Postgraduate Programs 2018/19
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Marketing
Award Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing

Master of Philosophy in Marketing

Program Short Name



Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator:
Prof Ying ZHAO, Associate Professor of Marketing


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program is a research-oriented degree that aims to prepare students for a research and teaching career in universities and research institutes. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field. Students intending to do a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program in Marketing at HKUST should consider entering the MPhil Program to acquire the training necessary for a PhD degree.

The PhD Program follows a strong research-intensive tradition on the North American model. It is designed to enable students to gain a deep knowledge of management in general, to develop a concentration in a specialized field, and to provide opportunities for students to do significant original research in their chosen area. PhD students are offered intensive and targeted research training and exceptional collaboration opportunities with faculty to prepare them for their future careers in teaching and/or research. It emphasizes the development of sophisticated, state-of-the-art research skills that help in the creation of new knowledge in a chosen area of marketing: Consumer behavior that is mainly psychology-based, and Quantitative modeling that is largely based on economic and statistical theories.

The program is offered by the Department of Marketing with the following research foci:

Research Foci

Research areas include: consumer information processing, consumer decision-making, non-conscious influences on behavior, affect and emotions, imagery and visual attention, attitudes and persuasion, goals and consumer self-regulation, social identity and consumer self-esteem, cross-cultural research, empirical models of consumers and firms, eye-tracking and spatial modeling, choice models, theory based empirical models, Bayesian data analysis, information economics, retailing and marketing strategy, information and contract, media strategy, online marketing, social media and online marketing, advertising, pricing and sustainability.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 34 credits

PhD: 36 credits

  1. Credit Transfer

PhD students who have taken the HKUST MPhil Program in Marketing will be granted credit transfer to the PhD Program. Students who have taken an MPhil program or equivalent in other universities may be granted credit transfer on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 20 credits.

  1. Introductory Quantitative Requirement

Unless students have clearly demonstrated sufficient knowledge in the area, students entering the MPhil or PhD Program are required to take the following two mathematics-oriented courses in the first regular term of study. The credits earned from these two courses cannot be counted toward the degree requirements.

ECON 5100
ISOM 5540


  1. Course Requirement
  1. Required Courses

MPhil/PhD: at least 16 credits

LANG 5002
MARK 5410
MARK 5460
MARK 5470

Two of the following:

ECON 5130
ECON 5210
ECON 5300
MARK 5520
MGMT 7140

Students are required to take all seminars in their depth area plus one seminar in their non-depth area.

Students may need to take additional courses related to their research topics, as requested by their thesis supervisors.

  1. General Management Courses

PhD: 2 credits

PhD students admitted with an HKUST MPhil degree in Marketing should take one of the following courses in the first year of PhD study, whereas those admitted without an HKUST MPhil degree in Marketing will take this course in the third year of PhD study.

FINA 5120
FINA 5210
ISOM 5700
MARK 5120
orMIMT 5010
orMIMT 5310
MGMT 5230
orMIMT 5120


  1. Elective Courses

MPhil/PhD: 18 credits of other postgraduate courses approved by the PhD Committee

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement
PDEV 6770

Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.

  1. English Language Requirement
LANG 5000

Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

All PhD students must pass a qualifying examination.

Students admitted via the HKUST MPhil Program in Marketing will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the second year of MPhil study. Students who fail the qualifying examination in the first attempt can retake the examination once and must pass the examination before December of the first year of PhD study.

Students without an HKUST MPhil degree in Marketing will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the second year of PhD study. Students who fail the qualifying examination in the first attempt can retake the examination once and must pass the examination before December of the third year of PhD study.

  1. Research Paper Requirement

MPhil students are required to write a research paper by the Summer of the first year of study.

PhD students are required to submit a first year research paper and a second year research paper. Students admitted with an HKUST MPhil degree in Marketing will be exempted from this requirement.

  1. Thesis Research
MARK 6990
MARK 7990


  1. Registration in MARK 6990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.


  1. Registration in MARK 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.


Last update: 31 July 2018

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.
2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80

  • TOEFL-pBT: 550

  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test (effective from 2018/19 admission): 60
    (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)

  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-score: 5.5

Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

3. Program-Specific Admission Requirements
  • A satisfactory score in GMAT or GRE