Doctorate of Business Administration

Calendar & Phasing

Academic Calendar

The BSL DBA program has four intakes per year: February, May, September and November.


Phase 1 – Admission

At BSL, our admissions team provide comprehensive support in the submission of your application. The primary purpose of which is to provide you with guidance and advice on your personal capacity to embark on your DBA journey.

Aside from the administrative tasks required for acceptance on to the program, the admission process incorporates a letter of intent and a preliminary research topic proposal. This first step will help you define and explain your area of interest and focus for your research.

To address the personal needs of each candidate, BSL offers two tracks to be accepted to the Doctoral Program:

Track 1 – Direct Application
You have a well-defined topic and are ready to submit it for further review. You will work directly with our Admissions team on completing your application.

Track 2 – Faculty Led Workshop
You have not identified a research topic but have an idea of a business problem impacting your industry and feel that you would benefit from more academic support to design your Research Topic. In which case, we offer a faculty lead workshop in which you will have four-one hour meetings over a period of three months with one of our faculty to help you in completing your Research Topic Proposal.

Once you have submitted your completed application and Research Topic, a preliminary review will be rendered and an acceptance decision will be provided to you. A preliminary admission means that your research topic has been accepted and the Doctoral School has initiated the selection of an appropriate faculty supervisor.

Phase 2 – Defining your Research Question

(estimated duration under optimal conditions: 18 months)

Once fully accepted to the program, a DBA consultancy session will be held with the Director 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 your desired research aims and program objectives. Following this consultancy session, a faculty supervisor will be appointed to you.

During Phase 2, in collaboration with your supervisor, you will work on and will be required to submit a literature review along with a first assignment based most-likely on a case study. Both the literature review and the case study should be developed around the foundations of your preliminary research proposal.

During this phase, the match between you and your assigned supervisor is assessed. If the literature review and/or case study lead to a research question demanding an unexpected field of expertise, our program is sufficiently flexible to allow for a new or additional supervisor to be assigned to you.

Phase 3 – Research Proposal

Your literature review and case study will be presented to and subsequently discussed in collaboration with the supervisor and the Doctoral School Executive. This provides a final validation of your research question and allows you to prepare for the next step of your research.

The presentation can be made in person at the BSL campus or, if you are unable to attend in person, via an online platform.

After a validation of your research question, research process and results a DBA thesis action plan will be determined with you to prepare you for Phase 4 which includes the continuation of the writing of your DBA thesis dissertation.

Phase 4 – Writing your Thesis

(estimated duration under optimal conditions: 18 months)

Your DBA dissertation, centered on the research carried out throughout the program, is the primary piece of work that will be assessed for the eventual awarding of the Doctoral degree.

In accordance with your supervisor, a progression plan will be defined to ensure the completion of your thesis dissertation.

During phase 4 of your Doctoral program regular feedback, support and progression monitoring will be provided in order to make sure that you have the appropriate guidance during the writing process, whilst simultaneously ensuring the timely completion of the thesis. Your dissertation will also include a revised literature review.

Phase 5 – Oral Defense

The Viva Voce should take place in person on campus; live video examination may take place in case of force majeure.

The thesis is assessed by a minimum of two appropriately qualified examiners, who hold a doctoral-level research degree.

Phase 6 – Publication and Thesis Binding

Hard bound copies of the DBA Thesis dissertation are handed in by you.

We encourage you to get all or part of your Thesis Dissertation formally published as a book.

During the course of your Doctoral program, you will also have the possibility to publish scientific articles with the support of your supervisor.