Architectural Practice MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

This new doctoral programme encourages the development of architectural research through a combination of designing and writing about applied ‘real-world’ projects that candidates are engaged upon through their own professional practice.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£6,035
£3,015
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£28,100
£14,050
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject, is essential. Exceptionally: where applicants have other suitable research or professional experience, they may be admitted without a Master's degree; or where applicants have a lower second-class UK Honours Bachelor's degree (2:2) (or equivalent) they must possess a relevant Master's degree to be admitted. We expect any successful application to include a sufficiently strong and convincing proposal, and those holding a Master's degree are typically well prepared to provide one. Relevant work experience is highly desirable.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

This new doctoral programme encourages the development of architectural research through a combination of designing and writing about applied ‘real-world’ projects that candidates are engaged upon through their own professional practice. It can be studied full-time or part-time, depending upon individual circumstances, and the supervisory team will include a subsidiary supervisor who is a noted practitioner within the field.

Throughout the programme students develop a thesis, consisting of design projects and a text, sharing a research theme. The research investigations for the applied projects may be drawn, filmed, built, or made using whatever media is appropriate. However, the key requirement in this MPhil/PhD programme is that the research work needs to be carried out on projects that have been completely built or are in the process of being built.

Who this course is for

Students are expected to be independent thinkers, in order to make an original contribution to knowledge and expand the disciplinary discourse in their field of inquiry. They should be reflective within the shifting boundaries of their discipline and the rapidly changing nature of the architectural profession, and aware of how these are affected by societal and institutional challenges. The research proposal is crucial to our decision on your application since it demonstrates your ability to identify and articulate an independent line of research inquiry.

What this course will give you

The Bartlett School of Architecture is a multi-disciplinary department with researchers active in architectural design, history, theory, practice, computation and space syntax, who bring together approaches from the arts, humanities, social sciences and engineering to the study of architecture. 

91% of research at The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment has been deemed ‘World Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’, and the faculty is number one for Research Power in the built environment (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

The foundation of your career

As a new programme, we have no alumni as yet.

Employability

The programme differs from other doctoral programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture in that candidates will already be employed either in their own practice or else working for another firm.

As one of the world's top-ranked architecture schools, the intention is that upon completion of their PhDs, candidates can become even more ambitious and successful in their future professional careers. It might also be the case that undertaking the PhD will enable them to take up part-time academic roles whether at The Bartlett or other higher education establishments.

Networking

The school offers students numerous opportunities for networking with the professional community. Engagement with practising planners on taught programmes is reinforced through contact with visiting speakers in our extensive seminar series. Careers events are attended both by past alumni who have become successful architects and by employers seeking expertise within our student body.

Teaching and learning

Supervised by both a principal and secondary supervisor, candidates pursue their own independent design research investigations based upon themes and issues that they have identified through their professional practice.

Architectural Practice thesis submissions combine a design project(s) and a text of around 60,000 words. 

Primarily, you are expected to conduct independent research, with guidance and supervision. The programme places emphasis on a close one-to-one working relationship between you and your supervisor. Your supervisor may suggest that you enrol in, or audit, an additional taught module. Taught models do not form part of your MPhil/PhD programme and so are not formally assessed.

Your Principle Supervisor will establish a timetable of regular meetings with you at which all matters relating to you work can be discussed; such meetings should take place at least once per month.

Research areas and structure

Research environment

Supervision and mentorship is typically available from researchers with national and international contacts and collaborations across policy, government, industry and academic sectors. These links provide real opportunities to network and collaborate with a variety of external partners. You will usually have the opportunity to showcase your research at national and international conferences. You may lead your own networking initiatives such as the Bartlett Film, Place, Architecture Network, which organises seminars and workshops for staff and students. You will usually also gain access to networking events, career workshops and seminars held by The Bartlett School of Architecture.

You will be expected to undertake independent research, with supervision and guidance, and normally are also expected to attend structured courses to learn about research methods in the field.

You will be expected to undertake independent research, with supervision and guidance, and normally are also expected to attend structured courses to learn about research methods in the field.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100 £14,050

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

As a research student, your additional costs may include expenses such as books, conference attendance and field research, in the UK or overseas.

The Built Environment Faculty Offic provides financial support to students through the Bartlett Student Conference Fund, Bartlett Doctoral Initiative Fund, and Bartlett External Training Fund. However, please note that these funds are limited and available through competition. 

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

In our faculty, The Bartlett Promise Scholarship aims to enable students from backgrounds underrepresented in the built environment to pursue PhD studies. Please see the UK PhD scholarship pages for more information on eligibility criteria, selection process and FAQs.

Any additional funding available from The Bartlett School of Architecture and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on their respective websites.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise PhD Scholarship

Deadline: 19 May 2024
Value: Full fees, plus £19,668 maintenance (Normal duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Deadline: 12 January 2024
Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.