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Professor Maria Piacentini


Maria Piacentini

Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510686

Research overview


I am a qualitative social science researcher, and my research focuses on vulnerable consumers coping with difficult marketplaces. My research has been funded by UKRI (NERC; ESRC); the British Academy; Barnardo’s, and the European Foundation for Alcohol Research. I have published in international refereed journals in social sciences and marketing/management journal. O am co-editor of Consumer Vulnerability: Conditions, Contexts and Characteristics (Routledge, 2016) and co-author of Consumer Behaviour (Oxford University Press, 3rd Ed. 2022). Along with Emma Banister, Kathy Hamilton and Sue Dunnett, I am co-chair of the Academy of Marketing’s Consumer Research with Impact for Society (CRIS) Special Interest Group. 

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the broad area of consumption and society, particularly relating to commercial determinants of health and inequalities.

Current Teaching

PhD Supervision:

Apisara Khli-in; Lydia Hubbard; Shuntao Nian


1999 PhD(Open University)

1999 PG Cert.(Strathclyde)

1991 BSc Hons(Strathclyde)

Current Research

Plastic Packaging in People's Lives (UKRI/NERC funded) 

Research Grants

‘Vulnerable Consumers’ with Susan Dunnett (Edinburgh) and Kathy Hamilton (Strathclyde) ESRC Seminar Series 

‘The Role and Significance of the High School Prom Among Low-Income Adolescents’ with Dr Peter Nuttall (Bath) and Dr Julie Tinson (Stirling) The British Academy (£10,000)

‘Psychology of Consumer Behaviour’ Awarded £12,337 by the Office of Fair Trading (commissioned research) (2007) Principal investigators: Maria Piacentini, Sally Hibbert and Margaret Hogg.

'Faifley Community Action on Food: Exploring The Potential For Community Development' Awarded £1,000 by Greater Glasgow Health Board (1999) Principal investigators Maria Piacentini, Sally Hibbert and Haya Al Dajani.

'Consumers’ perceptions of speciality coffees' Awarded £62,888 by Teaching Company Directorate and Matthew Algie & Co. (1998-2000) Principal investigators: A. Paterson (Bioscience) & M. Piacentini (Marketing), University of Strathclyde.

'Reducing Confectionery Sales at Checkouts' Awarded £6,855 by Lanarkshire Health Board (1997-8) Principal investigators: M.Piacentini, L. MacFadyen, D. Eadie (Marketing, University of Strathclyde)

Research Interests


I am currently the LUMS Associate Dean for Research (2023- present). I was Head of Department in Marketing (2014-2017), was Deputy Dean/Associate Dean (Resources) in Lancaster University Management School (2018-2020), and then interim Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and EDI (2020-2021).

I have extensive experience of teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and have a PG Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (Strathclyde University).

Career Details

Professional Role

2023 - Associate Dean for Research (LUMS)

2020-2021 Interim Pro Vice Chancellor Education and EDI (Lancaster University)

2018-2020 Deputy Dean/AD for Resources (LUMS)

2014-2017 Head of Department of Marketing

2013-2014 Director of Research, Department of Marketing

2009-2011 Academic Co-ordinator, Period Quality Review (Nov 2011)

2003-2009; 2012 Programme Director, MSc Advanced Marketing Management


External Roles

External Examiner, UG Marketing, Edinburgh University (2017-2020)

External Examiner, UG Marketing, Glasgow University (2014-2017)

External Examiner, PG Marketing, Manchester Business School (2011-2014)

External Examiner, BA Marketing, Stirling University (2009-2012)

External Examiner MSc Marketing Management, Glasgow Caledonian University (2003-2007)

My Role

Associate Dean for Research (LUMS)

Director of Centre for Health Futures (LUMS)

PhD Supervisions Completed

Hayley Cocker,  Andres Barrios, Fredah Mwiti, Liz McIver, Piya Ngamcharoenmongkol, Kath Hennell, Donal Rogan, Virginia Mwangi, Scott Jones.

PhDs Examined

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