The Australian Graduate School of Leadership (AGSL) at Torrens University Australia (TUA)supports the Australian Scholarships Foundation initiative to enhance the management and accountability of not-for-profit organisations by providing scholarship support for a member of charitable not-for-profit organisation to undertake their Doctor of Business Leadership program, beginning in 2021.

Program overview

The Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) is designed to prepare senior executives to more effectively assume overall leadership responsibility within a substantial multi-business unit organisation, operating in intensely competitive national and global markets.  

The Doctor of Business Leadership involves a learning journey that has been identified by corporate leaders, their boards and past DBL participants as vital preparation to deal with an organisational environment that will be radically transformed in the next several years. 

Many corporate leaders have gained their formal organisational positions as a consequence of their performance and meritorious achievements, complemented by general management education in courses such as the MBA, but frequently have not had opportunities to undertake higher level leadership courses designed to prepare senior corporate executives to deal with the emerging corporate environment. The DBL equips candidates to accelerate their leadership development by assisting them to make explicit their implicit personal contingent leadership approach, drawing on their personal leadership journey.  

The DBL provides personal challenges and capability enhancement opportunities for experienced executives who have demonstrated the ability to contribute to the success of their enterprises over at least a ten-year period and who have completed a degree* in a relevant business or leadership discipline. Students will have an appreciation of the role corporate leadership has in securing socially responsible outcomes. 

The DBL reflects the proposition, “when theory is deduced through practice research, it is more likely to successfully guide future practice.” In essence, good theory is good practice. 

*see more details and options in Program Entry Requirements below 

Program summary

The Doctor of Business Leadership commences with four coursework double-subjects covering leadership theories and practice, case analyses, leadership ethics, critical reasoning and leadership issues, which provide a background of relevant leadership knowledge, research skills and insights required for the second stage of the course. 

Stage 2 involves undertaking a supervised and externally examined Leadership Critique and Supporting Portfolio (the thesis component) through documentation and analysis of personal leadership experiences. 

The Doctor of Business Leadership is recognised nationally and internationally under the Australian Qualifications Framework at the highest level. 

Program outcomes

Upon completion, candidates will have: 

  • A comprehensive understanding of leadership theory and its implications for leadership practice; 
  • Greater personal confidence and an ability to innovate and lead adaptation to increasingly complex and uncertain multi-stakeholder contexts; 
  • Sensitivity to cultural, social, demographic and economic change and diversity reflected in their decision-making and communication; 
  • The ability to critically analyse from a holistic perspective leadership issues likely to emerge and impact the future performance of their organisations; 
  • An appreciation of the role corporate leadership has in securing socially responsible outcomes; and 
  • Demonstrated and justified an original and significant contribution to the practice of leadership. 

Program delivery

Torrens’ Doctor of Business Leadership is offered full-time (2 years) and part-time (4 years), purely online. The course is delivered using blended distance learning methodologies and Laureate Student Support Services. There is no on-campus requirement or option for this course. 

Trimester dates

The scholarship recipient will begin their studies in either Trimester 2, 2021 (beginning May) or Trimester 3, 2021 (beginning September). Click here for other key program dates. 

Who should apply

The types of executives who should apply for admission to the Doctor of Business Leadership include, for example: 

  • Experienced senior executives preparing to take on more significant leadership roles; 
  • Business unit leaders aspiring to CEO-level positions; 
  • Leaders of substantial teams wishing to broaden and boost their career trajectory; 
  • CEO-level leaders looking for an opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate contributions to leadership practice throughout their career. 

Scholarship applicants should also ensure they meet the Australian Scholarship Foundation’s general eligibility criteria and TUA’s program entry requirements (outlined below). 

Program value

The minimum number of trimesters of enrolment required to complete the Doctorate of Business Leadership is 12 trimesters (4 years part-time) or 6 trimesters (2 years full-time). 

The average subject enrolment fee is $8317 per subject, with slight variations between each subject’s fee (required for system/technical reasons). Part-time enrolment involves one subject per trimester, following the schedule shown in the linked fees document. Full-time enrolment involves two subjects per trimester and approximately double the enrolment fee each trimester, but for half as many trimesters. 

The minimum enrolment fee for the Doctor of Business Leadership is currently $8317* per enrolment x 12 enrolments = $99,804. 

*enrolment fees are subject to annual review. 

Scholarship inclusions

AGSL at TUA are generously offering the right candidate a 40% scholarship, to the value of approximately $39,921

The scholarship recipient or their supporting NFP organisation will be required to fund the remaining 60% of program fees (minimum approx. $59,882), paid in instalments each trimester for each subject the scholar is enrolled in. 


Australian citizens and other eligible candidates may be eligible to apply for FEE-HELP from the Australian Government. For more information about fee assistance, please see: 

Note that a FEE-HELP lifetime limit is in place, set by the Australian Government. If you have previously used FEE-HELP for any other course, be sure to be aware of your remaining lifetime limit balance and any implications it may have on your ability to cover enrolment fees. 

Scholarship timeline

4 November 2020Applications open
16 March 2021 5pm AESTApplications close
19 April 2021All scholarship applicants are notified of the selection outcomes
13 September 2021Trimester 3 begins

Eligibility requirements

Scholarship applicants must: 

  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident, 
  • fulfil ASF’s general eligibility requirements available on our FAQs page
  • currently work for an Australian charitable not-for-profit organisation, and 
  • fulfil the DBL program entry requirements, as detailed below. 

DBL Program Entry Requirements:

Applicants to the doctoral program are expected to satisfy the following academic criteria: 

  • Possession of a Master’s degree by thesis or dissertation appropriate to the professional field of the applicant; or 
  • Possession of a Master’s degree by coursework appropriate to the professional field of the applicant completed at a superior standard; or 
  • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (typically 1st Class or Class 2A Honours level or equivalent); or 
  • In exceptional circumstances, an equivalent academic background that is considered by the Dean of the School to be an appropriate preparation for independent study and research work at doctoral level. 

An applicant may be required to satisfy the Dean of the School of the ability to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English at a level adequate for the purpose of pursuing doctoral level research. To proceed to stage 2, the candidate will need to present a Critique proposal that satisfies their Review Panel. 

In addition to the academic criteria listed above, applicants are normally expected to have a minimum of 10 years of relevant professional leadership practice experience to be admitted to the course. 

Selection criteria

The scholarships are awarded jointly by ASF and AGSL at TUA to applicants whose completion of the program would, in their view, benefit their employing NFP organisation. Selection is conditional on the applicant meeting the eligibility requirements including the entry requirements for the nominated program and written endorsement from the respective charitable organisation. 

Application process

To apply for this scholarship, follow these five simple steps: 

  1. Click the ’APPLY NOW‘ button at the bottom of this page. 
  2. Profile page: Follow the prompts to sign in or create an ASF profile (this will be a hub from which you can apply for any scholarships in future). 
  3. Fill in or update your profile to include your last three employment roles (including your current role). You must provide a role description, start and end dates, organisation name and position title. 
  4. Application form: Click the red ‘Make an Application’ button and select the Fellowship from the drop-down menu. 
  5. Supporting documents: Follow the prompts to upload your supporting documents* and complete / submit an online application form. You will receive an automated confirmation email once you’ve submitted your application successfully. 

*CV, academic transcripts and an endorsement letter written by your supporting NFP organisation (see our FAQs page for guidance on the letter). You will be guided on which documents to include once you reach this step. 

More information

For more information about the program, click here to visit the website. For other program enquiries, please contact AGSL

Have questions? Check our FAQs page for answers to the most common questions. If you need assistance with the scholarship application process, please contact Australian Scholarships Foundation via [email protected].

Applications for the 2021 Doctor of Business Leadership scholarship closed Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 5pm AEDT.