Advance your business leadership skills with a novel approach to real-world challenges

The online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme from the University of Liverpool is a professional doctorate for senior professionals looking to advance their careers by enhancing their leadership capabilities and experiencing first-hand the power of an innovative, research-backed approach to today’s workplace challenges.


Equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, this programme encourages the development of doctoral-level thinking and research skills across key contemporary management areas through its distinctive Critical Action Learning and Action Research approach. Students can access the programme 100% online or can choose to engage face-to-face with each other and with Management School faculty during optional residencies on campus in Liverpool.

Students of the DBA programme develop a deep understanding of the challenges and risks faced by businesses in the 21st century, and the ability to continuously apply this knowledge in practical contexts. Graduates can expect to emerge with enhanced critical thinking and decision-making skills, making them strong leaders ready to reach the highest levels of professional excellence. Underpinning this personal development is a Doctoral Development Plan that encourages students to reflect on both their workplace research and their development as doctoral practitioners.

Why choose the University of Liverpool Online Doctorate in Business Administration?

  • Earn a DBA from a world-class university and AACSB-accredited management school
  • Capitalise on the programme's innovative Critical Action Learning and Action Research methods that encourage the development of doctoral-level thinking and research skills across key management areas
  • Combine practice-based learning with in-depth academic insights
  • Benefit from a Doctoral Development Plan that encourages you to reflect on both your research and your development as a doctoral practitioner
  • Choose to take up two optional residencies on campus in Liverpool

Critical Action Learning and Action Research

The University of Liverpool is one of the few universities offering an online DBA programme that uses Critical Action Learning and Action Research, making the programme highly relevant to your career. This is an opportunity to become adept at finding better solutions for contemporary business situations – a vital asset for any business leader.

Action Learning, where individuals work cooperatively to improve their practice by tackling real issues and reflecting on their actions, is widely used by high-achieving organisations to find solutions to difficult problems. Action Research is a well-established approach to strengthening evidence-based change and improvement for pressing, complex organisational issues.

Doctorate in Business Administration highlights

  • 100% online programme – fit your studies around your working life
  • Learn in an engaging online environment that will help keep you motivated and on track to succeed
  • A unique opportunity to develop leadership and critical thinking skills through disciplined self-reflection
  • Apply what you learn in the classroom to your workplace through a practice-based, hands-on approach
  • Learn how to apply diverse research and intelligence to complex and ambiguous workplace situations
  • Understand how to meet the differing needs of stakeholders while driving the success of your organisation
  • Acquire the practical, theoretical and analytical skills to lead teams in a global work environment
  • Collaborate with other senior business professionals around the world, while building your international network
  • Receive on-going support from doctoral mentors, guiding your individual development

A reputation for excellence

The online DBA is offered by the University of Liverpool Management School, one of an elite group of less than 5% of business schools worldwide with sought-after AACSB Accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The University of Liverpool is a world-class institution ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide and is a member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-led universities, which includes the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

The University of Liverpool also offers an online Doctor of Education – Higher Education (EdD) – equal in status to a PhD but with a professional rather than an academic focus.

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Let’s Go

Meet our students and graduates

See what they have to say about our online DBA programme:

"When I started the DBA, I was a retail director but when I finished the programme, I was promoted to Managing Director. I got a truly valuable education, practical skills and a major promotion!"
"Simply put, my DBA graduation in Liverpool was the climax of a life ambition."
"The residencies deepened my understanding of research methodology approaches, and my conference research paper brought together concepts from virtually all the DBA modules."
"I love the group, the online format, and the addictive nature of knowledge building and sharing."
"It’s a leading university in the field of management and the DBA programme has an action learning theme that can help to advance business practice."
"“The programme has changed my entire outlook towards life.”
73% of the University of Liverpool’s business and management research rates as internationally excellent or world-leading in the UK’s Research Excellent Framework (REF) 2014