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.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week. Part-time students normally attend half this amount. Research students are required to be in continuous attendance, apart from periods of leave.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.
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: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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.
Select your country:
- 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.
About this degree
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.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
The MPhil/PhD programme is one of independent research but your Principal Supervisor will establish a timetable of regular meetings with you at which all matters relating to your work can be discussed; such meetings should take place at least once per month.
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.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Our graduates find employment in a wide range of careers as built environment professionals including academia, government, public service, policy formation and media worldwide.
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.
We provide an increasing number of networking opportunities for our students, including book launches and social events, lectures, collaborative projects and visits.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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.
Department: Bartlett School of Architecture
Application and 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.