Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

  • SBS - Europe’s Premier Doctoral Business School

    The Doctor of Business Administration is an integrated work and research program for management practitioners and professionals, who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to practice and policy. The program may be completed in a minimum of three years. The coursework component takes place during the first year. Courses are conducted in the classroom in an intensive workshop model with face-to-face seminars. All courses are assessed by written assignments. The transition from coursework phase to the research phase is by the candidate completing the set of assessed Research Proposals. On satisfactory completion of the coursework candidates enter the research phase where they undertake individual, supervised research projects. The output of each research project is a research paper of publishable style and quality. The dissertation is submitted for external examination. Consequently there will be scope for requisite specialization within a general organizational and management framework. Graduates from the program are expected to make a key contribution to practice, so program work will relate to leadership, change and process management as well as research methodologies.


    The world of business and management is undergoing rapid and profound changes. Theories, practices and strategies which seemingly worked yesterday are failing today. Institutional leaders, policy makers and managers everywhere are increasingly confronted by novel situations without historical precedent, precipitating the need for new knowledge.

    The SBS DBA program takes places on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA comprises a total of 108 units and can be completed in a minimum of 3 years part-time / next to the job study. The Program is taught in a classroom format based on the use of intensive workshops. It includes the following two components:

    Coursework Phase

    Doctoral Program Seminars and Workshops (50%)

    Research Phase

    Supervision Workshops (50%).

    The Dissertation

    A dissertation may be submitted in place of Papers 1 and 2 or alternatively other forms of scholarly writing may be accepted subject to the approval of the Program Director. Examination process is dependent on the mo de of submission of final work. Where a paperbased submission has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by both papers being accepted for publication by an International peer-reviewed journal that has been approved by the Doctoral Panel. These journals are found on an approved list which may be changed from time to time. Where dissertation-based submission (or other than by publication) has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by external examination by two independent experts in the area of the research study. These examiners must be approved by the Doctoral Panel at least 3 months before submission. The maximum completion time is 4 years. Extension may be applied for between the minimum time of one and a half years (11⁄2) and the maximum time of four years (4) subject to approval by the Doctoral Panel but extension fees apply. Extension beyond four years will only be granted in special circumstances and by written application to the Doctoral Panel. The DBA is a full fee-paying program. Students must have ready access to a modern computer (with appropriate software), electronic mail, Internet and use of microphone/speakers or headset for the duration of the program. Continuing enrollment in the program is subject to satisfactory progress which is reviewed each six months by supervisors and the Doctoral Panel. The program is scheduled and timetabled so that it is suitable for candidates who maintain their full-time professional work. Candidates must satisfactorily complete each phase before proceeding to the next phase. Candidates who satisfactorily complete the coursework phase only may exit the program with a Master of Applied Business Research. During the research phase there will be structured meetings between candidates and supervisors based on agreements between the parties.


    The program can be completed in a minimum period of time of 3 years and maximum over 6 years.

    Start Date

    • September 22nd 2018

    Success Story

    • Stephen Gardner It’s great working together with a diverse group of people, committed to creating something greater than the sum of its parts. Our different experiences lead to much "learning fun". Stephen Gardner Director of Investor Relations, Credit Suisse
    • Viktor Prokopenya I found the SBS DBA program to be a completely transformational experience. Science, not politics, is the most powerful force in transforming the world on a macro scale. During the doctorate program, one can expand one’s horizons and get a unique and informed perspective of the world, both from within academia and from the “outside” worlds of business science. For me personally, there is nothing more exciting than that. This experience gets you to a different level in everything you do, in terms of the way you think about the world as well as how to solve practical everyday problems. The doctorate degree is the highest academic degree and it is definitely worth the time, even though it requires significant commitment and organization. I would recommend SBS Swiss Business School to anyone who is passionate about science, who wants to get a greater worldview, and who wants to help to make the world a better place, faster. Viktor Prokopenya Founder, VP Capital
    • Dr. Anthony Chibo-ChristopherAs a proud graduate of the Swiss business school DBA program, I know that it not only trains one to become an even better manager, but also trains one into becoming a scholar and researcher able to publish in academic journals and move seamlessly between the business and academic world. With my already successful business career and an MBA, my going through and graduating from the SBS DBA program has enabled me to complement my knowledge as a business practitioner by becoming a scholar and now able to contribute new knowledge to professional practice as well as the academic world. The research skills I have learnt have enabled me to broadening and extend my capability profile. Dr. Anthony Chibo-Christopher Business and Development Strategist and Economist
      CEO Sun Business Strategies and Research

    • Academic Calendar 2019-2022
      Academic Calendar 2018-2021
      Academic Calendar 2017-2020
      Academic Calendar 2016-2019
      Academic Calendar 2015-2018
    • Applicants seeking admission to the DBA program shall normally hold

      • An MBA degree, or equivalent, from an approved University or equivalent;


      • Where other Masters degree level qualifications are held, applicants may be asked to complete a prescribed bridging program (normally designated courses from an MBA program)
      • Substantial (not less than five years) experience at executive/management level.
      • All DBA candidates must be able to demonstrate from their education and/or professional performance their potential to undertake research at a doctoral level. They should be able to show success in their career to date and document how the DBA program fits into their personal or career plans for the future.
      • All DBA candidates must have a sound command of the English language, spoken and written, meeting the criteria as prescribed below.
      • Applicants are required to have completed their previous Masters Degree in English; or submit proof of having achieved an IELTS test score of 7 or higher.

      All applicants must submit a 1000 word outline of their proposed research topic/idea as part of their admission application submission.

      Where, during the application process, concerns are raised about the English proficiency of an applicant from either of the English language proficiency categories, or for applicants who do not meet either of these categories, the 500 word outline will be considered as an additional/alternative basis for assessment, as one of the conditions for acceptance into the program.

      Application Procedure


      • All applications must be submitted to SBS Swiss Business School before the closing date.

      Each application package must contain:

      • A duly completed application form affixed with a passport-size photograph (PDF)
      • Certified copy of degree(s), professional qualification(s), certificate(s), and relevant transcripts
      • Application fee of SFr. 150.-

      Your application should be submitted to the following address:
      SBS Swiss Business School
      Admissions Office
      Flughafenstrasse 3
      8302 Kloten-Zurich, Switzerland

      The application fee can be paid using the following options:

      • Online:  Pay online using PayPal
      • Bank transfer:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Within a few days of receiving an application, the registrar contacts applicant to set date for interview and where applicable entrance test.  Applicant receives definite answer as to acceptance on program about 10 days after SBS receives their application.

      The final decision concerning the eligibility, acceptability of qualifications and research areas for the DBA Program rests with SBS Swiss Business School.

    • The program is designed to advance the professional development of senior practicing managers and professionals in the business arena by extending their management knowledge and equipping them with broad research and process management skills, enabling them to make a key leadership contribution to their chosen fields. Graduates of the program will have: extended knowledge of emerging business and management ideas and deeper understanding of their relevance to applied business settings;

      • conceptual frameworks of practice knowledge and innovative approaches for business and management application;  
      • extensive familiarity with the literature of selective specialist applied areas within the business and management field;  
      • ability to link and integrate applied research to learning as a precursor to the formulation of vision, strategy and process leadership for corporate and business enterprise;  
      • skills in applied research methodologies including literature searches, field research design, data analysis and the communication of research findings.

      The DBA is offered in face-to-face delivery. Candidates are required to attend 7 courses and 4 research seminars, resulting in 11 intensive sessions over 3 years. The sessions are offered over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 - 18:00) to accommodate working professionals.

      First Year

      Semester 1

      Course IDCourse Title
      MGT600Management Research Perspectives
      BUS600Information Technologies for Business Research
      GLO600Global Environments and Management Trends
      CRI600Critical Analysis of Research

      Semester 2

      Course IDCourse Title
      MGT650Contemporary Management
      REM650Research Methods in Business & Management
      MGT651Management Research Design and Methodologies
      PRE650Preparation and Presentation of a Research Proposal

      Second Year

      Semester 1

      Course IDCourse Title
      PRO650Doctoral Research Project Proposal
      LIT650Proposal Literature Review

      Semester 2

      Course IDCourse Title
      DOC651Doctoral Research Paper 1

      Note: For successful candidates, the Master of Applied Business Research is awarded.

      Third Year

      Semester 1

      Course IDCourse Title
      DOC700Doctoral Research Paper 2

      Note: Instead of papers, candidates may write a dissertation of 40,000 words.

    • Preparation and Presentation of a Research Proposal

      The capstone course will ensure that a student can integrate the learning from this program into a well argued and documented research study that is embedded in the research literature. It will also articulate the conceptual framework/model, the research questions, and the data collection and analysis methodologies. The research proposal will be a key measure of the student’s ability to undertake doctoral research. 

      Management Research Design and Methodologies

      The purpose of this course is to help students focus on a realistic topic and design the research study in accordance with sound principles and good practice. It extends the knowl edge and skills required to research business and management issues. Specific attention is paid to individual methods, such as the population survey, focused interviews, case study and action research. As these various approaches are frequently used in management research, an understanding of their strengths and limitations is also examined. Extensive use will be made of technology tools for undertaking analyses of qualititative and quantitative data.

      Research Method in Business & Management

      It is expected that students would have had little interaction with the use of the scientific method in conducting research. This course introduces the main research methods adopted in business and management research. As background context, the general nature of evidence-based and ethical research is examined before focusing attention on the two major paradigms of investigative knowledge: quantitative and qualitative research.

      Contemporary Management

      All academic research is a discourse with the literature, that is, the current understanding of management change and cross-culture impacts. The course extends candidates understanding of the literature and furthers that understanding by reference to the literature and contemporary research within the primary discipline of the candidate’s interest.

      Critical Analysis of Research

      A key competency in doing research is being able to accurately comprehend what others ha ve written on the topic about to be investigated. This course focuses attention on how to analyze and critically assess the research based literature by asking candidates to review examples, preferably related to their chosen topic, and develop dependable approaches to research question formation, methodological development, and the presentation of research findings.

      Global Environments and Management Trends

      In an ever globalized world, management has become more challenging. The modern manager needs to be aware of movements in the global environments not only in their industry but across industries and continents. This in turn will afect their management decision making and lead to strategies that will respond to the changing business environment. In order for managers to be able to be efective, they need to broaden their understanding of changing global trends and management’s response.

      Information & Internet Technologies for Business Research

      In today’s research world, it is imperative that the research utilize information and Internet technologies efectively and ef­fi­ciently. The information technology tools can provide ef­fi­ciency gains in recording and tracking reference sources and completing research papers. Internet provides a wealth of research information to be tapped but can also be a trap if the researcher cannot use appropriate search engines and techniques efectively. This course will equip the researcher with tools and techniques for undertaking a research project.

      Management Research Perspectives

      This course inducts candidates to the nature of research and commences their learning journey through the business administration and management field using the rigorous research perspectives of the scholarly tradition. As such, it explores the development of doctoral programs, their place in business-academic interface, and their position at the upper levels of university endeavour. It reinforces the notion of a history to the study of business, the development of management as a discipline of study and its interconnections with other disciplines of learning. It examines the perceived diferences between practical - research for day-to-day operational business matters and scholarly research that results in original and/or added value contributions to the practice of business and management.

    • We offer a 5% discount on full payment at the start of the program.

      Application fee (non-refundable) CHF 150.-
      Semester 1 CHF 10'000.-
      Semester 2 CHF 10'000.-
      Semester 3 CHF 10'000.-
      Semester 4 CHF 5'000.-
      Semester 5 CHF 5'000.-
      Total Fee CHF 40'150.-
      • All fees include material and VAT, amounts are stated in the local currency of Swiss Francs (CHF).

    Program Manager

    • Wolfs Bert

      Dr. Bert Wolfs

      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Accredited and Certified by

    SBS Swiss Business School

    SBS Swiss Business School
    Flughafenstrasse 3
    8302 Kloten-Zurich

    Call us: +41 44 880 00 88
    General inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Enrollment inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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