Postgraduate research opportunities

Arnold Clark 2030: Understanding Customer Data with Artificial Intelligence

This research proposes the exploration of artificial intelligence to better understand customers and the provision of services by machines.

Number of places



International fee, Home fee, Stipend


15 October 2020


31 December 2020


36 months


1st class first degree and/or an excellent Masters-level qualification or overseas equivalent in a relevant computer science, management science, or quantitative focused Marketing discipline from a recognised academic institution. If English is not your first language you will also be required to provide a recent UKVI recognised secure English language test qualification (minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no individual test score below 5.5).

Project Details

The applicant will spend 3 days per week based on the University of Strathclyde John Anderson Campus and 2 days per week at Arnold Clark’s head office in Hillington, Glasgow. The PhD project is part of Arnold Clark and the University of Strathclyde’s strategic research on Arnold Clark 2030 and the future of automotive transportation.

Funding Details

Full fees and Stipend for UK, EU and International students


Dr Graeme McLean and Dr Martin Halvey

Further information

Project Summary: As individuals interact with technology and engage with firms via technology leaving a digital footprint and many data points, firms are in a position to paint a clearer picture of customers and customer segments. Big Data enables informed decision making and the ability to predict future customer behaviour. The application of Artificial Intelligence to business problems remains in its infancy, yet the potential to utilise algorithms and potential machine learning to better understand customers remains a fruitful opportunity. Not only does artificial intelligence have the potential to inform customer behaviour but also to inform service provision and reduce manual human input to systems and procedures. Such technology enables firms to personalise products and services to each of their customer segments and better understand their customers’ needs. This research will explore the application of a range of supervised and unsupervised machine learning models to better understand customers, their behaviour and how organisations can utilise data to provide value to consumers.

The candidate should have programming skills in Python or R; data analysis, data visualisation, machine learning and/or statistical models to be considered for this PhD.

How to apply

At this stage, we are inviting applicants to apply for the scholarship only. The successful candidate will then be asked to complete an application for PhD study at Strathclyde.

All applications should include:

  • cover letter indicating the candidate's relevant skills/experience and how they can contribute to this research
  • CV
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language – IELTS minimum overall band score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5)
  • two references (please refer to guidance on references here)

When sending the above documents please use the following file-naming convention: fullname_typeofdocument

  • Johnsmith_coverletter
  • Johnsmith_CV
  • Johnsmith_transcript1
  • Johnsmith_transcript2
  • Johnsmith_certificate1
  • Johnsmith_certificate2
  • Johnsmith_IELTS
  • Johnsmith_reference1
  • Johnsmith_reference2

Apply now by uploading your documents.