Marketing PhD/MPhil/MSc (Research)

The PhD programme in Marketing will facilitate the creation and interpretation of new knowledge by the research student, demonstrated through the thesis.

The programme comprises a short taught component followed by a longer research phase. Taught modules allow the students to broaden, as well as deepen, their knowledge of research methods at the same time as undertaking their own research and developing a set of transferable professional skills. The taught component is designed to ensure that doctoral researchers understand the breath of techniques used in modern social science research.

Doctoral researchers will be capable of analysing a range of data using a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques. They will be able to explain theories underlying different approaches to social science research. Doctoral researchers are expected to participate to the fullest possible extent in the life of the Department of Marketing and the Business School. This means attending seminars organised by the Department of Marketing and more widely in the Business School thereby helping expose doctoral researchers to new ideas emanating from outside their own area of specialisation. It also requires actively participating in PhD workshops and conferences organised by the Department of Marketing, the Business School and Graduate School as well as institutions outside the University of Birmingham.

Ultimately all doctoral researchers will have the ability to characterise and solve business and marketing problems using advanced research tools. They should be able to derive policy implications from their research and communicate these to policy makers, practitioners and other academics in a manner which is comprehensible. They will also be able to peer review others’ research and offer constructive criticism; and to extend the frontiers of the discipline through their own innovative research.

Doctoral researchers may choose to become academics, work in Government, businesses, supranational organisations or in the research arms of major financial institutions. They are expected to achieve a substantial understanding of contemporaneous marketing and business issues enabling them to take a lead in ongoing debates within society. They will be aware of and understand the function of related institutions at both a national and international level.

Birmingham Business School has been placed 17 out of 101 business schools in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, according to the ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS.. 68 percent of our research activity was judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*) according to the national REF results. This ranking puts us ahead of Aston, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Oxford and a range of other UK Schools. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF) assesses the quality and impact of research conducted at universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which was last carried out in 2008. Recognition in the REF as a leading, research-led organization concludes a successful year in which Birmingham Business School joined the 1% of business schools worldwide awarded ‘triple crown accreditation’ from the international ranking bodies, AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time

Duration: PhD: 3 years full-time equivalent; MPhil: 2 years full-time equivalent; MSc (Research) – 1 year full-time equivalent

Start date: September

Contact

Director of Research: Professor Isabelle Szmigin
PhD Programme Co-ordinator: Dr Tao Zhang

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6696

Details

Doctoral researchers in Marketing are registered for a full time 3-year PhD or a part-time 6-year PhD. In the first year of the programme (first two years for those registered part-time) students are required to take 60 credits of core Research Methods modules from the MA Social Research programme. They are also recommended to take Advanced Training Modules from the MA Social Research Programme as appropriate to their research and training needs. Depending on their needs and accredited prior learning and subject to supervisory approval doctoral researchers can substitute 20 credits of the introductory MA Social research modules for  Advanced Training Modules. By the end of their first year doctoral students will have completed an 8,000 word research proposal that they will present at the first annual review.  This forms the basis for supervised research over the remaining two years of the programme and the production of an 80,000 word thesis.

Applicants are urged to study the up-to-date profiles of individual staff members' research via their personal web pages. Current priority areas include:

 Marketing and Society

  • Consumer and marketing ethics
  • Consumer behaviour and consumption
  • Ethical consumption
  • Social Marketing
  • Psychology of online communication
  • Online privacy issues
  • Transformative consumer research
  • Philanthropy

Researchers linked to this priority area include:

Professor Isabelle Szmigin, Dr David Houghton, Dr Andrew Pressey, Professor Christina Goulding, Dr Finola Kerrigan, Dr Sarah Forbes, Dr Yvetta Simonyan

Business Market Networks and Policy 

  • Business-to-business marketing
  • Antitrust and historical public policy
  • Inter-organisational relationships and conflict
  • Networks and social capital in business-to-business contexts
  • Buyer-supplier relationships

Researchers linked to this priority area include Dr Sheena Leek, Dr Andrew Pressey

Strategic Marketing and Innovation 

  • Innovation, creativity and new product development
  • Environmental management and sustainability
  • Nascent markets and high technology fields
  • Innovation capabilities and diffusion
  • Construct development and computational simulation techniques
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Services Marketing
  • Relationship Marketing in the B2C context

Researchers linked to this priority area include Dr Eric Shiu, Dr Rosalind Jones, Joanna Pokorska, Dr Tao Zhang

Consumer Culture, Branding and Social Media

  • Social media
  • Online consumer behaviour
  • Virtual worlds
  • Cultural brands
  • Arts and Heritage Marketing
  • Consumer culture

Researchers linked to this priority area include Dr Fredah Mwiti, Dr Andrew Pressey, Professor Christina Goulding, Dr Finola Kerrigan, Dr David Houghton,Dr Doga Istanbulluoglu

Most PhD students will be expected to take the core research methods training courses of the MA Social Research. You will then be able to take more advanced training as appropriate on the basis of a training needs analysis conducted with your supervisor at the beginning of each year.

For part-time students modules are flexible and can be studied in blocks, part time or at weekends to fit your commitments.

Support and training

Birmingham Business School provides dedicated facilities, resources and support to postgraduate students and early career researchers which includes The Midlands Graduate School and Doctoral Training Centres and Programmes. Click to find out more.

Research at the Department of Marketing

Writing your research proposal

Along with your academic record, your references and your curriculum vitae your research proposal plays a critical role in the evaluation of your application.

Your research proposal should illustrate your ability to plan an independent research study and the relevance of your topic to the research interests and expertise of Birmingham Business School.You need to demonstrate that you understand the field that you plan to research, identify an interesting and original research question, and develop a tentative plan of study. It is highly desirable that your research proposal is written to the guidelines specified below.

Guidelines for the Research Proposal

Title

 

Title of your proposed research.

Specialism

Identify the Department you want to join.

You may also identify potential supervisors at this stage if you wish.

Research question

Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and/or practical importance.

Objectives

 

Describe the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects.

Literature review

 

Discuss the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area.

Research techniques

State the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modeling etc.) and data collection procedures you might use.

Timeline

 

Outline your proposed timetable of activities.

References

 

List the works you have cited in your proposal.

Word Limit

Your proposal should be no more than 1,500 words, excluding references.

 

Complete applications must be received by 30 June in order to be considered for the 2015/16 academic session.

Students who are accepted must commence their programme of studies on 28 September 2015.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the how to apply pages.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

A limited number of scholarships may be available to outstanding applicants. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home Government.

For further information contact the School directly or visit our helpdesk.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements include amongst other things a good first degree and a good Masters degree (with either a merit or a distinction) in Economics or a related subject including relevant mathematical and statistical techniques.

Learn more about our entry requirements.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries.

Learn more about international entry requirements.

English requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band or equivalent.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Contact

Director of Research: Professor Isabelle Szmigin
PhD Programme Co-ordinator: Dr Tao Zhang

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6696

Research interests of staff

Applicants are urged to study the up-to-date profiles of individual staff members' research via their personal web pages. Current priority areas include:

Social Marketing and Society

  • Consumer and marketing ethics
  • Consumer behaviour and issues related to consumption
  • Ethical consumption
  • Psychology of online communication
  • Online privacy issues
  • Transformative consumer research
    Researchers linked to this priority area include Professor Isabelle Szmigin and David Houghton

Business Market Networks and Policy 

  • Business-to-business marketing
  • Antitrust and historical public policy
  • Inter-organisational relationships and conflict
  • Networks and social capital in business-to-business contexts
  • Buyer-supplier relationships

Researchers linked to this priority area include Dr Sheena Leek.

Strategic Marketing and Innovation 

  • Innovation, creativity and new product development
  • Environmental management and sustainability
  • Nascent markets and high technology fields
  • Innovation capabilities and diffusion
  • Construct development and computational simulation techniques

Researchers linked to this priority area include Dr Eric Shiu.

Most PhD students will be expected to take the core research methods training courses of the MA Social Research. You will then be able to take more advanced training as appropriate on the basis of a training needs analysis conducted with your supervisor at the beginning of each year.

For part-time students modules are flexible and can be studied in blocks, part time or at weekends to fit your commitments.

Related links

Research at the Department of Marketing

Contact

Director of Research: Professor Isabelle Szmigin
PhD Programme Co-ordinator: Dr Tao Zhang

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6696

Employability

Career prospects

The University of Birmingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK and 55th in the world for post-qualification employability in a global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Recent PhD graduates from Birmingham Business School are working in central banks, Government departments, a variety of financial institutions, accountancy firms, supranational organisations and multinational corporations. Many of our PhD graduates also go on to forge successful academic careers in other top Universities.

Doctoral Research career assistance

The University of Birmingham has invested heavily in careers and employability support. The Careers Team have been praised for enhanced developments within their team and for adopting a model of integrated employability and internship support; something that has been rolled out and implemented across all Schools and Colleges at the University.

Doctoral researchers at Birmingham Business School benefit from its own well qualified dedicated Careers Team to support students with employment opportunities, work placements, internships and how to succeed at interview. In addition, a range of career management, personal development and employer events are run each year by the Careers in Business Team to help you make the most of the opportunities available.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for international students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with international postgraduate researchers.

Contact

Director of Research: Professor Isabelle Szmigin
PhD Programme Co-ordinator: Dr Tao Zhang

Got a question? Use our ask us anything  facility to get the answer you need

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6696