PhD, MPhil Marketing

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Research opportunities

A PhD will 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
  • ensure regular meetings and contact with your supervisors

Full-time students

You'll have access to computing/hot-desking, printing, email and kitchen facilities. You're expected to be in the Department 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.

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland





Have a look at our scholarship search for any funding opportunities available.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Additional costs
  • thesis print & binding costs
  • graduation gown hire

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Triple-accredited business school

What our students think

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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 – Customer Engagement Marketing; Customer Engagement and Self Presentation; Transformative Service Research in Mundane Service Settings; Marketing Automation in Complex Business Settings; Time of Day Marketing; and Customer Journeys; Engagement and Food Waste Reduction

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; Theorising Risk in Tour Guiding; Augmented Reality at Museums and Heritage Sites

Dr Andrew Davis

Research methodologies & approaches used – qualitative methodologies; interpretive methodologies; mixed methodologies

Current PhD student topics –consumer identity; festivals and events; place marketing; tourism

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 – mixed methods, 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; taste, consumption and markets; consumer identity narratives; consumer research with social impact (e.g. food insecurity; coping with poverty in consumer culture); consumer opposition/resistance

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 tribes; Consumption Spaces; Celebrity branding; Liquid Modernity

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 – customer-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 Natalie McDougall

Research methodologies & approaches used –Qualitative approaches including interviews, focus groups, observation and case studies

Current PhD student topics – Sustainable supply chain digitalisation; Fashion communications

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 Amin Nazifi

Research methodologies & approaches used – Quantitative methods; Experimental research; Mixed-methods

Current PhD student topics – consumer well-being; customer experience and customer journey; mobile payment and experiential value

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 qualitative methods

Current PhD student topics – tourism branding; consumer interactions and engagement with Augmented Reality (AR); international marketing strategy and management; international entrepreneurship; consumer psychology and sociopolitical aspects influencing international marketing management

Dr Beverly Wagner 

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

Current PhD student topics – supply chain; closed loop supply chains; supply chain reliance; disruptive technologies; dynamic capabilities; innovation management; innovation processes; open innovation; frugal innovation; innovation platforms; sustainability; circular economy

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 need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

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