- What is the difference between the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) and the Cranfield PhD?
- What is the difference between an MBA and an International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
- How should I position my Research Proposal?
- How can I match my research ideas with School of Management faculty?
- What is the added value of the International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
- What benefits can be demonstrated to the organisation?
- How many international students are there on the programme?
- What is the average age of International Executive Doctorate (DBA) students at Cranfield?
- How heavy is the workload?
- How are International Executive Doctorate (DBA) students assessed?
- Where do students stay during the taught weeks?
- Do you have more than one International Executive Doctorate (DBA) intake per year?
- If you get behind on the programme, can you transfer to another year?
- Is sponsorship available?
- What are the additional costs of taking the International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
- I do not have an MBA. Would you consider my application?
- What is the closing date for applications?
- Can I speak to a current student?
- Is the programme available on a distance learning or on-line basis?
- How many weeks do I have to attend?
- What is the structure of the attendance weeks?
- What should I expect at the Assessment Day?
- What is the English Language requirement?
- I cannot come to Cranfield for an interview, is there an alternative?
- What is involved at the Cranfield DBA viva voce?
- Who is the owner of the research outputs?
What is the difference between the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) and the Cranfield PhD?
The essential difference between the PhD and the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is the content and purpose of the degrees, which are linked to career aspirations. The Cranfield PhD is aimed at professional researchers and is delivered in both part-time and full-time formats to accommodate those entering or transitioning into academic careers.
The International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is directed at researching professionals located anywhere in the world and is delivered in a structured, part-time format to permit doctoral study while maintaining careers. Students make a contribution to knowledge in the context of practice: contribution to practice is a specific requirement of the degree and is emphasised throughout the programme. The International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is also differentiated by it's series of three thematic projects rather than a single, focused field of research.
What is the difference between an MBA and an International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
This is the difference between a master’s-level qualification and a doctoral-level qualification. At master’s level the knowledge needed is already established; the examiners are assessing a students ability to absorb this knowledge. For example on an MBA course the knowledge needed to be covered in finance, marketing and HR is already well-defined, and the students work can be compared in terms of their ability to understand and apply this existing knowledge.
In the case of a doctorate, the student must demonstrate that he or she has created new knowledge. We do not teach management subjects on the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) as our students already hold an MBA (or equivalent) and also have a significant level of managerial experience, meaning they already know a great deal about management.
How should I position my Research Proposal?
The Research Proposal online submission details are clearly explained in Admission Requirements and How to Apply, however, as this is the first piece of written work a potential supervisor will see from you it is important for you to demonstrate you have looked carefully into the issue you wish to explore. This should be achieved by outlining what you have read therefore confirming that you have uncovered an interesting gap in the literature. You then need to clearly highlight how you aim to investigate said gap. This important document is the first stepping-stone to your doctorate and will not only form the foundation at interview but also for your first presentation which will be delivered to your supervisor and fellow cohort colleagues during Week 1.
How can I match my research ideas with School of Management faculty?
Unlike the PhD Programme, where faculty interests drive the research, the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) candidate brings forward their own management issue allowing for a match of interests to be investigated. For more information regarding current research strengths within the School of Management, see Research Opportunities
. Also the Cranfield Knowledge Interchange
provides an easy route to relevant and respected management information resources. Once you have narrowed down your search and found faculty names with whom you would like to discuss your ideas, Programme Manager, Alison Wilkerson can happily arrange conversations with appropriate academics allowing you to better develop your Research Proposal.
What is the added value of the International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
Our International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is a flagship programme and the School supports it with leading faculty contributing to both teaching and supervision. As the issues addressed by Executive Doctorate students are real organisational problems, they tend to be cross-functional, requiring inputs from a number of faculty with differing expertise. A panel structure which is normally three members of faculty is used on the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) rather than a single supervisor, to ensure that candidates are receiving the most relevant support.
Furthermore the structured nature of the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) provides a clear set of milestones, which enable the candidates to evaluate their progress and ensures that they are maximising their potential.
What particularly distinguishes the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is our own well-known strength of a combination of academic rigour with a closeness to practical business issues. Perhaps less well-known is the level of individual attention given to each participant in the programme through a series of structured panels and individual guidance. Taken together, they provide participants with an enviable and possibly unique experience in the world of business education.
The programme also has the added value of a dedicated administrative team headed by a Programme Manager, Alison Wilkerson, who provide support to all Executive Doctorate researchers from initial enquiry through to final viva voce examination. Whenever you need that vital piece of information or advice, they will respond directly by email or telephone.
The strength of support from other students in the Cohort is invaluable. A Cohort Leader from our academic community takes specific interest in the students’ research, in addition to the Course Director, dedicated Programme Manager and administrative team, Supervisor(s) and Research Training Tutors. Excellent support is also available from the Cranfield Libraries, which is essential for international students.
What benefits can be demonstrated to the organisation?
The structure of our International Executive Doctorate (DBA) means your organisation will benefit from your research at all stages throughout the doctorate - the practical bias provides the sponsoring company with valuable, effective insights. The research and outputs from each project feed directly back to the organisation. See How your organisation will benefit.
How many international students are there on the programme?
Currently 66% of our students are international.
What is the average age of International Executive Doctorate (DBA) students at Cranfield?
The average age of our Executive Doctorate student is 46.
How heavy is the workload?
This is an individual matter and fluctuates during the process of the programme, but in general as well as attending the residential taught weeks, students should expect to allocate 15-20 hours per week to their International Executive Doctorate (DBA) projects. As a general rule the heaviest loading is in the first and last twelve months of the study.
How are International Executive Doctorate (DBA) students assessed?
During Year 1, students are required to complete four Assessments, the fourth of which is presented to their supervisory panel. In Years 2-4, three Projects are reviewed by the supervisory panel and finally, also in Year 4, the thesis is internally and externally examined at viva voce. The awards of Doctor of Business Administration depend wholly on the final examination of the submitted thesis and viva voce. All of the prior assessments have to be successfully completed, but do not form part of the final assessment.
Where do students stay during the taught weeks?
During the cohort weeks, Executive Doctorate students benefit from a specially arranged discounted rate at the Cranfield Management Development Centre. Alternative accommodation is also available from Mitchell Hall. For added ease and comfort, both accommodations are directly opposite the School of Management.
Do you have more than one International Executive Doctorate (DBA) intake per year?
No. The International Executive Doctorate (DBA) programme has an annual intake which commences each year at the end of September. Unfortunately there is no opportunity to start the programme at any other time during the year.
If you get behind on the programme, can you transfer to another year?
Yes. In exceptional circumstances students are able to suspend their studies. The flexible structure of the International Executive Doctorate (DBA) allows us to integrate students into an appropriate year so they are all working at the same pace as their cohort colleagues.
Is sponsorship available?
There are currently no sponsorships or funding opportunities available for the International Executive Doctorate (DBA). In the majority of cases, students are sponsored by their own organisations. In exceptional cases, applicants working for non-profit organisations may be granted a discount of fees.
What are the additional costs of taking the International Executive Doctorate (DBA)?
All travel and accommodation costs are met by the student's sponsor. Included in the fees are software, access to library databases, refreshments throughout the day, substantial hot and cold buffet lunches and course dinner during the residential weeks. All students are expected to have an appropriate laptop computer equipped with internet access. Students would expect to spend approximately £300 on textbooks.
I do not have an MBA. Would you consider my application?
Applicants with an equivalent master’s-level qualification with significant management content will be considered. Applicants with alternative qualifications and extensive managerial experience may also be considered, but would be registered for six years.The degree can, however, be completed within the normal four-year period if the candidate keeps pace with the formal structure of the programme.
What is the closing date for applications?
Due to the rigorous application process, which can take up to 6 - 8 weeks to complete, we do welcome early applications. It is recommended that prior to submitting an application form, candidates submit a Research Proposal, in order to investigate a match of interests with our faculty. Should a match be found, academic conversations are set up to discuss the research issue in more depth and to assist in developing the Research Proposal.
Although we try to take as many good applicants as we can, we do have a finite capacity.
Can I speak to a current student?
Yes - contact Alison Wilkerson and she will put you in touch with students who are happy to be contacted by prospective Executive Doctorates. Alternatively, you may email students direct via the Student Biographies page .
Is the programme available on a distance learning or on-line basis?
No - the programme structure requires students to attend Cranfield 4 times a year in Year 1, 3 times a year in Year 2 and twice a year in Years 3 and 4. See Programme Content and Structure. In addition to the cohort weeks, overall success relies on the continuation of communication which as well as face to face meetings can also be achieved through Skype, Adobe Connect and / or WebEx meetings. An online portal is also available for taught materials and as a medium to communicate with cohort colleagues but this is not a replacement for students attending in person the taught sessions.
How many weeks do I have to attend?
The International Executive Doctorate (DBA) is structured into eleven weekly modules over four years, all of which must be attended. Dates for all modules are known well in advance. Attendances are 4 x 5-days per week in Year 1, 3 x 5-days per week in Year 2 and 2 x 5-days per week in Years 3 and 4. Students are encouraged to use the whole week for their Executive Doctorate studies.
What is the structure of the attendance weeks?
For each week timings are 0830hrs Monday to 1700hrs Friday. Year 1 consists of taught sessions. Years 2-4 consists of taught sessions, Supervisory Panel Meetings and Writing Retreats. Attendance is required each week.
What should I expect at the Assessment Day?
Candidates are asked to prepare a 10 minute presentation outlining their business issue. An interview panel of Faculty discuss the issue with the candidate and make an assessment. Additionally, each applicant undertakes the admission tests, comprising: Critical Thinking and Numerical Reasoning tests and a critique of a Journal Article. Details of the tests are sent prior to interview. The overall evaluation is made on the strength/depth of the Research Proposal, our ability to provide appropriate supervision, the candidate's demonstrated aptitude at interview and the test results. The total process takes approximately half a day. Outcomes are advised within seven days.
What is the English Language requirement?
For English Language standards see How to Apply.
I cannot come to Cranfield for an interview, is there an alternative?
Video conferencing facilities are available if there is absolutely no possibility of coming to Cranfield for an interview. The admission tests can also be arranged via the British Council or a local University. However, attendance is much preferred.
What is involved at the Cranfield DBA viva voce?
The DBA viva voce is the final, oral examination when students are required to present their work before a panel of examiners. The panel comprises of an internal and external examiner who are selected as specialists in the student's research area. The student's supervisor attends and the panel is chaired by a member of faculty. The student is awarded the degree of DBA on passing the viva or on completion of any required corrections/revisions to the satisfaction of the examiner(s). Successful candidates are conferred at Cranfield's annual Graduation ceremony in June and may then use the title 'Dr'.
Who is the owner of the research outputs?
The copyright and other intellectual property rights in relation to the thesis and other work prepared and submitted by the student during the course of their studies, is assigned to the University, who will allow unrestricted access once the work has been examined and found to be satisfactory. Publication of the work of students shall be encouraged; permission to publish must be obtained from the Supervisor(s) or Course Director concerned, and shall not be unreasonably withheld.