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Victoria Wells
Professor of Sustainable Management



Victoria Wells has been Professor of Sustainable Management at the School for Business and Society since 2017. Prior to joining York, she held academic positions at Sheffield University Management School, Durham University Business School and Cardiff University Business School. She completed her PhD at Keele University and spent a number of years in industry and as an advertising account executive.

She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA), a Certified Management & Business Educator and a Chartered Marketer.

She has previously been Head of Group (People, Operations and Marketing) and Deputy Dean (Operations) at the school.



Victoria’s research is based in the area of consumer behaviour where she studies pub consumers behaviour and sustainable consumer behaviour. 

In her first area of work Victoria works as ‘Professor of Pubs’ and examines consumer behaviour related to pubs. Pubs are unique English institutions which provide a context to relax, drink and meet friends. Currently under threat with many pubs closing this work is motivated by the need to understand consumer behaviour in the area and to aid the survival of pubs and enable them to thrive and continue to support their communities. Her work has also examined consumer co-operative pubs and their members. She is currently working on projects examining what consumer value in pubs, and what the general public perceived about pubs. Her work has been featured in The Yorkshire Post, the Daily Star and The Morning Advertiser.  Her recent York Talk “Last orders: rumours of the death of the pub are greatly exaggerated. But what might its future look like?’ is available to view online

In her second area of work on sustainable consumer behaviour Victoria has extensively studied the behaviour of employees and their environmental behaviour alongside the team at the London based charity Global Action Plan. She has also studied consumer perceptions of a range of renewable technologies and alternative fuels (wind, macroalgae biofuels, hydrogen, electric transport). She has also explored food sustainability examining food waste interventions and the transference of sustainability value and behaviour across generations. She has also worked with the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to develop their messaging and segmentation. Currently she is involved with a project with the GRAB Trust in Oban working on an intervention to encourage the use of reusable coffee cups. Her work in the area of sustainable consumer behaviour leans heavily on social marketing (“Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing alongside other concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals, for a social good” - French and Blair-Stevens, 2006) and she enjoys working with practitioners to develop real world and theoretically grounded interventions.

As well as the above areas Victoria has examined pandemic consumer behaviour, used forging theory to examine consumer behaviour and has explored the use of marketing communications with older consumers.

Available PhD research projects

Victoria welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students in the areas of social marketing and pub consumer behaviour.


Selected publications

Up to date information about my publications can be found on my PURE profile.



Victoria’s teaching is research-led, and encourages students to develop an inquiry based approach to enhance skills in research, group work and collaboration. Her teaching is designed to be practical, allowing students to use academic research, theories and frameworks to solve real world problems and to practice the application of marketing and consumer behaviour research. She also tries to convey the importance of thinking of subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective and to consider the full impact that marketing and consumption has on society.

She has previously taught on the following modules at York: Research and Analytics in Marketing, Marketing in Context, Contemporary Consumer Behaviour and UG Dissertation. She is currently teaching on Contemporary Consumer Behaviour (MSc Global Marketing) and Management and Sustainability (option on MSc programmes).

Victoria has also developed a MOOC which is available via the University of York entitled Pubs: history, consumers, management and protection which is available to none university students. 

External activities

Business engagement


  • Chartered Marketer - Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), from 2013
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), from 2019 (fellow from 2008)
  • Certified Business and Management Educator (CMBE), from 2022

Victoria’s work encompasses social marketing, sustainability and environmental behaviour and she seeks to find creative ways to understand and encourage sustainable behaviour that really works for businesses and individuals. Victoria has has worked extensively on employee environmental behaviour examining barriers and motivators as well as communications and other strategies that can be used to develop and encourage these behaviours. She has also looked at ways in which environmental donations and volunteering can be encouraged. Finally, she has also examined cooperative membership (consumer cooperatives such as pubs/shops etc).


Victoria has worked on environmental behaviour interventions with Global Actions Plan and with Veris Strategies. Alongside them she has worked with a range of international clients to ensure efficient and accurate data collection, and data analysis for use in marketing strategies to enough employees to be more environmentally positive.

She has worked with the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to develop a segmentation analysis of their members and positional members to ensure helpful communications and targeting decisions can be make within a context of limited resources.

She has also worked with the Golden Ball Cooperative pub to examine the motivations of their membership and to examine why consumer cooperatives are attractive to some consumers, and how their involvement can be further encouraged.

Victoria is currently working with the GRAB Trust in Oban to support and examine their campaigns to reduce littering and to encourage a reduction in use of single use coffee cups.

Social Media

Victoria tweets about her pub research as @ProfessorPubUK

School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 325318
Room: CL/A/004

Subject Group

People, Operations and Marketing

Feedback & Support hours

Please contact me directly to arrange a meeting