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The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management

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MPhil/PhD Construction and Project Management

With a highly multidisciplinary approach, we study the nature of activities such as innovation, learning, risk management, leadership, marketing and financing in projects and project-based enterprises

PhD student at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management

We recruit students who are highly motivated and qualified, willing to push the boundaries of knowledge and effect real-world change. Our people are our biggest asset and we are proud of the diversity of our research programmes - both in terms of students' backgrounds and research topics.

PhD research at CPM extends much further than the name of the School suggests: beyond construction and beyond the conventional confines of project management. Our research degrees are truly interdisciplinary programmes, in which we nurture the values of academic research, collaborations and networks. Our PhD alumni have embarked on a number of different paths including academia, government, policy bodies, and industry, both in the UK and internationally.

Postgraduate research is an important part of the school’s activity. Academics and students interact to stimulate ideas, and develop and hone conceptual understanding and analysis, in order to generate original contributions to knowledge. Our PhD research is at the leading-edge, making new advances in the field.

Our diverse faculty are leaders in their fields of research, and students benefit greatly from the opportunity to learn from and interact with them. We have experts on:

  • management related topics, such as innovation, leadership, management of (construction) projects and enterprises, complex projects, organisation studies, organisational culture, and strategic management
  • economics and finance related topics, such as construction economics, housing and real estate development, infrastructure economics, infrastructure finance, real estate economics and finance, climate change economics, economic history, and behaviour change
  • operational fields, such as big data, quantity surveying, sustainability, building information modelling, social networks, supply chains, and building services

About our research programmes

We welcome PhD and MPhil proposals from outstanding applicants related to the above research topics. The research degrees of PhD and MPhil are awarded for the most advanced level of study available at UCL. The aim is to make an original contribution to knowledge, leading to the enhancement of academia and practice.

    Expand the sections below for more detailed programme content.

    Structure and admissions

    Academic record and research interest are key criteria for candidate acceptance. Candidates apply online (not via email) with a personal statement and a full research proposal showing academic rigour.

    Further documents needed for the online application include a CV, two references of which at least one should be academic, academic transcripts provided in English and in electronic format, proof of English language proficiency and an application fee. The UCL website provides more detail on what you need to complete your application.

    We receive a huge number of applications and select only the best candidates for whom we provide a number of PhD studentships.

    Accepted candidates are allocated a principal and a subsidiary supervisor. Students are initially registered for an MPhil until their upgrade. The upgrade takes place after the first year of full-time PhD study and is a formal examination for the admission to the PhD degree including an upgrade report and an upgrade viva. Full-time PhD students are expected to complete PhD study within three years of their registration.

    We nurture and support our PhD students throughout their studies at CPM in a variety of ways:

    • PhD away days and retreats, as well as an annual Christmas dinner
    • Students attend regular School Research Seminars and Bartlett School PhD seminars and conferences
    • We believe that networking is essential, and we provide financial support for students to present at conferences, seminars and workshops
    • Students also undertake a skills development programme through the UCL Graduate School to enhance research skills, life skills and employability
    • PhD students are also able to use UCL's Language Centre to learn other languages (at an additional cost)
    Students

    Research students may study full or part time. The duration of the studies should take 3 years for full-time students and 5 years for part-time students. While we aim to provide studentships for the majority of our PhD applicants, students without studentships should consider how they will support and manage their research. Support is particularly important for part-time research students with other employment, household and personal responsibilities.

    The Bartlett welcomes affiliate research students. An affiliate is normally enrolled for a research degree at another university and attends for a limited period (e.g. three to six months). During this period they carry out research with the supervision and support enjoyed by other research students. The affiliate student, however, does not complete a thesis or gain a UCL qualification. Fees are the same, pro rata, as for other research students.

    Research

    Students chose their own topic, and research topics tend to fall into the broad areas of management, economics and finance of the built environment. Research can focus upon the current conditions or can adopt a historical perspective, and can be qualitative and/or quantitative in nature.

    Further information 

    construction project management PhD