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Doctor of Business Administration

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The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is designed for business professionals who are looking for a challenge

Resolve critical problems for businesses and industries through the application of research and theory in a practical business environment.

Continue to work while you study, and find solutions to specific business challenges within your own workplace as part of your degree.

Key information about the DBA:

  • Three years full-time or six years part-time
  • Six taught papers + applied thesis
  • Distance taught online with on-campus workshops in Dunedin
  • Master’s degree and 10+ years of work experience at middle to senior management level is required
  • Learn from others by studying in small, interactive classes with personalised supervision
  • Six taught papers and an applied thesis
  • Applications received by 1 May will be considered for intake starting in June/July
  • Applications received by 1 November will be considered for intake starting in January

Doctor of Business Administration programme aims

The aim of the programme is to support students to resolve critical problems for businesses and industries through the application of research and theory in a business environment. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which they are encouraged to use in combination with their own experiences and skills.

The degree is structured to allow candidates to continue working and to focus on specific business problems within their own workplace as part of their degree.

Additional information for New Zealand-based DBA students

Why Otago?

Choosing the right university is a very important decision. Your choice of university may have a significant impact in your life. The University of Otago is New Zealand’s first university, and prides itself on its long tradition of excellence. The University of Otago graduates are highly regarded by employers.

The Otago Business School ranks in the top 1% of Business Schools worldwide with both AACSB and EQUIS accreditation. It has an international reputation for excellence and teaching, and is acknowledged as a centre of excellence in business and economics. Otago Business School is the leading Business School in New Zealand for research.

Key features

  • Includes a core curriculum which explores the integration of theory and practice in contemporary business issues
  • Strong focus on solving problems which have direct relevance for students
  • Small class sizes
  • Interactive online teaching delivery
  • Personalised support from admission to submission of thesis
  • Strong supervision

Entry requirements

  1. Every applicant must either
    1. be a graduate with a bachelor’s honours degree and a postgraduate diploma, or a master’s degree in a business discipline, or
    2. in exceptional cases, have alternative equivalent qualifications acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce)
  2. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their previous academic record (normally with a grade average of at least B+), their graduate experience and academic achievements, their commitment to the field of business, evidence that they are committed to ongoing education, and reports from three referees.
  3. Every applicant will normally have at least ten years of experience as a professional in business and demonstrate evidence of leadership in their field.

Career opportunities

The DBA has been developed to address the needs of industry and employers for graduates with industry experience, problem solving and data analysis skills, and the ability to undertake applied research. Graduates will have a wide range of career opportunities in industries within New Zealand, China or elsewhere internationally. These may include roles in middle and upper management, and as management consultants.

Programme requirements and regulations

Programme requirements and regulations for the DBA

Staff profiles

Student profiles

Alumni profiles


For further information about the DBA please contact:

Dr Sarah Carr
DBA Programme Director
Otago Business School
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Tel +64 3 479 8573

Download the DBA flyer (PDF)

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