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Doctor of Business Administration

2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a research-based management program that has been developed in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), at AQF Level 10.

The DBA is particularly designed to enable high-achieving business managers, business owners and senior public servants (who typically possess a Master’s degree), to develop their research skills and an innovative project by way of a research thesis.

The program provides solid training in business research methods to support the candidate's research. All aspects of the qualification can be related to the candidate’s own workplace or industry. This provides opportunities for candidates to uncover new information or insights within their profession, to become an expert in their industry and make a significant contribution to their profession and the business sector.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the DBA may work in a variety of high-level managerial and research positions in private and public sector organisations.

Major areas of study

The course includes postgraduate coursework studies, notably in critical literature review, introduction to research methods, qualitative and quantitative methods and developing a research proposal; along with thesis research units relevant to the DBA.

Assessment methods

The coursework assignments incorporate progressive assessment. Candidates are assessed in each unit on the basis of written and oral assignments. These may be literature reviews, reports, presentations, case studies, research studies and/or plans. Full details of assignments are contained in the Unit Information Guide for each unit.

The candidate will undertake the Doctoral thesis over two blocks of eight thesis units. Once enrolled in the first thesis unit, the candidate will serve a confirmation period no longer than six months full-time equivalent. The confirmation of candidature includes a literature review with a detailed exposé of the research issues, as well as a proposed methodology. The research project will be conducted in full over the 16 thesis units. Upon completion of the final thesis unit, the candidate is expected to submit the research thesis for examination by two independent and internationally recognised experts in the relevant field of research.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience face-to-face contact with supervisors and other Doctoral candidates. Some units offer online activities, classes, pre-recorded and/or live lectures. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The distance education study option is interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

In both on-campus and distance education modes, a strong professional relationship between candidates and their supervisors will be fostered.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents


Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Doctor of Business Administration a candidate shall successfully complete not less than the equivalent of twenty four (24) units (288 credit points) comprising:
    1. four (4) units from Part A; and
    2. four (4) units from Part B; and
    3. all units in Part C and all units in Part D.
  2. A candidate, who, while enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration, has completed four (4) units from Part A and four (4) units from Part B, may elect to be awarded the Graduate Diploma of Business Research following withdrawal from candidature for the Doctor of Business Administration award.
  3. A candidate, who, while enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration, has completed four (4) units from Part A, four (4) units from Part B and all units from Part C, may elect to be awarded the Master of Business Research following withdrawal from candidature for the Doctor of Business Administration award.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Applications for the Doctor of Business Administration can be made by completing the Doctor of Busniess Administration Application Form [PDF].

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'