Coursework, Research lab and Doctoral thesis


2 Years




Barcelona – Online


Year Round Enrollment


Blended – 120ECTS



The DBA at the Swiss School of Management Barcelona is a 2-year course. Extension years are often the exception, not the rule. The program has three phases: Coursework, Research lab, and Doctoral thesis. During those phases, students are guided and coached by their mentor and supervisor.
Workshop Outlines / Modules

Professional and academic research are vital necessities for modern leaders to forge ahead. Research is the process of asking the correct and relevant questions and gathering and analyzing the necessary data systematically and methodologically soundly. An essential aspect of sound professional and academic research is to embed the research within the body of existing knowledge (applied research) and to add to it (generating new knowledge).

This module will guide you through the research process. From formulating the topic to critically directing and reviewing relevant literature, designing the research project and choosing appropriate methodologies, collecting and analyzing the data, and writing the actual research.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and differentiate various types of academic research
  • Develop essential skills in finding relevant articles in (electronic) libraries and on the internet
  • Be able to use tools to structure the literature review
  • Know how to use systematic referencing, and so be able to summarise the review concisely effectively
  • Understand key methodologies used in modern research
  • Understand the challenges and rewards of qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • Have a good knowledge of various methods of data collection
  • Be familiar with statistical concepts like sampling and hypothesis testing
  • Be familiar with the ethical considerations in research, including the concept of plagiarism

Numbers play an important role in research. Statistical skills are critical to understanding a lot of what goes on in society. The students will be exposed to the statistical programs used in academic research. The students will be introduced to statistics to be used in more intuitive ways. Students will be familiar with statistical concepts they can easily recognize, leading to the exploration of more advanced statistical use.

Ultimately, the lectures will cover essential topics in survey design, sampling techniques, validity and reliability, and statistical data treatment.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, candidates should be able to:

  • Develop the ability or design a survey (sample questionnaire)
  • Apply basic descriptive statistics
  • Analyze the concepts used in inferential statistics
  • Match statistical tests and techniques that correspond to the nature of research hypotheses
  • Perform, interpret, and report statistical tests

This program is designed to assist students in engaging in qualitative research. This module focuses on the discussion about key philosophies underpinning qualitative research design- with a focus on research in management.

The core part of this module is on different qualitative research methods such as action research, ethnographic research, case study, grounded theory, interviews (Focus), participant observation, document analysis, focus group discussion, etc. All these techniques will be examined to discuss various approaches to come up with the best method to gather data and choose the best tool to evaluate research results. All techniques will discuss the multiple approaches of that technique, along with strengths and weaknesses and examples.

The students will also be exposed to and trained to use different qualitative research tools like the principles of hermeneutics, semiotics, and narrative analysis.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, candidates should be able to:

  • Master the fundamentals of qualitative research
  • Identify the differences between qualitative & quantitative research
  • Compare and contrast the various methods and techniques of qualitative research
  • Apply the various methods and techniques of qualitative research
  • Develop the skills needed for conducting qualitative research, formulating questions, listening, summarising, analyzing qualitative data, and effectively writing academic work.

The challenge of transforming professional experience into academic writing has always been a concern for doctoral students. The academic community faces how to make academic writing more appealing to the general public. This module will be delivered as a seminar/workshop, where students will be trained to write academically utilizing storytelling techniques.

While still strictly adhering to the universally accepted dissertation writing and following the standards of the Swiss School of Management, students will upgrade their writing skills.

One of the significant advances in academic research is the emergence of different research techniques and tools. To academically determine the cause-and-effect relationship and investigate the interaction between dependent and independent variables, students need to understand how fully to choose their research area, assess their respondents/population, prepare research questions, and most importantly, decide on what tools to use to ensure the validity of their research

This module aims to expose the students to experimental research, quasi-experimental, correlation, and other advanced research approaches. On top of this, students will be introduced to STATA, R, SPSS, and other tools to measure research results in the social sciences.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, candidates should be able to:

  • Master the principles of experimental research design
  • Apply the fundamentals of experimentation
  • Conduct statistical and econometric tests using the different tools for academic research
  • Run the process of collecting and analyzing data gathered using experimental research


The assessment will be based on TWO (2) assignments and one primary paper submission at the end of the term. In assignment Number 1, the student will be asked to review one academic work that uses experimental data gathering and analysis methods. In assignment number 2, the students must submit an experimental research design applied to their research interests. For the Final Paper submission, the student will submit a complete analysis of the academic work reviewed on Assignment 1 regarding theoretical grounding, practical application, and best practices.

As students of higher education, plagiarism must be avoided at all costs. This can only happen if the students have all the faculty to do proper citations and acknowledge the work of others.

Through this seminar, the students will master the science of academic citation as this seminar further complements the course that they have already taken in Module 4 (Guide to Dissertation Writing). As APA citation is widely used in academic writing, it is also a reliable tool that ensures the student’s writing is following the highest academic standard. It not only shows the utmost respect for the work of others but also prepares the students’ work for scholarly publication.

This seminar guides the student on how to publish their academic work. They will be exposed to different types of academic journals that encourage submission from researchers. They will be guided on what are the requirements and processes of academic reviews etc. Most importantly, the students will fully understand that their excellent work will add to their knowledge which in the end, will have a significant impact on society.

As doctorate students, they are expected to publish their work as part of helping them build their academic reputation, develop linkages with people and institutions from the same industry, develop connections with other researchers, and contribute to the advancement of the industry and society in general and to further their career as academic and researcher.

This seminar aims to highlight that the future of research is geared toward collaboration. Synergies, linkages, and multi-disciplinary approaches are the true pillars of research.

This seminar will teach the student how to do collaborative research that would provide them with diverse perspectives, share resources, increase productivity, widen their network, and encourage learning opportunities. Learnings from this seminar are expected to develop new interdisciplinary research areas which students can explore and have better outcomes than working independently.

The students are required to submit their Final Research Proposal to their Research Director (RD). The RD will then decide to either take the student based on her/his expertise on the subject matter or propose another RD that is better suited to the dissertation topic.


This seminar is designed to encourage and inspire current doctorate students to continue their academic journey. As students face constant challenges and pressure, they are often demotivated. By speaking to doctorate degree holders, they will know that although the challenges are real, it is worth the journey.

Doctorate holders will be sharing their academic journey with current students from start to finish. The aim of this sharing is to assure the students that the obstacles that they are facing are part of the process and that they must continue to persevere until the end. At the same time, the rewards of having a doctorate degree will be the highlight of this seminar.

The student is required to submit the second and last part of his/her dissertation to the Research Director. The RD is expected to make the final comments and provide the go signal for the Viva Voce defense.


Candidates are requested to submit and defend a doctoral dissertation.

The topic of the thesis has to be one of the following broad fields of research:

  • Strategic Management
  • Functional Areas of Business
    • Finance
    • Human Resource Management
    • Marketing
    • Production and Operations Management
    • Logistics Management
  • Business Environment
  • Public Policies
  • Specific Sectors of the Economy
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