The DBA in British universities: assessment and standards

Geoff Ruggeri-Stevens, Jon Bareham, Tom Bourner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is about the assessment of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degrees that were developed in the UK in the 1990s. The article is based on a content analysis of the 16 DBA programmes in the UK at the end of 1999. It evaluates the assessment methods found against: the assessment of students’ achievement on traditional Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhDs); the guidelines on the assessment of DBA candidates produced by the Association of British Business Schools; and the espoused intended learning outcomes of the DBA programmes themselves. The main conclusion is that there is a tension in the assessment methods employed by DBAs through their relationship with the traditional PhD. The tension is captured in the question: should programme developers follow the assessment methods of the “gold standard” PhD or should they use assessment methods that assess the learning outcomes of the DBA that distinguish it from the traditional PhD?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Assessment
  • Business administration
  • Standards
  • United Kingdom
  • Universities


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