International University in Geneva

The cohort based Doctorate Programs are a collaboration between Plymouth University and the International University in Geneva and are specifically designed so that participants can study while continuing to work full-time. 

The DBA degree is awarded by Plymouth University, one of the UK’s most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. The Sunday Times Guide 2011 has named Plymouth as one of the top three modern universities in the UK. IUG is an accredited academic institution specializing in business education and is ranked among the top ten best business schools  in Switzerland by Eduniversal.The program starts in October of each year.


Why DBA and DPA?

DBA and DPAs are part-time research based programs in business and public administration with the aim to prepare business managers and future leaders. These degrees are academically rigorous and provide practical professional qualification. They are designed to enable participants to synthesize and develop professional practice, theoretical understanding and reflexive capability.

Furthermore, participants will enhance their personal and professional development by fueling their research curiosity, learn the importance of critical thinking and decision making and prepare themselves to address the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s business and public policy environment.

Many of the students work full time while pursuing the DBA or DPA. These degrees whilst being equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, are more appropriate to advance professional practice.



"Doing the joint DBA by IUG and Plymouth University has been a fantastic experience for me. The teaching methods encourage critical and creative thinking, where continous lively interaction between students and teacher fosters a productive learning space".

Ms. Arzoo Syeddah, DBA candidate and intern at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD

  • Duration
    4-5 Years
  • Starting
  • Courses

Key Benefits

  • The Doctorate of Business Administration are run in Geneva with industry leading professors from Plymouth University and the International University in Geneva.
  • The Doctorate of Business Administration program provides the basis for candidates to undertake an individual research project through the synthesis of practical experience and theoretical framework.
Professor Kerry E. Howell Director of Research
University of Plymouth

Program Details

The Program has two phases:


Phase 1: Theory and Research techniques (18-24 months)

Students will complete 6 compulsory modules, along with 6 assignments. Each module is delivered through a seminar. Five of these are held at IUG and one at Plymouth University. These seminars cover interaction between theory and practice, reflexive and reflective methodological approaches, data collection methods, competing paradigms of inquiry and data analysis techniques to conducting, writing up and publishing research to doctoral standards.

Each seminar is of 3 days duration (from Friday to Sunday). Attendance for the seminars is compulsory.

The successful completion of the 6 modules, with the help of assigned supervisors, will lead to the research proposal.


Phase 2: DBA/DPA research and thesis completion (24 months)

Participants who successfully complete Phase 1 will be to promoted to candidacy status and continue with their research, finally producing a thesis. This will be done under the guidance of assigned supervisors at Plymouth University. Attendance of conferences and doctoral symposia, where students can present their work and findings and receive support from faculty and fellow DBA candidates, will be encouraged.

Doctorate Timetable

Module Schedule

Module Code Module title Teaching Block Dates

Developing Methodological Approaches and Dealing with Methods (Cohort (8&9)

29-31 March 2019
DOC8102 Reflective Practice, Reflexivity and Participatory Research (Cohort 9) 16-19 May 2019
  Doctorate Symposium (For all Cohorts) 18 May 2019
DOC8101 Induction and Introduction to Doctoral Study (Cohort 10) 25-27 October 2019
DOC8103 Identifying and Explaining Theory (Cohort 9&10) 31 January-2 February 2020
DOC8104 History and Philosophy of Business and the Social Sciences (Cohort 9&10) 27-29 March 2020
DOC8105 Understanding Paradigms of Inquiry (Cohort 10) 29-31 May 2020


Plymouth University

The University

Plymouth University is one of the UK’s most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 named Plymouth as one of the top three universities in the United Kingdom.


Plymouth University has over 25’000 students and has a long record of high quality innovative research as demonstrated by its achievements in the RAE.

Scoring 4 stars

The university submitted twenty-five Units of Assessment in the 2008 RAE. The results show that the majority of research submitted by the university included world-leading research, achieving the highest rating possible - scoring 4 stars.

The Research

Overall, 80% of the research was judged as being of international repute. In the Research Fortnight research power league table, on the basis of the results of the 2008 RAE Plymouth has leapt 15 places to join the top 50 universities.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the DBA program must submit the following documents (ALL TOGETHER):

  • A completed application form
  • Scanned copies of transcripts and official degree certificates in English
  • Scanned copies of reference letters
  • English proficiency test: either IELTS (min score 6.5) or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE).
    IUG institutional code number is 0130
  • CV
  • Copy of valid passport
  • Two passport size photos
  • Proof of sponsorship (if appropriate)
  • a research proposal: see more information

A non-refundable application fee payable in Swiss Francs CHF 150.- (download here)

Apply now

Minimum Requirement

A MA/MBA degree is required to apply.  

Tuition Breakdown

  Home / EU
(per year)
International & Islands
(per year)
Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) per year 1-2
UK£ 12'810 UK£ 12'810
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA per year 3-5) and Doctor of Public Administration (DPA per year 3-4) UK£ 4'715 UK£ 4'715