Graduate Studies MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies (BSGS) is unique in the UK Built Environment field in holding two platform grants – awarded by ESPRC to 'world-leading' research groups. The platform grants individually support the two main research groupings within BSGS – 'Complex Built Environment Systems (CBES)' and 'Space'.
  • The Complex Built Environment Systems group (CBES) is a dynamic team of academics working together to gain a deeper understanding of the physical performance of built environment choices and their implications for energy use, health, conservation, productivity and climate change. CBES is primarily interested in developing solutions to the practical problems of designing, constructing, and managing appropriate environments within and around buildings.
  • The UCL Space Group is the international centre of the theory and methodology known as 'space syntax'. The Space Syntax Laboratory is the central hub of the research within the group. It studies the effects of spatial design on aspects of social, organisational and economic performance of buildings and urban areas. Its theoretical and methodological innovation intersects with a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, geography, computer science, psychology, sociology, medicine, mathematical modelling and physics.

IRIS logo

Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Faculty of the Built Environment

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard. A Master’s degree or equivalent is highly desirable.

English level expected: Standard


Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,200
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,250


All Built Environment funding opportunites are advertised on our website.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


In addition to obtaining expertise in one of the built environment sciences, students on the MPhil/PhD programme acquire knowledge and techniques in a rich array of subjects such as statistics and spatial analysis that are relevant to a wide range of fields of endeavour. They also benefit from access to graduate courses, special training courses, research seminars and workshops offered by the department, the Bartlett and across UCL, including the Department of Geography, the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), Development Planning Unit (DPU), Urban Lab and other relevant research institutes at UCL. Students who successfully complete a PhD at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies have gone on to successful careers in academic teaching and research as well as consultancy, policy and architectural practice.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Beijing University of Technology, Lecturer, 2009
  • UCL, Research Associate, 2011
  • GIA Equation, Lighting Designer, 2011
  • Georgia Tech, Lecturer, 2010
  • ICT Research & Development, Partnership Director, 2010


The international reputation of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies is reflected in the wide range of nationalities that form its student cohort. All programmes develop knowledge and skills that can enable students to develop successful careers in a wide range of fields from architecture, urban design and planning, to journalism, public policy, management and consultancy. For those wishing to pursue an academic career it provides a foundation for a PhD degree.


As a university-based endeavour, the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies is ready to embark on bold new ventures, whether by innovating ideas, engaging in enterprise or sharing knowledge. We work with practically-oriented organisations – such as conservation groups, governments, NGOs, companies, consultancies, developers and architectural practices – in order to tackle real-life problems and conditions.

Next steps


Bartlett Graduate Faculty

T: +44 (0)20 3108 9018/9004/9002


Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

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Staff View

"UCL has given me the freedom and space to think through difficult problems that I thought were important and yet under-studied internationally, with the potential to contribute to both the industry and policymaker led solutions to those problems."

Dr Tristan Smith

Lecturer in Energy and Transport

Subject: Energy Institute, Faculty: Built Environment

Student View

"In my field of study I can learn the latest technological advances that relate to the urban environment and how to use them to become a better professional."

Flora Roumpani

Degree: PhD

Subject: Spatial Analysis (Centre for Advanced), Faculty: Built Environment