The DBA in Higher Education Management programme includes:
- a two-year taught programme phase delivered through a series of residentials
- a thesis phase
Most students complete the programme within six years (taught and thesis phases).
Over two years, you'll study units delivered over four eight-day residentials at our Bath campus.
Calendar of residential modules
- Residential 1: 6 to 13 November 2023
- Residential 2: 10 to 17 June 2024
- Residential 3: 10 to 17 February 2025
- Residential 4: 6 to 13 October 2025
We'll confirm dates at least six months before each residential.
The taught phase consists of four units:
1. Globalisation and higher education strategy
This unit focuses on global trends in higher education and the driving forces behind them. Topics include:
- the internationalisation of institutions
- global and national competition and ranking
- international organisations and their influence on higher education
- international higher education
- international partnerships
2. Higher education policy and management
This unit explores higher education policy and the impact it has for the management of higher education institutions. Topics include:
- public policy and policy analyses
- risk and regulation in higher education policy
- the changing policy landscape
- organisational responses to higher education policy
- case studies of higher education policy changes
This unit is delivered during the second residential.
3. Higher education and organisational change
This unit looks at how higher education institutions function as professional organisations. Topics include:
- how change occurs in higher education institutions
- the interests of internal and external stakeholders
- the university as a specific organisation
- leadership and people management in universities
- branding and marketing in higher education
4. Methods and methodology for higher education research
The aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of methods and methodologies for higher education research. Topics include:
- academic skills, like literature review and referencing
- the types of data used in social research and the methods for collecting that data
- data analysis methods and how to apply these to data sources
- research questions
- research ethics and ethical approval
Assignments and progression
The taught phase is like a structured training programme. You'll be able to explore topics that interest you, and start to get ideas for your thesis.
You'll complete four assignments. The final assignment is a research proposal for your thesis.
We've designed each assignment to give you content-specific skills and other transferable skills. Completing all four assignments will give you the key building blocks you'll need to start your thesis.
To be eligible for the thesis phase you will need to complete and pass all four assignments.
Your DBA thesis must relate to higher education management. You will work with two academic supervisors, who will review your progress every six months.
Typically students complete their thesis in four years. This flexibility allows you to do your thesis alongside work and other commitments.