Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)
Swiss School of Management Barcelona
Blended, Distance learning, On-Campus
Earliest start date
A Highly Competitive European DBA for Independent and Critical Thinkers!
Swiss School of Management´s highly competitive DBA program is designed to be challenging, rigorous and stimulating and to increase managerial, leadership and academic competencies. The program develops students’ independent and critical thinking skills, which enables them to master a specific field within business. Students hone their research and analytical skills by completing an original, expert-level research project. Students may enroll throughout the academic year.
Upon completion, students earn a DBA degree from Swiss School of Management which is internationally accredited by IACBE, and certified by EduQua.
Validating and Accrediting Partners
The institution and programs of the Swiss School of Management are accredited by prestigious educational bodies. These endorse the quality of our business education, accrediting the academic excellence and rigor of our programs and teaching methods. The Swiss School of Management has successfully fulfilled the high-quality criteria of the following accreditation bodies:
The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) is the leading outcome-based accrediting organization for business, management and accounting programs in student-centered colleges, universities and other higher education institutions throughout the world.
The Swiss School of Management has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas, USA.
Accreditation Certificate 2020
Public Disclosure of Student Achievement Report 2020-21
Outcomes Assessment Results 2020-21
The Swiss School of Management is certified by eduQua, the first Swiss quality label geared toward adult continuing education. eduQua is made up of over 1000 schools, institutions and academies in all of Switzerland. eduQua is a certification body recognized and supported by the Swiss Confederate Government. It is the first quality certification for public and private educational institutions in Switzerland.
The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) endorses eduQua as an officially recognized quality assurance scheme. EDK highly recommends the institution of higher education certified by eduQua. In more and more cantons, the certification is a requirement for public funding. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) also endorses EduQua.
Swiss School of Management is listed in the CHEA Database as programmatically accredited by IACBE which is a national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is a U.S. association of degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. CHEA is the only national organization focused exclusively on higher education accreditation and quality assurance.
Swiss School of Management is recognized by CHEA-Council for Higher Education Accreditation. (At present CHEA has not updated SSM’s status granting also Bachelor and Doctoral Degrees.)
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a United States organization of degree-granting colleges and universities. It identifies its purpose as providing national advocacy for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation in order to certify the quality of higher education accrediting organizations, including regional, faith-based, private, career, and programmatic accrediting organizations.
The organization has approximately 3,000 academic institutions as members and currently recognizes approximately 60 accrediting organizations.
CHEA is based in Washington, DC. CHEA is a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies (INQAAHE).
Swiss School of Management's highly competitive DBA program is designed to be challenging, rigorous, and stimulating and to increase managerial, leadership, and academic competencies. The program develops students’ independent and critical thinking skills, which enables them to master a specific field within business. Students hone their research and analytical skills by completing an original, expert-level research project. Students may enroll throughout the academic year.
- Formulate research topics in clear terms
- Formulate research objectives and questions, hypotheses, and propositions
- Carry out a critical review of literature relevant to the topic at hand
- Essential skills in reviewing literature: search for recent and relevant articles in (electronic) libraries and on the Internet; use tools to structure the review; know-how to use systematic referencing; summarize the review concisely
- Understand the key methodologies used in modern research. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Creatively combine various approaches to generate relevant data
- Have a good knowledge of the various methods of data collection
- Be familiar with statistical concepts like sampling, and hypothesis testing. Have an understanding of the main statistical (descriptive and inferential) techniques used to analyze data
- The know-how to structure the report, and the main requirements of a high-quality professional or academic report
- Be familiar with ethical considerations in research, including the concept of plagiarism
- Ability to design a survey (sample; questionnaire)
- Understand basic descriptive statistics
- Understand the concepts used in inferential statistics
- Understand which statistical tests and techniques can be used in a variety of settings
- Ability to perform, interpret and report statistical tests
- Familiarize the participants with the fundamentals of qualitative research
- Understand the pros and cons of qualitative research as compared to quantitative research
- Have a sound understanding of the various methods and techniques in qualitative research
- Ability to use the various methods and techniques of qualitative research
- Obtain the various skills needed for carrying out qualitative research: formulating and asking questions; listening; summarizing; analyzing qualitative data; write-up
Swiss School of Management's highly competitive DBA program is designed to be challenging, rigorous, and stimulating and to increase managerial, leadership and academic competencies. The program develops students’ independent and critical thinking skills, which enables them to master a specific field within business. Students hone their research and analytical skills by completing an original, expert-level research project. Students may enroll throughout the academic year.
DBA Studies are one of the most challenging and highly rewarding levels in Higher Education. The Swiss School of Management has developed outstanding Doctorate Programs. These programs have unique features, which add significant value to Graduates beyond the rewarding Doctorate Degree.
Multiple academic collaborations contribute to the exceptional program quality, starting with the involvement of highly renowned and recognized academics as Directors of Studies. Our Doctoral candidates are supported on a personalized basis by both Swiss School of Management Professors and visiting Professors from a wide variety of international universities.
The knowledge and expertise of these experienced academics from all over the world influence the structure and content of our Doctoral Programs, from which candidates can select the option that accommodates their necessity.
The Swiss School of Management, an internationally recognized institution, awards the prestigious Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree to candidates who complete the program. Our commitment to delivering high-quality education to our students guarantees a program with numerous advantages. As a result, our DBA candidates develop outstanding skills, enabling them to excel in various industries, administration, and academia. We take pride in our graduates’ success, and the value of the education they receive is evident in their achievements. At the Swiss School of Management Barcelona, we strive to impress and express the exceptional standards of our program, providing our graduates with the opportunity to advance their careers and achieve their professional goals.
The Swiss School of Management Barcelona offers a Doctor of Business Administration program (DBA) based on blended and online learning principles. The program is highly structured and internationally accredited by IACBE. Due to the blended learning aspects, there are no admissions deadlines. Individuals can start, pause, and finish whenever they want.
Each DBA candidate receives a lot of support from a dedicated supervisor and a mentor, access to digital libraries, as well as live and digital events. Joining the DBA program at the Swiss School of Management Barcelona gets you access to our International Expert Group.
The following are some of the reasons to start your DBA with the Swiss School of Management Barcelona today!
Universities around the globe have extended doctoral studies to these professional doctorates for many good reasons. The industries are very interested in such graduates and this is demonstrated by the results of their job applications, as DBA Degree skills and capabilities go beyond any Master’s graduate. At the same time, these doctoral graduates are practice-oriented. Consequently, they are the first-choice candidates for top-management positions. Without a doubt, doctoral programs continue to remain relevant in the business sector.
The Doctor of Business Administration addresses research in business, economy, and management. The thesis can be oriented by the student’s personal interest and based on their personal work environment. At the end of these studies, students are awarded the title of “Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).”
Before the Degree conferment, the DBA thesis has to be written and defended by Viva Voce. The thesis argument is about applied sciences. It consists of 50,000 words, which fulfills the criteria of independent research on a superior level and consequently demonstrates the internationally acknowledged standards of doctoral studies. The type and style of this research are source-oriented on applied sciences, in which a solid theoretical understanding must be evident.
The variety of topics is extensive and candidates can make their own choice upon approval of the Academic Board. The only request is that the selected research relates to management, business, and/or economy. No less than theoretically and empirically consistent research is expected of each doctoral candidate. An individual Director of Studies will support each student during the development and writing of the thesis. Students will find personal support, but they are expected to work individually, according to the individual nature of such high-level studies. Therefore, strict limitations on the extent and length of such support are applied.
General Study Information
The DBA at the Swiss School of Management Barcelona is a 2-year course. Extension years are often the exception, not the rule. The program has three phases: Coursework, Research lab, and Doctoral thesis. During those phases, students are guided and coached by their mentor and supervisor.
Duration of Program
The DBA program has a duration of 4 semesters and requires the acquisition of 120 ECTS credit units.
Start of Study
Enrollments are generally accepted throughout the year. Intakes will be announced on the website or via email. Individual academic achievements, such as the portfolio of expertise, intensive courses, and tutor coaching services, can be taken at any time.
The program of studies is aligned to international standards of Higher Education and fulfills the criteria of the process of Harmonization of Higher Education in Europe. It consists of 5 taught Research Method modules, which are delivered in two blocks. The Doctoral Thesis demonstrating independent empirical research is evidence of the candidate’s ability and capability to undertake applied, defensible, empirical research on the highest level of academic studies.
Mode of Delivery & Study
The DBA program is based on a practice-oriented and part-time study model. On-site study, web-based learning, blended learning, and distance learning are all combined with work-based study, which is supported by methodical coaching or supervised by faculty and teaching staff.
Each module is assessed through one assignment, which consists of an essay addressing all the Intended Learning Outcomes of the module. Students are requested to write a critical review of the existing and actual literature taken from peer-reviewed research publications.
Dissertation and Viva Voce Defense
DBA candidates are requested to submit a doctoral dissertation fulfilling the criteria of independent research following acknowledged standards of empirical research. The dissertation paper should consist of no less than 50,000 words. The DBA candidates will defend their dissertation paper through a summarizing presentation.
Research is the process of asking the right and relevant questions and gathering and analyzing the necessary data systematically and methodologically. Professional and academic research are vital necessities for modern management to forge ahead. An important aspect of sound professional and academic research is to embed the research within the body of existing knowledge (applied research) and to add to it (generating new knowledge).
This module will guide you through the research process, from the formulation of the topic to critically detecting and reviewing relevant literature, designing the research project and choosing appropriate methodologies, collecting and analyzing the data, and writing the report. This workshop will offer a helicopter view of the approaches that researchers use to answer research questions, especially for those who are new to research. The other workshops will zoom in on specific parts of the research process and on specific methodologies that can be employed.
- Formulate research topics in clear terms.
- Formulate research objectives and questions, hypotheses, and propositions.
- Carry out a critical review of literature relevant to the topic at hand.
- Essential skills in reviewing literature: search for recent and relevant articles in (electronic) libraries and on the Internet; use tools to structure the review; know-how to use systematic referencing; summarize the review concisely.
- Understand the key methodologies used in modern research. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Creatively combine various approaches to generate relevant data.
- Have a good knowledge of the various methods of data collection.
- Be familiar with statistical concepts like sampling, and hypothesis testing. Have an understanding of the main statistical (descriptive and inferential) techniques used to analyze data.
- The know-how to structure the report, and the main requirements of a high-quality professional or academic report.
- Be familiar with ethical considerations in research, including the concept of plagiarism.
The assessment is based on a single assignment, consisting of two parts. Part one requires you to evaluate sections of a sample research proposal written by another individual. In part two, you will draft your own research project based on the following objectives:
- Clearly defined topic,
- Formulation of research objectives and questions,
- Identification and summary of at least five articles relevant to the study,
- Design your research (in terms of approach, methodology, and strategy, and explain why your chosen design is effective in meeting the research objectives.
Research heavily relies on numerical data, making numbers a crucial component in the field. However, statistical analysis can be challenging due to the mathematical skills it demands. Often, people are intimidated by the subject as they assume it requires advanced mathematical knowledge. In reality, all you need to master are the basic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This module was intuitively programmed to make statistical concepts easy to understand, using relatable examples from daily life. It covers both basic and advanced statistics without overwhelming students with complex topics. By introducing descriptive and inferential statistics, the workshop aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, all while keeping the examples simple and easy to follow. While advanced statistics are not covered, this workshop serves as a foundation for further studies in the future.
In the process, this workshop will zoom in on important topics in survey design: sampling techniques; validity and reliability; and data cleaning.
- Ability to design a survey (sample; questionnaire),
- Understand basic descriptive statistics,
- Understand the concepts used in inferential statistics,
- Understand which statistical tests and techniques can be used in a variety of settings,
- Ability to perform, interpret and report statistical tests.
Students will be assessed through one assignment.
The assignment will challenge the candidate to draft an analysis plan for his/her study, based on a draft of the data collection instrument used in the research.
This workshop is designed to help qualitative researchers with all aspects of their qualitative research project from the beginning to the end. It discusses the key philosophies underpinning qualitative research and design – with a focus on research in management – and assesses the key advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches.
We will zoom in on aspects of research design for qualitative studies. The core part of the workshop elaborates on qualitative research methods that have been touched upon in the workshop on research methods: action research; case study research; ethnographic research; grounded theory; interviews; participant observation; and document analysis. All techniques will be examined to discuss the various approaches of that technique, along with strengths and weaknesses, using examples.
In a separate block, the workshop will discuss the analysis of qualitative data, which is fundamentally different from analyzing quantitative data. After an overview of the various methods and techniques that can be used when analyzing qualitative data – including the use of dedicated software – the principles of hermeneutics, semiotics, and narrative analysis will be taught and trained.
In a concluding block, the workshop will address issues of write-up and publication, with a focus on the differences between writing up non-qualitative studies.
- Familiarize the participants with the fundamentals of qualitative research,
- Understand the pros and cons of qualitative research as compared to quantitative research,
- Have a sound understanding of the various methods and techniques in qualitative research,
- Ability to use the various methods and techniques of qualitative research,
- Obtain the various skills needed for carrying out qualitative research: formulating and asking questions; listening; summarizing; analyzing qualitative data; write-up.
This course will not discuss software dedicated to the analysis of qualitative research. The use of Nvivo is the topic of an elective course.
The assignment will be based on the application of various methods and techniques of qualitative research to one’s own research (even if the study will be mainly quantitative).
The module will introduce you to essential tools for doing research at the doctoral level. The toolbox offers a rich set of tools. The focus will be on STATA. The STATA package is one of the main packages used by researchers doing serious research. A fully operational permanent license for the latest version of STATA is included in the study fees.
Candidates are requested to submit and defend a doctoral thesis.
The topic of the thesis has to be one of the following broad fields of research:
- Strategic Management
- Functional Areas of Business
- Human Resource Management
- Production and Operations Management
- Logistics Management
- Business Environment
- Public Policies
- Specific Sectors of the Economy
Program Tuition Fee
Scholarships and Funding
While we are a private institution, at the Swiss School of Management Barcelona we believe that education is the key to a successful future. We offer scholarships and information about a host of other financial aid options to support students who are committed to their personal and professional development.
The Swiss School of Management Scholarships are a way of recognizing the academic, professional, and personal achievements of our students. We award up to 15% scholarships for our BBA, MBA, and DBA programs for students who have demonstrated:
- Academic Excellence
- Good Citizenship
- Outstanding Ability in Sports
- Leadership in Business
Scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the school's management team on a case-by-case basis based on demonstrated merit. Please contact our Admissions team for more.
Forcibly Displaced Student Discount
Swiss School of Management Barcelona recognizes the plight of students who are forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, persecution, disasters, and the adverse effects of climate change. We offer forcibly displaced students (with official status recognized by government bodies / accredited non-governmental institutions) an opportunity of continuing their education and obtain a 15% discount on the tuition fees of our BBA, MBA and DBA programs.
Company Tax Deductions
If your education is being funded by a company in Europe, they will be able to claim tax deductions from your school fees in their annual tax declaration.