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Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Doctoral Programme

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Course Registration No. 252763

Part Time

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) 

Regardless of what you have already achieved in your business career or your acquisition of a master’s degree, if you are ambitious, looking for new challenges and seeking to stand out in the business world, Aston University’s DBA is a superior option to take you, your career, and your personal development to the next level. With a long recognised history as research-led university, Aston is known for its world-class teaching and established links to both businesses and professionals. 

The Aston DBA offers you a distinctive opportunity to work with world-leading academics on research and continually progress on how to develop effective organisations. This programme allows you to expand your breadth of knowledge and takes you beyond business theories. You will be able to use new knowledge gained from research to transform practices within your organisation(s).

Aston’s DBA is designed for aspiring business leaders and senior executives who:

  • want to be inspired to explore new ideas in the business world and develop their personal niche
  • want to transform their careers and make an impact in the industry or profession
  • want to gain the credibility to become a leading consultant in the business field
  • want to work in the academic world as scholar-practitioners or professors

​​​​​​​What Aston DBA can offer you

  • A widely respected qualification that demonstrates your intelligence and ability to innovate
  • Networking Opportunities with highly experienced fellow DBA participants to exchange ideas and experience
  • A unique research experience with world-leading academics
  • 100% Aston experience delivered in Hong Kong. The programme is taught and supervised by Aston faculty and supervisors who will come all the way to Hong Kong to support you

Build your success with Aston

University Excellence:

  • TOP 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS
  • Ranked TOP 500 in the world (QS World University Rankings 2018 and THE World University Rankings 2018)
  • Ranked 85th in Business & Economics in the world (THE World University Rankings 2018 by subject)
  • TOP 30 university in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2017 and The Complete University Guide 2017)
  • Commended in 2015 for the quality of supervision and support staff (AMBA re-accreditation report, Feb 2015)


Aston University is known for its world-class teaching and established links to both businesses and professionals. Aston’s research has also brought about high impacting worldwide implementation

According to UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014:

  • 100% of Aston’s business research achieved 3* and 4* (out of 4*) high impact
  • 78% of research submitted evaluated as “world-leading” or “internationally recognised”
  • Aston Business School was ranked 17th out of 101 institutions for 3* and 4*
  • Aston ranked top 20 UK University for 3* and 4* rated impact
    4* quality is considered as world-leading in originality, significance and rigour (4* as the highest)

Research Departments - Aston Business School has six specialist research departments working across a wide range of business and management disciplines. Each department forms a vibrant intellectual community of academics and research students with common interests.

  • Accounting
  • Aston Law
  • Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing and Strategy
  • Operations and Information Management
  • Work and Organisational Psychology

Research Centres - Aston’s research centres have been established as a platform to respond to emerging research topics. They foster a sharpened focus on specific areas of enquiry and promote increased visibility and impact for research. These research centres are led by world-leading professors.

Programme Structure

Programme Structure
Year 1

DBA candidates will undertake the taught Research Methods Course (RMC) as the foundation of their development as a professional researcher and this is completed in the 1st year of study.  The RMC modules are assessed through assignments that require candidates to link the concepts from the modules to their own research project. The RMC modules will be taught face-to-face by Aston University faculty at the Kaplan Campus in Hong Kong.

  • RMC 1 Introduction to Business and Management Research
  • RMC 2 Applied Research Methods
  • RMC 3 Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • RMC 4 Professional Development and Research Impact
Year 2 The Qualifying Report is examined by viva voce and has to be successfully completed before the candidate proceeds onto the next stage of the research project (minimum of 8,000 words).
Year 3 - 4 The research project culminates in the submission of a final thesis. The thesis must be successfully defended by viva voce before the degree can be awarded.

Medium of Instruction

  • English

How would your research journey be supported by Aston University & Kaplan? 

  • A primary and an associate supervisor will be appointed to you at the beginning of the programme
  • 4 RMC modules are 100% taught face-to-face by Aston University faculty at the Kaplan Campus in Hong Kong
  • Receive 100% Aston supervisor support when your research journey begins. Meet your assigned supervisor twice a year starting from Year 2 and on-going research support is available through emails or video conferencing
  • A Research Training Support Grant of £1,500 will be allocated to you for the duration of your study. This can be used for activities which will support your research training
  • Aston’s e-library service allows you to access a variety of business databases covering a wide range of relevant topics. You can search for business e-journals as well as research company financial data and industry information


Programme Start Date
July 2018 – intake 1

Entry Requirement
For direct enrolment onto the DBA programme you must have:

  • An MBA, MSc or an MA degree in business or management (or an equivalent professional qualification)
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in a senior role 
  • For those whose first language is not English: either evidence that the master’s degree was taught mainly or entirely in English or a satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS score (see below) or an equivalent English language qualification recognised by Aston University

Additionally, applicants should demonstrate appropriate links to practice to which their proposed research refers. Please direct any queries on eligibility to the Kaplan Higher Education Course Consultant: or Aston DBA Programme Administrator:

English Language Requirement

  • IELTS: An overall minimum score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Speaking and Writing, and a minimum of 6.0 in Listening and Reading
  • TOEFL: Reading 23, Writing 28, Listening 23, Speaking 23

How to apply
To submit an application, we will require the following documents:

  • Online Application form
  • 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 / university of your latest degree 
  • A copy of Hong Kong ID card or your passport

Programme Fee

Application Fee
HK$ 1,000
Registration Fee
(Pay upon successful application & non-refundable)
HK$ 3,000
Total: HK$ 4,000
1st instalment HK$ 88,000
2nd Instalment HK$ 88,000
3rd Instalment HK$ 44,000
4th Instalment HK$ 44,000
5th Instalment HK$ 44,000
6th Instalment HK$ 44,000
7th Instalment HK$ 44,000
8th Instalment HK$ 44,000
Total: HK$ 440,000
Grand Total: HK$ 444,000

Candidates who do not comply with the fee schedule will not be permitted to proceed with the programme.

Refund Policy

  • The programme allows for full refund of tuition fee (excluding application fee and registration fee) if withdrawal notice is received in writing by Kaplan Higher Education (HK) Limited 2 weeks prior to the start of each of term. There will be no refund of tuition fee if withdrawal notice is received thereafter.
  • All fees paid, less the application fee, will be refunded if the course is withdrawn or not offered.  

  • On premature cessation of the course, all fees and charges that have been collected in respect of any part of the course not conducted on or after the date of the cessation will be refunded within one (1) month of the premature cessation.

  • In case of hardship and deferral (students are required to complete the course within the maximum length of 72 months) cases, the University will consider the refund arrangement on an individual and case-by-case basis.

It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.


Aston University
Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to business and the professions. Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years. Aston is committed to high quality teaching and academic excellence, ensuring the university provides the highest standard of education to students. Aston has an excellent reputation for research which shapes and improves lives. Aston is proud of the quality of the research and the real world applications developed as a result – it makes a substantial and beneficial difference to people, organisations and society.

Aston Business School
Aston Business School is renowned for the quality of its teaching, the impact of its research and its supportive environment. Aston has a talented and ambitious faculty with a strong research reputation and a broad academic publication record. In addition to success in the research grant competition, Aston’s faculty work with and support businesses and the community in many ways.

  • 100% of Aston’s business research achieved 3* and 4* high impact
  • Ranked 11th in the UK out of 154 business schools, Aston ranked 11th in the Eduniversal 2016 Business School Ranking

Click here for more details about Aston University

Kaplan knows what is best for your DBA study

Ever since Kaplan Higher Education offered our first PhD programme in 1994, first DBA programme in 1997 and first EdD programme in 2011 in Hong Kong with the partner universities, we have overseen the research journey of over hundreds of doctoral candidates and graduates. With all these years of experience running doctoral programmes in Hong Kong, we are acutely aware of the challenges you will face and the support you will need in order to overcome the obstacles of your research journey.

Kaplan Higher Education has all the know-how ensuring you can remain focused on your DBA study and research.