How to apply

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with the School of Marketing (UNSW Business), then you will need to receive an Invitation to Apply from the school’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator

To receive an Invitation to Apply, you should 1) self-assess your eligibility, and 2) then submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Details of what to include in your EOI can be found here.


About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Marketing

UNSW’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Marketing will prepare you to become a globally focused and socially engaged research leader. You’ll be joining a cohort of high-achieving research students in tackling modern-day challenges at the forefront of Marketing, working alongside leaders in the field (ranked 44th in the world, QS Subject Rankings, 2022). This is your opportunity to become integrated into the UNSW Business School’s community of scholars.    

Most admitted students will enter the pathway program, the Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS). If you are invited to apply for Direct Entry into a PhD, either before or after successful completion of the MPDBS, then the minimum time commitment is 35-40 hours per week for 3-4 years (full time) or 15 hours a week (part time).

You’ll first undertake rigorous coursework covering theory, empirical evidence, and research methods. As part of the program, you’ll also be involved in research projects from an early stage. This research training will equip you with the skills required to identify, analyse, and solve problems in the field.

You’ll then pursue independent research under the supervision of high-profile UNSW academics, culminating in a doctoral thesis. Your PhD thesis will showcase your research skills and enable you to make an original contribution to the field of Marketing. 

There will also be exciting opportunities throughout to interact with industry leaders, and to develop your teaching portfolio. The training is geared toward preparing you for a career in academia, although other career paths (e.g., consulting, government, industry, non-profit) are also enabled.

Linked Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS) + PhD

Although a few students may be invited to apply for Direct Entry into our PhD program, most applicants are invited to first complete our Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS).

The MPDBS is a one-year pathway for students wanting to undertake a PhD in the UNSW Business School. The MPDBS is a fully funded program, which includes a tuition waiver and stipend (of ~A$37K) for all accepted applicants. This degree constitutes one year of advanced coursework including a research project. Upon completion of the MPDBS, the vast majority of students have historically gone on to our PhD with a scholarship covering tuition and a stipend (~ A$47K).

The MPDBS gives students an extra year to develop their research skills and to find a match with appropriate supervisors. 

The application processes for both the PhD and the Linked MPDBS + PhD are identical as shown in How to Apply.


Program Structure

Year One: Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS)

The first year of study is designed to provide a rigorous foundation to conduct independent research. You’ll learn a range of methodologies and build your communication and presentation skills.

Your first year of coursework will cover fundamental qualitative and quantitative research methods. You’ll also start developing key research skills such as identifying, framing, presenting and writing academic contributions. You’ll work as a research assistant on faculty research projects and start working on your own research as your skills develop.

The first year will help you identify your potential thesis supervisor for the PhD component of the program. Upon successful completion of the first year, you’ll be awarded a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies. An overview of the first year is presented below. Please visit the UNSW Handbook for full course structure details.

Term 1

  • Program Core Course: COMM8100
  • Stream Core Course: MARK8996
  • One Elective Course

Term 2

  • Program Core Course: COMM8101 or COMM8102
  • Stream Core Course: Research Assistance Work
  • One Elective Course

Term 3

  • Program Core Course: COMM8103
  • Stream Core Course: MARK8995
  • One Elective Course


  • ECON5324 - Behavioural Economics
  • ECON6003 - Econometric Analysis
  • ECON6205 - Microeconometric Modelling (Choice Models)
  • ECON7301 - Industrial Organisation or ECON5321 - Industrial Organisation
  • ECON6310 - Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics
  • MATH5806 - Applied Regression Analysis
  • MATH5835 - Stochastic Processes
  • MATH5845 - Time Series
  • MATH5855 - Multivariate Analysis
  • MATH5905 - Statistical Inference
  • MATH5945 - Categorical Data Analysis
  • MATH5960 - Bayesian Inference and Computation
  • COMP9311 - Database Systems
  • COMP9417 - Machine Learning and Data Mining
  • COMP9444 - Neural Networks and Deep Learning
Year Two: Specialised Coursework & Identification of Thesis Topic

During the second year, you’ll continue in the Marketing stream with a further year of advanced coursework.

You are recommended to complete the MARK8992 – Seminar in Consumer Behaviour course. You’ll choose up to four additional research courses from a range of electives in consultation with your supervisor and PGRC.

Your second year is also when you’ll identify your thesis topic with your supervisor. You’ll engage in literature review and research design and present your research proposal to the School at the end of the year.

Years Three – Four: Original Research & Your Doctoral Thesis

The final two years of the program are focused on conducting full-time research and completing your doctoral thesis. This is your opportunity to address some of the biggest challenges in Marketing and make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. Your research will offer new critical thinking and withstand critical analysis from expert researchers in the area.

Your Career Opportunities

Your PhD will set you on the path to a career in a premier research institution, anywhere in the world. We have students continue with their career development in top Australian universities including Monash University, UNSW, University of Queensland, Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Technology Sydney as well as leading overseas universities such as University of Pittsburgh, US, Can Tho University, Vietnam, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, and Renmin University, China. Throughout your research degree, you’ll also have many opportunities to develop your teaching portfolio.

Beyond academia, there’s also significant demand in the private and public sectors for people with deep knowledge and sound research and analytical skills*.

Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in academia, or take your research skills out to industry, a PhD in Marketing from UNSW will get you there.

*Source: 2019 Advancing Australia’s Knowledge Economy Report

Degree type

Postgraduate Research


4 years full-time, 5-8 years part-time

Commencing terms

Term 1 – February

Program code


Delivery mode

On Campus

Domestic / International



Useful links


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