Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



Operations and Systems Management

Start dates

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part-time PhD project, to commence in October or February.

The PhD will be based in Portsmouth Business School and will be supervised by Dr Zeeshan A Bhatti and Dr M Awais Shakir Goraya.

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).

The work on this project will aim to:

  • identify the impact of cutting-edge digital technologies on consumers’ decision-making in an Omni-channel retailing environment.
  • understand consumers’ decisional variations for selected channels over Omni-channel environment.
  • explicate consumers’ shopping patterns for specific products while using cutting-edge digital technologies.
  • expound insights for academicians and practitioners in incepting sustainable retailing models.

The retailers of current times finds it a subtle challenge in dispensing technological facilitation over Omni-channel retailing framework for attracting and retaining consumers. Not only it stands as an elusive challenge for retailers, it probably is unimaginable to anyone’s though that with the ever-changing dimensions of cutting-edge digital technologies, how the modern retailing would look like? Would the new technologies bring about the excitement and enjoyment to consumers’ shopping journey? Or will they fetch more complexities for businesses? Despite the fact that extant literature has presented various insights to the operations and mechanisms of omni-channel and cross channel integration (Li et al., 2018a; Zhang, Ren, Wang, & He, 2018), the impetus to know consumers’ decision making under the influence of cutting-
edge digital technologies is still infancy in the academic and practitioners’ bodies of knowledge.

To address the perplexing nature of consumers’ decision-making and the inception of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even digital taste/smell interfaces, this project will work in the following two phases/aspects:

  1. Consumer centric.
  2. Retailer centric.

Considering both aspects, we believe that sellers can revamp their existing businesses by integrating various new age technologies. With the integration of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even digital taste/smell interfaces, there exist a potential evolution of making retailing business more engaging, immersive, informative, and, ultimately exciting and enjoyable.

Therefore, there exists a call for future research with the below listed research thoughts:

  1. How do cutting-edge digital technologies enhance the consumer experience?
  2. How immersed consumes are in their shopping experience with new technologies? and
  3. How much persuasive consumers get with such shopping experiences such as; how much do they choose to spend, and on what?

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start) 

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students
(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £18,300 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £9,150 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Zeeshan A Bhatti ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.  

When applying please quote project code: O&SM4681020

October start

Apply now

February start

Apply now