PhD Architecture

Year of entry: 2022

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Overview

Degree awarded
PhD
Duration
3 years
Entry requirements
  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master's degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 60% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 60%).

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme overview

  • Ranked 11th in the world and 3rd in the UK for Architecture (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • Explore the complex processes and practices that run through the development, adaption and use of built environments.
  • Enjoy supervision by leading specialists and research-active staff who provide a supportive and stimulating working environment.
  • Become part of one of the best research communities in the UK with an excellent reputation for variety, vitality, and quality of work.

Open days

The University holds regular open days , where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and learn more about our facilities and programmes. 

On this day, you will find out more about the School, our resources, and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £3,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Your fees will cover the cost of your study at the University, as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, examinations and graduation (excluding graduation robe hire).

Payment of tuition fees will also entitle you to membership of The University of Manchester library, the Students' Union and the Athletic Union.

Scholarships/sponsorships

We receive money from a range of sources to help you fund your research and have a variety of awards on offer, covering tuition fees and a generous stipend, including school and departmental studentships and the President's Doctoral Scholar award

Application deadlines for internal funding opportunities are often at the beginning of February for programmes starting the following September, and many external funders have earlier application deadlines. 

If you're planning to apply for a scholarship or award that is not attached to a particular project, you'll normally need to hold an offer of a place from the University before applying. 

Search for current funding opportunities by country and research programme using our funding database search tool .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Christopher Kitchen
Telephone
+44(0)161 275 0807
Email
School/Faculty
See: The School .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

  • A First or Upper Second Class Bachelor's degree (or its international equivalent).
  • A relevant master's degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 60% in both the taught course units and your dissertation (or international equivalent of 60%).

English language

Candidates whose first language is not English require one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS test minimum scores - 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections;
  • TOEFL (internet based) test minimum scores - 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections;
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum scores - 66 overall, 66 writing, 59 other sections;
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169, or Grade C if taken before 2015;
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) - overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169, or Grade B if taken before 2015.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years.

Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the programme.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

Your completed application should include: 

  • two references, one of which should be familiar with your academic work, on headed paper from the institution, signed, dated and stamped;
  • a degree certificate and transcript for your bachelor's and master's degrees;
  • a research proposal;
  • evidence of your English language proficiency;
  • a detailed CV. 

Admission to studying for a PhD or a Professional Doctorate is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics' profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines. 

Your supervisor will be an important part of your PhD programme. It's a close relationship over several years, through which you develop your ideas, skills, thinking and research. Your supervisor's research interests should therefore closely align to yours. 

If you aren't applying for a specific project, you'll need to find potential supervisors who will support your research. Details on recent publications, ongoing projects and particular research interests are all available on our academics' profiles .

We strongly recommend that you approach academics who complement your research interests before you apply. 

Most potential supervisors will be happy to provide pre-submission feedback on a well-developed draft proposal that closely matches their research expertise. For more guidance, see how to write a research proposal  

If you identify an academic who is interested in supervising your work, you may be able to receive advice and critical feedback that helps you to make your proposal stronger and more competitive. This is particularly beneficial if you are considering applying for funding. Please send your proposal to one potential supervisor at a time only.  

Alternatively, you could apply directly . Your application will be given our full attention regardless of whether a potential supervisor is named.

How your application is considered

In reaching a decision on applications, we review a number of criteria, including:
  • the availability of two appropriate supervisors;
  • the relevance and strength of your research proposal;
  • your academic standing and relevant professional experience.

When you submit an application, you will receive notification that it has been received. Our admissions team will contact you to let you know if we require any further information.

We aim to process all applications within six weeks and will contact you with our decision as soon as possible.

Interview requirements

You may be required to attend an interview.

Programme details

Programme description

PhD Architecture is based within the Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) , and looks beyond technical design to the complex processes and practices that run through the development adaptation and the use of built environments. 

We traverse the disciplinary boundaries of architecture and social sciences to open new areas of architectural research, create new standards of architectural study, and craft new conceptual language to inform and influence architectural policy. 

Sitting within the School of Environment, Education and Development, and the Manchester Urban Institute, allows us to benefit from synergies with Planning and Environmental Management, Geography, and several other disciplines. 

Through these connections, we have developed a distinctive expertise based on theoretical experimentation, methodological rigour, empirical attention, and a hands-on study of architectural practice, building technology and techniques of architectural representation and mapping. 

Our research themes include: 

  • architectural history and theory;
  • networks of architectural expertise;
  • social studies of architecture;
  • the politics of urban infrastructures.

We have specialist and research-active staff who provide a rich and stimulating environment for everyone. Many staff are practicing, or have practised, as architects and have strong links with the architecture community in Manchester and beyond. 

Although we welcome applications on any subject, we are particularly keen to receive research proposals on topics including: 

  • the politics of construction;
  • architecture and climate transformations;
  • urban infrastructure and global transformations;
  • political economy of architecture and politics of design;
  • art, architecture and architectural curating;
  • architectural collections, archives and exhibitions;
  • anthropology of design and construction practices;
  • technologies, media and innovations in architecture: epistemological and political implications;
  • architecture's globalization and material politics of infrastructure;
  • digital theory and history of architecture;
  • political economy of architecture.

Special features

Our research crosses disciplines to open new areas of architectural research. 

As a PhD candidate in the Manchester School of Architecture , you'll also be part of the School of Environment, Education and Development  (SEED), a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between the disciplines of Architecture, Education, Geography, International Development, and Planning and Environmental Management. 

What unites us is a shared commitment to highlight and address the uneven relationships between societies, economies and the environment. We want to better understand the world in which we live, and to offer solutions to the problems within it. 

We acknowledge that a complex and interconnected world presents many challenges for analysts, but researchers in SEED are pioneering new evidence, measures, concepts and theories to address these challenges in practice. 

SEED's world-leading research is rooted in everyday life but international in relevance and scope, addressing social, economic and environmental concerns across the globe. 

Our PhD and professional doctorate research community, grouped around a range of dynamic Centres and themes, is central to the SEED research agenda across all our disciplines. 

To further this agenda, we need fresh input and clear thinking from a fully engaged, curious, critical, and socially aware PGR community. 

We're not here simply to 'supervise' - we seek to discover and co-produce new knowledge with students as our partners. 

You will become part of a talented, energetic, committed and supportive academic and postgraduate research community.

Teaching and learning

When you become a postgraduate researcher, you'll join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.  

You'll be assigned to a specific research grouping that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes. 

Our working environments are often spacious and open plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School, you will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus. 

All our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research. You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project. 

As a postgraduate researcher, you'll have access to a large and diverse community of internationally-recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development. 

We provide additional financial support for activities related to your PhD, including: 

  • presenting at international conferences;
  • attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;
  • conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas.

Scholarships and bursaries

We receive money from a range of sources to help you fund your research and have a variety of awards on offer, covering tuition fees and a generous stipend. 

Within the University we offer many school and departmental studentships as well as the President's Doctoral Scholar award

Many research students receive funding externally from places such as research councils, foundations and international government funding bodies. 

Application deadlines for internal funding opportunities are often at the beginning of February for programmes starting the following September, and many external funders have earlier application deadlines. 

If you're planning to apply for a scholarship or award that is not attached to a particular project, you'll normally need to hold an offer of a place from the University before applying. 

Search for current funding opportunities by country and research programme using our funding database search tool

The UK government now offers doctoral loans  for those studying PhDs and equivalent doctoral programmes including professional doctorates. The loan is for a maximum of £25,000 over the duration of the course. 

UK nationals who are ordinarily residents in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, are eligible.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email  dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

As a postgraduate researcher, you'll have access to a dedicated Researcher Development Team who will support your professional development throughout your PhD journey and beyond. 

Our Researcher Development Programme will enable you to become more aware of your developing researcher identity, equipping you with the skills you need during your PhD and prepare you to integrate into the researcher community. 

At every stage of your career, you'll receive relevant, effective and comprehensive professional development opportunities. 

We offer training sessions to build your skills and confidence in writing and presenting, with specific sessions on viva preparation, thesis submission and preparing for your Review Panel. 

You'll also have access to a range of workshops, covering areas such as: 

  • increasing research impact through blog posts;
  • making the most of social media;
  • publishing in journals;
  • applying for fellowships;
  • designing academic posters;
  • improving time and self-management. 

In addition, our Humanities training hub - ResearcherDevelopment@Manchester - gives you additional training opportunities within the University. You can choose courses in public engagement, wellbeing, language training and teaching, alongside more specialist courses in tools and software such as Python, R and NVivo. 

methods@manchester , meanwhile, is an initiative that gives you the chance to learn from the very best in research methods expertise at Manchester and beyond. Regular talks, workshops and other methods-related events are organised throughout the academic year, bringing in experts from across the University and externally. 

Finally, taking a placement provides a great opportunity to engage in knowledge exchange and to develop professional networking opportunities for your future career development. 

We have established Postgraduate Researcher Exchange programmes with a small number of institutions around the world, offering you the opportunity to visit another institution, access research resources and experience another academic culture as well as build professional networks. 

Successful applicants will receive some funding towards travel expenses, accommodation, subsistence, education materials and/or other education-related costs for anything from two weeks to a three-month visit. 

For more information, see training and development  

Careers support  

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .