Applying for your Executive DBA

How to apply for the Executive DBA

The Executive DBA takes the selection of its candidates very seriously and goes to great lengths to match a candidate with the right supervisor of their studies.  Candidates will be expected to participate in a formal interview with a potential supervisor and the Programme Director before an offer of a place on the programme is made.

To apply, please complete our online application form by clicking the 'Apply Now' button above. 

In order to complete the application you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Research proposal of approximately 1,200 words

  • Copies of all relevant certificates and transcripts (including those for English Language qualifications where applicable)

  • A full curriculum vitae

  • At least two references, one of which should be from the institution of you latest degree, will also be required

  • Supporting evidence for home fee status (if required).

In order to to be successful, candidates need to demonstrate through their interview and research proposal

  • Critical analysis

  • Intellectual rigour

  • Communication skills

  • Potential to make an innovative contribution

  • Ability to change practice

Candidates should be able demonstrate appropriate links to practice, to which their proposed research refers. The Programme has one entry date per year - October.  To apply for an October start date, please ensure that your application and supporting documents have been submitted online, no later than July.

Contacting a Supervisor

Finding an appropriate supervisor who is an expert in your chosen area of research is essential to success on the Executive DBA and is an important part of the application process.

As part of the application process we recommend that you look into those Academic Groups and individual academic members of staff who specialise in your intended area of research.  This will enable you to determine whether there is a good match between your research interest and ABS. 

The research interests of all members of academic staff can be found via the Academic Groups or by using the “Supervisor Search Engine” (currently under development).   If there is a member of staff whose research interest matches your own, we recommend that you contact them directly with a copy of your research proposal and discuss this further with them.  This will allow you to develop and strengthen your proposal and may lead to the academic offering to supervise your doctoral research.  When approaching an academic remember to articulate your own research interests and show a willingness to further develop your proposal as well as convincing them that your research will be in their area of expertise.  Not all academic members of staff will have vacancies for doctoral researchers and whether you are taken on by the academic for supervision will depend on the quality of your proposal and how closely your proposal fits with their own research interests.

In addition to contacting a prospective supervisor you also need to submit a formal application to the Executive DBA office.  If you are successful in identifying a supervisor through this method it is essential that you indicate this on your application form.  Please be advised that a formal decision on your application can only be made once the application is received and processed by the Executive DBA office.

We look forward to receiving your application.  If you have any queries in the meantime, please email us at dba@aston.ac.uk or call us on 0121 204 3354.


Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research