University of Northampton DBA programme modules:


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Description of modules


Developing Leadership in Business Research

This module will develop skills in the translation of research into practice through the review of research culture, research opportunities, and investigation of issues associated with the leadership and management of research and research teams. Students will examine potential barriers to the development of a research-based work environment in business including those at organizational, strategic, inter- and intrapersonal levels. Students will then explore mechanisms for overcoming such hurdles and develop innovative research leadership strategies appropriate for their own working environments across blended interests of public, private, third or community sectors within a corporate citizenship paradigm.


Principles of Research

This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore the principles of research which underpin investigations in a variety of applied settings. Students will critically examine the various ontological and epistemological approaches to knowledge within their discipline and develop a critical awareness of the ethical dilemmas.


Quantitative Data Analysis

This module aims to develop skills in quantitative data analysis to an advanced level. Students will have the opportunity to develop operational familiarity with a wide range of data management and analytic techniques which are commonly in use in professional research. They will explore how these techniques may be applied in practice by interrogating established research data sets. By the end of the module students will be conversant with a broad range of tools which may be considered for use in the doctoral thesis.


Qualitative Data Analysis

In recent years, the application of qualitative approaches to both research and evaluation within the professional arena has been steadily gathering momentum. Some would argue that such techniques can help bridge the gap between scientific evidence and professional work-based practice by enabling researchers to gather 'richer' descriptive data which provides valuable insights into the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and experiences of a range of stakeholders. By the end of the module, students may be conversant with a broad range of tools and techniques associated with qualitative methodological approaches, and their philosophical underpinnings, which will then be considered for use in the doctoral thesis.


Reflecting on Business Practice

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to acquire appropriate evidence and to critically reflect upon existing practice and their own experiences within a professional context. Students are required to identify an appropriate topic aligned to their professional area and explore the appropriateness of current practice by designing, carrying out and analyzing an appropriate audit or evaluation with a clear reference to the contextual research literature. This may include examination of an issue related to business management or organisational related training or education. Students should reflect on their findings and make evidence-based recommendations for the improvement of practice environments across blended areas of public, private, third and community sectors within a corporate citizenship paradigm.


The Research Proposal

This module aims to draw together the knowledge and skills provided in the preceding modules so that students can define an original work-based research project with clear aims and research philosophical underpinning. Students will be expected to translate this into a research proposal and plan that covers methodology and methods and ethical considerations, and knowledge and skills to an opportunity to explore the principles of research which underpin investigations in a variety of applied settings.


Professional Research Project


The thesis element of a professional doctorate programme provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate high level research skills in a written thesis and defend those at an oral examination.