PhD Marketing


With an underlying specific overall developing economy and sustainability contextual focus, the main objectives of the PhD Marketing programme are to develop and enhance student ability in:

  1. Acquiring relevant skills for the conduct of research into phenomena leading to the discovery and application of knowledge in the field of marketing;
  1. Developing critical thinking skills necessary for the acquisition of relevant knowledge needed in the design, execution and presentation of original research in Marketing;
  • Understanding relevant research methodologies, techniques and analytical frameworks from other fields of study that have relevant applications in Marketing;
  1. Appreciating research ethical challenges confronting marketers;
  1. The acquisition of both pedagogical and andragogical skills to enhance their teaching abilities


In line with the UPSA mission, the PhD marketing programme, was designed with inputs from practicing academics in the field and external academic partners. It hinges on a foundation of in-depth knowledge in the core areas of marketing theory and strategy, marketing models, consumer behavioural concepts and general principles of marketing from a developing economy and sustainability perspective, and applicable in both the public and private sectors. The programme, however, offers the potential student, a special focus on consumer behavioral issues or marketing strategy, to be achieved through relevant instructor designed content and the creative facilitation of knowledge discovery. Further, the philosophy of the programme, hinges on a rigorous demand for independent research work guided by academic mentors and a well-designed policies and procedures document. The programme, a blend of research and course work, is designed to equip students with the requisite theoretical background and methodological skills necessary for carrying out industry-relevant research and the development of successful careers at institutions of higher learning, in an environment that provides opportunity for discourse and exchange of ideas between, students, faculty and industry experts. This approach will be a precursor for students to contribute meaningfully and scientifically to the generation of marketing knowledge in particular and the social sciences in general.

It offers students an interdisciplinary environment towards the review and discovery of creative marketing ideas and the development of analytical skills critical for the effective and efficient resolution of complex marketing problems. Thus, the overarching intent of the programme is to inculcate in the student, the craft of marketing scholarship crystallized in the establishment of a strong linkage between theory and practice for the effective application of marketing in both private and public sectors and to research practice in general. With a focus on producing graduates with high intellectual ability, curiosity and motivation to conduct insightful and significant research on diverse marketing problems, upon completion, students will be well-prepared to seek positions in leading research universities in Ghana and across the globe.


Admission into the programme will be once a year and the following groups of applicants will be considered:

  1. Applicants with an MPhil, MSc, MA or MBA in marketing from an accredited university or college, with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  1. Applicants with a marketing related thesis from an MPhil, MSc, MA or MBA in other business disciplines from an accredited university or college, with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • Applicants with a professional marketing qualification e.g. CIM, CIMA etc., in addition to a non-business MBA, MA, or MSc from an accredited university or college, with a minimum 3.0 GPA, will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Additional requirements for admission will include:  

  1. Full completion of an admission application form;
  1. Payment of the appropriate application fee;
  • Copies of certified academic certificates and transcripts;
  1. Two recommendation letters on the applicant’s ability to undertake doctoral studies;
  1. Personal statement on motivation to pursue the degree programme;
  1. Mandatory campus visit
  • At the discretion of the admission qualification team, an admission interview may be conducted.


The PhD in Marketing is a 4-year blended instruction course, extendable to 6 years with the approval of the University. Students enrolled in the programme will take the following Semesters as a cohort.


The programme boasts of a diverse and multi-section assessment approach for enhanced rigor as follows:

  1. In-Semester Assessments

In-class assessments i.e. continuous assessment will account for a minimum of 60% of the overall coursework grade. These assessments will include journal article reviews, case analysis, presentations, simulation exercises and long essay projects.

  1. Final Examinations/Term Paper: Students may be required to either take final examination or produce a theoretical paper at the end of a course. Where assigned, these end-of-coursework requirements will normally account for 40% of the overall coursework grade.
  1. Grading: A pass grade of “C” or better is required for a student to remain in good standing to continue with the programme. However, a student who receives two (2) ‘C’ grades will be automatically withdrawn from the programme.
  1. Teaching Resource Skills:

Enrollment in DCPC804/821 – Pedagogy and Andragogy I and II are intended to refine and improve the students’ teaching skill as well as the development of business teaching cases. A required outcome is a teaching case for which the instructor assigns a grade at the end of the semester. Thereafter, students are required to collaborate with a faculty member of their choice, to make improvements to the teaching case and submit to a peer-reviewed journal or conference proceedings for publication.

  1. Comprehensive Examination:

The theory examination, which is to be taken in Year Two (2), Semester Two (2) by all students, is the requirement for formal recognition of the student as a PhD Candidate. It is essentially an assessment of the adequacy of the student’s mastery of the marketing discipline and ability to conduct the required critical reading necessary for formulating and subsequently defending the intended future research proposal. The examination will cover the student’s choice of either Consumer Behaviour or Marketing Strategy and any other three (3) marketing seminars already taken. The examination scripts will be marked by relevant faculty and an overall summary score of 60% or higher will be considered as a “Pass” and any mark below that designated score of 60%, considered as a “Fail”. Only one (1) re-take is allowed for students who fail at the first attempt. A second “Fail” grade will result in an automatic withdrawal of the student from the programme.

  1. Dissertation Guidance (Committee):

On the successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the candidate, in collaboration with the Office of Doctoral Programmes, shall be required to put together his/her dissertation committee. The role of the committee is to serve as a facilitating mechanism that guides the candidate from the dissertation proposal stage through to the actual defense of the completed dissertation. The guidance has been specifically categorized into four (4) stages, each with a clear purpose and a critical evaluation role.

  1. Formation of a Dissertation Committee

The committee shall comprise of a principal supervisor and a secondary supervisor, all of whom shall be full-time and/or affiliate faculty of UPSA. The committee shall collectively provide dissertation guidance to the student, conduct all oral evaluations and mark both the dissertation proposal and the dissertation.

  1. Dissertation Proposal Defense:

Upon the successful completion of DCPC725 – Dissertation Proposal Design Semester in Year Two (2), Semester One (1), the student progresses under the guidance of the dissertation committee, to complete and orally defend his/her research proposal, in an open academic forum to be organized by the Faculty at the end of Year Three (3), Semester One (1). Immediately thereafter, the dissertation committee shall meet to decide whether the work done so far deserves a ‘Pass’ grade and thus is adequate for the student to proceed with the dissertation, with or without any revisions.

(a) proceed with the dissertation without any revisions;

(b) proceed with the dissertation but subject to minor revisions;

(c) the candidate revises and resubmit for a second round of reviews.

If a second round of reviews becomes necessary, each member of the committee shall be required to submit a “Pass” or “Fail” grade for the student. The majority decision is recorded as the final decision of the collective dissertation committee. A student who receives a majority “Fail” grade at this stage is automatically expelled from the programme.

  1. Dissertation Defense:

Upon the completion of the dissertation under the supervision of the dissertation committee, the candidate may be allowed to defend the dissertation in an open academic forum. For the purposes of reviewing the dissertation prior to proceeding to the dissertation defense stage, one (1) external and independent faculty will be invited to join the dissertation committee serving as the final dissertation review panel. The dissertation defense is a public presentation of the work of the PhD candidate and is to be organized by the relevant faculty. Immediately after the dissertation defense, the group of three (3) dissertation reviewers, shall confer and formally inform the candidate that:

(a) He/she has obtained a ‘Pass’ grade and fully satisfied all the requirements for the award of the Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing and that no additional revisions are required;

(b) Subject to some minor changes to be completed within three (3) months, he/she has obtained a ‘Pass’ grade and fully satisfied all the requirements for the award of the Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing;

(c) Subject to some major changes to be completed within six (6) months, he/she has obtained a ‘Pass’ grade and fully satisfied all the requirements for the award of the Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing; or 

(d) He/she has obtained a ‘Fail’ grade and is thus required to revise, re-submit and re-defend the dissertation at a later date.


Candidates will be deemed to have successfully completed the full requirements for the award of the degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing after the completion of the eighty-one (81) credits as follows:

  1. Six (6) credits of foundation core courses;
  1. Nine (9) credits of marketing core courses;
  • Nine (9) credits of marketing seminars;
  1. Nine (9) credits of research core courses;
  1. Three (3) credits of research practice
  1. Obtain a ‘Pass’ mark in the comprehensive examination;
  • Obtain a ‘Pass’ mark in the dissertation proposal defense;
  • Forty-five (45) credits of dissertation guidance;
  1. Obtain a ‘Pass’ mark in the dissertation defense

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