Edinburgh Napier University

The Edinburgh Napier University is recognised as the top modern university in Scotland (according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023) and is one of the top 10 modern universities in the UK and holds an AACBS accreditation. The university is characterised by its outstanding research strength and effectiveness, making it a leader among Scottish universities.

The University prides itself on nurturing a community of 'new thinkers' - a creative and enterprising group recognised worldwide for its unique learning experience. Edinburgh Napier University aims to provide meaningful and differentiated education and research to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.

The university's research focuses are diverse and include Accounting & Finance, Intercultural Communication, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Leadership and Strategy in Practice, Human Resource Management, Law, Public Service, Economics and Governance, Tourism, Hospitality and Events, and Labour and Employment Market.


ISM and the Edinburgh Napier University have developed a cooperation which allows ISM graduates and other graduates to apply for a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) program.

The entire application process is supervised by ISM. In a two-stage application process, ISM first pre-selects suitable applicants, while Edinburgh Napier University then makes the final decision on the acceptance of the doctoral topic. The supervision of the work is carried out jointly by both partners, each of which also provides at least one supervisor. The maximum number of candidates is five to eight per year. The start date of the individual doctoral programs is flexible.

More information about this DBA Program (PDF)

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the highest postgraduate degree in the academic management education. DBA programs focus on acquiring knowledge based on the latest business research and theories. The doctoral program lasts two years full-time and three years part-time or part-time. The doctoral thesis deals with a research project with a strong practical focus. All students on the doctoral program are required to complete a 30 ECTS research training course. Three years of professional experience are required for admission.

Admission Requirements

  • Good academic qualifications, e.g. minimum GPA: 2.0 (according to German grading system).
  • An official undergraduate degree or the equivalent and an official Master’s degree, that is, a total of 300 ECTS, 60 ECTS at Master’s level at least.
  • For whom English is not the first language, a minimum level of C1 has to be demonstrated, proof of English language proficiency: IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 600 (pbt) / TOEFL 90-95 (ibt) or above.
  • Completed application form, which will be handed out by ISM after a first preliminary interview. It includes a research proposal at an appropriate level for doctoral studies.


Applications are to be submitted to Prof. Kai Rommel, Vice President for Research at ISM (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Please include the following documents (in English language):

  • Research Proposal: Proposed area of research (department), types of research methods to be used, relation to any previous research done in this field (4-6 pages)
  • Academic transcripts/Degree certificates (Master degree in a relevant discipline with a final grade of 2.0 or better (according to German grading system).
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Evidence of financial sponsoring
  • Application Form (issued by ISM after consulting session)

Once this process has been successfully completed, an interview will take place with a member of the academic staff at Edinburgh Napier University. A full application for Edinburgh Napier University will then be submitted. All students on the DBA program are required to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology (30 ECTS).

The Research Methods and Research Philosophy specializations are offered at Edinburgh Napier University in the winter semester. In addition, an ISM seminar week is offered at ISM Dortmund in the summer semester. Both the two specializations and the ISM seminar week are compulsory and each last one week.


Fees DBA

ISM application cost: €2,500
Year 1: €14,040
Year 2: €14,040
Year 3: €14,040
Total costs: €44,620*

*Fees subject to change.

The duration for the DBA is 3 years. An extension of the programme to 4 years is possible after individual consultation.

More information about this PhD Program (PDF)

Counseling PhD & DBA Programs

Prof. Dr. Kai Rommel

Vice President for Research
Prof. Dr. Kai Rommel
+49 231.97 51 39-76
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Anette Herbst

Research Assistant
Anette Herbst
+49 69.66 05 93 67-57
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