DBA Recognition in Europe

The Executive DBA programme delivered by Business Science Institute meets the requirements for recognition as a third cycle doctoral degree in Europe as defined by the European authorities.

Recognition of a qualification in Europe depends on the specific design of the successfully completed programme. Holders of a doctoral qualification obtained in compliance with a doctoral-level scientific learning approach and awarded in the EU/EEA, are entitled to use the title DBA without a subject-related addition and without a designation of origin if they are assigned to the third cycle of the Bologna Classification of Degrees (European Higher Education Area – EHEA) according to the legal regulations of the country of origin.

The descriptors used to position a programme in the third cycle (doctoral programmes) of the EHEA are built on the following elements:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Applying knowledge and understanding
  • Making judgments
  • Communications skills
  • Learning skills


Business Science Institute’s Executive DBA programme supports participants in carrying out high-level independent research and culminates in an independent scientific contribution by programme participants.

1. Knowledge and understanding

The programme supports participants in developing a systematic and interdisciplinary understanding of their specialist field of study, and the associated methods of research.

This enables them to critically reflect on their area of practice and thus transfer expert knowledge and new understanding successfully to a range of external audiences.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding

The programme enables graduates to independently conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity, equipping them with the high-level intellectual skills to ultimately provide authoritative analysis and solutions when presented with ‘wicked’ problems in a professional context.

Within the scope of their final thesis, participants will therefore be expected to demonstrate the ability to make an original research contribution that extends the frontier of knowledge and generates new insights.

3. Making judgements

Within the scope of the final year thesis, participants are able to demonstrate their ability to make judgements through the critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.

Graduates of the programme are therefore able to independently process existing information and evidence to transfer new understanding into their area of practice, critically appraising this data to challenge current concepts, thinking or approaches and thus create responsible managerial impact.

4. Communications skills

Graduates will be able to communicate with their peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise.

Communication skills encompass the ability to present complex information to both professional and lay communities using a variety of formats, and enable graduates to respond in a professional manner to ad hoc discussion topics presented to them.

Participants demonstrate this ability in particular through the successful defence of their scholarly work (thesis) before a panel of external subject-related academics.

5. Learning skills

Graduates are expected to be able to promote the technological, societal or cultural progress of a knowledge society within academic and professional contexts. This ability extends in particular to going beyond the mere assimilation of knowledge to communicating the acquired knowledge to others.

The underlying consideration is that only those who are in a position to communicate about their area of expertise in a sufficiently qualified manner, and who have acquired a systematic body of knowledge that continues to progress and is characterized by critical thinking are able to transfer it with sufficient authority.

Additional qualifications for an academic teaching position are not part of the DBA programme, but graduates are seen as qualified to pass on their knowledge – e.g., within the scope of a lecturing activity.