Durham University Business School

Coordinates: 54°45′51″N 1°35′10″W / 54.76417°N 1.58611°W / 54.76417; -1.58611
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Durham University Business School
TypeBusiness School
Parent institution
Durham University
AccreditationAACSB, AMBA, EQUIS
DeanCathy Cassell

54°45′51″N 1°35′10″W / 54.76417°N 1.58611°W / 54.76417; -1.58611

Durham University Business School is the business faculty of Durham University, located in Durham, England. Established in 1965, it holds triple accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. The faculty contains the departments of accounting, economics, finance, and management and marketing, as well as twelve research centres.


Business teaching at Durham University dates back to 1913, when a faculty of commerce was established at Armstrong College in the Newcastle division of the then-federal university.[1] In 1963 this, along with the rest of the Newcastle division, became part of the newly constituted Newcastle University, leaving Durham without a business school.[2] However, Durham University had established the Business Research Unit (BRU) in Durham in 1960 under the auspices of the Department of Economics and in collaboration with the Department of Psychology to carry out business and management-related research, under the direction of Alan Odber.[3][4]

In 1963, the Franks Report recommended the establishment of two major business schools in London and Manchester (which became the London Business School and the Alliance Manchester Business School) and, crucially for Durham, minor business schools elsewhere in the country as warranted by demand. Charles Baker, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Durham since 1961 and a member of the BRU, used this to argue for the establishment of a business school. He was able to obtain funding from the Foundation for Management Education (FME) for two lectureships within the BRU in order to offer post-experience courses to managers.[2][5] A precursor to these courses was the Advanced Management Program run in 1964 at Bede College, Durham by lecturers from Harvard Business School,[6] before the first courses offered by the BRU, under the name of Durham University Business School, were launched at Easter 1965, also at Bede College.[7][8][9] The founding staff in the business school were Odber and Baker along with the two lecturers funded by the FME, John Constable and John Machin, both of whom were recruited from industry.[10] The first head of the business school, as head of the BRU in 1965, was Odber. He left for industry at the end of 1965 and was succeeded by Baker, who remained in post until 1984.[11]

In December 1966, the BRU formally changed its name to "the Business School".[12] The connection to Harvard continued, with both Constable and Machin spending a year on the international teachers programme there studying their MBA course prior to the launch of Durham's MSc in Management Studies (now the MBA) in 1967.[13] Shortly after this the business school, which had operated as part of the department of economics, became a department in its own right in October 1968, with members of the school continuing to participate in undergraduate teaching on business topics in the departments of economics and engineering science.[14] In 1970 the business school appointed the first specialised lecturer in small businesses in the UK.[2][10] Durham was now well established as a business school, and when the Conference of University Management Schools (now the Chattered Association of Business Schools) was formed in 1971, Durham was one of the twelve founder members.[15]

Baker became the first Professor in Management at Durham in 1975. In 1977, the business school moved from Old Elvet to Mill Hill, with money raised from industry being used to construct a purpose-built residential business school. The 1980s saw the MSc become the MBA (1986), and the launch of the distance-learning MBA (by 1989).[2][10][16][17]

In 1994, the school's MBA programmes were accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). This was followed by EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) accreditation in 2005 and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in 2009.[17]

In January 2002, the department of economics was merged into the business school and Professor Tony Antoniou, previously chair of the department of economics, was appointed as the sixth dean of the school.[11][18] He resigned as dean in September 2007 and was suspended as a professor of finance in October 2007 after allegations of plagiarism were upheld by a university panel.[19] In March 2008, Antoniou was dismissed by the university for misconduct; the University of York also withdrew his DPhil after carrying out its own plagiarism enquiry.[18]

The school launched a part-time Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in 2002 as a post-experience professional doctorate. In 2006 it formed a partnership to deliver the DBA at Fudan University in China, with the first students starting in 2007.[20] As of 2023, Fudan remains the main location, but some elements of the course are also delivered at Durham and in San Francisco, USA.[21]

Also in 2007, the school formed a partnership with the EBS University of Business and Law in Germany to deliver its Executive MBA course, after a previous partnership with Provadis in Germany ended.[22] The Executive MBA is a dual award made by both universities.[23] A further DBA partnership was established in 2018 with Emlyon Business School in France, launching the Global DBA: Durham–emlyon as a part-time executive doctoral programme.[24][25]

In 2019, Durham University Business School became the fourth faculty of the university.[26] In 2022, the Waterside Building, on the River Wear north of the city centre, which had been developed as a new headquarters for Durham County Council, was sold to Durham University as a new home for the business school.[27] The Waterside Building falls within the Durham Innovation District, announced in 2023 as a partnership between Durham County Council and Durham University, also taking in the Durham City Incubator, Atom Bank and the Aykley Heads Business Park, as well as Durham railway station on the East Coast Main Line.[28][29]


The university holds full UK degree-awarding powers which are audited by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.[30][31] Additional recognition for courses in the business school is provided by accreditation with several organisations at the national and international level, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business of the United States – AACSB, the European Quality Improvement System in Europe – EQUIS, and the Association of Masters of Business Administration of the United Kingdom – AMBA.[32]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

In 2020, the Financial Times ranked the Online MBA 7th in the world[33] and the Global MBA 63rd in the world.[34] Also in 2020, the pre-experience Masters in Finance was ranked 49th in the world[35] and the Master's in Management 63rd in the world.[36]

The Economist ranked the MBA 37th overall (2nd in the UK) in 2021 in a global list of schools which excluded six of the nine UK schools ranked by the Financial Times. The ranking placed Durham University Business School ahead of Nottingham University Business School.[37] The Economist ranked Durham University's Master's in Management 27th in the world in 2017.[38]

Business Rankings
Global MBA
QS (2023)[39]78
Financial Times (2023)[40]74

The Durham Global MBA was also placed 11th in the world and 5th in the UK by the 2015 QS Distance Online MBA Rankings,[41] while the Executive MBA was ranked 49th in the world by the 2013 Economist EMBA Ranking.[42]

  • Expansión– Mexico's leading business magazine – ranked the full-time MBA 63rd internationally[43] in 2018 and the Executive MBA 48th in 2017.[44]
  • The Wall Street Journal Accelerated MBA Rankings, which lists the Top 15 Schools, ranked Durham University Business School 14th in the world and 2nd in the UK in 2009. The rankings placed Durham University Business School ahead of Oxford Business School and Cambridge Business School.[45]
  • Ranked 15th in the world in Top Business Schools Internationally Known by EDUNIVERSAL's International Scientific Committee in 2008.[46]


Durham University Business School provides courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Undergraduate courses include Bachelor's degrees in the fields of economics, finance, business, marketing and accounting. Postgraduate degrees are offered in management, marketing, finance and economics, including MBA, MA, MSc, DBA and PhD. Courses are offered in full-time, part-time and distance learning formats.


The main building of Durham University Business School on Mill Hill Lane

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, Durham was ranked 21st of 108 institutions on grade point average (GPA) for business and management studies, with a GPA of 3.32 (compared to an average across the unit of assessment of 3.12). In terms of research power, it was ranked 14th. It was also 14th in terms of number of research-active staff, with 123 full-time equivalent academics entered.[47]

The school has twelve research centres:[48]

  • Centre for Banking Institutions and Development
  • Centre for Environment and Energy Economics
  • Centre for Experimental Methods and Behavioural Research
  • Centre of Innovation and Technology Management
  • Centre for Leadership and Followership
  • Centre for Macroeconomic Policy
  • Centre for Organisations and Society
  • Durham Research in Economic Analysis and Mechanisms
  • El Shaarani Centre for Ethical Finance, Accountability and Governance
  • International Centre of Public Accountability
  • Marketing and International Business
  • Quantitative Research in Financial Economics

The Durham Research in Economic Analysis and Mechanisms research centre has a research and skills development partnership with the research and evaluation division of the Competition and Markets Authority, the Macroeconomics Unit, based at the UK Government's Darlington Economic Campus.[49][50]

Notable alumni[edit]

The school has around 25,000 alumni from over 150 countries worldwide.[51] The following individuals are alumni (listed by first name order and qualifications with year of graduation if known)

Honorary doctorates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Faculty of Commerce". Durham University Journal. Vol. 21, no. 2. 12 March 1913. p. 48.
  2. ^ a b c d Robin Smith (26 August 1999). "Obituary: Professor Charles Baker". The Independent.
  3. ^ Report by the Vice-chancellor and Warden for the year 1960-61. Durham University. pp. 15, 16.
  4. ^ Graduate Study in Management. Graduate Business Admissions Council. 1974. p. 92.
  5. ^ Allan P.O. Williams (6 September 2010). The History of UK Business and Management Education. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 16.
  6. ^ Robert N. Rapoport (4 July 2013). Mid-Career Development: Research perspectives on a developmental community for senior administrators. Routledge.
  7. ^ "New University". Vol. 3–4. 1969. p. 14. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  8. ^ "The Manager". Vol. 33. 1965. pp. 61, 69, 87. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  9. ^ "Business Research Unit". Report by the Vice-chancellor and Warden for the year 1964-65. Durham University. 1965. pp. 16–19.
  10. ^ a b c "DUBS: The Early Years". Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Milestones". Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  12. ^ "Business School". Report by the Vice-chancellor and Warden for the year 1966-67. Durham University. 1967. pp. 20–23.
  13. ^ "Business Research Unit". Report by the Vice-chancellor and Warden for the year 1965-66. Durham University. 1966. pp. 18–20.
  14. ^ "Economics". Report by the Vice-chancellor and Warden for the year 1967-68. Durham University. 1968. pp. 20, 25.
  15. ^ A. Williams (7 February 2006). The Rise of Cass Business School:The Journey to World-Class: 1966 Onwards. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 107–108.
  16. ^ "Degree of Master of Business Administration by Open Distance Learning". Durham University Calendar 1989–90. Durham University. 1989. p. 806.
  17. ^ a b "Milestones". Durham University Business School. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  18. ^ a b "Shamed academic fired by business school". York Press. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  19. ^ MacLeod, Donald (30 October 2007). "Durham dean suspended for plagiarism". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Review of UK transnational education in China: Durham University and Fudan University" (PDF). Quality Assurance Agency. November 2012. pp. 2–3.
  21. ^ "The Durham DBA at Fudan". Durham University Business School. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  22. ^ Rob Dixon; Daniela Slanickova; Philip Warwick (1 December 2012). "Business School Partnerships for Globalization". Journal of Teaching in International Business. 24 (3–4): 198–213.
  23. ^ "The Durham-EBS Executive MBA". Durham University Business School. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Why it's better to work together". Impact. Vol. 4. Durham University Business School. pp. 6–7.
  25. ^ "Global DBA: Durham-emlyon". Durham University Business School. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  26. ^ "Durham University Records: Faculties and Departments". Durham University Library Archives & Special Collections Catalogue. Facilities. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  27. ^ Gavin Havery (2 November 2022). "Waterside Building sold to Durham University Business School". Northern Echo.
  28. ^ "Plans for Durham Innovation District outlined with hopes of attracting hi-tech jobs". Chronicle Live. 8 September 2023.
  29. ^ "Aykley Heads site - Durham City Innovation District". Durham County Council. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  30. ^ "University of Durham". Register of HE providers. HEFCE. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  31. ^ "University of Durham". Reviews and Reports. Quality Assurance Agency. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  32. ^ "Re-accreditation by Association of MBAs upholds triple-crown accreditation". Durham University Business School. 7 August 2023. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  33. ^ "Durham University Business School – Online MBA Ranking 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  34. ^ "Durham University Business School – Global MBA Ranking 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  35. ^ "Durham University Business School – Masters in Finance Pre-experience 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  36. ^ "Durham University Business School – Masters in Management 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Full Time MBA ranking". The Economist. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  38. ^ "Masters in Management". The Economist. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  39. ^ "QS Global MBA Rankings 2023". Quacquarelli Symonds.
  40. ^ "Global MBA Ranking 2023". Financial Times.
  41. ^ "QS Distance Online MBA Rankings". The QS. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  42. ^ "Economist EMBA Ranking". The Financial Times. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  43. ^ "Las mejores escuelas y universidades del mundo en programas de tiempo completo". Expansión (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  44. ^ "Los mejores másters ejecutivos en administración de negocios". Expansión (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  45. ^ "One-Year M.B.A. Programs". The Wall Street Journal. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  46. ^ "The 2008 Rankings of the Best Business Schools in the UK". EDUNIVERSAL. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  47. ^ "REF 2021: Business and management studies". Times Higher Education. 12 May 2022.
  48. ^ "Our Research Centres". Durham University Business School. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  49. ^ "Key Darlington partnership between Durham University and UK Government". Northern Echo. 14 August 2023.
  50. ^ "Microeconomics expertise takes alliance with UK government to the next level". Durham University. 28 July 2023.
  51. ^ "Why Durham Business School?". Durham Business School. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  52. ^ "Kiwi boss". Bnz.co.nz. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  53. ^ "Rowland, Barry Alan, (born 9 Aug. 1961), Chief Executive, Falkland Islands Government". UK Who's Who. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U253940. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  54. ^ "Annual Conference 2010 Speakers". Marketing-society.org.uk. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  55. ^ "Lord Barnard – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  56. ^ "Phillips, Nigel James, (born 1963), Governor, Falkland Islands". UK Who's Who. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U277858. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  57. ^ "Paul Madden FCO". Ukinaustralia.fco.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  58. ^ Interview by Hester Lacey (2 September 2011). "The Inventory: Will Greenwood". FT.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  59. ^ "Durham University Business School – Durham University". www.dur.ac.uk.

External links[edit]