not DT) and online, with a copy of the printed text materials sent separately. It is a 'pay as you learn' system - buy the individual courses as you want them and sit the exam when you want to at June and December Diets.

    The MSc in Marketing is almost complete (one course to finish it) and MScs in HRM, Logistics, Finance are scheduled for 2005-6.

    The DL DBA is up and running and has 110 students on it worldwide. I am attending a meeting on marketing it in two hours.
    EBS is no longer a one-product DL business.

    Kind regards
  7. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Dear Prof. Kennedy,
    that sounds very interesting for me - I might be interested in one of these programmes.

    Will there by any options for exemptions for previously elsewhere earned Master level courses?

    What will be the tuition fees for the M.Sc. programmes and when are the next intakes? Do you already have information about that?

    Thanks again, and regards,

  8. levieuxnegre

    levieuxnegre New Member

    I think that if you were able to do all the things you did, and completing an MBA soon , you should be admitted into the H W program without any problem...
  9. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Professor Kennedy,

    Will there be much commonality between the MBA and MSc programs? Will obtaining both the MBA and MSc be a possibility and something that the marginally rational might aspire to?
  10. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Hi Friendlyman,

    Don't you worry, there can't be misunderstanding (as far as I am concerned), I emailed Prof Kennedy regarding this and I already have received his very prompt reply. In fact, the reply was on the same day I emailed him.

    Thank you all for following up on this thread.

    Kind regards,
  11. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member


    Elective course for the MBA cannot be used as electives on the DBA programmes, but DBA electives may be used on the MBA and MSc programmes. Currently some MSc Strategic Focus courses, e,g., Strategic Risk Management, Making Strategies Work, are also used on the MBA. Core MBA programmes are also one of several core courses on each MSc, e.g., Strategic Planning, Project Management.

    Exemptions from other MBA degrees are decided on a case by case basis. All EBS DL courses (on-line and printed text materials) are priced at GBP800 and all exams cost (from 1 January, GBP100 each). MSc degrees are 11 courses.

    In DL, unlike in DT, there are no 'intakes' - DL students join a DL degree whenever they wish, take as short or long as they like, and all sit the same exams in June and December, graded in EBS, and take them in any order.


    Courses for the graduate degrees draw from a pool of DL courses. With the exception of certain core courses in the MBA, there is not much commonality (you can use higher elective courses, MSC and DBA, in the MBA but not in reverse). MSc degrees are of a higher academic standard - more specialist - than the generalist MBA and specialist MBAs are between the two levels.

    It is perfectly rational to undertake a MBA and then a MSc - the former is a generalist management degree and the latter a concentrated specialist degree.

    Kind regards
  12. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Dear Prof. Kennedy,

    thanks (again) for your answer.

    Okay, let´s try it more specifically:

    if I would be interested in - say - the M.Sc. in Marketing (only, not in the later DBA) via DL, and if I would already have Master level (not MBA, but specific Master´s degrees) courses from foreign universities, would it then (generally) be possible to gain exemptions for these courses?

    When do these new M.Sc. programmes officially begin?


    and regards,

  13. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Interesting, Professor. I can't speak for the implementation but I like the concept of your degrees.

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