Doctor of Business Administration

The market-relevant MANCOSA DBA programme is designed for candidates looking to make a significant professional contribution to the business landscape. Learn and thrive in a dynamic global (knowledge) marketplace that is shaped by geopolitical disruptions, big data analytics, e-commerce, mobile technology and much more.

3 - 5 years
NQF Level 10
360 credits

Key Features

  • Accredited and Registered
  • Cutting-edge curriculum
  • Flexible structure
  • Online support 
  • Affordable and Accessible
  • Internationally benchmarked
  • Multicultural Faculty and support


The MANCOSA Doctor of Business Administration is contextualised within the rubric of a world that continues to be severely interrupted by two major processes, namely, globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution. These processes have introduced new dynamics into the global economy and have fundamentally changed how business is visualised, conducted, and studied. The impact of globalisation on business operations has been pervasive, requiring a fundamental review of existing business approaches. It is now imperative that strategic planning at all levels of business, integrate knowledge that is both local and global. Simultaneously, the impact of the fourth industrial revolution has hastened the adoption of key technologies.

The new revolution is transforming businesses and sparking a new wave of wealth creation, particularly in emerging economies of the world, such as in Africa. Since economic growth and technology are inextricably linked, current economic conditions are fostering investment in technology as emerging African economies ramp up their demand for technology to fuel growth. Captains of industry must be keenly aware of these new challenges.

The Africa Rising narrative offers extraordinary potential for companies that understand the needs of emerging economies and their relatively untapped markets. Within this perspective, Africa will require a new generation of leaders and managers. Most importantly, the new generation of leaders and managers must possess the skills and experience to compete globally and think locally in their attempt to respond to the myriad challenges and opportunities that globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution offer.

The DBA, which is the pinnacle of management education, is a qualification that holds great significance. As a full thesis doctoral degree, it stresses practical approaches informed by theoretical understandings. It allows students to learn and thrive in a dynamic global (knowledge) marketplace that is shaped by geo-political disruptions, big data analytics, e-commerce, mobile technology, and much more.

The MANCOSA DBA is designed for candidates who, having already completed a Master’s degree programme, are looking to further develop their practical and theoretical knowledge of the principles that govern private and public sector organisations, through research. The strength of the DBA South Africa programme is centred on MANCOSA’s mission to have an impact on the student’s professional knowledge base and skills and to conduct rigorous research that is directly relevant to one’s organisation, industry, or country.


The MANCOSA DBA programme will develop high-level research capability in candidates to make a significant and original academic or professional contribution at the frontiers of business, management, and related fields. Emphasis is placed on supported, self-directed, and rigorous scientific inquiry. Candidates will be encouraged to give attention to the convergence of international and local knowledge that is sourced from credible repositories to achieve African excellence and global relevance in their doctoral studies.

A MANCOSA DBA graduate will be able to:

  • Integrate and contextualise comprehensive and systematic knowledge of a topic or specialisation in business, management, or related fields, with depth, and up-to-date benchmarked knowledge
  • Think epistemologically and translate theory into practice via an informed and critical understanding of theories and research methodologies in business, management, and related fields; and demonstrate an understanding of how these relate to research problems in their specific arena of employment
  • Undertake a research project in the area of business and management; and select and apply appropriate research methods and analysis effectively
  • Deal with complex problems using the intellectual, research and technological resources and tools provided by management and business disciplines or professions and thereby possibly contributing innovative and unique elements to the greater body of scientific knowledge
  • Effectively retrieve and process information, and engage critically with current research and scholarship in an area of specialisation
  • Present and communicate academic or professional knowledge and research outcomes effectively, using the full resources of an academic or professional discourse appropriately

DBA Programme Structure

Duration: 3 years

The MANCOSA DBA programme is underpinned by exceptional support with individual and group supervision. A two-phase registration process ensures that candidates are appropriately selected and adequately prepared for the demands of the programme.

Phase One: Pre-registration

Part A – Doctoral Research Proposal Development Programme

Phase Two: Registration

Parts B, C and D Doctoral Research Development Programme

Phase One: DBA Pre-registration (Duration – 6 months)

Upon enrolment onto the pre-registration phase of the MANCOSA DBA, a candidate will be assigned to a supervisor. The candidate will be required to work under the guidance of the allocated supervisor in developing a research proposal. In addition, the candidate will be required to attend weekend support workshops during the preregistration phase. A candidate will be required to present and defend their research proposal at a MANCOSA Colloquium, after 6 months. Successful defence and approval of a candidate’s research proposal is required as an eligibility criterion to register for the MANCOSA DBA programme.

Phase Two: DBA Registration (Duration – 36 months)

A candidate whose research proposal has been successfully defended and approved, will be eligible to enrol onto the MANCOSA DBA and continue with Part B (executing the research plan), Part C (analysing research data) and Part D (research writing and thesis construction). Each Part (B, C and D) is 6 months in duration. During each Part (6 months), the candidate will be expected to attend weekend support workshops. Individual supervision will continue beyond Parts B, C and D, until a student has successfully completed
the programme.

Admission Requirements

Minimum admission requirements for Pre-Registration (Phase One) of the MANCOSA DBA programme:

  • Have an MBA or appropriate Master’s degree with an overall minimum average of 55%; and with 55% in the coursework and 55% in the research component; or
  • Have an appropriate research Master’s degree with a minimum 55% pass to facilitate the selection process, applicants must additionally
  • Provide a statement of intent in the form of a concept note on the proposed study in which the candidate motivates for his/her admission into the doctoral programme and outlines a preliminary research proposal;
  • Provide three professional/academic letters of recommendation which attest to the candidate’s academic ability to undertake doctoral studies and benefit from a DBA programme;
  • Provide a copy of their Masters’ thesis and any relevant publications or other recognised academic work (electronic);
  • Possess a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience; and
  • Be prepared to participate in an interview

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MANCOSA serves as an innovation hub for executive education, undergraduate and postgraduate management programmes to meet the requirements of professionals in both the private and public sectors.