International University in Geneva

Are you a senior manager, consultant or entrepreneur who wants to draw together both the theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and managerial experience? Designed to enable you to develop professional practice, theoretical understanding and reflexive capability, the DPA is a high level, innovative qualification and an alternative route if you wish to research your professional practice at doctorate level.

The DPA program is designed for working professionals who have the motivation to expand their knowledge/skills and get a doctorate degree without interrupting their work. It is a collaboration between Plymouth University and the International University in Geneva. The first four modules will be taught over four weekends at the International University in Geneva (IUG). The DPA degree is awarded by Plymouth University, one of the UK's most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. IUG is an accredited academic institution specialzing in business education and is ranked among the top ten 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.

  • Duration
    4-5 Years
  • Starting
  • Courses

Key Benefits

  • Flexible course length, it can be completed in 4 to 5 years.
  • The program is studied part-time and designed for working professionals who have the motivation to expand their knowledge/skills and get a degree without interrupting their work.
  • Benefit from direct involvement with the Plymouth Business School research community.
  • While the degree is awarded by Plymouth University UK, the workshops are conducted at the International University in Geneva which provides access to the region with major private and public organizations such as Nestle, Procter and Gamble, United Nations, World Trade Organization, WHO, Red Cross.
Professor Kerry E. Howell Director of Research
University of Plymouth

Plymouth University

The 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

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

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.

Program Details


Year 1 - Taught phase

You will attend three 3-day (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) workshops organized in around every 3 months at IUG:


1- Advanced Qualitative Research Methods for Doctoral Study
2- Advanced Quantitative Research Methods for Doctoral Study
3- Applying Theory to Professional Practice


Year 2 - Research proposal preparation and validation phase

There will be workshops and seminars to help you to develop a Research Proposal under the supervision of a research advisor.


Year 3 & 4 (can be extended to 5 - Research Phase)

Upon the successful completion of your Research Proposal, you will be promoted to candidacy status and continue with your research (any topic linked to your work or passion/interest), finally producing a thesis. This will be done wherever you are based through email/skype under the guidance of assigned supervisors at Plymouth University.


Doctorate Timetable

Module Schedule

Module code Module title Teaching Block Dates
DOC8106 Developing Methodological Approaches and Dealing with Methods (Cohort 8&9) 29-31 March 2019
DOC8102 Reflective Practice, Reflexivity and Participatory Research (Cohort 9) 3-5 May 2019
  Doctorate Symposium (For all Cohorts) 4 May 2019
DOC8104 History and Philosophy of Business and the Social Sciences (Cohort 9) 3-5 April 2020
DOC8103 Identifying and Explaining Theory (Cohort 9) 3-5 July 2020
DOC8101 Induction and Introduction to Doctoral Study (Cohort 10) 2-4 Oct 2020
DOC8105 Understanding Paradigms of Inquiry (Cohort 10) 1-3 Jan 2021


Admission Requirements

Students applying to the DPA program must submit the following documents (All together)

1) A completed application form (with 'Apply now' below)
2) Personal statement: Provide details about your professional experience. This document should be approximately 800 words in length (more information)
3) Research idea: Describe the research area or topic that you hope to investigate for your DPA doctoral research project. This document should be approximately 1'000 words length (more information
4) CV
5) Scanned copies of transcripts and official degree certificates in English
6) Scanned copies of reference letters (min. two and at least one should be academic)
7) Copy of valid passport and a photo
8) IELTS (academic level) or equivalent for applicants whose education was not in English: Min. overall 6.5 and 5.5 in all components​

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

Apply now

Tuition Breakdown

  Home / EU
(par an)
International & Islands
(par an)
Year 1 (Taught phase)
£ 13'000 £ 13'000
Year 2 (Research proposal preparation and validation phase) £ 8'950 £ 8'950
Year 3 & 4 (can be extended to 5 - Research Phase) £ 6'000 £ 6'000

Our current Doctoral Graduates

 Name   Award
 Research topic
 Arzoo Syeddah  30/04/17  A Dialectical Discourse on Responsible Business Behaviour with Small Medium   Enterprises:  A Case Study of Pakistan
 Erdem Erciyes  01/05/17

 The Impact of Culture, Leadership and Power on Staff Motivation in the Context of     International Organizations

 Kosmos   Akande-Alasoka  17/07/18  Communication Technology and Governance: The Case of Nigeria

 Abdulla N <

 Al Noaimi

 28/10/18  The Relationship Between Culture, Manager's Leadership Styles and Employees     Motivation Level in a Bahraini Service Organization Environment
 Reynatou Noma   Mounkaila  11/02/19  Corporate Social Responsibility, Path Dependency and Cultural Difference: An   Analysis of   Equitable Health Insurance Schemes for Niger