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The Salford DBA

Doctor of Business Administration

School - Salford Business School

Subject area - Business and Management

Start Date(s): September, May


Five years part-time

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year; there are two intake/entry points per academic year.


In Brief:

  • A part-time only course
  • International students can apply

Subject Overview

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. 

Course Details

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.

The programme is delivered in two clearly defined stages:

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.

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.

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  3 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.

Research Involvement

Applicant Profile

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 Students - 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 at 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:

Research Profile

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.

Staff Profiles

Dr Tahir Rashid, DBA Director

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.

Dr Neil Robinson, Module Leader, Research Philosophy and Literature Review 

Dr Neil Robinson is a lecturer at Salford Business School, teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He started his career in the service sector, working in Hong Kong running training and development programmes for a number of hospitality providers and has travelled extensively throughout the region.

From an academic and scholastic perspective, Neil holds a PhD in the area of business and management. His research interests are in dark tourism heritage, terrorism prevention, services marketing and contemporary issues in business.

Neil is the author of a number of book chapters and academic journal papers and holds external examiner roles both in the UK and overseas. As an expert adviser, he is regularly approached by leading news organisations (including the BBC & ITV) to comment upon contemporary issues within the media. 

Professor Sunil Sahadev, Module Leader, Introduction to Research Methodology

Having completed his PhD in Marketing at the Indian institute of Technology, Chennai, Prof Sunil Sahadev went on to work at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and the School of Management at the University of Sheffield, before joining Salford Business School as a Professor in Marketing.

He has taught a variety of courses both in the UK and in India. Sunil’s research interests include research on boundary spanning elements in marketing, distribution channel management, e-services, International Management, internal marketing, service delivery issues in marketing, high-technology marketing, cross-cultural marketing, environmental marketing and marketing and sustainability.

Dr David Beech, Module Leader, Reflective Professional Development

Dr David Beech is a Scientist-practitioner organisational psychologist with over 15 years’ experience both working on executive MBA programmes, and working in partnership with senior managers and boards of directors on world-class cutting edge and innovative leadership development programmes.

David held managerial and executive roles in Organisation Development and People Management with Unilever, Siemens, Duracell and Nashua. He is a member of the University’s executive committee for the Health, Wellbeing and Society industrial collaboration zone.

David researches the contribution of leadership, creativity and reflective development to evolving human biocultural interaction and the implications for human flourishing across a tetra bottom line which balances evolving ethical requirements for profit, people, planet and progress. 

Dr Mostafa Mohamad, Module Leader, Advanced Research Methodology

Dr Mostafa Mohamad is a system analyst by profession and an action researcher by blood. Mostafa has a variety of professional and academic experience in the areas of multi-layer systems development, e-Marketing, business modelling, and digital innovation.

At Salford Business School, he teaches a number of postgraduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of information management and systems development. His specific interests include systems thinking, e-commerce, strategic management and action research. 

Professor Ralph Darlington, Director of Postgraduate Research 

Ralph Darlington is Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford. His research is concerned with the dynamics of trade union organisation, activity and consciousness in Britain and internationally within both contemporary and historical settings. He is author of six books including What’s the Point of Industrial Relations?, an executive member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association and the International Association of Strikes and Social Conflicts, and secretary of the Manchester Industrial Relations Society.


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.




Home students: £24,500

International students: £24,500

Salford graduates, including those who studied a programme delivered by Robert Kennedy College, are entitled to a 20% discount on programme fees.

In 2018-19, two students will be entitled to receive a 50% reduction in programme fees for the Salford DBA. Contact the Salford Business School Research Admin team for more information

Additional Costs

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


Links with Industry

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.