The DBA takes the selection of its candidates very seriously and we go to great lengths to match a candidate with the right supervisor for their studies. Candidates will be expected to participate in a formal interview with a potential supervisor and the Programme Director before an offer of a place on the course is made.

In order to complete the application, you will be asked to upload the documents detailed below.

The DBA Programme intake is in October and April. Applications for the October intake should be submitted by 15 August at the latest and for the April intake by 15 February at the latest.  Any application after this date may not be processed in time for the October or April start.


Finding an appropriate supervisor who is an expert in your chosen area of research is essential to success on the Executive DBA and is an important part of the application process.

As part of the application process we recommend that you look into those Academic Departments and individual academic members of staff who specialise in your intended area of research. This will enable you to determine whether there is a good match between your research interest and ABS.

The research interests of all members of academic staff can be found here: Academic Departments

If there is a member of staff whose research interest matches your own, we recommend that you contact them directly with a copy of your research proposal and discuss this further with them. This will allow you to develop and strengthen your proposal and may lead to the academic offering to supervise your doctoral research. When approaching an academic remember to articulate your own research interests and show a willingness to further develop your proposal as well as convincing them that your research will be in their area of expertise. Not all academic members of staff will have vacancies for doctoral researchers and whether you are taken on by the academic for supervision will depend on the quality of your proposal and how closely your proposal fits with their own research interests.

In addition to contacting a prospective supervisor you also need to submit a formal application to the Executive DBA office. If you are successful in identifying a supervisor through this method it is essential that you indicate this on your application form. Please be advised that a formal decision on your application can only be made once the application is received and processed by the Executive DBA office.

We look forward to receiving your application. If you have any queries in the meantime, please email us at or call us on 0121 204 3354.

For your application to be processed we will require the following documents:

  • Research proposal of approximately 1,200 words  OR you can apply to a predefined research proposal, see 'Research DBA Topics'
  • Copies of all relevant certificates and transcripts (including those for English Language qualifications where applicable)
  • A full curriculum vitae
  • At least two references, one of which should be from the institution of you latest degree
  • A copy of your passport
  • Supporting evidence for home fee status (if required)

In order to be successful, candidates need to demonstrate through their interview and research proposal

  • Critical analysis

  • Intellectual rigour

  • Communication skills

  • Potential to make an innovative contribution

  • Ability to change practice

Candidates should be able demonstrate appropriate links to practice, to which their proposed research refers. The Programme has two entry dates per year - October and April.  To apply for an October start date, please ensure that your application and supporting documents have been submitted online, no later than July. For an April start date your application should be submitted by February.