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Doctor in Business
Administration

Overview

 

Originating Institution(s) Brittany Université
Collaborative Partner London Examinations Board
Duration Maximum of 36 months
Award to be conferred

Triple Awards from Brittany Université, France, Universidad Católica de Murcia, Spain and VERN University of Applied Sciences, Croatia

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

 

This Diploma is designed to provide a broad understanding and application of business administration to equip learners who are keen to take up employment in the business sector. Those who are already working in the business sector can also benefit from enhanced knowledge and skills in addition to a recognized qualification.

Programme Learning Outcomes

 

Upon completion of this programme, learners will be able to:

  1. Use self-assessment, reflection, evaluation, feedback and developments in theory and evidence-based practice to improve their ethical business practice in a variety of contexts.
    Apply a deep understanding of relevant theory and practices to predict outcomes and create business solutions in complex environment.
  2. Communicate key issues effectively and creatively using numerical, graphical, oral and written skills.
  3. Conduct ethical research on business topics, based on critical analysis of academic research and professional practice, and communicate findings in a scholarly manner.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in applying a systematic, vigorous research methodologies, design and process when undertaking an original research via the thesis requirement as part of the fulfilment to gain the doctorate award.

Programme & Curriculum Structure

 

In designing the DBA, prior qualifications and corporate experiences of participants are taken into consideration in order to ensure a programme which builds on their prior knowledge and skills.

There are 2 routes to the a DBA

Route 1: Mixed Mode

The DBA has a total of 120 ECTS credits and comprises of taught modules, an unassessed research methods module and a Thesis as follows:

1. Managing Strategy (10 ECTS)
2. Corporate Finance (10 ECTS)
3. Managing Human Resource (10 ECTS)
4. Marketing Management (10 ECTS)
5. Managing Projects (10 ECTS)
6. Research Methodology N/A
7. Thesis (70 ECTS)

For this Route
• The word count for the Thesis will be between 20,000 to 30,000 words.
• There is a mandatory oral defence of the Thesis.

Route 2: Research Mode

Students can opt for a more extensive ‘Thesis only’ route accruing 120 ECTS as set out below.

Stage 1a – Thesis Preparation
Stage 1b – Thesis Proposal
Stage 2 – Final Thesis
Stage 3 – Oral Defence

Stage 1 – Thesis Preparation

Student must undertake a Research Methodology module prior to commencing their thesis research or be exempted from it should students have already undertaken a similar or equivalent Research Methodology module prior to enrolling on to the programme.

Following the Research Methodology module students have up to three months to submit a Thesis Proposal for grading and approval before progressing to Stage 2.

The Thesis proposal is required to be approximately 4,000 – 5,000 words. It will carry 25% of the weight.

A supervisor will be assigned to a student who, under the guidance of the supervisor, shall continue to work towards completing the Final Thesis.

Stage 1 should be completed in 4 months.

Stage 2 – Thesis Proposal Approval, Research and Documentation

Stage 2 commences once the Thesis Proposal has been approved and graded and should be completed within 12-18 months.

The Thesis will be required to be approximately 40,000 – 45,000 words. It will carry 75% of the weight.

Stage 3 – Oral Defence of Thesis

Once the supervisor has vetted the Thesis submitted by the student, the student must contact the Viva Voce Examination Panel to arrange for the oral defence.

 

Delivery mode

 

Route 1: Mixed Mode

Taught Modules (Blended Learning)

For each of the 5 taught modules and the research methodology module, students are expected to spend at least 200 hours as follows:-

  • Face-to-Face classes conducted at Axon Consultancy’s hybrid classroom at 12hours per module. Candidates who are away from Kuala Lumpur can participant class discussions simultaneously while classes are being delivered via online video conferencing system.
  • 18 hours of learners participating in online discussion with other learners and their tutors per taught module
  • 170 hours of independent study per taught module. Students are given a complete set of learning materials to facilitate independent study which can be downloaded from the designated Learning Portal

Taught Modules (Fully Online Learning)

 For each of the 5 taught modules and the research methodology module, students are expected to spend at least 200 hours as follows:-

  • 18 hours of learners participating in online discussion with other learners and their tutors per taught module
  • 182 hours of independent study per taught module. Students are given a complete set of learning materials to facilitate independent study which can be downloaded from the designated Learning Portal

The Thesis

For both blended learning students and fully online learning students, the same thesis recommendation as below are imposed:

  • 12 hours of online supervision
  • 1,200 hours of directed independent learning and research.

Route 2: Research Mode

Blended Learning

Stage 1

  • The recommended hours are as follows:
  • 200 hours on the Thesis Preparation (Research Methodology) as set out in paragraph 3.1.1
  • 12 hours of face to face supervision
  • 200 hours on the Thesis Proposal preparation and submission

Stage 2

  • The recommended hours are as follows:
  • 20 hours of Face to face Supervision
  •  2,200 hours on the Final Thesis

Fully Online Learning

For Stage 1

The recommended hours are as follows:

  • 200 hours on the Thesis Preparation (Research Methodology) as set out in paragraph 3.2.1
  • 12 hours of online supervision
  • 200 hours on the Thesis Proposal preparation and submission.

 Stage 2

The recommended hours are as follows

  • 20 hours of online supervision
  • 2,200 hours on the Final Thesis

Assessment

 

The aim of the assessment strategy is to identify formal practices and procedures for assessing and appraising the performance of the DBA students in order those judgments and decisions can be reached concerning:

  • The progression of students through the programme.
  • How students have met the programme learning outcomes through a combination of the individual module learning outcomes.
  • The provision of feedback information to students concerning their performance and how they adhered to the generic assessment criteria and the module-specific assessment criteria.
  • A Cycle 3 award at Doctoral level for individual modules.

The underpinning principles which drive the assessment strategies adopted for this programme are the profile of the target students and the programme itself (its philosophy and associated learning outcomes). Assessment will normally be based on the candidate successfully demonstrating achievement of an appropriate combination of the following criteria which are aligned to the descriptors for a Cycle 3 Doctoral degree qualifications:

  1. A systematic understanding of a substantial body of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice.
  2. A comprehensive understanding of methods and techniques applicable to the practical solution, research or advanced scholarship.
  3. Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
  4. The ability to evaluate and criticise received opinion.
  5. The ability to make reasoned judgements whilst understanding the limitations on judgements made in the absence of complete data.
  6. The ability to communicate the results of the programme of research as demonstrated in the style and overall presentation in a professional scholarly manner.

Assessment instruments will mainly be in the form of either management reports or proposals with a word count of between 4,000 – 4,500 words for the taught modules.

The Thesis will have a word count of between a minimum of 20,000 to a maximum of 30,000 words for the Route 1 – Mixed Mode route and 40,000 to 45,000 words for the Route 2 – Research Mode.

The section below summarises the varied assessment tasks or instruments which will be employed in assessing the different programme learning outcomes.

Assessment Instruments

Work / Articles / Assignments / Reports

Written assignments are designed to allow students to demonstrate understanding of the module, which students must then apply to an issue concerned with that particular subject area in their own organisation, or one with which they are familiar. Students are either required to identify a process, task or problem which they must describe, analyse and discuss. The assignments provide a regular assessment process, which tests the following:

  • knowledge;
  • critical and analytical faculties;
  • planning skills;
  • organising ability; and
  • report writing skills.

Students are requested to adhere to precise written instructions laid out in the Module document to produce an academic article/essay or management report on a selected area conforming to standards expected of good academic and report writing.

Case Studies

Selected case studies may be incorporated into the assessment of modules.

Simulation

Often students will be assessed via scenario and simulation types of tasks related to the intended learning outcomes.

Defence of the Thesis

A Thesis submitted to qualify for the final Doctoral award will be subjected to a mandatory oral defence of the Thesis by the students in addition to their submission being graded.

Purpose of the Viva is to:

  • Demonstrate that the thesis is the student’s original work
  • Confirm that the student understands and are able to verbally defend their submitted work.
  • For panel members to provide formative feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the submitted work

The procedure is:

  1. Prior to the oral defence (viva voce), the Programme Leader will notify the student that a Viva Examination Panel has been formed.
  2. The Examination Panel must have at least one independent examiner.
  3. Each examiner must be experienced in research in the general subject area of a particular student’s thesis and, where practicable, have experience as a specialist in the topic(s) to be examined.
  4. In addition to PhD holders with academic experience, any individual currently appointed as an Emeritus Professor, Honorary Professor, Visiting Professor or Honorary Research Fellow may undertake an internal examining and/or Independent Chairing role under these Regulations subject to approval from the Academic Director.
  5. A student must take no part in the arrangement of the examination and have no formal contact with the Panel members between the time of their being appointed and the holding of the viva voce examination, or between that and any subsequent viva voce examination in the case of there being a reassessment of the thesis.
  6. Each examiner is required to read and assess the thesis and to submit an independent preliminary report to the Academic Director before any viva voce or alternative form of examination is held. As part of that assessment, each examiner must consider whether the thesis provisionally satisfies the requirements of Brittany Université for the degree concerned and, where possible, make an appropriate provisional decision, subject to the outcome of the viva voce examination.
  7. Examiners are not permitted to discuss the thesis with the supervisory team between receipt of the examiner’s preliminary reports within the University and the commencement of the viva voce examination. The Examiners reports will however be shared with the whole examination panel and supervisory team once all reports have been received.
  8. Any failure to comply with any of the procedures established by the University for the examination process may lead to a particular assessment being declared null and void and to the appointment of new examiners by the University.

 The Viva Voce Examination Panel

  • The appointment of an Independent Chair must be made for all doctoral viva voce.
  • The Chair must be wholly independent of the student and will be nominated by the Academic Director.
  • The Chair is not required to read the thesis or complete a preliminary report form and should be totally independent throughout the process. The Chair does receive the Examiners’ preliminary reports prior to the viva voce and the abstract for the thesis.
  • Prior to the viva voce the Chair is expected to brief the examiners on the procedures of Brittany Université and facilitate the development of an agenda if requested by the examiners.
  • During the viva voce of the student, the Chair ensures that the examination process takes place in a fair and transparent manner, guides the examiners and student through the viva voce and acts as an arbitrator throughout.
  • Following the viva voce of the student, the Chair assists in the completion of documents confirming the outcome of the examination. This includes checking that the amendments highlighted in the Examiners’ Report reflect the amendments agreed at the viva voce.
  • A supervisor is allowed, subject to the consent of the student, to attend the viva voce as an observer. Participation in the discussion, however, is not permitted. The supervisor is required to withdraw prior to the deliberation of the Examination Board on the outcome of the viva voce. When the student is invited to return, to hear the outcome of the viva, the supervisor is also required to return. The supervisor can, at this point, seek clarification about the specific amendments required.

 General Assessment Criteria for the DBA

Each module in the programme has specific learning outcomes. There are however some general criteria that will be applied following factors will be used for guidance:

  • An effectively organised and directed response to the question posed.
  • An appropriate range of relevant material applied to the work environment.
  • The ability to evaluate critically all arguments.
  • The ability to justify in a coherent manner points identified, and conclusions reached.
  • An acceptable standard of literacy.
  • Adherence to any specified word length.
  • Compliance with instructions.

 

Generic Grading Scale

 

 

Mark RangeGradeClassificationDescription
70% and aboveADistinctionAn outstanding piece of work incorporating and integrating both original and secondary sources with a high standard of presentation. The work addresses the brief as set in full. A creative response demonstrating a thorough understanding, analysis and judgment of the central issues. There is extensive coverage balanced with careful selection and organisation of material. There is substantial evidence of relevant wider reading, which is accurately referenced following the Harvard Referencing Style.
60% – 69%BMeritA good response to the assignment, well-structured and presented incorporating relevant information. The work addresses the brief as set in full. In-depth understanding of salient issues and evidence of wide reading, which is accurately referenced following the Harvard Referencing Style. Extensive analytical coverage with confident and balanced selection and organisation of material. May however lack synergy in places with some important ideas not being fully explored.
50% – 59%CPassAn acceptable answer that covers the majority of the key issues but may not be sufficiently complete to develop a full understanding of the situation. The brief has been addressed, although some area might not be as fully developed as others. Consideration of the academic underpinning and practical application of material may be limited, perhaps providing only partial consideration of the issues. The analysis is generally adequate but may be overly descriptive in places, lacking critical analysis and displaying limited evidence of the application of wider reading. Material is referenced in an adequate fashion, although some of the detail might be incorrect.
< 50%DFailWork contains errors, omissions or poorly expressed ideas; in some cases these omissions may be fundamental. The assessment brief is not addressed to a material extent, either as a whole or in significant dimensions. Lacks an adequate theoretical and conceptual base thereby failing to identify the key issues and possibly demonstrating a basic misunderstanding of the brief. The structure is not always clear possibly due to the student’s own lack of understanding. There is no clear line of argument, with passages not being adequately linked and explained. There is little or no evidence of wider reading. Sources used are inappropriate or are poorly referenced.

Final Award Grades, Graded Point Average and Final Award Classifications

 Requirements for the Final Award for the DBA

Unless exempted or APL, in order to be awarded the Doctor of Business Administration degree, the student must successfully complete all the specified criteria for the 5 taught modules and the Thesis totalling 120 ECTS on the Mixed Mode or for the Research Mode – the completion of all three stages and the achievement of 120 ECTS for the Thesis.

Grades and Final Award Classifications

The Table below sets out the classification bands will apply to the DBA.

Marks Module Grade Classification
70-100 Distinction
60-69 Merit
50-59 Pass
49-0 Fail

 

DBA Degree Classfications

 

Degree Classification Final Grade Classification
Distinction 70% or above
Merit 60% – 69%
Pass 50% – 59%
Fail 49% or below

 

Modules

Students are expected to take ownership of their learning and development and be a more independent learner and develop the ability to search and peruse relevant information and knowledge through non electronic and electronic sources

Online Learning, case analysis and self-directed learning resources will be available to support the delivery and attainment of the intended learning outcomes.

The programme will, therefore, “progress significantly beyond the delivery of subject knowledge” and will incorporate knowledge and learning, discourse and informed dialogue, and self-development. It should be noted that the focus will be on facilitating learning rather than teaching and, in this respect, the strategy is designed to facilitate the “deep learning” attributed to a more active participation and self-exploration and discovery of knowledge by students.

 

Managing Strategy

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Apply the appropriate models, techniques and theories to produce an environmental audit of the external and internal environment for an organisation.

  2. Examine critically various business models and types of strategies.

  3. Critically analyse and evaluate the alternative strategic directions an organisation may consider employing and propose the most appropriate strategic option for execution.

  4. Apply the full strategic management process to facilitate strategic planning and management.

  5. Formulate and justify the recommendation of a new and revised corporate strategies to ensure competitive advantage and business sustainability.

Indicative Contents

  • The Concept of Strategy and how it benefits the organization vision, mission and objectives.
  • Transformation of the External Strategic Environment and the Consequences and the Influence of the Internal Environment on Current Practice.
  • Key Strategic Techniques for Analysis.
  • Types of strategies.
  • Types of Business models.
  • Strategic Development namely Acquisitions and Mergers, Joint ventures and Alliances, and Divestment.
  • Strategy Formulation.
  • Strategy Implementation.
  • Strategic Performance Analysis.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Coursework

Managing Human Resource

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding that to engage successfully in processes of human resource management, their thinking needs to go beyond such dualisms as thinking and acting, structure and culture, strategy and implementation, and see each of these as different facets of unified processes in human and organisational life;
  2. Analyse and evaluate the choices presented in approaches to human resource management practices and how these relate to the overall strategic way an organisation handles its changing environment and the range of stakeholders with which it deals; and
  3. Critically appraise current managerial practices to inform the way they can contribute to the strategic direction of human resourcing and develop appropriate and relevant solutions to employment management issues in their organisations.

Indicative Contents

  • Historical work today and workers’ psychological contract.
  • Essence of organisational strategy, human capital strategy.
  • Human Resource Management (HRM) roles in structures, culture and policy as well as strategic Human Resource (HR) partnership and alliance.
  • The Workplace Relations.
  • New Roles and Challenges for HRM.
  • Human Resource Trends and Organisation Culture.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Coursework

Marketing Management

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Undertake a situation analysis such that it is possible to develop a concise understanding of the marketing environment;

  2. Use situation analysis findings to formulate a marketing strategy that will fit the company and its environment; and

  3. Formulate a marketing plan that provides for the implementation and control of chosen strategies.

     

Indicative Contents

  • Introduction to Marketing Management.
  • The Environment Influence and its Management.
  • Marketing Strategies.
  • Product Planning & Screening.
  • Promotion Strategy.
  • Advertising Strategies.
  • Global Marketing.
  • Pricing Policies & Strategies.
  • Marketing Analysis and Formulating a Marketing Plan.
  • Implementation, Evaluation & Control.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Coursework

Corporate Finance

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Evaluate and consider the optimal mix of debt and equity financing.

  2. Develop the tools needed for valuing investment projects, including the determination of the relevant cash flows and the appropriate discount rate.

  3. Formulate appropriate Risk management provision in financial decision making.

Indicative Contents

  • Financing and Capital Structure.
  • Capital Structure: Informational and Dynamic.
  • Considerations.
  • Valuation of Free Cash Flows.
  • Valuation models: WACC and APV.
  • Valuing a company.
  • Risk Management.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Coursework

Managing Project

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Develop and define project scope;
  2. Apply project management knowledge in a practical setting; and
  3. Use project planning and management techniques from Project conceptualising to Project closure.

Indicative Contents

  • The nature of projects.
  • Scoping and initiation.
  • Risk Management.
  • Time and activity planning.
  • Links to motivation, team management and other theories.
  • Project selection.
  • Managing the project lifecycle.
  • Project documentation.
  • Project closure

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Coursework

Thesis (Mixed Mode)

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate and make recommendations for organisational development relating to a theme/issue impacting the participant’s organisation.
  2. Design, develop, apply and evaluate practically sound business research skills and techniques, taking into consideration appropriate ethical, commercial confidentiality and data protection issues.
  3. Critically evaluate the theme/issue impacting on business organisation or business module drawing upon and developing concepts, models and theories to demonstrate innovative thinking and informed and justifiable and feasible solutions.
  4. Undertake an original applied research of a sufficiently complex nature which will contribute to the extension of new body of knowledge in the research topic.
  5. Present findings through written presentations appropriate to both management and academic audiences.

Indicative Contents

  • Choosing a topic.
  • Identifying the Problem Statement.
  • Analysing the literature and writing a critical literature review.
  • Developing theoretical frameworks.
  • Formulating the Research design and methodology.
  • Collecting research data.
  • Analysing, Interpreting and present findings.
  • Drawing conclusions and advocating workable recommendations.
  • Writing the Thesis in accordance to prescribed style and format.

Teaching and learning strategy

Student must undertake the Business Research Methodology session either online or face to face before undertaking the Thesis unless APL has been granted.

Thesis Supervisor will be assigned to each student to guide the student to undertake the Thesis.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 100% Final Thesis.

Thesis of approximately 20,000 to 30,000 words.

Thesis (Research Mode)

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate and make recommendations for organisational development relating to a theme/issue impacting the participant’s organisation.
  2. Design, develop, apply and evaluate practically sound business research skills and techniques, taking into consideration appropriate ethical, commercial confidentiality and data protection issues.
  3. Critically evaluate the theme/issue impacting on business organisation or business module drawing upon and developing concepts, models and theories to demonstrate innovative thinking and informed and justifiable and feasible solutions.
  4. Undertake an original applied research of a sufficiently complex nature which will contribute to the extension of new body of knowledge in the research topic.
  5. Present findings through written presentations appropriate to both management and academic audiences.

Indicative Contents

  • Choosing a topic.
  • Identifying the Problem Statement.
    Analysing the literature and writing a critical literature review.
  • Developing theoretical frameworks.
  • Formulating the Research design and methodology.
  • Collecting research data.
  • Analysing, Interpreting and present findings.
  • Drawing conclusions and advocating workable recommendations.
  • Writing the Thesis in accordance to prescribed style and format.

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Student will undertake the Business Research Methodology session either online or face to face before undertaking the Thesis (unless APL has been granted).

Thesis Supervisor will be assigned to each student to guide the student to undertake the Thesis.

Assessment

Assessment Weighting: 25% Thesis Proposal and 75% Final Thesis.

Thesis of approximately 40,000 to 45,000 words.

 

Entry Requirements

 

 

An applicant may be admitted on the basis of evidence to suggest that he/she will be able to fulfil and benefit from the objectives of the programme and achieve the standard required for the award. Criteria used in considering admissions to the programme include, candidates’ language proficiency, working experience, academic and professional qualifications.

  • A Master’s degree in any field; or
  • Other qualifications recognised by Brittany Université as equivalent to a Master’s degree;

AND

    • Demonstrate English language proficiency in order to participate in the programme taught in English.
      Proficiency of English shall include either a recognised English proficiency testing score of IELTS overall band of 6.0 or equivalent. Those having undertaken either an undergraduate, postgraduate or professional qualification taught and assessed in English will also be accepted as having met the English proficiency.

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