PhD, MPhil Marketing

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Research opportunities

A PhD and a DBA each take three years full-time or you can study an MPhil over one year.

You can study for your choice of degrees within any of our research areas:

These research areas cover all fields of marketing including consumer behaviour, strategic marketing, international marketing, services marketing, sales marketing, e-marketing.

Recent doctoral awards

Take a look at the recent PhD theses that have been supervised in the Department of Marketing.

Exterior of Strathclyde Business School with students walking past

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Strathclyde Business School

We offer an excellent academic environment where you can pursue your research degree. As a postgraduate research student, you're required to:

  • attend the Strathclyde Business School Faculty Research Methodology Programme, achieving a minimum of Certificate level; it comprises four modules over two to three days each; if you're part-time, you'll spread these over two years
  • attend our Annual Away Day for PhD students.; this is combined with the Annual Review, held usually in October/November
  • ensure regular meetings and contact with your supervisors

Full-time students

You'll have access to computing, printing, email and office facilities. You're expected to be in the Department of Accounting & Finance on a regular basis. You'll also attend the Department's research seminar series as well as other occasional workshops.

Part-time students 

You'll have hot-desking facilities giving you regular access to the Department and helping you integrate with other students and staff. You're required to attend the Department for at least 10 days per year. This is in addition to the Research Methodology Programme. 

Potential applicants should note that there is no dedicated distance-learning programme.

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Name Areas of Expertise 
Dr Matthew Alexander 

Research methodologies & approaches used – case study; experimental research; various qualitative approaches; mixed methods design

Current PhD student topics – Ancestral Tourism; Customer Engagement Marketing; Customer Engagement and Authenticity; Transformative Service Research in Mundane Service Settings; Marketing Automation in Complex Business Settings; Time of Day Marketing; and Customer Journeys

Dr Derek Bryce 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative methods in general; historical approaches; discourse analysis; semiotics; textual analysis (including written, visual, online or video texts)

Current PhD student topics – Ancestral Tourism; Fakes in Luxury Consumption; Brand Archetypes; Theorising Risk in Tour Guiding

Professor Anne Marie Doherty 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative methods: case study; interview; historical method; archival research

Current PhD student topics – B2B Exporting & Branding, Market Entry Methods 

Professor Spiros Gounaris

Research methodologies & approaches used – quantitative data approaches including modelling, SEM, as well as fsCQA

Current PhD student topics – B2B Exporting & Branding, B2B Customer Experience; B2B Pricing; Customer Contact Point Optimisation; Internal Marketing and Family Work Balance; Innovation in Service Dyads

Dr Kathy Hamilton 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative research including both traditional and innovative methods e.g. ethnography; netnography; interviews; arts-based research

Current PhD student topics – consumer vulnerability; marketplace stigma; consumer coping; counterfeit consumption and taste; transgender consumption; consumer identity narratives; food insecurity; poverty in consumer culture

Dr Michael Harker 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative and quantitative research methodologies

Current PhD student topics – marketing and HR – services management

Dr Paul Hewer

Research methodologies & approaches used – ethnographic approaches; virtual ethnographies; critical visual analysis; semiotics & visual consumption; interpretive consumer research

Current PhD student topics – consumer research; gender and LGBT experiences; the sharing economy; literary festivals and DIY culture

Dr Aliakbar Jafari 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative research methods including ethnography; netnography; grounded theory; phenomenology; visual ethnography; and historical research

Current PhD student topics – nterpretive consumer research; emerging markets; marketing strategy in multicultural marketplaces; theories of globalisation; politics and policies of consumption; political consumerism; intersections of markets and religions

Dr Maria Karampela 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative methodologies; quantitative methodologies; mixed-method research design; experimental research

Current PhD student topics – ustomer-brand relationships and engagement (online and offline) in B2B/B2C/B2B2C settings; social media; Human-IoT technologies (Internet of Things) interactions: antecedents, processes, consequences; value-creation processes and outcomes from Intelligence of Things (across a range of applications); virtual & augmented reality; SMEs’ network relationships; SMEs’ internationalisation; cooperative relationships and collective actions in ‘grass-root movements’; craft and artisanal food and drink from business or consumer perspectives; influence of touchscreens’ size and layout on consumer behaviour

Dr Graeme McLean

Research methodologies & approaches used – quantitative; qualitative; experimental; and mixed methods research methodologies

Current PhD student topics – the role of Chatbots in service provision; augmented reality in marketing; marketing automation; real-time marketing; online/offline customer experience; customer journey; consumer confusion

Dr Samantha Murdy 

Research methodologies & approaches used – quantitative methodologies (including structural equation modelling), repertory test interviews

Current PhD student topics – authenticity, dark service experiences, customer engagement

Dr Andrea Tonner 

Research methodologies & approaches used – interpretive consumer research, narrative inquiry, phenomenology, arts-based qualitative methods, ethnography, netnography

Current PhD student topics – urban exploration, experiences of food poverty, social enterprise approaches to health inequalities, strategic resources in farm diversification, expertise in hedonic consumption, beach body image

Dr Eleni Tsougkou 

Research methodologies & approaches used – quantitative and mixed methods

Current PhD student topics – tourism branding

Dr Beverly Wagner 

Research methodologies & approaches used – case study, qualitative approaches, action research

Current PhD student topics – open innovation and servitization, open innovation, sustainability capabilities in closed-loop supply chains, open innovation and knowledge exchange networks, organisational leadership, internal innovation processes and management, buyer/supplier co-creation and logistics service providers

Professor Alan Wilson

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative and quantitative research methodologies

Current PhD student topics – living the brand; customer feedback; employee service orientation; corporate brand reputation management; role of service employees and on-brand corporate culture; the grey market and the service encounter; online customer experience; customer perceived value creation; privacy literacy and trust influences on online social media; credibility of online customer reviews; value co-creation in a healthcare setting; brand promise delivery; retention of retail mobile apps; buying behaviour in online art; impact of social media on corporate reputation; online brand engagement

Dr Juliette Wilson 

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative and quantitative methods; mixed methods research; case study methods; experimental research; participatory research methods

Current PhD student topics – small business marketing strategy; social enterprise and hybrid business models; sustainable and green marketing; transformative service research; research in the food and drink sector


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Support & development

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PgCert RPD programme.


The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Head-shot of Dr Matthew Alexander
Being a PhD supervisor is probably the most rewarding part of my role. It’s a unique relationship in the academic world as you are simultaneously teacher, mentor and colleague to a student.
Dr Matthew Alexander
Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research

Our research

We take part in research that improves our understanding of organisations, consumers, business relationships and networks within dynamic, international settings.


Find out more about our research

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree at Strathclyde?

Read our step-by-step guide on how to submit your application.

How to apply
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Entry requirements

You'll need a first-class or upper second-class UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a relevant marketing-based discipline from a recognised academic institution.

If English isn't your first language, you'll also need to have a recent UKVI recognised Secure English Language Test (or a SELT) qualification.

Before you apply

Before finalising your formal application, we're here to give you some help and guidance on refining your proposal. Get in touch with a potential supervisor early in the process, preferably as soon as you've put together a draft proposal. Take a look at some information about our supervisors and their research interests.

Writing your research proposal

Read our guidance on how to write your research proposal.

Getting a reference

Read our help on how to choose references and what the referees need to supply.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of up to 1,500 words in length, clearly demonstrating the potential contribution both in theory and practice; please use our Postgraduate Research Proposal Outline and attache this with your application

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Accepting an offer

If your chosen supervisor is available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor. As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

When you accept our offer, you'll receive a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

Apply now

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Contact us

Christina MacLean

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 4919


Department of Marketing, Strathclyde Business School, 199 Cathedral Street