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Doctorate of Business Administration
Business Transformation & Entrepreneurship

Academic Calendar

The Academic year runs on two semesters per year:

  • The Fall-Winter semester begins early September and ends in mid-February the following year.
  • The Spring-Summer semester begins early March and ends at the end of July the same year.


Phase 1


 The entry requirements check is the starting point of the admission process, the primary purpose of which is to provide candidates with guidance and advice on their personal capacity to embark on the DBA journey.

Aside from the administrative tasks required for acceptance on the course, the admission process incorporates a Letter of Intent and a first Research Proposal document.

Phase 2

Definition of the Research question (estimated duration under optimal conditions: 18 months)

 Once admitted to the program, in order to start the research process, a consultancy session will be held with the management of the Doctoral School, in order to shape the first step of the research process.

This will allow you to contextualize the ways in which BSL will assist you in reaching the aims and outcomes that you wish to achieve via the course.

Following this consultancy session, a thesis supervisor will be appointed to the student.

During Phase 2, in collaboration with his/her supervisor, the candidate elaborates a Literature review along with a first assignment based around the Case study. Both the Literature review and the Case study are founded on the assumptions of the Research Proposal.

During this phase, the match between the assigned supervisor and the student is assessed. If the Literature review and/or Case study lead to a Research question demanding an unexpected field of expertise the flexibility of approach to the study that we provide means that a new or an additional supervisor can be assigned to the student.

Phase 3

Action plan

 The Literature review and the Case study are presented to and subsequently discussed in collaboration with the supervisor and the Executive Committee of the Doctoral School, in order to achieve a final validation of the Research question.

The presentation can be made by the candidate either in person at BSL Lausanne Campus or alternatively via Skype if the candidate cannot attend in person.

After a consolidated validation of the Research question, a DBA thesis action plan will be determined with the Student to prepare the student for Phase 4 and set the first milestones for the proper writing of the DBA Thesis.  

Phase 4 

Writing of the Thesis (estimated duration under optimal conditions: 18 months)

 The DBA dissertation, centered on the research carried out throughout the program, is the primary piece of work that is assessed for the eventual award of the Doctoral degree. The final dissertation is requiered to be of a lenghts of  70 000 to 90 000 words excluding appendices and extensively cover your paper topic. Appendices include elements such as table of contents, abstract, acknowledgements, list of figures, tables, list of symbols and abbreviations, list of publications and papers presented along with other relevant appendices.

In accordance with the supervisor, a progression pace is defined towards the completion of the dissertation, including the submission of the thesis and the deadlines for advancement.

Regular feedback, support and progression monitoring during the thesis phase 4, will be provided in order to make sure that the candidate has the appropriate guidance during the writing process, whilst simultaneously ensuring the timely completion of the thesis. The dissertation will comprise a revised literature review.

Phase 5

Oral Defense

 The assessment of the DBA Thesis includes a face-to-face Viva Voce (oral) examination.

The Viva Voice examination is assessed by a minimum of two appropriately qualified examiners, who hold a doctoral level research degree.

Phase 6


 The DBA dissertation is published on the BSL repository and can be subject to publication in a scientific journal with the help of the school, if the candidate presents an appropriate article, based on the dissertation, to the Executive committee of BSL’s Doctoral School.

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