- Full Time: 3 years
- Full Time: €3,400 per year
International Students: €11,350 International GDL
What is a DBA?
The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a qualification that allows you as a professional manager to conduct practice-based research within an organisation. Normally this will be the organisation in which you are employed or an organisation that you are confident will extend access to you. You will learn as you work through issues associated with solving a particular problem. In particular, you will be taught in the use of research techniques that will enable you to understand and reflect upon your ability to utilise and apply knowledge (theory) that is intended to produce enhanced practice. This will allow you to demonstrate competence as both a professional and an academic researcher.
The course is made up of six taught elements and a thesis. These elements will enable you to develop expertise and confidence in developing a research proposal which will provide the objectives of the study you wish to conduct, including relevant theoretical aspects and the particular ways that data (practice) will be examined. The elements include opportunities for you to pilot data gathering and evaluation approaches that you can integrate with your overall study. On completion of the taught elements, you will write a 50,000 word thesis upon the specific professional practice research you have undertaken. The thesis is the main aspect of the DBA programme.
Each DBA research degree student is supported by supervisors assigned to the particular area of study. Supervisors will be experts in the subject area, with a mutual interest in the particular study. They will be active researchers themselves with a wealth of experience in supervising postgraduate research.
Our DBA award is a doctorate designed to encourage action learning, reflective practice and the management of change in organisations. The course of study will not only be an excellent experience in terms of your own personal development, but will be equally beneficial to the organisation in which the study is carried out, and act as a vehicle for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.
The DBA (in contrast to a traditional academic PhD) is designed to help you apply research-based thinking to business ideas, whilst deepening and broadening your understanding of professional practice. You will also develop essential research skills which will enable you to play a leading role in strategic organisational development, policy formation and evaluation at a strategic level.
The programme addresses strategic issues in professional practice globally, and places a high priority on the beneficial transfer of knowledge to the workplace. There will be a balance of intellectual scholarly enquiry with an applied problem-focused approach of direct relevance to your organisation.
The course combines workshops, research based activities and a substantial research enquiry thesis to:
- enable you to focus on your own or participating organisations in a new way, based on a doctoral level understanding
- enhance management professional practice by developing and applying new knowledge
- empower you to improve your own personal practice as a professional
- employ new learning in change management and organisational development
- extend the range of ideas and skills to deliver change within your own or participating organisation
- enjoy considerable personal development, so that you achieve a greater level of effectiveness as a professional
- develop an action research/learning approach to organisational problems
- encourage critical engagement with consultancy and research processes
The programme is intended to help you apply theory and professional practice perspectives to your own situation and work-based practice, and on completion, you may consider putting the thesis forward for publication.
The structure consists of six 'taught' elements (facilitated by Molnar Business School academics) and intends to develop your expertise in the use of research in order to explore professional practice:
- Research methods* will enable you to develop an appreciation of the key concepts of your chosen study and how they may be used as the basis of the research. This element requires a written submission of no more than 2,500 words.
- Research skills* will provide you with an ability to select appropriate methods that will enable you to connect the concepts identified in research methods with the aspects of practice that you will explore. This includes the effective capture of relevant 'data' (experiences and observations). This module will require a written submission of no more than 3,500 words.
* successful completion of these elements results in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice.
- Professional Practice provides you with a critical awareness of issues such as professionalism, ethics and methods that will allow exploration of how they occur in practice and enable reflection. This element will require a written submission of no more than 5,000 words.
Research Perspectives which has two parts:
Perspective One is based on an account of a small-scale study utilising techniques and methods consistent with approaches found in the scientific method, 'positivism'. This includes the gathering of data through questionnaires or standard interview schedules and analysis by statistics. Such methods are frequently referred to as being 'quantitative'.
This element requires a written submission of no more than 5,000 words.
Perspective Two: is based on a limited study of an organisation (or group) and utilises approaches used by those attempting to gain insights and understanding of social processes. Such methods are usually referred to as being 'qualitative'. This element requires a written submission of no more than 5,000 words.
Advanced Professional Practice builds upon the professional practice element and provides the opportunity for deeper exploration of key issues and encourages you to critically reflect on relevant aspects of practice and their relationship with theory by adopting a specific evaluation paradigm (eg evaluative inquiry, appreciative inquiry or design). This element is intended as the final stage to commencing stage three (thesis). It will require a written submission of no more than 5,000 words.
Stage 3 is the culmination of the programme and will enable you to write up your experiences in a research thesis. This describes the experience of developing the enquiry, how you selected concepts and applied relevant concepts from theory and your application in practice.
The thesis is examined by the use of what is known as 'viva voce' which is Latin for 'with the living voice' and requires you to provide what is an oral defence of your work.
The interim assessments for Stages one and two will be considered by a Progression Board.
The thesis will be examined by at least two examiners and will be held in two parts:
- The examiners' scrutiny of the thesis
- The candidates' defence of the thesis by oral examination
The course is structured in three stages, with each stage equating to one year's study. It is anticipated that some students will be in a position to submit a thesis and undergo the viva at the end of these three years, while others will need to continue on the programme for some further months or years to complete write-up and submission of the thesis.
You will be required to attend all six taught elements in stages one and two of the programme, which will be delivered over six days per year. From the outset and throughout the programme you will be meeting with your supervisors to discuss your study and engaging in personal research. Stage three is dedicated to writing up and the preparation of your thesis.