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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Marketing

Take your career to the next level with a PhD in Marketing

The highest qualification available from Otago, a PhD is often essential if you are considering an academic career in Marketing. Increasingly, senior business people also have PhDs. The skills you will acquire as you undertake advanced research will stand you in good stead, whichever direction your career might take.

The PhD is a specialised thesis-only degree and differs from a master’s degree thesis in scope, depth and originality. It’s more rigorous and demanding, and represents significant independent research. A PhD involves three years of full-time study and students should aim to submit their thesis within this period; part-time study is also available and a PhD may be taken over six years part time.

Information for new PhD in Marketing students

To apply for a PhD position in the Department of Marketing at the University of Otago, please consult the departmental application information included below.

The Department of Marketing recognises the importance of providing appropriate resources for graduate research candidates to enhance the quality of their training, and offers the following resources and support:

  • Office space and a personal computer for all PhD students
  • Financial assistance, to enable PhD students to attend an international conference.
  • Tutorial and teaching opportunities (for which PhD students are paid) where appropriate
  • Domestic fees: all PhD students based in New Zealand during their candidature, irrespective of their nationality, are eligible to pay domestic level tuition fees of approximately NZ$6226.00 per year (2017 fees)

International PhD students:

  • Are eligible to work in paid employment for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during summer vacation. Partners of all international postgraduate students are able to apply for an open work permit valid for the duration of the student's course of study
  • With children should note that their children may attend school in New Zealand without paying international student fees

Entrance requirements for a PhD in Marketing

Entry to our PhD programme involves a rigorous assessment of your performance in preliminary postgraduate degrees. An MBA or applied Masterate is not a normal entry point for a PhD. If you have not undertaken advanced study in marketing theory or research methods, we will require you to enrol in papers and meet a high standard in these so you have the knowledge and skills to undertake PhD research. In some cases, we may require you to enrol in a PGDip, MCom or MMart before we can assess your suitability as a PhD candidate.

If you are an international student, please note that you must have achieved an overall IELTS score of 6.5 and no band less than 6.0 to gain entry to our programme; students not meeting this criterion will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

In exceptional cases (where the scope and quality of their research justifies it), MCom students may apply to upgrade to a PhD. Details of upgrading from a MCom to a PhD are available from the PhD Director, Dr Alexandra Ganglmair-Wooliscroft ( .

Please read the PhD Handbook for more details.

PhD in Marketing application information

Entry to the PhD programme at the University of Otago is competitive. The first step is to supply the following information:

  1. A certified copy of your full academic record (i.e. all the papers you have studied and your record of achievement in these)
  2. Details of the research you undertook during your Masterate; a copy of the summary and conclusions chapter is often helpful, and we may ask you to supply a PDF of your full thesis and any publications that arose from it
  3. International students must also supply evidence of their performance in IELTS (we require students to have an IELTS score of at least 6.0 overall and no band less than 6.0)
  4. An indication of whether you intend to apply for a scholarship to help fund your PhD
  5. Contact details of two academic referees who can attest to your research ability
  6. A detailed proposal (at least 5 pages not including references) see below
  7. Your current curriculum vitae

Please do not send details of your secondary school education or copies of references. If we require this information, we will request it from you. Please send only the documents outlined above to the following email:

The PhD Director will assess this information and advise you whether you meet our preliminary entry requirements.

Your research proposal should:

  • Include a clear statement of the research question(s) you wish to address
  • Cite relevant and appropriate literature
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the wider context in which you propose working
  • Describe a potential approach to addressing your research question(s)

We strongly recommend that you review current staff members’ research interests when developing your research question.

Take a look at information on our research activities within the Department of Marketing.

Your brief proposal will enable us to assess whether suitable supervision is available in the Department. Please note that we cannot undertake to provide supervision; this will depend on the alignment between your question and our interests, as well as on staff members’ current commitments. The PhD Director will advise you of staff who could potentially provide supervision and they will then contact you to set up a meeting (by teleconference if necessary) where you will have an opportunity to learn more about each other’s work and interests, and approaches to research and supervision.

If, following these discussions, the supervisors confirm their availability to supervise, we will then invite you to submit a formal application.

Please submit your formal application online, via the PhD qualification page.

Please note that acceptance by the Department does not guarantee acceptance by the University – a formal application to the University must be made separately after the Department has agreed to provide supervision. Administrative and academic staff from several departments will review your formal application and, if this is successful, you will be offered a place in our programme.

More information on the PhD in Marketing at Otago

For further information on studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with the Department of Marketing please read:

Please contact the PhD Director, for more information.