Doctor of Business Administration

Part-ti­me doc­to­ra­te.

In cooperation with the Edinburgh Business School (EBS), the FHDW offers an application-oriented doctoral program that is geared to the needs of industry and business. The course enables you to use your professional experience to produce an industry-oriented research thesis that will earn you a doctoral degree (“Dr.”) recognized in Germany. The doctoral degree is awarded by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh Business School represents the business-oriented post-graduate school of Heriot-Watt University and is one of the most renowned distance learning schools for Master’s and DBA programs with over 21,000 Master’s graduates from more than 150 countries.

Ser­vices of the FH­DW

  • Support and advice throughout the entire doctoral program
  • Organization of research and doctoral seminars for exchange and scientific discourse Discourse with other doctoral students and professors
  • Preparation for required English qualification
  • Conducting a seminar on “Scientific English”
  • Personality-building seminar on “Leadership and Personality”
  • Joint publications with the supervisors of the FHDW including presentations at international congresses
  • Support in concretizing the final doctoral topic through the seminar “Topic Finding and Coaching”

Adrian Carberry (2nd from left) and Dr. Jesus Canduela from Edinburgh Business School visited the FHDW in Paderborn for the kick-off of the DBA program in December 2019. Together with Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch (FHDW NRW, left) and Prof. Dr. Torsten Spandl (FHDW Hannover, right), they welcomed the eight doctoral students who are starting their doctoral projects in 2020.

Vi­sit to He­ri­ot-Watt Uni­ver­si­ty 2022

Dr. Jesus Canduela (right) and Adrian Carberry (2nd from left) are delighted with the visit from Germany: Karin Carroll-Scott and Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch
Even today, you can still feel the spirit of its namesake James Watt on the extensive campus

First DBA gra­dua­te bids fa­re­well

Con­gra­tu­la­ti­ons to our first doc­tor!

The first participant has successfully completed the FHDW “Doctor of Business Administration” program. Adrian Engel received his doctoral certificate from Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch, Academic Director of the DBA program. In January 2019, Adrian Engel and six other participants started the doctoral program offered by the FHDW in cooperation with Edinburgh Business School. Adrian Engel is a Business Analyst at Diebold Nixdorf in Paderborn and has already completed a Master’s degree at the FHDW while working.

Click here for the INTERVIEW

From left: Prof. Dr. Torsten Spandl (Head of DBA Program FHDW Hannover), Dr. Jesus Canduela and Adrian Carberry from Heriot-Watt University, Dr. Adrian Engel, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch (Head of DBA Program FHDW NRW), Karin Carroll-Scott (Head of International Office FHDW NRW) and FHDW NRW President Prof. Dr. Stefan Nieland



You can choose the part-time doctorate if you have a Master’s, MBA or Diplom degree with a grade of at least “good” in the subject areas of business administration, business management, management, economics, IT management or comparable courses of study. The DBA program is practice-oriented and requires several years of professional and management experience.


Doctor of Business Administration

1st year of study

  • Participation in 3 distance learning courses on the subject of “Doctoral Business Research” (DBR I – DBR III) incl. Preparatory seminar and examination
  • Identification and development of a research proposal with advisory support from FHDW professors
  • Seminar “Topic Finding and Coaching”

2nd & 3rd year of study

  • Working on the doctoral topic with intensive supervision by a supervisor
  • Attendance of the seminars “Scientific English” and “Leadership and Personality”
  • Regular meet-ups between the DBA groups on doctoral topics and the progress of their work, including Feedback from the professors
  • Submission of the doctoral thesis
  • If required, the doctorate can be extended for up to 5 years
  • Review of the work by the committee

Notes on the duration of studies

Ideally, you should submit your doctorate after three years. In order to receive German recognition for the Dr. title, you must provide evidence of at least three years of doctoral studies.




A Master’s, MBA or Diplom degree with a grade of at least “good” in business administration, business management, management, economics, IT management or a comparable course of study.


Pro­fes­sio­nal ex­pe­ri­ence

Several years of relevant professional and management experience.


Pro­of of English

Proven English qualification in the form of IELTS Academic Level 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) and above or Cambridge English Language Test C1.

The certificates must not be older than two years.

Ori­gi­nal sounds

“I chose the DBA program at the FHDW in cooperation with Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh because the overall package was just right. Right from the start, you receive intensive support from the university in Scotland and from the FHDW.”

“Since January 2020, I have been studying on the FHDW’s DBA program in cooperation with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (Edinburgh Business School). The three Doctoral Research Online courses, the seminars at both universities and the accompanying mentoring by experienced researchers provide optimal support for my research project. The part-time study concept and the associated flexibility of the program were and are decisive for me, as I can continue my job as a self-employed management consultant parallel to my doctoral project. The program offers the opportunity for professional exchange, both with the FHDW doctoral students, especially with your own study group, and with the Heriot-Watt doctoral students, which is very supportive and provides a sense of security.”

The part-time concept of the Master’s program at the FHDW inspired me so much that I immediately jumped at the chance to do a Doctor of Business Administration at the FHDW. What I find particularly appealing is the link between scientific research and my practical professional life. This is because the numerous points of contact between the topic of my research project and the work in the company allow for mutual enrichment. The study units on scientific work and various research techniques at the beginning of the DBA program are among the things that convince me of the high quality of this doctoral program. The competent and intensive supervision of my research by qualified supervisors is also an encouraging experience. Last but not least, the exchange with my fellow students is always interesting and motivating. I would choose this path again and again!

Your con­tact per­sons

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch

Academic management

Dajana Deppenmeier


[email protected]

05251 301-173

Dajana Deppenmeier

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