Programme specification

                               University of Bradford
                               School of Management

Awarding and teaching          University of Bradford
Final award:                   Doctor in Business and Administration (DBA)
                               MSc in Management Research
                               PG Diploma in Management Research
                               PG Certificate in Management Research
Programme title:               Doctor in Business and Administration (DBA)
Programme accredited by:       ESRC, EQUIS
Duration:                      48 month minimum – 72 month maximum

UCAS code:                     General Business and Management
Subject benchmark
Date produced:                 Original: 17 December 2001
                               Revised: April 2008
                               Revised: July 2009

In accordance with the University’s mission ‘Making Knowledge Work’, the School of
Management aims to provide excellence in a range of business areas. We are
committed to the belief that business education should be offered in a way that
facilitates rather than constrains. It should provide a thorough grounding in core
business disciplines as well as offering participants the opportunity to specialise in a
specific business area. Three modes of delivery are covered under this document.

Programme outcomes


The DBA programme aims to produce reflective managers who are able to
demonstrate the highest level of professional expertise and independent judgement,
and who will have contributed to the practice of management through the application
of, and contribution to, current knowledge of the subject.


On completion of the programme participants will be able to:
 Discuss the state of the art in one or more specialist areas of management
 Interpret the nature and philosophy of management research
 Identify appropriate research methodologies for particular situations
 Select suitable methods for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
 Critique and evaluate theory, concepts and current debates in management
 Critically assess the suitability of the research methodologies used in other
   research projects and in their own work
 Conduct a significant research project in their own (or other) organization
   Analyse the results of research, using qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method
   Communicate, disseminate, and apply research outcomes.

The curriculum
The programme is structured in three parts: a preparatory segment; the taught
element and the doctoral research-based element. Progression to the doctoral
phase being subject to satisfactory performance in all units of parts one and two.
Candidates enter the programme with an accredited MBA (or equivalent Master’s
degree), such as the Bradford MBA or a similarly approved programme, with an
average performance of Pass or higher.

The DBA has a credit volume of 540 credits. The MBA is considered as the normal
preparation for a DBA candidate, and so the programme structure includes a
preparatory segment where up to 70 Credits at level M may be accumulated from a
previous MBA.

Part 1 (70 credits)
Preparatory Segment (70 credits) Candidates who do not have prior certificated
learning amounting to 70 Credits at level M acquire the appropriate training and
education by attendance at elective units of the School’s or equivalent MBA

Part 2 (190 credits)

This consists of two aspects: research methods training and the development of
discipline-specific skills and knowledge . Specifically, candidates will study:
            - Two x 20-credit critical analytical modules: Philosophical Approaches
              to Researching and Studying Management and Organisations for DBA
              Studies, and Critique of Management and Research, that will take
              forward their critical analytical skills;
            - Three x 20-credit research methods modules that help develop
              advanced methods of research into management and business.
            - One x 20-credit module in the reflective practice of business
            - Two x 30-credit modules that are concerned with the enhancement
              and articulation of professional knowledge. These modules are
              designed to help candidates develop advanced level understanding of
              current debates within management and business studies, and the
              ways in which these can be seen being played out in organisations.
              These modules are: Advanced studies in Management and Business
              Studies (1): Current debates in the discipline, and Advanced studies in
              Management and Business Studies (2): Current debates in sub-

           -   There will be a mixed mode of attendance and distance learning (see
               below) and students will write assignments appropriate to the needs of
               business and management candidates.
           -   Finally candidates will complete a 10 credit module, Communication
               and Presentation, that will form their research proposal. They will
               draft a research proposal and make a presentation of it to supervisory
               staff. They will receive formative feedback, after which they will write,
               and be assessed upon,            a detailed written research proposal
               incorporating the feedback from the presentation, Candidates cannot
               pass to Part 3 until part two is complete.

Students will be expected to pass all modules at Grade C or above. There will
normally be a maximum of one resubmission allowed for any module that has been
failed at the first attempt. The maximum grade that can be awarded for resubmitted
work is ‘Pass’, or Grade C. Students may be allowed one condoned fail (grade D).

Part 3 (280 Credits)

This consists of a supervised research project and management reports to a total of
60,000 words. This stage of studies will be designed, in consultation with their
supervisors, to suit students’ individual developmental needs. The choice will be as

   o One thesis to a maximum of 60,000 words in length (280 credits);
   o One x management report up to 10,000 words in length (35 credits), plus a
     thesis to a maximum of 50,000 words (245 credits);
   o One management report of 20,000 words (70 credits) or two management
     reports of up to 10,000 words (35 credits) each, plus a thesis of up to 40,000
     words (210 credits);

Students will normally choose the first of these options, i.e. a 60,000 word thesis.
Any student wishing to write a shorter thesis of 40,000 or 50,000 words, in
combination with the requisite management reports, must make a clear rationale for
this choice that is approved by their supervisor(s). All management reports should be
of publishable quality (e.g. in the School of Management’s Working Papers Series,
and in relevant peer-reviewed journals). They may be based on desk- or library-
based research or on empirical research.

The rationale for allowing this degree of choice is related to the applied nature of the
research, and the complex and varying needs of the students. Some may need to
develop a research project of the depth and intensity of a traditional doctorate, whilst
others’ studies will be more akin to that of doctorates by publications. Some may
need to acquire in-depth knowledge of a range of topics that, whilst complementing
each other, do not combine into a coherent thesis .

The completed thesis and management reports will together have a credit weighting
of 280 credits and will be assessed by oral examination by an internal and external
examiner. The internal examiner will always be someone other than the candidate’s

Candidates choosing to write management reports will undertake directed reading
thereby not only acquiring but also becoming able to make a contribution to current
knowledge of key aspects of management and business. Students will be
supervised on specific topics either by their nominated supervisor or another
nominated faculty member with the relevant background. Candidates may also
attend classes in the areas of study, where appropriate.

Module        Module Title                                Credit    Core /      Level
Code                                                                Option
MAN4285D Introduction to Research Methods for               20         C          M
         Doctor of Business Administration
MAN4286D Philosophical approaches to researching            20         C          M
         and studying management and
MAN4288D Quantitative Research Methods for the              20         C          M
MAN4287D Qualitative Research Methods for                   20         C          M
         the DBA
MAND001D Reflective Learning Journal                        20         C          D
MAND002D Critique of Management Research                    20         C          D
MAND003M Communication and Presentation                     10         C          D
MAND008T Advanced Studies in Management and                 30         C          D
         Business Studies (1): Current debates in
         the discipline
MAND009T Advanced studies in Management and                 30         C          D
         Business Studies (2): Current debates
         in sub- discipline
MAND007A D.B.A. Thesis                                      280        C          D

Assessment regulations: a summary

Modules, with the exception of the Research project and thesis (which is ungraded)
will be assessed as pass (grades A, B and C) or fail (grades D and E). All elements
in Parts One must be passed before proceeding to Part Two. All elements in Part
Two must be passed (C grade or above), although one module that earns a grade of
D may be regarded as a condoned fail. Normally, candidates will be expected to
achieve at least 90 credits at grade B or above before proceeding to Part Three, and
students who do not achieve these grades will be counselled as to their capacity to
successfully undertake doctoral-level research.. Where a candidate has not attained
the required level in any D level unit (grades A, B, or C) they must submit work for
supplementary assessment. Supplementary assessment will be by re -submission of
the work, taking into account the feedback received. Normally, only one re-
submission will be allowed for each module, to a maximum number of four modules.
A maximum grade of C will be awarded for resubmitted work. Candidates will be
provided with formative feedback in support of all decisions. In part three the internal
and external examiners appointed to examine the thesis must be satisfied with its
content before the candidate will be considered for the award of doctor. Candidates
who choose to submit a combination of management report(s) and thesis will have
their management reports examined alongside their thesis by the internal and
external examiners who assess their thesis.

For a Degree of Doctor of Business Administration, candidates must have acquired
by study, or have presented evidence of relevant prior learning, amounting to a credit
volume of at least 70 Credits at level M. They must also study five units in Part 1
amounting to 80 Credits at level M, 10 Credits at level D, and four units in Part 2
amounting to 90 credits at Level D, and submit a thesis of 280 credits or combination
of thesis and management reports to a total of 280 credits at Level D.

Candidates who do not complete the DBA Programme may, nonetheless, be eligible
for the award of a lesser degree. For a Postgraduate Certificate, candidates must
study units in Part 2 amounting to 60 credits at Level D and have passed them at
Grade C or above. For a Postgraduate Diploma, candidates must study units in Part
2 amounting to 120 credits at Level D and passed them at Grade C or above,
although 20 credits at Grade D may be condoned . For a Degree of Master,
candidates must study or have otherwise accumulated a credit volume amounting to
120 Credits at Level D at grade C or above, with 20 credits at grade D condonable,
and submit a dissertation of 60 credits at Level M that achieves a grade of C or
above. Exceptionally, candidates who have attained a credit volume of 180 Credits
at Level D in Part 2, at grade C or above, with 20 credits at grade D condonable,
may be considered to have submitted the equivalent of a dissertation of 60 credits at
Level M.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies

School of Management programmes aim to combine academic rigour with
practicality and relevance to professionals and managers. They aim to reflect best
practice and innovative thinking and research. The approach, therefore, to teaching
and learning aims to integrate applied and theoretical knowledge. Similarly,
assessment processes test both knowledge of the disciplines plus their application
and limitations.

Admission requirements (General Policy)

Candidates normally enter directly into Part 2 of the programme. They will have
successfully completed an MBA within the ten years before applying to study on the
programme, and as a result import 70 credits from the MBA as accredited prior
learning so as to enter directly into Part 2. They will also normally have worked for at
least five years at middle or senior managerial levels since completing their MBA.

Entry to the programme on a similar basis may be possible if applicants possess a
relevant master’s degree, or equivalent, from an approved HEI or awarding body,
rather than an MBA. Relevant masters degrees will normally be based in the social
sciences, and will have included aspects relevant to an understanding of business
administration, organisations, and management.

Exceptionally, entry to the programme may be possible where applicants do not
possess an MBA or equivalent masters degree, but by virtue of their extensive and
high level senior managerial or professional experience and level of responsibility
demonstrate the capacity and motivation to succeed in the programme. In such
cases, applicants will complete 70 credits of an MBA programme, offered by
Bradford University’s School of Management or equivalent.

Admissions policy

Each year, we admit a maximum of 30 DBA Candidates to our awards.

Student support and guidance

Candidates will meet with their peers and faculty four times each year for activities
that will include instruction, peer-group discussion, presentation of work and
evaluation of progress. Candidates will be encouraged to present their own work and
constructively comment on the work of their peers. Moreover, supervisors will meet
with candidates and give guidance on submitted and presented work.

A Director of Studies, Programme Manager, and Administrator will manage the DBA
Programme. The DBA Review Board will inform and advise the Director of Studies.
Individual members of the D.B.A. Review Board will be responsible for alerting the
programme Chairperson of urgent problems regarding candidates’ needs.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
The University of Bradford is committed to providing students with opportunities to
learn about and for sustainable development (SD) as part of their overall education.
The School of Management sees sustainable development as a key issue for society
and recognises the need for all our graduates, regardless of discipline, to be aware
of sustainable development issues, and to understand the way in which their
discipline and professional practice can support, or work against, sustainable
development. While ESD has not yet been explicitly integrated into the SoM’s
Learning Teaching and Assessment strategy, in current EQUIS accreditation
documentation the following is stated. As a School we are:
‘Committing ourselves to the principles of education for sustainable development
within the curriculum, in line with the University's position as an 'Ecoversity'’ (p5)
In the context of Ecoversity and the University’s commitment to ESD, the School of
Management has reflected on issues confronting management education and
practice related to SD. While we are in the process of introducing a masters level
programme on sustainable development for students who wish to engage in
specialist study of this issue, it is neither appropriate nor necessary to have an entire
module on SD in all programmes. Rather, there is pedagogic value in incorporating
ESD throughout the programme’s modules. ESD will therefore be embedded in
modules where possible and appropriate.               This approach will build on the
programme’s emphasis on developing philosophical understanding, critical thinking
and research as a method of problem solving.
The key issues which will be emphasized or addressed under ESD have been
developed through a curriculum review process, referenced against the UNESCO
framework for ESD. We will strengthen our teaching and learning in respect of the
social, economic and cultural aspects of SD, by using it as a key concept throughout
the first and second year modules. The key issues, drawn from the UNESCO
framework for ESD, are: -
   o Respect for the dignity and human rights of all people throughout the world
     and a commitment to social and economic justice for all
   o Respect for the human rights of future generations and a commitment to
     intergenerational responsibility
   o Respect for cultural diversity and a commitment to build locally and globally a
     culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace
   o Respect and care for the greater community of life in all its diversity which
     involves the protection and restoration of the Earth's ecosystems.
These are the templates used by much of the critical thinking to which students will
be exposed. Many of the programme’s lecturers and supervisors are critical
management theorists, whose goal is to root out the (often unthinking) oppression,
indignities and injustices that feature in organisational life. For many students who
work as senior managers the issues of how their organisations contribute to SD have
rarely been addressed, whilst for others these issues are already included in their
organisations’ mission statements and modus operandi. Students will be asked to
address these issues in each of their taught modules and in their research
proposals. However, a critical approach to the statements on SD will also be
adopted, so that students will be encouraged to debate the nuances of the above
statements, the contradictory research evidence that underpins some of the debates
in SD, and theories that explores how knowledge becomes legitimised.
The University’s policy on SD, the School of Management’s policy, and the UNESCO
statement will be placed at the front of the Programme Handbook, and will be
available on the programme Blackboard site.