Our executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Programme Structure

The executive DBA is a part-time distance learning course that can be completed in 4-6 years.

The Research Methods Course (RMC) modules are taught by expert staff in management research, completed in year 1 (maximum of 2 years), and are the foundation for all doctoral students: 

  • Develop as a professional researcher
  • Build the skills required to successfully complete the programme 
  • Lead to the development of your final research proposal and qualifying report


Four subsequent research methods modules via Aston University’s Blackboard™ Virtual Learning Environment taught consecutively during year 1:

  • Introduction to Business and Management Research – understand the process of business and management research and develop the necessary research skills to conduct a literature review.
  • Applied Research Methods – enable you to think about the links between philosophy, theory, and research methodology, and apply these to business and management research.
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods – provide a thorough grounding in the theoretical principles of, and approaches to, quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Professional Development and Research Impact – develop an appreciation for impact related research to inform the operations and decision making within business and consider your future professional development.

The final Research Proposal and Qualifying Report, which is the conclusion of the RMC, is completed in years 2-4 (up to 6 years maximum).

Get your programme guide for more information

Distance Learning

Our executive DBA offers a wide range of facilities in order to ease your transition into the world of research. 

A specifically tailored Distance Learning Course, coupled with exemplary customer care and world-class supervision, ensures you have all the necessary knowledge to succeed. 

The latest version of the Blackboard™ Virtual Learning Environment is designed to meet the needs of the DBA student specifically: 

  • Podcasts
  • Vodcasts
  • Directed reading
  • Online tasks and quizzes 
  • Video conferencing for live discussions and research supervision

Virtual discussion boards are also used to conduct asynchronous online sessions between students and course tutors. 

We understand your time is precious and that undertaking our executive DBA is a huge commitment.

Therefore, we pair you with an academic supervisor who is a leading specialist in the topic you choose. Your supervisor will support you through the entire process as you develop your research idea into your final thesis. If your topic is multidisciplinary, we’ll ensure you have a team that can guide you in every area.  

A Student Support Advisor will also help you stay on track through every course, and assist with any questions or concerns you have regarding the online learning environment. 

Research Excellence and Supervision

Every executive DBA student is guaranteed to have a supervisor who has an excellent research track record directly related to the DBA topic. This is a rare facility that can only be undertaken by an institution with the research breadth of Aston Business School.

Our academics sit within the following departments:

  • Accounting
  • Aston Law
  • Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing and Strategy
  • Operations and Information Management
  • Work and Organisational Psychology

Entry Requirements

For direct enrolment into the executive DBA you must have

  • an MBA, MSc or MA degree in business or management (or an equivalent professional qualification)
  • a minimum of five years experience in a senior role
  • if English isn’t your first language, either evidence that the master’s degree was taught mainly or entirely in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 87 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall, or an equivalent English language qualification recognised by Aston University is needed

Additionally, you should demonstrate appropriate links to the practice your proposed research refers to.

Get your programme guide for more information