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A PhD in Architecture is a rigorous research degree that examines the discipline of Architecture through several different prisms, such as the built environment, place-making and urbanism.
What’s it like to do a PhD in Architecture?
PhDs in Architecture are usually completely research-based, with minimal teaching elements. As such, they aren’t normally qualifications that lead to professional certification (in the UK, architects are accredited after completing courses certified by RIBA).
Instead, a PhD in Architecture allows doctoral students to undertake specialist research into a broad range of topics associated with Architecture. These include:
Alongside a substantial dissertation, you may also have to produce designs or models to illustrate your research. PhDs in Architecture may also provide you with excellent opportunities for fieldwork and surveys.
PhD in Architecture funding options
In the UK, PhDs in Architecture are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This funding will provide a tuition fee waiver and a living cost stipend. You may submit your own research proposal before being considered for funding, or apply for a project that already has funding attached.
If you’re considering a part-time PhD in Architecture, it may also be worth asking your employer if they’re happy to sponsor you.
The entry requirements for a typical PhD in Architecture usually involve a Bachelors and a Masters degree in a related subject. You may need to have studied an accredited RIBA course. You’ll also need to submit a compelling research proposal detailing your study plans. Any professional experience in architecture that you have will strengthen your application.
PhD in Architecture careers
A PhD in Architecture is an ideal qualification for existing architecture practitioners who want to specialise and expand their knowledge of a particular area of the field. It can also be a good option for those who are interested in embarking on a career in academia or research. Outside of higher education, a PhD in Architecture can set you up for employment in the heritage sector, as well as jobs related to sustainability and accessibility.