DBA


I see Heriot Watt MBA programme has come in for some criticism on here due to being dated and uncredited. Would this be a reason for not considering the school for a DBA? The reason I am thinking about it, is that the structure of the programme is attractive, with no immoveable specified dates for attendance other than some exam dates in the first phase. It is also relatively inexpensive. I am a director of my own companies in the training and consulting areas, so although I am looking to add some value to my CV it is mostly about personal interest and satisfaction. What about Northumbria as an alternative?
I see Heriot Watt MBA programme has come in for some criticism on here due to being dated and uncredited. Would this be a reason for not considering the school for a DBA? The reason I am thinking about it, is that the structure of the programme is attractive, with no immoveable specified dates for attendance other than some exam dates in the first phase. It is also relatively inexpensive. I am a director of my own companies in the training and consulting areas, so although I am looking to add some value to my CV it is mostly about personal interest and satisfaction. What about Northumbria as an alternative?
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Duncan
I'm a director of a consulting company and a PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh. I think it's very hard to complete a doctorate part-time, and the HW DBA gets around this by asking for a dissertation that is the length of an MPhil (45,000 words, about half the length of a typical doctorate). The coursework and the research are both a shadow of what you would get from your local university and, assuming you are an EU resident, isn't that much cheaper. I don't know the Northumbia DBA but looking at the brochure it looks very much better. Many schools have flexible or modular part-time PhDs, most notably including Strathclyde.

I'm not sure if you really want the doctoral experience or if you just want a diploma. At somewhere like HHL you could get a triple-crown part-time PhD (much more valuable than a DBA) in as little three years for the same price as Heriott-Watt. And if you ever wanted to teach, then not only would an MPhil-style doctorate be taken less seriously, but you would lack the accreditation that business schools increasingly ask for.
I'm a director of a consulting company and a PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh. I think it's very hard to complete a doctorate part-time, and the HW DBA gets around this by asking for a dissertation that is the length of an MPhil (45,000 words, about half the length of a typical doctorate). The coursework and the research are both a shadow of what you would get from your local university and, assuming you are an EU resident, isn't that much cheaper. I don't know the Northumbia DBA but looking at the brochure it looks very much better. Many schools have flexible or modular part-time PhDs, most notably including Strathclyde.

I'm not sure if you really want the doctoral experience or if you just want a diploma. At somewhere like HHL you could get a triple-crown part-time PhD (much more valuable than a DBA) in as little three years for the same price as Heriott-Watt. And if you ever wanted to teach, then not only would an MPhil-style doctorate be taken less seriously, but you would lack the accreditation that business schools increasingly ask for.
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sts
Hi,

Doing a doctorate part-time is indeed a challenging endeavour. The choice of a DBA for this purpose may have both pros and cons. There can be many issues listed about this, however just not to make this post an unnecessarily lengthy one, I will try to put it briefly. All of what I write reflects my own views based on my own research and experience, as one who is in the 2nd year of his DBA.

First, the DBA is a research doctorate leading to an academic qualification i.e. the doctoral degree, so it is the professional equivalent of the PhD. It can be more convenient for those who work in the industry and not in the academia and who seek a part-time doctorate, as the research will most probably be highly related to or even embedded in one's own professional practice. On the other hand, it can be much more challenging at times, in that most programmes will require the candidate not only to contribute to the literature by creating new knowledge but also to bring about significant change with demonstrable benefits to his/her organization. This means that there are at least two parties instead of just one to be satisfied: The university and the employer.

As for your situation, @Seeking the truth, I think a DBA could indeed be a useful choice, since you will probably have a good opportunity to do research on your own work in your own companies. As this is a doctorate, and a research qualification, this is quite different from an MBA. This is not something the candidates would normally do to simply have quicker promotions, job changes, salary increases, etc. This will be a good move for goals like yours i.e. personal satisfaction (which, will be a result of personal development, I assume), gaining doctoral level qualification, etc.

I read about almost all the DBAs in the UK and got in touch with many schools prior to starting my programme at Middlesex University. (Perhaps you might consider having a look at this as well. They have a significant experience in WBL (work-based learning) programmes and professional doctorates, and the Business School is ranked in the latest QS Global Top 200 list, in which there are 26 Business Schools from the UK).

In a broader sense, my humble advice would be that just do not confine yourself to only a few alternatives, and continue to get information about various DBAs in the UK. Strathclyde, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester, Chester to name a few, and many more.

Hope you the best of luck with your studies!
Hi,

Doing a doctorate part-time is indeed a challenging endeavour. The choice of a DBA for this purpose may have both pros and cons. There can be many issues listed about this, however just not to make this post an unnecessarily lengthy one, I will try to put it briefly. All of what I write reflects my own views based on my own research and experience, as one who is in the 2nd year of his DBA.

First, the DBA is a research doctorate leading to an academic qualification i.e. the doctoral degree, so it is the professional equivalent of the PhD. It can be more convenient for those who work in the industry and not in the academia and who seek a part-time doctorate, as the research will most probably be highly related to or even embedded in one's own professional practice. On the other hand, it can be much more challenging at times, in that most programmes will require the candidate not only to contribute to the literature by creating new knowledge but also to bring about significant change with demonstrable benefits to his/her organization. This means that there are at least two parties instead of just one to be satisfied: The university and the employer.

As for your situation, @Seeking the truth, I think a DBA could indeed be a useful choice, since you will probably have a good opportunity to do research on your own work in your own companies. As this is a doctorate, and a research qualification, this is quite different from an MBA. This is not something the candidates would normally do to simply have quicker promotions, job changes, salary increases, etc. This will be a good move for goals like yours i.e. personal satisfaction (which, will be a result of personal development, I assume), gaining doctoral level qualification, etc.

I read about almost all the DBAs in the UK and got in touch with many schools prior to starting my programme at Middlesex University. (Perhaps you might consider having a look at this as well. They have a significant experience in WBL (work-based learning) programmes and professional doctorates, and the Business School is ranked in the latest QS Global Top 200 list, in which there are 26 Business Schools from the UK).

In a broader sense, my humble advice would be that just do not confine yourself to only a few alternatives, and continue to get information about various DBAs in the UK. Strathclyde, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester, Chester to name a few, and many more.

Hope you the best of luck with your studies!
quote
Thanks for your replies Duncan and STS. Just to clarify, I would like a qualification in a relatively short space of time, and whilst I have no intention of teaching I would not just "want a diploma". However I probably don't need top notch academic credentials either.

Duncan, how do you reconcile "At somewhere like HHL you could get a triple-crown part-time PhD (much more valuable than a DBA) in as little three years" with "I think it's very hard to complete a doctorate part-time".

Also note that I am UK based, I do not know if you had assumed otherwise.

Also please could you explain "you would lack the accreditation that business schools increasingly ask for", in a bit more detail.

Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your replies Duncan and STS. Just to clarify, I would like a qualification in a relatively short space of time, and whilst I have no intention of teaching I would not just "want a diploma". However I probably don't need top notch academic credentials either.

Duncan, how do you reconcile "At somewhere like HHL you could get a triple-crown part-time PhD (much more valuable than a DBA) in as little three years" with "I think it's very hard to complete a doctorate part-time".

Also note that I am UK based, I do not know if you had assumed otherwise.

Also please could you explain "you would lack the accreditation that business schools increasingly ask for", in a bit more detail.

Thanks in advance.
quote
Duncan
Well, the doctorate in Germany doesn't have the substantial coursework elements of an Aglo-Saxon PhD. Either way, it's hard.

Many business schools require that teaching staff have PhDs from AACSB-accredited schools. For example, a friend of mine did his PhD at a good (top 40) UK university without AACSB accreditation. US business schools are turning him down because the school doesn't have AASCB accreditation, while his partner from an AACSB-accredited school is able to apply.
Well, the doctorate in Germany doesn't have the substantial coursework elements of an Aglo-Saxon PhD. Either way, it's hard.

Many business schools require that teaching staff have PhDs from AACSB-accredited schools. For example, a friend of mine did his PhD at a good (top 40) UK university without AACSB accreditation. US business schools are turning him down because the school doesn't have AASCB accreditation, while his partner from an AACSB-accredited school is able to apply.
quote
sts
If teaching in the US at an AACSB accredited school is among your goals, then sure, AACSB accreditation would help significantly. However, please note that this has nothing to do with the official recognition or legitimacy of the degree.

To be honest, my kind and humble advice would be that if you really want to do a doctoral level study & research, you had better not look for shorcuts.

[Edited by sts on Mar 07, 2016]

If teaching in the US at an AACSB accredited school is among your goals, then sure, AACSB accreditation would help significantly. However, please note that this has nothing to do with the official recognition or legitimacy of the degree.

To be honest, my kind and humble advice would be that if you really want to do a doctoral level study & research, you had better not look for shorcuts.
quote
Duncan
Well, that depends on the officialdom in question. That fact that so many, probably hundreds, of business schools, both state and private, officially require AACSB accreditation is important. In the UK, as an analogy, anyone can call themselves a psychologist but you require additional accreditation to work in most roles. So, it depends on where and how you want your PhD to be taken seriously. If I get the least demanding doctorate from a school that isn't a diploma mill, for example a taught doctorate without a major thesis, I always would carry with me the risk that someone would view that as a shortcut.
Well, that depends on the officialdom in question. That fact that so many, probably hundreds, of business schools, both state and private, officially require AACSB accreditation is important. In the UK, as an analogy, anyone can call themselves a psychologist but you require additional accreditation to work in most roles. So, it depends on where and how you want your PhD to be taken seriously. If I get the least demanding doctorate from a school that isn't a diploma mill, for example a taught doctorate without a major thesis, I always would carry with me the risk that someone would view that as a shortcut.
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