CityU DBA - Doctor of Business Administration

6 January 2023

Prof Muammer Ozer, DBA Programme Director, was featured in SCMP Professional Education Guidebook

When fast track executives first decide to take a postgraduate business programme, most have a pretty clear idea of what to expect. That is usually the result of a detailed review of the various options; discussions with current students and alumni; campus visits wherever possible; meetings with faculty members; and useful advice from friends, family and colleagues.

Of course, the purpose of all that research is not simply to know about the curriculum and electives, the likely workload, the typical mix of applicants, and the opportunities to network beyond the classroom. It is to put a finger on what truly differentiates one programme from the others and what makes it the right fit for someone from a particular sector or industry – an entrepreneur as opposed to a senior manager, an international brand builder rather than someone more focused on fixing problems in their own organisation.

Every good programme, of course, will cover the essentials, ranging from finance and marketing to strategic planning, leadership and digital transformation. But business schools are well aware that candidates are also looking out for something extra. That makes it essential to keep revising the topics, offering new choices, and finding inventive ways to give students an edge.

Initially launched in 2006, the DBA offered by CityU has evolved with the times, meaning that students have more recently taken on research topics ranging from big data and fintech to data security and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The broad objective, though, remains the same: to focus on solving important business problems and to engage in rigorous research which has practical relevance and can bring benefits to society.

The core elements of the programme, including residential workshops and methodology courses, mainly concentrate on how to do research, from reviewing the literature to finding useful contacts, conducting surveys, drafting a thesis proposal, and writing in the expected academic style. There are also electives, which are chosen depending on personal interest and the general area of research.

“Our students are successful leaders with a passion to solve complex business issues that have implications well beyond the boundaries of their organisations,” said Professor Muammer Ozer, programme director of the CityU DBA.

The yearly intake is limited to ensure quality and one-on-one attention, and students learn from CityU’s world-renowned professors who have extensive global expertise and in-depth knowledge of China, Ozer said, adding that academic literature and business practice are constantly monitored and updated, without major structural changes in the programme.

Hybrid teaching methods allow overseas-based students to join live online classes and play a full part in any discussions. Using the technology also illustrates some of the pros and cons of remote working for major enterprises, which looks sure to become a subject for further detailed study.

“Because the research undertaken by our students is highly practical, rather than purely academic, businesses can apply it to their own needs,” Ozer said. “The work they do contributes to the universal body of knowledge, and the training they go through has a lasting impact on their careers.”

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