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A boardroom of students in a lecture

Business Administration

Professional doctorate by research

Course outline
  • Qualification
    Doctor of Business Administration
  • Duration
    3 years full-time
  • Credit
  • Location
    Curtin Perth
Course outline



Our Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been designed to develop highly skilled, critical thinking and practical managers who can also read, carry out and apply the results of a research initiative. The DBA will enable you to concentrate on the practical situation as well as the sensitive aspects which are inescapable in the conduct of business.

As a doctoral research degree candidate, you will uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas. Your research will use an in-depth understanding of theories and concepts to develop practical solutions for real-world problems.

A higher degree by research differs from other postgraduate degrees in that at least two-thirds of the study program must involve research. Although some coursework units may be required, the main part of your work will be in the form of a thesis written under the guidance of a supervisor and associate supervisor(s). Your thesis must, in the opinion of the examiners, be a substantial original contribution to the knowledge or understanding of any field through the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas. It must also demonstrate your capacity to conceive, design and complete independent research.

Throughout your studies, the Curtin Business School will provide you with access to facilities and resources to support your research, and financial assistance to attend appropriate local and international conferences.

Why research at Curtin

Curtin is widely recognised for applied research firmly focused on solving real-world problems. Underpinning our research endeavours are strong partnerships with industry, business and government, which result in outcomes that greatly benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally. Our international reputation for being a strong partner in industry-driven research ensures our graduates enjoy outstanding opportunities to become innovators in their fields.

What you'll learn

  • apply discipline specific theories, concepts, models, frameworks and/ or principles to address contemporary business and/ or industry problems
  • critique contemporary business professional practices in the light of relevant theories, concepts, models, frameworks and/ or principles
  • identify and apply research methodologies to help solve contemporary business and/ or industry problems.
  • select appropriate technologies and recognise their advantages and limitations in undertaking research, data collection and analysis
  • apply appropriate research methodologies to help solve contemporary business and/ or industry problems
  • design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge related to professional practice
  • demonstrate the capacity to have superior oral and written communications skills relevant to both business, industry and a range of stakeholder audiences
  • demonstrate the capacity to be a leader in the application of discipline knowledge
  • identify, analyse and evaluate environmental influences on business to help manage change and/ or recommend decisions that demonstrate social inclusivity and responsible ethical judgements

Admission criteria

What you need in order to get into this course. There are different pathway options depending on your level of work and education experience.

Five years' professional business or management experience plus a 70 per cent course-weighted average from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or equivalent master degree.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will be required to complete the Graduate Certificate in Business Research which comprises four doctoral level units. The completion of the Graduate Certificate in Business Research with a 75 per cent course-weighted average may enable articulation into this degree.

For visa requirements, international applicants will be allowed direct entry but will be required to maintain a 70 per cent course-weighted average in the first semester to continue the course.

Before applying you should obtain authorisation from an appropriate research supervisor. You will need to submit a written statement and references with your application and attend an interview.

Applicants are required to demonstrate a capacity to carry out independent research and have adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed research course. Generally, this may be a master degree or bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours. See the Section 3.2.1 of the HDR admission policy for detailed information.

English requirements

Curtin requires all applicants to demonstrate proficiency in English. Specific English requirements for this course are outlined in the IELTS table below.

You may demonstrate English proficiency using the following tests and qualifications.

IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)









Overall band score


Credit for recognised learning (CRL)

Use your experience to get credit towards your degree

Finish your course sooner with credit for your previous study or work experience.

Fees and charges

Fee information is not available for this course at this time. Find estimated course fees.

Looking for more detail on the course structure?

View course structure


For start dates, please view the academic calendar.

All endeavours are made to ensure location information for courses is up to date but please note they are subject to change.

The University reserves the right to withdraw any unit of study or program which it offers, to impose limitations on enrolment in any unit or program, and/or to vary arrangements for any program.

How to apply

Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice

Please note that each campus has different application deadlines. Please view our application deadlines page for further information.

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  • Curtin course code: DR-BUSADM
  • CRICOS code: 023971C
  • Last updated on: 29 September 2023