The Bartlett School of Architecture


ESRC Studentship: Urban Studies, Transport and Architectural Space


The Urban Studies, Transport and Architectural Space pathway is one of 25 pathways that comprise the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership (UBEL DTP) involving UCL, SOAS, Birkbeck College, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of East London. 

This pathway can submit candidates for consideration via a competitive process for both +3 and 1+3 awards. The 1+3 route provides funding for 1 year of the Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities MSc then 3 years of PhD research.

Awards will be for a start date of September 2021. The studentship will normally cover fees and include a maintenance stipend over three years (for +3 candidates) or four years (for 1+3 candidates). Part-time students are also accepted.

Please review UBEL’s guidance document for further details on eligibility. For any queries please contact ubel-dtp@ucl.ac.uk. 

The following will be essential:

  • Distinction on an ESRC recognised Master’s degree or equivalent research training (for +3 award). This Master’s should be the Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities MSc programme or a close equivalent.
  • Clear evidence of first class ability at undergraduate level (especially for 1+3 awards).
  • 3 years of prior UK residency. Other EU students acceptable but will receive only fees.
  • A research topic that is clearly identifiable as urban-related.

Ideally the candidate will have supervisors located in different Departments across the DTP given this is an inter-disciplinary pathway. An existing record of publication and awards would obviously greatly strengthen the application.

Interested students taking the 1+3 Urban Studies route or a PhD associated with The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, should contact Ava Fatah (ava.fatah@ucl.ac.uk) to discuss research projects, check whether you need to apply to the 1+3 route if you do not have relevant MSc methods training, and to seek advice on prospective supervisors.

Visit the UBEL website to find other members of the pathway team to contact in CASA, Transport@UCL and UCL Urban Lab. 

You can also read recommended advice on writing an initial proposal.

Formal expressions of interest should be registered by sending the following information to this pathway team member in one Word or pdf document by 13:00 (GMT) 14 December 2020:

  1. A project description including prospective supervisor(s) (max 300 words)
  2. A short biography including track record and competencies (max 300 words)

Potential applicants will be notified soon after whether they are invited to submit a formal preliminary application to the DTP via this pathway. Instructions on preparing and submitting preliminary applications to the DTP appear on the UBEL DTP’s ‘How to Apply’ guidelines. The deadline for formal preliminary applications is 11 January 2021.

Prospective students are also encouraged to apply for admission onto Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities MSc or a UCL PhD programme. This is a separate process to the UBEL DTP application. Applications to MSc/PhD programmes should be made through UCL’s Postgraduate Application System. PhD applications should proceed only after contacting a prospective supervisor who agrees to acts as Primary Supervisor.

Successful applicants to the formal preliminary round will then be asked to submit full applications via the UBEL DTP portal by 28 February 2021.

Brexit: Impact on Student Finance

EU nationals remain eligible to apply for an ESRC studentship for 2021 entry on the same full funded basis as in previous years. Please also note the below residency requirements for EU nationals in the UK.

Residential Eligibility

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and
  • have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and
  • not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

Further information on the eligibility criteria for full awards can be found on the UKCISA website.

International Student Eligibility

Students classified as international students are eligible to apply for a full award – both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at the UKRI rate. Please note that fees will not cover the full international fees set by universities, but UKRI grant flexibility to find international tuition fees from other sources.

Applications from candidates who are classified as International students for tuition fee purposes will be considered in the following DTP priority areas:

  1. Research that uses Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM);
  2. Economics;
  3. Research that uses ESRC datasets.