Research training

Year 1: Building the foundations of your research

Core modules include:

Social research methods
An overview of social science research processes and commonly used research methods is provided. Topics include problem formulation, research and questionnaire design, interviewing and observational methods. Students are expected to make a presentation during the workshops and to carry out fieldwork tasks.

This module covers the major aspects of descriptive and inferential statistics and their application in research. The blended learning study and practical workshop sessions provide a solid base for further work.

Epistemology (philosophical issues in management)
These seminars examine epistemological problems in management research and their roots in philosophies of the natural and social sciences. Assumptions of dominant schools are discussed in conjunction with the problems posed by the contemporary philosophy of science. Management science is seen as a social science in the broadest sense, involving questions of values and objectivity.

Elective modules include:

  • Qualitative methods
  • Survey design
  • Case study methodology
  • Mixed methods
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Structural Equation Modelling
  • Action research
  • Elite interviewing

*Please note these are subject to change

Residential blocks

During the first two years you will complete four separate one-week block residential workshops on-campus at Alliance Manchester Business School. These are considered a unique aspect of the programme and are distinguished by the following features:

  • Delivered by Alliance MBS faculty
  • Students and faculty meet face-to-face to put theory into practice
  • Address management issues through exchange of ideas
  • Invaluable opportunity to network with fellow business professionals from around the world
  • Enrich the learning experience
  • Enables group cooperation, presentations and interactions

Year 2: Developing your DBA thesis project

During year two, you will be continuing to take your electives and also start working on your DBA thesis research projects.

Projects include:

The literature project
Students are required to choose and define a topic within their area of interest. They must then locate key papers and texts which illustrate the latest research in this area and prepare a review of literature report containing a summary and critique of the literature identified within it. Assessment is based on the written report and a presentation. Students are also required to identify the practical managerial pointers in the academic literature.

The pilot-project
On completion of the Literature Project students conduct a piece of empirical research in their area of interest. This may be carried out individually or in collaboration with companies or public sector organisations. The pilot-project is often used to test the feasibility of their thesis ideas.

Research proposal
Formal registration as a DBA research stage student depends upon the successful completion of a satisfactory research proposal. Your research proposal, prepared in consultation with a supervisor, will include:

  • A description of the problem
  • Review of relevant literature
  • The conceptual framework for research
  • Research methods

Year 3 - 5: Research stage

Writing your thesis
The research stage will take approximately two to three years to complete. Having developed your research proposal in consultation with your supervisor, you are ready to begin work on your research. Finally you will defend your thesis at the 'viva' to justify your assumptions, data and outcomes. Your research may be suitable for publication, as journal
articles or books.