Executive DBA

The Executive Doctor of Business Administration is a two-year research-based program for high level executives and professionals who wish to evaluate and use their unique managerial and professional experience and background to further develop their knowledge through practical research in the field of business administration.

The main difference between the Executive DBA and DBA programs is the first year of studies. The DBA has a series of courses during the first year, and the students must pass the Grand Final Exam at the end of the first year to be able to start their thesis. The Executive DBA has only one course, Research and Methodology in additional to seminars and workshops in different fields of business administration.

An Executive DBA places emphasis on the novel application of theory to practice, rather than the creation and testing of theory. It is a professional doctorate in the same genre as the MD that is also a professional doctorate. Both are focused on practice.

Sabi University’s Executive Doctor of Business Administration (Executive DBA) emphasizes relevant, workplace-based research that produces actionable knowledge, that is pertinent to the executive’s field of expertise and practice rather than narrowly defined theoretical research.

The Sabi University’s Executive DBA program is designed for high ranking executives looking to advance their management skills, knowledge and career.




The Executive Doctor of Business Administration program takes an innovative approach, fostering learning through unique engagement and action. Executives expand their actionable knowledge through a research course that provides pre-recorded lectures, flipped interactive classroom discussions, case studies, assignments, seminars, additional reading materials and through active research using appropriate quantitative or qualitative methods.

The curriculum of the Executive DBA program consists of research methodology and application of this methodology in research that enables the executive to produce a dissertation that results in a meaningful contribution to existing practice.

Alongside the core module research course module, students write a Doctoral Development Plan (DDP) reflecting on their development as doctoral practitioners and researchers. The DDP helps students use their professional knowledge and critical thinking skills to create a framework for their unique research.

Students complete their qualification with an original thesis based on a critical research undertaken in their organization or others. Unlike a traditional academic thesis for Ph.D. research, this thesis is designed to produce new, actionable knowledge for immediate use in practice.

The Executive Doctor of Business Administration is designed with the understanding that most executives will change positions and organizations throughout their career. By building on critical reflection, critical thinking, and doctoral-level research skills, students graduate with knowledge and expertise, which they can apply to a variety of organizational and managerial settings.

The program provides students with the following competencies:

  • Doctoral level reflection, awareness and understanding of multiple aspects of business, management, and leadership
  • The ability to create and integrate new theories, techniques, and information in professional practice
  • An in-depth knowledge of research design, research methodology, and research management
  • The ability to succinctly present scholarly research to both academic and non-academic audiences
  • Thought leadership for improved organizational practice
  • These competencies are achieved through successful completion of the course components described below.

The SABI University’s Executive Doctor of Business Administration program is comprised of 120 ECTS/60 USCCS credit hours. The program requires 128 weeks to complete.



This Course presents an overview of research that will enable students to conduct valid and independent research, produce and interpret data and make recommendations for effective organisational change by advancing reasoned and logical arguments concretely justified by research findings. The student prepares a research prospectus which will form part of the foundation of the dissertation. Both the dissertation template and the rubrics are included as part of the course.


The Doctoral Development Plan builds on the prospectus developed in the research methods course. The DDP deliverable is the first chapter of the dissertation, which is the architecture of the entire dissertation and, therefore, should be about 15 to 20 pages. The DDP’s deliverables will include a review of the template and the rubrics for each chapter of the dissertation.


As part of the DDP the learner will develop a plan that will be used to complete it including developing the literature review (Chapter 2), the methodology including data collection and analyses (Chapter 3), the reporting of the findings (Cha[pter 4), and the conclusions and implications for further study (chapter 5).


Sabi University’s Executive DBA candidates must meet the following requirements to apply for the Executive DBA program:


  • Substantive Executive experience. Substantive is defined as experience that has had significant influence on the applicants organization. Executive is defined as Senior, director or C-suite level.
  • Master degree (may be waived in instances of outstanding professional accomplishment)
  • Proficiency in the English language*
    • IELTS Score: 6.5
    • TOEFL Score: 85
    • C1 level according to CEFR
  • Transcripts from previous studies
  • Motivation Letter in English (maximum 150 words)

*Applicants from non-English speaking countries must also provide a language certificate: IELTS score of 6.5 points, TOEFL score of 85 points or take the English language test offered by Sabi University. Students can also participate in Sabi University’s Advanced English program before starting their studies.



Sabi University online doctoral studies is ranked as one of the TOP 10 International Distance Doctoral Program - http://www.online-phd-programs.org/top-international-online-phd-programs/