K M Enayet Hossain
10 February, 2021

1.7 min read


DBA and PhD in Management course – similarities & dissimilarities

Find out the similarities and dissimilarities between DBA and PhD Business Management courses.

The qualification levels or award levels of both DBA and PhD are equal in status, standing and challenge - upon satisfactory completion of both degrees, graduates can use the title ‘Dr’ before their names.

Though both are similar type qualifications, there are few differences between these courses. Besides, candidates for PhD in Management course are different from the candidates for DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) course. Hence, it is imperative that prospective students know the differences and choose the right course to study.


Qualification recognition

PhD in Management is an established academic doctorate degree and widely known traditional qualification.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is a relatively new professional doctorate degree and recognised as modern qualification.


Course objectives

PhD in Management is a theory-oriented academic qualification that focuses on research with an aim to enhance established knowledge or create new knowledge.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is a practice-oriented professional qualification that focuses on application of theory with an aim to enhance applications of a new business practice or solution.


Course aim

PhD in Management course addresses a gap in existing research which is significant to the scholarly peer community.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) addresses practical workplace problems to find solution which is significant to scholarly and professional stakeholders.


Course structure

A PhD in Management is a research-based doctoral programme with usually little or no involvement of taught modules.


A DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is a professional doctorate that involves both taught modules and research.


Potential Candidates

PhD in Management course is for candidates who plan to become professors at business schools with goal to become an academic and do research.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) course is for candidates who are already in business management profession but looking for new intellectual challenges with goal to find solution for specific workplace problem and advance their career further.


Data access and collection

PhD in Management generally would need to build up their database from the scratch through one or more ways including online survey, postal questionnaire, field interview, visiting libraries, archives, reading journals and accessing publicly available data. This could be sometimes difficult, time consuming and accuracy could be compromised.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) students should have the advantages of having access to their own workplace and collecting accurate and unique data from familiar environment. This saves DBA students’ time and they are likely to get better outcomes.


Career prospects

PhD in Management graduates normally join as fulltime professors at business schools, do research, publish articles in academic journals, and write books.

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) graduates usually continue their prior management position at existing workplace and look to grab higher roles. They have more options and flexibility in developing careers as analyst, consultants and senior level management & leadership positions in private, government and non-profit sectors. They can also choose career in administration or faculty in the education sector. DBA graduates may also opt to start career as entrepreneur or business owner.


For further insights, please read our blog 'Why study a DBA course in the UK'. 


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