• Languages
  • Location
    Paris, Online
  • Qualifications
    Doctorate in Business Administration
  • Start date
    September / March

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

Combine managerial experience and academic excellence through our flexible DBA programme, specially designed for working managers.

Combine managerial experience and academic excellence through our flexible DBA programme, specially designed for working managers.

  • Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Experiences
  • Careers
  • Cost of studies
  • Admission
  • Dr. Karim BEN SLIMANE
    DBA Programme Director Dr. Karim BEN SLIMANE
    In an increasingly complex world plagued by polycrises, managers need to develop a capacity for reflection in order to design new organisational models that break with the past and that are adapted to meet current and future challenges.


    What is a DBA

    A DBA is a research-based study programme, intended exclusively for managers. Management research activities consist of producing original knowledge about the behaviour of individuals, groups, and companies as they interact with other forces in their environment. The knowledge produced is assessed against two criteria: precision and pertinence. Precision measures the objective nature and transferability of the knowledge produced for other contexts. It requires the use of sophisticated and transparent analysis methods. The second criterion, that of pertinence, refers to the practical nature of knowledge and its ability to transform the reality of individuals and companies. The DBA therefore aims to train research managers to produce knowledge that is both extremely accurate but above all highly pertinent.

    What is the difference betweenDBA and a Ph.D

    A PhD, or doctorate, is a doctoral-level programme with an exclusively academic focus, whereas the DBA has a managerial focus and is geared towards the realities of the business world. The PhD prepares researchers for the academic world and emphasises the discipline of knowledge, often to the detriment of its relevance to the business world.

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    Why do a DBA at Excelia Business School?

    • Your DBA is awarded by Excelia Business School, which ranks among the world's Top 1% of business schools boasting the coveted triple crown of EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB accreditations
    • You will benefit from Excelia Business School’s talented Faculty of 90 researchers, internationally recognised for their expertise and regular participation in high-level international academic bodies
    • You will have access to a wealth of research documents
    • You will have a high degree of flexibility thanks to a hybrid teaching system that combines online teaching with optional sessions on the Paris campus… the pace of learning is adapted to working managers
  • Programme content 

    DBA Year 1 

    The first year takes the form of lessons, culminating in the awarding of an Advanced Research Certificate in Management Science.

    • Management Research for DBA (15 hours)
    • Research Design (15 hours)
    • Theoretical Perspectives of Strategy and Supply Chain (15 hours)
    • Innovation for Sustainable Growth: Theory, and Practice (15 hours)
    • Leading Change & Organisational Transformations (15 hours)
    • Fundamentals of Financial & Extra-financial Performance (15 hours)
    • Qualitative Research Methods (15 hours)
    • Quantitative Research Methods (15 hours)

    DBA Year 2

    The second year focusses on the writing of your DBA thesis, under the supervision of a Senior Research Professor.

    • Submitting of Research Proposal + Selection of Research Supervisor
    • Thesis Development (supervised)
    • Quarterly Workshops: Obligatory Research Progress Presentations (30 hours)

    DBA Year 3

    The third year also focusses on the writing of your DBA thesis, under the supervision of a Senior Research Professor. At the end of this final year, you will defend your DBA thesis, which will lead to the awarding of a Doctorate in Business Administration.

    The thesis assessment panel is made up of members from within Excelia Business School as well as from the wider Excelia community.

    • Thesis Development (supervised)
    • Quarterly Workshops: Obligatory Research Progress Presentations (30 hours)
    • DBA Thesis Defence - Viva



    All you need to know about languages, assessment, lessons and teachers 

    • Languages:

      • The DBA is taught in English only
    • Assessment:

      • DBA Thesis Defence
        You will defend your thesis work with a VIVA, which is an oral presentation in front of an assessment panel made up of teachers from within Excelia Business School and industry professional lecturers from the wider Excelia community.
    • Lessons:

      • You will primarily follow the programme in synchronous online mode, which guarantees interaction with your teachers and the other members of your year group. However, 20% of lessons are delivered in hybrid mode: either online or face-to-face on our Paris campus. The quarterly workshops in Years 2 and 3 are offered in hybrid mode: either online or face-to-face on our Paris campus.
    • Teachers:

      • The DBA teaching Faculty comprises international academics who are recognised for their considerable expertise in the fields of management research. Our research-active Faculty actively work within Excelia Lab to offer innovative teaching methods. 

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  • What are the benefits of Excelia Business School’s DBA?

    • Supervision throughout your thesis development
    • Personal support and guidance
    • Discussion opportunities with teachers about research projects
    • Training workshops on research methods and data analysis software
    • Workshops on how to present research work
    • Themed lectures by internationally renowned researchers
    • Access to an academic reference database of over 100,000 works


  • What professional opportunities does the DBA open up? 

    • The DBA prepares you for a career as an expert consultant and conference lecturer
    • The DBA paves the way for senior responsibilities on company executive boards
    • The DBA prepares you for a career as a Professor of Practice in international business schools


  • Tuition Fees 2024 - 2025

    Total fees for 3 years of study: €29,000

    • Year 1: €14,000  
    • Year 2: €8,000
    • Year 3: €7,000


    As part of the encouragement and support provided by Excelia Business School for doctoral studies, scholarships may be offered to candidates based following criteria :

    Criteria for scholarship grants may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Prior academic performance;
    • Performance of each applicant on tests designed to measure ability and aptitude for educational work; (Scholarship essay and/or GMAT/GRE Scores)
    • Recommendations from employers/instructors of such applicant and any others who have knowledge of the applicant’s capabilities;
    • Additional biographical information regarding an applicant’s career, academic and other relevant experiences, financial need; 
    • The scholarship committee’s conclusions as to the applicant’s motivation, character, ability, or potential.
    • Criteria may also include the applicant’s place of residence, past or proposed course of study or evidence of his or her artistic, scientific, or other special talent. Preference may be given to applicants of a particular sex, race, or ethnic background so long as such preference does not violate public policy.

    All scholarships will be reviewed and granted by a Scholarship Committee. Decisions will be made within two weeks of submission

    • The Scholarship Committee is composed of three Senior School Executives including the DBA Director.

    The following scholarships schemes will be considered: Up to 20% reduction in tuition 

    • Excellence (Merit-based): for applicants with outstanding academic or professional skills  
    • Women in Leadership: to encourage and support gender diversity from the classroom to the boardroom
    • Cultural Diversity: to encourage and support international diversity and inclusion in our cohorts
    • Make an Impact Scholarship: based on the potential to 'make an impact' on the UN Sustainable Development Goals  

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  • For admissions to the DBA programme, you will need to submit:

    • your CV
    • a cover letter
    • your professional project

    Following our review of the above documents, if your application is retained, for the next step of admissions you will be required to attend an interview with the Programme Director.


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