Business School

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Are you ambitious? Are you working your way up the corporate ladder? Are you in possession of a master’s degree? Would you like to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to design organisational interventions that help deal with real-world challenges? Then why not consider enrolling in Milpark Education’s Doctor of Business Administration degree?

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The DBA degree programme is designed to deliver a high-quality doctoral education culminating with a major research study that effectively blends scholarly accomplishment with the practical application of theory, to develop leadership and other competencies valuable in the workplace and in the communities within which our students and graduates work and lead. 


The purpose of the programme is to enable students to develop in-depth, advanced discipline-specific skills and applied competence in business administration to provide opportunities for continued personal intellectual growth, productive economic activity and for making a rewarding contribution to society.

In addition, the programme aims to empower students to solve complex business-related problems in a focused way and to effectively manage and allocate resources, to communicate effectively, and to contribute to knowledge and socio-economic transformation in a responsible and ethical manner.

Furthermore, the programme endeavours to provide South Africa with highly skilled individuals, particularly from disadvantaged communities, with knowledge and skills in the field of business administration in order to ensure that the leadership base of innovative and knowledge based economic and scholarly activity is strengthened and diversified.

Research focus: In line with the mission of Milpark Business School, the current research focus is to contribute to the body of knowledge in relation to equipping current and future business leaders to pursue ethical and sustainable business practices.


Successful completion of this qualification should enable the student to:

1. Independently design a research project and execute such a project.
2. Apply advanced scientific methods responsibly.
3. Efficiently manage the collection, organisation and analysis of relevant information.
4. Analyse theory and practical problems in order to contribute to the existing body of knowledge related to a specific aspect of business administration.
5. Contribute to the development of new theories, models and/or practices.
6. Conduct further academic research independently in order to contribute to local research output.
7. Author and present technical reports to professional audiences including business and government.


The Milpark DBA consists of two distinct phases, namely (1) Proposal (initial and final) and (2) Candidacy. Each of these phases is described in detail in this document.

Proposal phase

The proposal phase is split into two parts, namely initial proposal (concept) and final proposal with defence.

Applications for the initial proposal will be considered annually at the end of October for the January intake of the following year.

The admission requirements for this qualification are as follows:

  • ID Document
  • Academic transcripts and copies of qualification and certificates
  • Submit a one-page motivation letter stating the rationale for wanting to undertake doctoral studies.
  • Submit a comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Be proficient in English
  • An interview with the Research Manager.

Once the student has been admitted and registered for the initial proposal phase, they will be required to submit their initial proposal. The initial proposal of the intended research needs to be written in academic language and forms a very important part of the application documentation to be submitted. The initial proposal serves to demonstrate research ability at doctoral level, and to evaluate early on whether the intended research is viable and justifies doctoral research. It also serves to determine whether the research concept has been well thought through and whether it demonstrates commitment and suitability to the programme. The initial proposal should not exceed 4 500 words, excluding the reference list, and the prescribed template must be used. This proposal will be assessed and evaluated by the Doctoral Research Committee (DRC), which will decide on whether the student may proceed to the final proposal. The initial proposal phase forms part of the admission process. If a student does not submit the initial proposal on the due date, they will be required to wait until the next intake to submit, which will be their final attempt. All prospective students have only one attempt to apply for the DBA at Milpark Education.

Successful applicants will be eligible for registration onto the final proposal phase. Students now need to work towards preparation and submission of a full research proposal in the prescribed template, culminating in the defence of the final proposal with the Proposal Assessment Panel. A supervisor is allocated to the student to provide guidance in the crafting of the proposal, and defence of the proposal must take place no later than one year after registration. During this phase, students must attend a compulsory Final Proposal workshop.

Candidacy phase

Students who successfully defended their final proposals will be eligible to progress to and register onto the candidacy phase. It is only from this point that a student is registered as a doctoral candidate. Under the guidance of a supervisor, the student will work towards the writing up and submission of a doctoral thesis. The minimum registration period is two years, and the maximum time allowed for completion is four years. During this phase, students will also have to attend at least two colloquia per year where they present their progress to a panel. The candidacy phase culminates in the submission of a thesis which is assessed by three examiners, followed by an oral defence of the thesis (viva voce) before final endorsement.

The module codes are indicated below.

Phase Code
Phase 1:  
DBA Initial Proposal  DBAIPR-10
DBA Final Proposal DBAFPR-10
Phase 2:  
DBA Year One  DBA001-10
DBA Year Two  DBA002-10
DBA Year Three (if applicable)  DBA003-10
DBA Year Four (if applicable)  DBA004-10
DBA Thesis for Examination  DBATEX-10

The minimum admission requirement is an appropriate master’s degree with a mark of 65% or higher for the research component of the qualification.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications

Milpark admits a small number of students onto its programme via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The student must make an initial application to the Doctoral Research Committee (DRC) regarding RPL admission. The DRC will then respond based on what the motivation is and what evidence of prior learning was listed. The DRC will ask for further evidence that may be needed to meet the programme outcomes of the MBA. The submission of a comprehensive portfolio of evidence will be required that demonstrates that the student has met the programme outcomes of the MBA in prior learning. As part of the portfolio, the student will have to demonstrate research experience with outputs like the research output requirements of the MBA. The portfolio will be assessed by an external examiner. If the portfolio is successful, admission will be granted. However, the institution does not award an MBA.

Other certificates

Any applicant who has a certificate other than a South African National Senior Certificate must provide a SAQA Certificate of Equivalence, if they want to enrol for a postgraduate qualification (

Admission and Registration of Initial Proposal:

  • 1 June – 30 September 2024

Initial Proposal Submission:

  • 31 October 2024

STADIO Higher Education offers a unique bridging programme to equip and support master’s students who would like to enrol for a doctorate degree.

The Bridging Programme is aimed at students who have obtained a master’s degree, but who are not regarded as, or who do not feel, ready yet for a doctorate. The Programme is unique in its design, as it combines exemplars drawn from scientific literature, self-exploratory readings on research methodology topics, and applied assignments that should enable students to align the contents of a research proposal from the start (topic/title) to the end (list of references).

Admission opens: 01 October 2023

Admission closes: 31 January 2024

The next course starts in March 2024.


Information Pack