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PhD in Business and Management - The explanation of consumer choice and marketing behaviour

   Cardiff Business School

  Prof Gordon Foxall  Friday, March 31, 2023  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The explanation of consumer choice and marketing behaviour

Marketing theory 

Supervisor: Professor Gordon Foxall, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.

Consultant co-researchers: Professor Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro, Institute of Psychology, University of Brasilia. Professor Rafael Barreiros Porto, School of Business, University of Brasilia. 

The project involves philosophical critique of approaches to the psychological explanation of consumer choice and/or the theory of the marketing firm. The inter-disciplinary investigation involves economics and psychology, and other social/behavioural sciences in which the candidate is qualified and interested; It entails the pursuit of a critical stance based on philosophy of social science. Candidates need not be experienced in all of these but should be willing to acquire additional expertise where necessary. They will need to use at least one of the underlying theories that form the focus of the investigation: the role of economic psychology in the explanation of consumer choice or the theory of the marketing firm. Both of these theoretical positions have led to extensive empirical research including case study and statistical analyses.  

Potential research questions are the ontology and epistemology of the target consumer/marketing theory, and the empirical specification and testing of theories of consumer psychology and of the marketing firm. The investigation will be a collaboration between the supervisors and the candidate, geared as far as possible to their expertise and research interests. 


  • Previous experience in theoretical analysis.
  • Marketing degree.
  • Philosophical interest.
  • Broad social science knowledge.
  • Knowledge of marketing theory. 
  • Willingness to acquire new knowledge and disciplinary perspectives.


Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Study is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Please visit here for further information about the PhD Programme at Cardiff Business School.

Please see references section for further details on how to apply. Applications should be made online, please visit the Business School website and click "apply now" Business Studies - Study - Cardiff University

Funding Notes

This project is not funded, applications from self-funded home and international students are welcome. Outstanding applicants from ANY country may be considered for one of the available University scholarships. The start date is 1st October 2023.
Applications are open until 31st March 2023, however if sufficient applications are received we reserve the right to close the application early.
For more information about scholarships, entry requirements and application process please visit our website


When applying, please specify the project title and supervisor of this project and whether you are self-funded or are applying for funding (within or external to the University).
The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: The covering letter must name the project being applied for and should be addressed to the supervisor. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (6.5 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
5. Research Proposal: The proposal should build directly on the project description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
• Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
• An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
• Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
• A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
• Bibliographic references
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (

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