DBA Symposium: Building Sustainable DBA Programmes

Thursday 7 May 2020, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University


This event has been cancelled. For further details refer to our COVID-19 policy here.

Please keep an eye on our website, newsletter and social media channels for information about our online and face-to-face events planned for later in the year.

If you have any questions please contact Gail Norcliffe (gail.norcliffe@charteredabs.org).


This year’s DBA symposium will examine the topic of building healthy DBA programmes, both to attract sustainable numbers of students and to meet the developing needs of industry. Looking at a broad range of factors impacting on valuable and successful DBA programmes, participants will learn from a wealth of tested ideas and have the opportunity to explore their own challenges in this important area.

A two-track event developed for DBA faculty and students from around the UK, the 2020 DBA Symposium is being run in collaboration between the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the British Academy of Management. As in previous years, this symposium is designed to include parallel programmes for faculty involved in managing and teaching DBA programmes and for DBA students.

For faculty involved in DBAs/Executive Doctorates: A programme for those involved in managing, teaching and assessing DBA/Executive Doctorates in business and management. The aim is to provide a forum for sharing experiences and good practice in order to build a supportive network within BAM and Chartered ABS. Speakers will include faculty with extensive experience of DBA/Executive Doctorate provision.

DBA faculty delegates at this event will:

  • Examine how a flexible approach can ensure high quality DBA programmes, while also meeting student needs;
  • Learn about the considerations for ensuring that a new DBA programme is sustainable, and how those considerations might be applied to existing programmes;
  • Explore how best to develop long-term strategic relationships to support promotion of the DBA to students and industry;
  • Consider some options for growing a DBA programme through partnerships to improve its sustainability, while protecting its core value;
  • Discuss with other DBA faculty participants strategies for tackling some of the challenges being faced in this area.

For DBA/Executive Doctorate Students:  A parallel programme will be run for DBA students to discuss their doctoral research in a supportive setting. One of the best ways to progress research is to present and receive feedback on research and ideas to date. DBA/Executive Doctorate students are therefore invited to submit a structured summary of their work in no more than 1,000 words by 30 March 2020. Submissions are welcome from students in all stages of their doctorates. Submission guidelines are available here.

All participants will also benefit from the great opportunity provided by this annual event to meet with peers and discuss issues relating to the DBA programme.

DBA/Executive Doctorate students are invited to submit a structured summary of their work in no more than 1,000 words by 30 March 2020.

Submissions are welcome from students in all stages of their doctorates. Each structured submission should include:

  • Title
  • Purpose of the research
  • The practical issue to be addressed
  • A discussion of any literature read to date
  • Research questions
  • Proposed or actual methodology (depending on stage of doctorate)
  • Initial results and analysis (if appropriate)
  • The intended contributions to practice and theory

We aim to include all submissions in the workshop. Therefore, submissions will not be formally reviewed and written feedback will not be given but will be used to structure roundtable sessions during the symposium.

Please head your e-mail ‘DBA Symposium – Student Submission’ and  send submissions to Dr Richard Breese and Samah Issa at DBA-symposium@shu.ac.uk

You can download a PDF copy of these guidelines here.

The following is the provisional programme for Directors, some of which will be in joint session with students. The separate programme for participating DBA candidates will be announced   shortly.


09.20   Registration

09.50   Welcome and introduction  Joint session for Directors and students

Dr Richard Breese and Dr Samah Issa, DBA Course Leaders, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Business School

10.15  Considerations for making a new DBA programme sustainable

Dr Martin Eley, Head of Corporate and Executive Education, Birmingham City Business School; Dr Susan Sisay, DBA Director, Birmingham City Business School

11.00   Break

11.30   Engaging students and ensuring standards – the benefits of a flexible approach in ensuring sustainability

Dr Lina Fadel, Assistant Professor, DBA Team, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University; Adrian Carberry, DBA Operations Manager, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University

12.15  Group discussions for Directors on the challenges of building sustainable DBA programmes and possible solutions

Professor Claire Collins, School Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Henley Business School; Professor Emma Parry, Director of Doctoral Programmes (Leadership and Management), Cranfield School of Management

13.00   Lunch

13:45   Developing opportunities to enhance DBA programme sustainability through international and local partnerships and a tailored student experience

Dr Matthew Tucker, Programme Leader for DBA, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University

14.30   Break

Joint sessions for Directors and students until the close of the symposium

14:45   Session details to be announced 

15:30   Questions and discussion

Dr Richard Breese and Dr Samah Issa, DBA Course Leaders, Sheffield Business School

15:50   Closing remarks

This workshop will be ideal for:

  • DBA directors and other faculty involved in managing, teaching and assessing DBA/Executive Doctorates
  • Students on DBA/Executive Doctorates or similar programmes, who may be at any stage of their doctoral studies

The workshop will take place at:

Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University
38-40 Howard St,
Sheffield City Centre,
S1 1WB

This event offers a discounted rate for DBA students, as well as a 25% group booking discount.

DBA Director Rate: £185
DBA Student Rate: £135

If you have any questions about this workshop please email Gail at gail.norcliffe@charteredabs.org