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DBA Programme Overview


The Doctor of Business Administration programme equips senior business practitioners and high-potential individuals with both knowledge as well as the applied and research skills needed to become executive-level organizational leaders, industry innovators, consultants and policy makers. Students ethically address complex and practical business challenges and learn how to transform business practices to create organizational optimization, growth and sustainability.


Ability to plan and conduct research and evaluation studies with a clear purpose to improve educational lives of others and based on findings make recommendations to improve future educational practices. In designing this programme, the prior qualifications and corporate experiences of participants are taken into consideration in order to ensure the programme shall build on their prior knowledge and skills

Entry Requirements

  • A Master’s degree qualification in any subject from a recognised institution; or

  • A professional qualification equivalent to a Master degree; and

  • English language proficiency in order to participate in the programme taught in English

  • Students who hold the SCBM Doctoral Diploma in International Management and Leadership can progress directly to the thesis stage of the programme.

Programme Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Use self-assessment, reflection, evaluation, feedback and developments in theory and
    evidence-based practice to improve their ethical business practice in a variety of contexts

  • Apply a deep understanding of relevant theory and practices to predict outcomes and create
    business solutions in complex environment

  • Communicate key issues effectively and creatively using numerical, graphical, oral and
    written skills

  • Conduct ethical research on business topics, based on critical analysis of academic research
    and professional practice, and communicate findings

  • Demonstrate proficiency in applying a systematic, vigorous research methodologies, design
    and process when undertaking an original research via the thesis requirement as part of the
    fulfilment to gain the doctorate award

Programme Structure

Route 1 - Mixed Mode

Stage 1: Taught Modules 
*Master's degree holders who complete the SCBM Doctoral Diploma in International Management and Leadership are exempted from this stage.

  • Managing Strategy (10 ECT credits)

  • Corporate Finance (10 ECT credits)

  • Managing Human Resource (10 ECT credits)

  • Marketing Management (10 ECT credits)

  • Managing Projects (10 ECT credits)

Stage 2: Thesis

  • Research Methodology

  • 20,000 - 30,000 word Thesis (70 ECT credits)

Stage 3: Oral Defence

Route 2 - Research Mode

There is a more extensive ‘Thesis only’ route as set out below.

Stage 1: Thesis Proposal 

Student must undertake a Research Methodology module prior to commencing their thesis research or be exempted from it should students have already undertaken a similar or equivalent Research Methodology module prior to enrolling on to the programme.

Following the Research Methodology module students have up to three months to submit a Thesis Proposal (4500 - 5000 words) for grading and approval before progressing to Stage 2.

A supervisor will be assigned to a student who, under the guidance of the supervisor, shall continue to work towards completing the Final Thesis. Stage 1 carries 25% of the overall marks and should be completed in 3 months.

Stage 2: Thesis Proposal Approval, Research and Documentation

Stage 2 commences once the Thesis Proposal has been approved and graded and should be completed within 24 months.

Stage 3: Oral Defence

Once the supervisor has vetted the Thesis submitted by the student, the student must contact the Thesis Oral Defense Committee to arrange for the oral defence



Each ECTS credit requires on average 20 notional hours of a learner’s time. This Level 8 Programme accrues 120 ECTS credits spread over 5 taught modules plus a doctoral thesis requiring 2400 notional hours. The programme is normally completed in 27 months but may be completed within a slightly shorter period as an intensive programme.


Notional hours are defined in terms of the amount of time it should take a learner to achieve the learning outcomes.



Students are given a complete set of learning materials to facilitate independent study which can be downloaded from the designated Learning Portal. Face-to-Face classes conducted at a learning centre at 12 hours per module. Learners are encouraged to participate in online discussions with other learners and their tutors for at least 18 hours per module.


The DBA taught modules are assessed through coursework, assignments and/or work based reports.

The Thesis shall be between 20,000 and 30,000 words or between 40,000 and 45,000 depending on the route taken

There is also a mandatory Oral defence

Awarding by: VERN' University, Zagreb Croatia


VERN' University is an international, open, creative, entrepreneurial university from Zagreb, Croatia. For the last 20 years, VERN' University has been a leading private university in Croatia and the region. VERN' is a host to a number of students from around Europe and the globe. As members of United Nations Global Compact initiative, VERN' develops professional, academic and research competencies, as well as innovative, entrepreneurial, and business capabilities with strong focus on our social responsibility The University is easy to find thanks to its attractive location in the center of Zagreb.

VERN' Alumni Club counts more than 5000 members who gained their academic qualification and professional knowledge and skills through it's academic system. Many of VERN's graduated students are today’s successful business experts who operate in the corporate and public sectors, family enterprises and the entrepreneurship community. 

With the the aim of strengthening academic performance and quality in higher education, VERN' University has established cooperation with several academic partners to contribute to the development of the entire society. VERN' University collaborates with Brittany Université, France, to manage and deliver the VERN' University awarded DBA degree

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