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The Doctorate of Business Administration

The only certainty in today's commercial and political climate is change. It is, therefore, imperative that we are not only capable to assimilate the challenges that are presented but also that we capitalise on them. We, at ESB, looked long and hard to find a rigorous, challenging and above all career orientated programme that sets new standards in postgraduate business education. We believe we found a unique and flexible offering;

The Heriot-Watt University / Edinburgh Business School offers you the possibility to become Doctor of Business Administration.

Designed for executives who want to apply detailed understanding of business strategy and research tools to their organisations.

Whereas a PhD will develop professional researchers, this DBA will enable you to use research methods to define, implement and evaluate the strategies necessary for your business.

The DBA consists of a Study element and a Research element.

The courses in the Study element will demonstrate that you have mastered the skills and expertise of strategic focus.

The core courses will enable you to:

Define your strategic options:

  • Competitive Strategy
  • Strategic Planning

Evaluate the risks of each:

  • Strategic Risk Management

And implement your chosen strategy:

  • Making Strategies Work
  • Project Management

You also have to complete three more subject-based courses of your choice, and three courses to develop your research expertise and understanding. The courses are assessed by examination as and when you are ready for assessment.

Elective courses

  • Alliances and Partnerships
  • Corporate Governance
  • Leadership
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Strategic Negotiation

For the Research element, you work under the direction of an appointed Edinburgh Business School supervisor to carry out appropriate data collection and analysis and design a suitable research method to test the research hypothesis. You must derive a clear set of conclusions, and formally submit a 45,000 word final thesis for examination.


To be eligible for admission you must hold at least one of the following qualifications:

  • A Heriot-Watt University MBA;
  • An approved MBA of equivalent standard to that offered by Edinburgh Business School;
  • A Masters degree such as MSc, MA, MPhil in a relevant field of study; or
  • A PhD in a relevant area.

In addition, you should normally have a minimum of 5 years' relevant business experience.

English School of Business Approved Learning Partner of Heriot-Watt University MBA Programme and Awards Matriculation The Teaching Programme

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Accredited by Royal Charter

Heriot-Watt University received its Royal Charter in 1966. This is granted by the British government and ensures that universities and their programmes meet very high academic standards. Most countries, including the US and Canada, are happy to accept the standard of degrees awarded by universities in Great Britain as equivalent to their own.

Approved by the Department of Education (US)

The university is approved by the United States Department of Education. This approval enables US students to apply for a government loan to help with educational expenses and may help to convince your employer to sponsor you through the MBA programme.

Established for over 10 years

Edinburgh Business School has been established for over 10 years and has produced 10,000 graduates from more than 150 countries. There are currently 7,000 active students studying the MBA programme.

Recognised by major businesses

The business community has welcomed the MBA programme, with many major and mid-sized companies subsidising their employees' educational expenses for the programme. Here are some companies that have sponsored their employees through the Edinburgh Business School programme: Adobe Systems. Frito-Lay, Goodyear, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., Royal & Sun Alliance Canada, and Sun Microsystems.