Business Administration - DBA - Waterford

This is a distinctive, research-issue driven programme that is orientated towards senior executives in managerial roles, and combines workplace and professional engagement with the scholarly rigour of the academic institution. This qualification is increasingly recognised by international business and management schools as the most appropriate post-MBA (or equivalent Master degree) route to combining academic research on management and business with further personal and professional development.

This part time programme is innovative in its structure, combining three significant milestones on the doctoral process; advanced research skills workshops, cumulative paper series and the completion of the DBA thesis, all of which centres around addressing an organisational issue of interest. The programme is designed to facilitate senior manager access, with a 2-3 day block on campus each semester. The SETU Waterford DBA utilises a blended learning approach, combining the latest technologies for remote access and communications.

Special Feature
The programme allows participants’ to understand prevailing practices in the subject area of their field of research; to acquire the necessary understanding and expertise in appropriate research design, data- collection methods and data-analysis techniques; to conduct, write-up and disseminate high-quality research of doctoral standard; and to achieve a greater level of effectiveness in managing business innovation and change.

Course Aims
We aim to develop the participant’s ability to undertake independent research at an advanced level and make a significant contribution to knowledge and professional practice through the evaluation of business management structures, contexts and processes.

Through the application of research to business problems and issues, the programme focuses on the skills required to contribute to the enrichment of trans-disciplinary professional practice in management, and to lead organisations facing a complex global business environment.

Subjects taught

This three-stage programme concentrates on the enhancement of professional practice by:

Focusing on professional development

Enhancing enterprise leadership and development skills

Assimilating knowledge

Honing analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills

Developing advanced research skills

Following completion of a series of workshops in Stage 1, participants will submit a research proposal, to be presented at a doctoral colloquium. Students will then research and write up a series of research papers in Stage 2, guided by an academic mentor and a SETU Waterford working paper series, before submitting and defending their thesis in Stage 3 of the programme.

Entry requirements

This programme is intended to meet the strong demand for professionals who have completed a high level of training in management and business-related areas, and who possess highly developed skills in undertaking research. Applicants should also display a competence in solving problems analytically and in separating opportunities and challenges in terms of cause and effect. Specifically, we look for:

MBA (or equivalent Master degree)

Five years management experience, ideally at senior level

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see SETU Waterford’s English Language Requirements for details.

Application dates



4 - 5 years part-time, blended.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: September 2024

Post Course Info

The DBA is the international post-masters qualification for senior management advancement. This business doctorate develops management expertise through rigorous research design, positioning the DBA graduate for rapid organisation and career progression.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

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