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Why Study for a Doctorate in Business Administration?

When I began my Master of Business Administration (MBA) five years ago, I had one clear goal: to graduate. My plan was to go back to school, challenge myself, and return to work. It was a one-off adventure that I wanted to embark upon to refresh my life.

Upon completing my MBA, however, I felt empty. After two intense years of assignments, exams, and thesis writing, I was suddenly left with time that I didn’t know what to do with. So I did what any rational person would do… and applied to another master’s programme.

Earlier this year, I found myself at the same juncture. While the two postgraduate programmes that I’d completed were no walk in the park, I was looking for more. I don’t know the science behind it but I’m guessing it’s similar to people who do bungee jumping for leisure. 

So I went on a soul-searching trip but as I was travelling with two children, I couldn’t even find my car keys let alone my soul. Nevertheless, upon much pondering, I decided to pursue a doctorate from the list of challenges that I’d outlined. (Honourable mentions include YouTubing.)

Joking aside, I knew pursuing a terminal degree is no joke. The time, focus, and dedication required will be like no other — not to mention that it’s a four-year commitment. But I was also clear on the intent and objective of the endeavour, as well as its fit into my long-term goal.

The test of courage starts even before you begin. The application process is rigorous and with a competitive acceptance rate, the odds are not entirely on your side. I survived with a place in the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme at Durham University.

My friends call my pursuit of a doctorate degree as the ‘8th wonder of the world’. While I appreciate the banter, I can’t disagree with the notion. Which is why I plan to use this platform to document my journey and hopefully inspire others who have a similar intent. 

Bill Bryson Library

Here are three reasons I chose to pursue a DBA…

Applied Research

I’m often fascinated by the application of theory into business practice. The opportunities have been rare, but I find the experience both intriguing and fulfilling. I believe a DBA would enable me to conduct ‘live research’ with opportunities for immediate experimentation in organisations.

Diverse Ideas

One element that I greatly appreciate from my postgraduate experience so far is the diversity of ideas brought into the classroom. Through the DBA, with the close-knit cohort coming from different industries globally, I am keen to learn and expand my worldview from their varying perspectives.


It’s hard to say no to the opportunity to study at an institution that is set on a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to mention a library named after my favourite author, Bill Bryson (pictured above). It might be a while until I can set foot on campus as the world takes a pause, but I for one am truly excited.

Learn more about our Business School here.

Download our Postgraduate prospectus here.

Asrif Yusoff

Hi, I'm Asrif and I am a doctoral student at Durham University Business School. I have over 13 years of experience in the energy sector and live with my wife, two daughters, and a cat. I am convinced that Manchester City will finally win the Champions League by the time I finish my doctorate. You can find me on Linkedin.
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