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The Doctor of Business Administration (“DBA”) is a 120 ECTS credits programme. It allows students to achieve doctoral award from VERN University (“VERN”), Croatia.

The DBA programme equips senior business practitioners and high-potential individuals with both knowledge as well as the applied and research skills needed to become executive-level organizational leaders, industry innovators, consultants and policymakers. Students ethically address complex and practical business challenges and learn how to transform business practices to create organizational optimization, growth, and sustainability.

In designing this programme, the prior qualifications and corporate experiences of participants are taken into consideration in order to ensure the programme shall build on prior knowledge and skills.

On completion of the programme, students will be able to:

  • Use self-assessment, reflection, evaluation, feedback and developments in theory and evidence-based practice to improve their ethical business practice in a variety of contexts

  • Apply a deep understanding of relevant theories and practices to predict outcomes and create business solutions in complex environments

  • Communicate key issues effectively and creatively using numerical, graphical, oral and written skills

  • Conduct ethical research on business topics, based on critical analysis of academic research and professional practice, and communicate findings

  • Demonstrate proficiency in applying a systematic, vigorous research methodologies, design and process when undertaking an original research via the thesis requirement as part of the fulfilment to gain the doctorate award

About VERN' University, Zagreb Croatia


VERN' University is a WES recognised, international, open, creative, entrepreneurial university from Zagreb, Croatia. For the last 20 years, VERN' University has been a leading private university in Croatia and the region. VERN' is a host to a number of students from around Europe and the globe. As members of United Nations Global Compact initiative, VERN' develops professional, academic and research competencies, as well as innovative, entrepreneurial, and business capabilities with strong focus on our social responsibility The University is easy to find thanks to its attractive location in the center of Zagreb.

VERN' Alumni Club counts more than 5000 members who gained their academic qualification and professional knowledge and skills through it's academic system. Many of VERN's graduated students are today’s successful business experts who operate in the corporate and public sectors, family enterprises and the entrepreneurship community. 

With the the aim of strengthening academic performance and quality in higher education, VERN' University has established cooperation with several academic partners to contribute to the development of the entire society. VERN' University collaborates with Brittany Université, France, to manage and deliver the VERN' University awarded DBA degree.

Entry requirements​
  • A Master’s degree qualification in any subject from a recognised institution; or
    A professional qualification equivalent to a Master’s degree; and
    English language proficiency in order to participate in the programme taught in English.
    Please note:

  • Proficiency of English shall include either a recognised English proficiency testing score of IELTS overall band of 6.0 or equivalent. Those having undertaken either an undergraduate, postgraduate or professional qualification taught and assessed in English will also be accepted as having met the English proficiency.

Programme Structure

Route 1 - Mixed Mode

Stage 1: Taught Modules 
*Master's degree holders who complete the SCBM Doctoral Diploma in International Management and Leadership are exempted from this stage.

Managing Strategy (10 ECT credits)

Corporate Finance (10 ECT credits)

Managing Human Resource (10 ECT credits)

Marketing Management (10 ECT credits)

Managing Projects (10 ECT credits)

Stage 2: Thesis

Research Methodology

20,000 - 30,000 word Thesis (70 ECT credits)

Stage 3: Oral Defence

Route 2 - Research Mode

There is a more extensive ‘Thesis only’ route as set out below.

  • Thesis preparation and Thesis Proposal of 4,500 – 5,000 words (25% of the marks)

  • Final Thesis of 40,000 – 45,000 words (75% of the marks)

  • Oral Defence

Stage 1 – Thesis Preparation and Thesis Proposal

Students must undertake a Research Methodology module prior to commencing their thesis research or be exempted from it should students have already undertaken a similar or equivalent Research Methodology module prior to enrolling on to the programme.

Following the completion or exemptions from the taught modules, students have up to three months to submit a Thesis Proposal (this may include a refresh required for the Business Research Methodology for those exempted) for grading and approval before progressing to Stage 2.


Stage 2: Thesis Proposal Approval, Research and Documentation

Stage 2 commences once the Thesis Proposal has been approved and graded. A supervisor will be assigned to a student who, under the guidance of the supervisor, shall continue to work towards completing the Final Thesis.


Stage 3 – Oral Defence of Thesis

Once the supervisor has vetted the Thesis submitted by the student, the student must contact the Thesis Oral Defence Committee to arrange for the oral defence.

Awarding Body

Vern University, Croatia


This programme is delivered using a blended learning approach that combines online resources delivered through Brittany University, France online  platform and supportive face to face workshops at our training centre in Telford. The programme is also available for 100% online delivery. Students who complete this programme are also eligible for a DBA awarded by Brittany Universite, France.  

Intake Dates and Application Deadlines

  • January   - Application closes 15th December

  • March - Application closes 14th February

  • June  - Application closes 15th May

  • September - Application closes 15th August

The duration of the programme 24 months.
  • Thesis preparation and Thesis Proposal of 4,500 – 5,000 words (25% of the marks) - 4 months

  • Final Thesis of 40,000 – 45,000 words (75% of the marks) - 12-20 months.

International Students

This thesis preparation and proposal stage  is open to students on the student visitor visa route.  The rest of the programme is delivered through distance learning.

Fees and How to Apply

Please visit the fees page for the current fees. To apply for this course, please complete an online application form.

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