SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Doctor of Business Administration 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
111312  Doctor of Business Administration 
ORIGINATOR
Regent Business School (Pty) Ltd 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Doctoral Degree  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  360  Not Applicable  NQF Level 10  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Registered  EXCO 05168/19  2019-08-19  2022-08-19 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2023-08-19   2026-08-19  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of the qualification is to produce doctoral candidates (scholars and researchers) who will contribute to the body of knowledge in the broad discipline of business management and administration. The qualification is designed to make a contribution to the enhancement of trans-disciplinary practices in management and administration. The qualification offers learners a rigorous, research-focused curriculum that emphasises research addressing the challenges most relevant to managers. In the context of the above the purpose of the qualification is therefore to develop critical and reflective business administrative knowledge management competencies at the forefront in the field of business administration practice through research and scholarly debate at the highest ethical, independent and accountability levels. Learners should be able to demonstrate competency against the following exit level outcomes upon completion of the qualification to:
  • Present through the research process, a thesis as well as scholarly debate, conceptualise business administration theories, and create and integrate critical and reflective new business administrative knowledge, whilst contributing to research initiatives and expertise at the forefront of topical business administration issues.
  • Understand the theoretical underpinnings in the management of complex business administration systems to such an extent that it will enable the development and application of new specialist business administration methods/techniques/processes/systems or technologies in an original, creative, innovative and critically reflexive manner whilst at the same time demonstrating appropriateness and applicability to specialised and complex business administration systemic and sustainable change management requirements.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of research theory and philosophies that would enable the conceptualisation of a solution to a practical business problem, aiming the study at making an original contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of interest and demonstrate knowledge and ability to apply research methodologies and techniques to the discipline concerned as a field of study.
  • Address and manage emerging ethical business administration issues and advance ethical decision-making processes which include monitoring and evaluation of the potential risks of decisions.
  • Make independent judgments of how to manage incomplete and inconsistent data and/or information through an iterative process of analysis, interpretation and synthesis to develop significantly original insights into new, complex and abstract business administration ideas, information or issues whilst being able to produce substantially independent and in-depth publishable work that meets international standards and is considered new and innovative by peers.
  • Make a significant contribution to the field of business administration together with displaying the ability to communicate strategy and disseminate and defend research, strategic and policy initiatives as well as its implementation to specialist and non-specialist audiences by using full academic and professional resources and professional discourse.
  • Demonstrate intellectual independence, research leadership and management as well as the development of research in business administration during the process of taking full responsibility for produced work whilst also being willing to take the lead, oversee and be held accountable for the overall governance of learning processes and system. In doing so, the aim is to develop integration and communication skills through the design, execution and presentation of research.

    Given the above Exit Level Outcome framework, the qualification's curriculum has been designed to develop the applied research competencies necessary to create independent thinkers and problem-solvers. Executives equipped with these advanced research skills will be better prepared to discover and address the vexing problems that face complex organisations, lead change initiatives, improve general organisational performance and impact advanced business practice in an innovative and sustainable way. This qualification pursues the application and development of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques to solve practical business problems. The learning and growth path of the learner in terms of the specific outcomes and context-specific assessment criteria will be developed through the research proposal stage and supervision process in the context of the particular focus of the study.

    Rationale:
    Given the popularity of the knowledge economy theory, national governments utilise the masters' qualifications as well as doctoral education as a means of educating scientific and technical innovators. Supranational organisations, for example, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Union (EU), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNECSO) and the World Bank are developing policies to enrich the contribution of doctoral education towards both the national as well as regional economic growth. Following the publication of the National Development Plan (NDP), the focus of the national debate in South Africa shifted from equity to development (National Planning Commission [NPC] 2012). The NDP proposed the strengthening of knowledge production which would entail an increase in the proportion of doctorates. The NDP went further by setting a national target of producing more than 100 doctoral graduates per one million of the population by 2030 (NPC 2012). Thus, the higher-education system has responded to the imperative for growth. The new demand-side factors emanating from the labour market and the increase in learners from other African countries who choose South Africa as a destination for Postgraduate studies has resulted in the need for this qualification.

    According to the Global DBA Survey 2014 (Graf 2014: 1), professional doctorates in management have increased worldwide. The greatest demand comes from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, followed by Europe and Latin America.

    Despite South Africa's need for the professional doctorates, the yield of Doctorate of Philosophy (PhDs) graduates is low (ASSAf, 2010). In order for South Africa to be a global competitor in the knowledge economy, the number of PhDs needs to be increased, as emphasised by the NDP. The determining feature of doctoral qualifications in South Africa is that 60% of all learners that enrol are working class individuals. The typical doctoral candidate in South Africa is 35 years old when enrolling. This aligns with the institution's MBA learner composition. Therefore, consideration needs to be given to a strategy that addresses the structure of doctoral education in the country. The institution believes that it has the intellectual property, a proven track record in research, appropriate human capital and adequate physical and social infrastructure. The institution also considers that improved access to doctoral training has potential to strengthen knowledge development, the practice of business and management has contributed significantly towards achieving the national target of 5 000 doctorates per annum as envisaged by the NDP. Furthermore, the institution contends that the quality of the DBA qualification will have the potential to add value in numerous contexts such as business, and broader society. In the context of the South African national need, the DBA's primary mission is to provide invaluable education and training resulting in the enhancement of knowledge workers within their industry circles. Furthermore, the DBA will advance economic prosperity, and social well-being of the nation. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    In the institution's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy the following provision has been made for admission of learners into a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) qualification via RPL.

    Learners who do not meet the minimum admission requirements for the DBA qualification are required to demonstrate to the Student Admission and Selection Committee of RBS that they have suitable experiential, formal and informal learning experience for the qualification. Learners who, after such an assessment, are considered to have enough potential but need further academic development, may be required to broaden their knowledge by enrolling for specific preliminary modules prior to admission or parallel modules after admission. Such learners may be considered for admission through RPL.

    In addition, the applicant must:
  • Be at least 30 years of age.
  • Have a minimum of 10 years relevant work experience.
  • Submit a Portfolio of Evidence, including but not limited to a CV, academic transcripts and certificates, personal letter of motivation, letter of recommendation from employer, and current job profile.
  • Be available for a personal or telephonic interview.

    All RPL applications are subject to evaluation by the Student Admission and Selection Committee. The Student Admission and Selection Committee of the institution will interview the learner and make a recommendation to the Doctoral Committee before a final decision is taken to admit the learner.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • Master of Business Administration, NQF Level 9. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This is a research based qualification at NQF Level 10 totalling 360 Credits. 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Present through the research process, a thesis as well as scholarly debate, conceptualise business administration theories, and create and integrate critical and reflective new business administrative knowledge, whilst contributing to research initiatives and expertise at the forefront of topical business administration issues.
    2. Understand the theoretical underpinnings in the management of complex business administration systems to such an extent that it will enable the development and application of new specialist business administration methods/techniques/processes/systems or technologies in an original, creative, innovative and critically reflexive manner whilst at the same time demonstrating appropriateness and applicability to specialised and complex business administration systemic and sustainable change management requirements.
    3. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of research theory and philosophies that would enable the conceptualisation of a solution to a practical business problem, aiming the study at making an original contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of interest and demonstrate knowledge and ability to apply research methodologies and techniques to the discipline concerned as a field of study.
    4. Address and manage emerging ethical business administration issues and advance ethical decision-making processes which include monitoring and evaluation of the potential risks of decisions.
    5. Make independent judgments of how to manage incomplete and inconsistent data and/or information through an iterative process of analysis, interpretation and synthesis to develop significantly original insights into new, complex and abstract business administration ideas, information or issues whilst being able to produce substantially independent and in-depth publishable work that meets international standards and is considered new and innovative by peers.
    6. Make a significant contribution to the field of business administration together with displaying the ability to communicate strategy and disseminate and defend research, strategic and policy initiatives as well as its implementation to specialist and non-specialist audiences by using full academic and professional resources and professional discourse.
    7. Demonstrate intellectual independence, research leadership and management as well as the development of research in business administration during the process of taking full responsibility for produced work whilst also being willing to take the lead, oversee and be held accountable for the overall governance of learning processes and system. In doing so, the aim is to develop integration and communication skills through the design, execution and presentation of research. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Associated Assessment Criteria will be applied in an integrated manner across Exit Level Outcomes:
  • Formulate the research problem.
  • Apply research methodologies such as: research philosophy, research design, data collection and analysis techniques and interpretation frameworks suitable to the business environment.
  • Present and clarify the arguments presented in the thesis.
  • Apply ethical research process and procedures.
  • Synthesise through integration and coherence of debate based on analysed data.
  • Contribute to new knowledge in the context of creativity and originality.
  • Review sufficient depth of literature forming a congruent whole with the rest of the study.
  • Defend the thesis orally and provide clarity if required.

    Integrated Assessment:
    The Exit Level Outcomes and assessment criteria framework has been designed as such for the qualification that the thesis requires the integration of competencies. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The South African qualification compares favourably with international qualifications in terms of credit value and NQF level. These are the Australian and the United Kingdom DBA qualifications.

    Australia also has 10 Levels on their qualifications framework, the AQF. The AQF describes that graduates at the Doctoral level will have systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or for professional practice. The Doctoral qualification qualifies individuals who will be able to apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice.

    This qualification compares well with the Doctorate in Business Administration offered by the Australian Institute of Business (AIB), registered as a higher education provider in Australia by TEQSA, the sole government body in Australia authorised to register institutions of higher education, including universities. The AIB's Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a research degree qualification designed for experienced managers. It offers an opportunity to take their business and management knowledge and understanding to a higher level and, importantly, to relate it closely to their workplace needs. The AIB DBA covers 240 Credits, but every 10 Credits requires 150 hours of learning which equals to 3600 learning hours that the South African qualification requires (360 Credits).

    In the United Kingdom, a QAA status report of the DBA issued in 2016 refers to the DBA as an example of a professional and practice-based (or practitioners) doctorate, which are described as providing an opportunity for individuals to situate professional knowledge developed over time in a theoretical academic framework. In each of the academic credit frameworks in operation in the UK, professional or practice-based Doctoral qualification is a total of 540 Credits with a minimum of 360 Credits at the Doctoral level (where credit is used).

    The South African DBA compares well with the DBA offered by the Warwick Business School (WBS), an entity forming part of the University of Warwick which is accredited by the QAA. The qualification is described as follows: The UK's DBA qualification is designed to provide business leaders, executives and professionals an opportunity to pursue the next step beyond their Master of Business Administration. The goal of the UK's DBA is to design organisational interventions which help address real-world challenges, and then to evaluate, assess and test the effectiveness of those interventions, and to communicate the findings so that both the world of practice and the world of research can benefit. In this way, the UK's DBA learners generate new knowledge - the ultimate criterion for the award of a Doctoral Degree.

    The UK's DBA is designed to produce scholar-practitioners who can enhance their organisation's performance through evidence-based practice. It is distinctive in that the goal is the design and creation of an intervention, and rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of that intervention.

    In conclusion it can be seen that the South African DBA qualification compares well with the DBA programmes offered by both the Australian Institute of Business and Warwick Business School. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification allows possibilities for horizontal articulation.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management, NQF Level 10.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Quality Management, NQF Level 10.
  • Doctor of Business Administration: Business Management, NQF Level 10. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Regent Business School (Pty) Ltd t/a Regent Business School 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.