Doctor of Business Administration





DBA is a 'professional doctorate' with a focus on business practice with the deep understanding of related theoretical underpinnings. DBA program and its candidates pivot on making a seminal contribution to their chosen profession and industry. It is designed to enhance executive and professional practice through the application of sound theory and rigorous research into real and complex issues in business and management. It enhances the capability to develop knowledge and theory, and their application. The key features of this program therefore are to develop personal, consultancy and research skills in the context of rigorous and relevant research field

Aim of the Programme

The DBA is a considerably more structured approach and its aim is to achieve theoretical and practical outcomes through an incremental approach for developing advanced management competencies and research skills.

Objectives of the Programme
  • To contribute to both theory and practice in relation to business and management.
  • To develop professional practice and to contribute to professional knowledge of management.
  • To create new knowledge through original/ applied research of a quality that makes a significant contribution to development of the business field and satisfy peer review and merit publication.
  • To demonstrate critical reading and analytical skills by critically analyzing, synthesizing and    evaluating data, making judgments and identifying solutions to problems.
  • To demonstrate a systematic acquisition and understanding of substantial amount of knowledge in the professional practice
  • To conceptualize, design and implement new projects to generate new knowledge and applications
  • To respond efficiently and effectively to the changing developmental needs of the market
  • To make judgments on complex issues in the field of business even in the absence of complete data and communicate ideas and conclusions effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • To identify, conceptualize and provide creative insights to complex issues and problems and demonstrate self-direction and confidence in solving problems
  • to exercise high level of autonomy and initiative in professional, administrative and managerial activities
  • To demonstrate leadership and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • To exercise personal judgment and responsibility in complex and unpredictable situations in professional and/or managerial environments.

Teaching Methods and Evaluation Criteria

In the phase 1 (First Year) of the DBA programme candidates should follow four compulsory course units and one elective course unit. Prominent lecturers in the field are expected to deploy for the teaching process. In addition to class room lectures, the following methods will be used in the teaching and learning process to enhance the quality of the programme.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Presentations
  • Interactive contacts and discussions
  • Action learning projects
  • Case studies

A Doctoral Committee (DC) which comprises of members of Board of Study (BOS) of the faculty will be set up to evaluate students’ progression. The committee will evaluate the students’ research proposals, make recommendations and evaluate students’ progress. At the end of the first year, students are required to present their research proposal (proposal defence).. In the dissertation write up stage students are required to work with two supervisors. To maintain satisfactory academic progress students will be advised to meet each of supervisors at least fortnightly. Six month progress report must be submitted to the Doctoral Committee (DC) of the Board of Study of the Faculty. Each student should publish at least one paper with supervisors. Two examiners will be appointed to evaluate the thesis. After evaluating the thesis an oral (viva voce) examination will be held to defend the thesis. 

The currently implemented Learning Management System (LMS) of the university will be introduced to the DBA students too to interact with supervisors, teachers and fellow students.  University has a digital library which has 70,000 academic journals with popular data bases (eg. EBSCO)  and an e-repository. Students can access these databases from the university and their homes as well.

Evaluation Procedure

  • Performance of the phase 1 will be monitored based on continuous assessments and end semester examination. 
  • Candidates should follow the five compulsory courses and one of the elective courses and are required to pass all (the pass mark for a subject is 50).
  • The proposal will be evaluated by the Doctoral Committee (DC) by arranging a date for the oral presentation. 
  • To maintain satisfactory academic progress a progress review meetings will be held with supervisors in every 6 months.  Progress reports must be submitted to the Doctoral Committee (DC) for its evaluations.
  • Two examiners will be appointed to evaluate the thesis. One examiner from the internal (University of Kelaniya) and the other examiner from the external with appropriate professional and academic qualifications.
  • After evaluating the thesis it would be subjected to an oral (viva voce) examination. Candidate must pass the oral examination by defending his/her thesis to obtain the DBA degree.
  • Candidates should publish at least one research article in refereed journals before submitting the thesis.
  • Outcome of the Examination 


Programme Type: Onsite


Help desk Contact 

Tel:  +94112903521

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Programme Coordinator

Prof. Kaushalya Yatigammana

Faculty of Commerce & Management Studies,

University of Kelaniya,

Sri Lanka.

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Contact us

Faculty of Graduate Studies

University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya 11600,

Sri Lanka

+94 (0112) 903 952

+94 (0112) 903 953

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