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About the Programme

Our research seeks to understand the impact of social, environmental, and economic changes on society, drawing on this understanding to contribute to the better design and planning of spaces and places. Ultimately this leads to the creation, management, and maintenance of improved sustainable built and natural environments.

We invite applications for research study in any of our research clusters:

·        Construction Materials

·        Environment

·        Housing and Neighbourhoods

·        Planning

·        Space and Place

·        Sustainable Design, Architecture and Construction

Additional areas for research study are represented through our special-interest groups, including:

·        Building Information Modelling

·        Built Environment and Energy Consumption

·        Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Management

·        Critical Spatial Practice Research

·        Digital Construction Innovation

·        e-Learning

·        Healthy Homes for Building Communities

·        Interdisciplinary Learning Teaching and Assessment

·        History of Architecture Technologies and Architectural Conservation

·        Landscape, Ecology, Economics, and Management

·        Transport Planning

·        Urban and Regional Politics and Economics

·        Value and Cost Management

The Department of the Natural and Built Environment

Within the Department of Natural and Built Environment research is carried out across the areas of:

•             Architecture

•             Built Environment

•             Geography, Environment and Planning

Extensive research is undertaken within these areas. investigating the sustainability of natural and built environments - including responses to the climate emergency - integrating leading-edge multidisciplinary research into past, present and future environmental and socio-technical systems, and human interaction with them, with transformative, applied research into the cultures and capacities of sustainability.

In collaboration with the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, our subject area (Architecture, Planning and Built Environment: Unit of Assessment 16) was ranked first among 23 modern universities and eleventh of all UK universities in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 exercise. Over 80% of our research was assessed as "world leading" (4*) or "internationally excellent" (3*).

How to apply for a self-funded PhD

Information on entry requirements, fees and other costs can be found on our online prospectus

For information on how to apply please visit

For enquiries about our PhDs in Natural and Built Environment, please contact

Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.

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