Architecture and Digital Theory MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

This programme allows students to produce original research in areas related to computational tools applied to design, regardless of scale, historical time frame or methodological approach.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£5,690
£2,845
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£23,350
£11,860
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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

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. International Preparation Courses

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

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world's most exciting architecture schools, in one of its most inspiring cities. Our name stands for provocative ideas, boundary-pushing research and high-achieving lecturers and students.

We are a multi-disciplinary department with researchers active in architectural design, architectural history, urban studies and space syntax, who bring together approaches from the arts, humanities, social sciences and engineering to the study of architecture. 

In REF 2014 46% of The Bartlett¿s research was rated 4* i.e. 'world-leading', with a further 35% recognised as 3* i.e. 'internationally excellent'.* The Bartlett submitted the largest quantity of 4* world-leading research outputs (156 items) of any university submitting to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel. On 'Research Environment', which grades the 'vitality' and 'sustainability' of the research environment, The Bartlett received the highest score for submission to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel.

We offer specialisations in architectural and urban design, history and theory, criticism and technology, and place strong emphasis on innovative research across disciplinary boundaries. We are the UK's top-ranked architecture school and have a world-leading research position. Our internationally renowned and award-winning design and research work is published and exhibited at galleries and events worldwide, helping our students become the most sought after in Europe. An inspiring programme of lectures and seminars by international academics and practitioners is supplemented by workshops and access to advanced digital fabrication tools. Our central London location makes us ideally placed for architectural education, research and practice, in close proximity to an exceptional concentration of built environment firms and related agencies.

The foundation of your career

Graduate study at The Bartlett School of Architecture is enriched by our contact with a vibrant community of specialist consultants and research associates in industry and academia.

Located in central London, we collaborate on projects with a variety of national and international research centres and public engagement institutions.

Our students also benefit from the most advanced and extensive facilities available in any similar faculty in the EU. This combination of networks, knowledge and technical expertise makes our graduates some of the most sought after in the world.

Employability

Our graduates find employment in a wide range of careers as built environment professionals including academia, government, public service, policy formation and media worldwide.

Networking

We provide an increasing number of networking opportunities for our students, including book launches and social events, lectures, collaborative projects and visits.

Teaching and learning

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) consists of a piece of supervised research, normally undertaken over a period of three years full-time. Assessment is by means of a thesis, which should demonstrate your capacity to pursue original research based upon a good understanding of the research techniques and concepts appropriate to the discipline.

Initially, you will be registered for the MPhil degree. If you wish to proceed to a PhD, you will be required to pass an 'Upgrade' assessment. The purpose of the upgrade is to assess your progress and ability to complete your PhD programme to a good standard and in a reasonable time frame. It is expected that a full-time student will attempt upgrade within 18 months of registration.

During your first year, you will be required to audit at least two modules from Architecture and Digital Theory MRes, including all assignments and tasks. Submissions and exams of audited modules will not be marked, but feedback will be provided.

During your second year, you will co-organise a research seminar with student-led sessions and lectures by invited guests, open to the faculty and students from other programmes.

Research areas and structure

  • Digital design and fabrication
  • Image theory and theories of digital replications.
  • From machine to body
  • From bodies to collective intelligence
  • Philosophy and aesthetics of digital environments and of digital art
  • Cognitive aspects of design computing systems
  • The political economy of digitally driven environments
  • History of digital tools for notation and fabrication

Please refer to The Bartlett School of Architecture website for further details of these research areas.

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 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.

Full-time

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.

This programme allows you to produce original research in areas related to computational tools applied to design, regardless of scale, historical timeframe, or methodological approach. You may be required to audit at least two modules from Architecture and Digital Theory MRes, including all assignments and tasks (submissions or exams will not be marked, but feedback may be provided). During your second year, you are usually expected to co-organise a research seminar (with student-led sessions and lectures by invited guests, open to faculty and students from other programmes).

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 & Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £23,350 £11,860

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 Office provides financial support to students through the Bartlett Student Conference Fund, Bartlett Doctoral Initiative Fund, Bartlett External Training Fund and Bartlett Extenuating Circumstances 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.

Funding your studies

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

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.

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 in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021