Research Master's track in Marketing

Program structure and content

The research-master program in marketing is an in-depth study program focused on cutting-edge research in marketing using state-of-the-art techniques. In all our research, real world, business relevance is a core value. Our program trains you in applying advanced marketing theories and methods to approach these real-life marketing problems that companies face nowadays.

To study these problems, our students rely on extensive and unique company and/or consumer data. Research data is either self-collected through our elaborate lab facilities (CentER lab) and large scale internet panel (CentERdata), or it is made available through the many company collaborations and research contacts of our faculty with key business partners including retailers (e.g., Jumbo), brand owners (e.g., Unilever, Heineken), and prominent research companies like GfK and Kantar World Panel.

The program is structured in two phases:

  • a two-year Research Master (RM)
  • and a three- to four-year PhD phase

Marketing track: key traits

The marketing department hosts academics with a strong international reputation in all three sub domains of Marketing, namely consumer behavior, marketing modeling, and marketing strategy. These three research areas are each rooted with basic disciplines.

  • Consumer behavior draws from work in psychology.
  • Marketing modeling is strongly rooted in econometrics and economics.
  • Marketing strategy is closely linked to research in organization.

In our program, research master students get broad exposure to all three marketing sub domains, but at the same time, they also have the opportunity to further specialize in one of them as their main research area for the master thesis. Moreover, our students receive a solid training in a divers set of other business research techniques, as well as new methods in other disciplines that they can build on in their own research.


Teaching is led by academics that are at the forefront of their fields. You will be part of a select group of finest students from all over the world. You take classes in very small groups. This allows intensive interaction with professors who are top-notch researchers, both during as well as outside of classes. In our coursework, the different advanced research methods and techniques are actively implemented in research projects, assignments and term papers to foster student learning. 

Dr. B. Deleersnyder

University lecturer

Which students are we looking for?

The research master in marketing is an in-depth study program, aimed at ambitious, diligent, and hard-working students that want to distinguish themselves in the area of quantitative marketing research. You should not only be committed to conduct rigorous research, you should also be critical and show the capacity to ask and answer new research questions that have strong managerial relevance for modern companies. You will need ability and drive to creatively approach new management problems in the marketing domain. We expect you to come prepared to class, and to actively participate in intensive intellectual class discussions. In return, we offer a vibrant environment in which you can approach any member of faculty to discuss an idea or to ask for advice.

A strong liking for quantitative courses and applied statistics is a prerequisite. A marketing background is not required. The background of our current students and graduates has been diverse, ranging from econometrics to economics, finance, statistics, organization, psychology, and information management.

Knowledge sharing

Beyond leading to scholarly publications, research conducted by research master students in marketing based on their coursework (in the form of term papers) or their master thesis have been communicated to practitioners in diverse other ways as well, such as through focused workshops, conferences, press articles and webinars, while their work is also featured in our classrooms to educate a new generation of marketing scholars with the latest trends.

Career opportunities

Research master graduates from the marketing program are well-qualified for both academic and professional positions in the public and private sector.

Some of our research-master students embark on a 3-year Ph.D. and become professors in marketing – not only in the Netherlands, but also abroad. With their research, discoveries, and insights – expressed through writing, speaking, and teaching – they help shape the business world.

Many graduates from the research master program in marketing proceeded in our PhD program, after which they have been offered excellent positions not only by leading universities in the Netherlands (Rotterdam School of Management, RU Groningen, TU Eindhoven), but also in the United States (University of Rochester, Penn State University), Europe (Cologne, Leuven, etc.) and Australia (University of South Australia). Alternatively, advanced research positions at leading international firms have been offered to research master graduates that went back to industry.

Others opt for advanced marketing research jobs with international companies and consulting firms like GfK, Deloitte or Accenture. Each year, GfK hires several of our research master students as Business Analysts or Consultants Consumer Insights because of their outstanding training in state-of-the-art marketing research techniques. If you are still undetermined as to whether you would prefer to pursue an academic or business career, you are offered the possibility to write a research-master thesis with GfK. Along the way, you can discover whether an academic or a professional position would suit you most.

Our placement record

  • Ralf van der Lans, professor HKUST
  • Anne ter Braak, associate professor KULeuven
  • Arjen van Lin, assistant professor VU
  • Millie Elsen, researcher at CentERdata
  • Inge Vening, business consultant at research firm GfK
  • Natasha Kroon, lecturer Marketing Department, Tilburg University
  • Yufeng Huang, University of Rocherster
  • Johanna Slot, Penn State
  • Kristopher Keller, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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