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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Marketing

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this research degree?

  • Make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in marketing, including consumer behaviour and market research
  • Produce a high quality thesis under the supervision of a qualified member of academic staff
  • Access the very latest business research and learn from the high profile academics
  • Be part of the UNSW Business School’s vibrant, globally recognised research community
  • Opportunity to be published in a leading international journal

Who is this degree for?

  • Graduates with excellent results in their undergraduate (honours) degree
  • Postgraduates with excellent results in their masters by research degree 

Job and career prospects

  • Academic and research positions in Australia or overseas
  • Marketing  research and analysis roles

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Marketing consists of five core courses, at least one Advanced Methods in Marketing course and a thesis. The research thesis must demonstrate a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of study.

Core courses

The following courses are completed in the first year of study.

Study five compulsory core courses

COMM8001 Introduction to Research Methods

This course introduces students to business research problems and the ways business research is conducted. The course aims to develop foundational research skills required for designing research projects, and provides an overview of research approaches and methodologies useful for conducting business research.
Topics covered include: overview of the research process, theory and theorizing, critiquing a research paper, conducting a systematic literature review, writing a literature review, conceptual modelling and research design, archival research, case studies, surveys, experimental and simulation research, action and design research, writing and defending a research proposal.

COMM8003 Qualitative Research Methods

This course will enable student to acquire in-depth knowledge, skills and experience necessary to conduct a qualitative research study. It is intended to inspire, excite and prepare students to undertake qualitative research.

The course focuses on issues critical for qualitative inquiry, such as philosophical foundations, theory building, the design and conduct of qualitative study (of different types), methods of data collection and analysis, researcher role and relationships with subjects researched, the quality of qualitative research, presentation of findings and writing a research proposal and a thesis. It will also include the review of exemplary papers adopting a variety of qualitative research methods from organization studies, management, marketing, accounting, information systems, and other business disciplines.

The course will adopt a workshop style where students will actively engage in debates and work with empirical material. The course content and structure will be responsive to students’ needs.

MARK8992 Seminar in Consumer Behaviour

This seminar focuses on psychological processes in consumer judgment, decision making, and behaviour. The perspective is that of the marketing researcher who seeks to describe, predict, control, and especially to explain diverse consumer behavioural phenomena. The seminar provides an overview of commonly employed research methods as well as an overview of some of the most important empirical investigations of judgment and decision making. Each student is expected to (a) provide critical evaluations of the assigned articles in class discussions, (b) discuss possible follow-up studies for the assigned articles, (c) design an empirical consumer judgment research project (including manipulations and measures; actual data collection is encouraged after completing this seminar), (d) describe this project in an ACR-style paper (20-page limit), and (e) to write creative, insightful, analytic, and synthetic essays during the final exam.

MARK8996 Research Seminar in Marketing

The study, analysis, and critique of a diverse range of marketing scholarship with a particular emphasis on theory and research in managerial and strategic marketing as well as marketing organisation, systems, and institutions. Emphasis will be on examining the state of knowledge, theory construction, and theory development as well as understanding the contribution of theoretical and empirical work including research positioning, conceptual development, methodology, and analytical approach.

In addition the course considers scholarly writing and communication style in marketing: including the uses and abuses of arguments and counter-arguments, narratives, diagrammatic models, graphs, and the presentation of data. Preparation of a conceptual paper of a refereed journal standard based on a focused and critical literature review will enable these ideas and concepts to be implemented.

Plus at least one Advanced Methods in Marketing course*:

  • For example, SEM or Choice modelling

*Course selection in consultation with supervisor or postgraduate research coordinator.

  • A four year undergraduate degree with honours class IIA or higher in a related discipline; or
  • A strong masters by research degree in a related discipline; or
  • An equivalent academic qualification or level of experience

English language requirements also apply

Information on how to apply for this degree is available at How to apply for a research degree.

We know you're busy balancing postgraduate study with your personal and other work commitments. So UNSW Business School's dynamic learning spaces, facilities and student support helps you make the most of every day on campus.

Expand your professional network

Your postgraduate cohort is more than a valuable future business network – you'll make lifelong friends in class and at a range of social events. Join a student club – there are more than 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs to choose from. The Graduate Student Association is a great place to start.  Find out more

All the support you need to achieve

If it has been a while since you last studied, you may need to brush up on your skills. We'll help with study skills workshops and Career Mentoring programs. Our Meet the Executive series offers unique behind the scenes business insights and the Business School's LEAD Business Leadership program, as well as many other orientation, leadership and mentor programs, can open the door to new opportunities. Find out more

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres as well as retail outlets. It's a short bus trip to Sydney's CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your postgraduate degree is a unique chance to get a new perspective on life. So get involved – as well as student clubs and social activities there are internships, volunteer projects, competitions and international exchanges on offer. It's a great way to further develop your leadership, project management or specialist skills.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Assumed Knowledge
Marketing, Research experience
Study Mode
Face to face
Full-time 3-4 years
Commencing semesters
Semester 1 - March
Semester 2 - July

​​​​​​​​Research Study Options

Browse the list of study options available for research students


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

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