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Programme Structure

This programme consists of 8 taught subjects (1 compulsory, 2 core and 5 elective subjects), 2 DBA Residentials, and a DBA Thesis.

All taught subjects (3 credits each) are at an advanced level and students are assumed to have prior knowledge of each subject area. The normal duration for the DBA Thesis is 12 months for DBA full-time study option and 18 months for DBA part-time study option. The 2 DBA Residentials are offered when the programme commences and the DBA Thesis phase starts respectively.

The curriculum includes technological contents such as data analytics tools, digital technology and the business world, the impact of technology and AI on leadership, and qualitative and experimental designs in relation to AI and entrepreneurship research.

The compulsory subject provides students with a solid foundation in research skills.

Business Research Analysis and Design (MM602)

Students will learn about the processes of business research – theory and hypothesis development, research methods and design, data collection and analyses. A major aim of the subject is to provide students with the skills required to conduct the DBA Thesis.

The core subjects provide students with an in-depth evaluation of qualitative and quantitative research approaches and methods as well as statistical applications. Students are required to complete any two of the following:

Econometrics Methods (AF6208)

This subject enhances students’ understanding of key concepts underlying quantitative research. Issues to be explored include focusing on the practical use of quantitative research methods, using computer software to estimate the models, interpreting and reporting computer results, and conducting empirical research projects.

Qualitative Research and Experimental Design (MM6011)

The subject provides students with a fundamental philosophy and framework on both qualitative and experimental approaches to research. Practical examples on research design will be elaborated and discussed so that students can enhance their understanding and ability in conducting similar projects on their own.

Statistical Analysis for Management Research (MM604)

This subject enables students to employ statistical analysis techniques. Emphasis is placed on learning business statistics and understanding analytical procedures used in academic papers.

The elective subjects allow students to pursue particular areas of interest. There is generally more emphasis on academic readings to prepare students for the DBA Thesis. Students are required to complete any five of the following:

Advanced Business Strategy (MM631)

A key role of corporate and senior business leaders is that of strategist. Students will explore the strategic management process at both corporate and business levels within the context of both internal and external environments. The organisational competencies needed to attain corporate and strategic objectives and goals will also be examined.

Advanced Financial Management (AF6301)

The focus of this subject is on the relationship between financial issues and the organization’s corporate and strategic objectives and goals. Students will learn how to effectively develop and implement corporate financial policies.

Advanced Topics in Economics for Managers (AF6601)

This subject contributes to the achievement of the PolyU DBA outcomes by broadening, updating, and deepening students’ knowledge of current issues in domestic and global economy where firms operate and enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge in key business strategies such as pricing, advertising and firm productivity issues.

Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting and Corporate Disclosures (AF6106)

This subject exposes students to contemporary issues in financial reporting and corporate disclosures, with particular emphasis on cross-country comparisons of regulatory frameworks, the role of information intermediation, external monitoring by investors, and disclosure regulations.

Current Issues in Organizational Behaviour (MM612)

This subject enhances students' knowledge of organizations at the individual, group and company levels. Emphasis is on integrating theories of behaviour and the practice of management. Critical assessment of recent research in organisational behaviour will facilitate the development of analytical and conceptual competencies required for corporate and senior executives.

Frontier of Leadership Research (MM614)

This subject exposes students to major leadership theories and helps students grasp the “state of science” regarding leadership research. Issues to be explored include cross-cultural differences in effective leadership, participative leadership and empowerment, transformational and charismatic leadership, paternalistic and abusive leadership.

Incentives and Monitoring in Accounting (AF6107)

The subject aims to enhance students’ understanding of accounting/auditing in the context of agency and contracting theory. Issues to be explored include the role of incentives, R&D expenditure, cost of auditing, audit quality, opinion shopping, and other corporate governance mechanisms.

Independent Studies in Business (AF6932 / LGT6932 / MM603)

This subject gives students a chance to work on a specialised area of study with a supervising faculty member. As a result, students acquire an in-depth understanding of the theories and research methods associated with a particular business-related topic of interest.

Independent Studies in Business – International Collaborations Experience (AF6933 / LGT6933 / MM6032)

Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP) at IMD is a 5-day programme on latest management thinking. Students find practical innovative solutions to complex business challenges and 'globalize' their contact files with senior executives from every continent.

LSE Executive Education offers intensive courses taught by the LSE faculty and augmented by practitioners from industry and business.

Services Marketing Management (MM672)

With the emerging dominance of the service industry in Hong Kong, this subject is especially topical. Students evaluate various services marketing forces, such as increasing competition, delivery breakthroughs, and rising customer expectations, which challenge organisations to create and sustain competitive edges.

Strategic Management of Information & Organization in Digital Economy (MM6412)

The subject will deliver practitioners with information technologies (IT) related theories and research at an advanced level. Knowledge gained in this subject will enhance managers' effectiveness in identifying and solving IT related management issues.

Strategic Marketing (MM675)

This subject aims at developing knowledge and analytical skills on new-product markets and related positioning strategies using theoretical and empirical approach. Upon completion of this subject, students will be able to understand and evaluate various competitive forces that interact with firms' strategy-making processes.

Strategic Quality Management (LGT6005)

This subject provides students with an overview on strategic quality management covering quality management systems and dimensions, Six Sigma and Quality Management Tools and Techniques, and Quality Management Standards – ISO: 9000 etc. Upon completion of this subject, students will be qualified to apply for a Registered Six Sigma Champion (RSSC) from the Six Sigma Institute – the highest professional qualification of Six Sigma. They will also have a broad understanding on the business excellence models.

Strategic Supply Chain and Logistics Management (LGT6004)

This subject enhances students' understanding of the key concepts and methodologies in supply chain management. Basic quantitative models and innovative approaches are introduced to build students' ability to analyze complex supply chain processes and relations.

Attendance at the 2 DBA Residentials is compulsory.

DBA Residential 1 (MM691) is a mandatory orientation workshop scheduled for the beginning of the programme in August/September.

DBA Residential 2 (MM692) is a research workshop held normally after students have completed all the required subjects. The main purpose of this workshop is to give students an opportunity to present their thesis proposals and to prepare them for writing the theses.

Students must pass the compulsory subject, 2 core subjects and at least 3 elective subjects before beginning their theses. They integrate and apply what they have learned to critically and rigorously examine topics of interest in the field of business or management. They are challenged to make an important contribution and/or provide innovative insights into the practice of management.

DBA Thesis I (AF6930 / LGT6930 / MM6994)

DBA Thesis II (AF6931 / LGT6931 / MM6995)



  1. Normally, each subject will be offered once during the 2-year or 3-year study. However, subject to factors such as staff availability, student enrolment, programme resources and so on, not all subjects will be offered during the 3-year study. And, registration is subject to the availability of quota.
  2. Programme structure and subject details (e.g. subject description form, offering pattern, class timetable etc.) are subject to review and change from time to time.

Medium of Instruction


Study Timeline

1 Compulsory Subject + 2 Core Subjects (any 2 subjects) +
5 Elective Subjects (any 5 subjects) + 2 DBA Residentials + a DBA Thesis



* Normally, each subject will be offered once during the 2-year or 3-year study. However, subject to factors such as staff availability, student enrolment, programme resources and so on, not all subjects will be offered during the 3-year study. And, registration is subject to the availability of quota.


Messages from Students

I was privileged to pursue my DBA study at PolyU. It was an unforgettable experience. Part of that unforgettable experience was the strong bond I formed with my supervisors, faculty, and other colleagues. Their enthusiastic help and support helped form all of us into a tight circle. My experience of conducting fruitful research has inspired me to become a persistent and determined person. The skills and knowledge that I have acquired have transformed me into a thoughtful and dynamic leader in my own field. There’s no doubt that my DBA journey has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

FUNG Tat Sun, Patrick

MSc Financial Management
Road King Expressway International Holdings Ltd.

The PolyU DBA not only equipped me with the skills to assimilate knowledge and wisdom from academic research, but also provided ample opportunity to connect with an extensive network of outstanding alumni who hold leadership positions in the public and private sectors.

HO King Man, Aaron

Chief Administrative Officer
Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute

The PolyU DBA has widened my academic horizon through in depth learning about highly relevant topics. It’s also enriched my professional and personal life through interactions with peers from a variety of backgrounds.


Thai Tech Group College

Studying for the DBA degree in PolyU was an unforgettable experience. It made me more able to view both my work and the world from a more scientific perspective. I’m very grateful for the excellent programme design, and for the dedication of the very talented teachers.

SUN Kai Austin

MA (Social Study)
Vice President
Chinwhiz Group

The PolyU DBA covers a wide range of topics in-depth, with a focus on research and problem-solving skills. We not only developed opinions through case studies, but also created our own case studies by conducting business research to solve some of the complex challenges faced by modern businesses, and developed new ideas to move a business forward.

TANG Fan, Ivan

BEng, MEng, MSc
Head of Product Engineering
Wyze Labs, Inc.

The PolyU DBA was a challenging, but happy and ultimately unforgettable journey for me. I grew into a new person, as I expected, and met wise professors and delightful classmates who were experts in their own industries.


Senior Investment Director
Kingdee International Software Group Ltd
Vice President
Leomaster Network Co.

The PolyU DBA develops “scholar-leaders”. I enjoyed the learning journey of creating practical knowledge and applying it to cope with the ever-changing business landscape. I was inspired by the outstanding faculty, alumni, and fellow students from all kinds of academic backgrounds and industries. It was so much more than a doctorate programme—it has enriched my life.

YU Kwok Wai, Wayne

Executive Director
Town Ray Holdings Limited
Explore the DBA Programme
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(852) 3400 3234 / (852) 3400 3373

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