Postgraduate study

Architecture

Awards: PhD, MPhil

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Architecture

Research is central to the study of architecture within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). It motivates our intellectual and creative activities and underpins our collaborations with a range of important international and UK-based institutions.

We actively promote interdisciplinary approaches to research in architecture. Our expertise and interests range across the following areas:

Architectural Conservation

Our focus includes conservation theory and history; urban conservation; conservation technology; and the challenges of bridging the gulf between heritage and new architecture.

Architectural History, Theory and Criticism

We have particular strength in the history of architecture in Britain and the British colonial world (18th and 19th centuries); Germany, Central Europe and Russia; modernism in Europe, North America and Africa; Renaissance Italy; the history of landscape; the history of technology; the international history of mass housing and urban development; the theory and philosophy of architecture; the philosophy of place; and critical inquiry and methodology.

Design-led Research and Studio Practice

We focus on research in and through design, as informed by contemporary architectural and cultural theory; studio pedagogy; research-led teaching; and methodologies of urban research and fieldwork.

Digital Media and Design

We have expertise in the spatial, social and philosophical implications of media; the relationship between computers and design practice; cognitive models of human-computer interaction; 3D modelling; mobile computing; the sonic environment; and e-commerce.

Technology, Environment and Sustainability

We offer expertise in lightweight steel structures; the building envelope; concrete construction; design and manufacturing; and sustainable design in both qualitative and quantitative senses, looking at environmental response, design theory, rural planning and user-centred solutions.

Students pursuing MPhil or PhD programmes are required to undertake research training, which can take the form of a semester-long module or shorter term intensive training courses, and may consist of workshops on research methodologies designed for students working in art, architecture and allied disciplines. Alternatively, MPhil and PhD students may take a combination of the short postgraduate skills training courses offered by the Institute for Academic Development.

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

The research culture is supported by seminar and public lecture programmes, and discussion groups.

Students are required to take a course (or courses) in research training during their degree at the University. This may take the form of a semester-long course offered within the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) at the University, consisting of workshops on research methodologies designed for students working in art, architecture, and allied disciplines.

Alternatively, students may take a combination of the short postgraduate skills training courses offered by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), or any other research methods training suggested by their supervisor.

Research programmes in architecture are served by high-quality library facilities. All students in the programmes are provided with 24-hour-accessible study space, as well as access to well-equipped multimedia laboratories, photography and exhibition facilities.

Normally a UK masters degree, or its international equivalent. We will also take any professional experience into account.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your relevant professional experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Postgraduate Research Director, Architecture & Landscape Architecture, John Lowrey
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2314
  • Email: j.lowrey@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

You should submit a research proposal that outlines your project's aims, context, process and product/outcome. Read the application guidance before you apply:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Research Director, Architecture & Landscape Architecture, John Lowrey
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2314
  • Email: j.lowrey@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE