Architecture - Practice-Based - Research
Architecture at Queen's addresses the issues of architecture and urbanism in an increasingly globalised world, where factors such as sustainability and climate change, identity and heritage, and notions of craft and form create a complex context that architecture has to mediate.
Architecture at Queen's values both traditional academic and practice-based research. We have the expertise to support PhDs (full and part-time) involving deep investigations into cultural, historic and technological contexts both in Ireland and globally, and we offer a practice-based PhD (part-time) intended for those seeking to extend or redefine the boundaries and ambition of their current design practice. Our research-by-design activities surface new knowledge through not only the analysis of the existing, but also the documentation of new processes, behaviours and situations revealed through sophisticated design thinking. In both, architecture is seen both as a lens and as a measure of urban, suburban and rural landscapes.
Mode of study / duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
Architecture at Queens is in the Top 200 in the World QS Rankings. In the island of Ireland we are the leaders in Architectural research and indeed we have world-class expertise in Architectural Design, Sustainable Cities, Heritage, and Architectural Humanities. Head of Architecture, Dr Sarah Lappin, was Chair of the Architectural Humanities Research Association for six years, and we were co-founders of the All-Ireland Architecture Research Group. You'll conduct research that addresses the issues of architecture within an increasingly globalised world, focusing on an area of research strength such as materiality (developing new technologies); urbanism (sustainability and heritage); sustainability (developing urban resilience by adaptation); heritage (documenting the architectural past), and cultural context (gaining a real-time understanding of motion in the city). We value both traditional academic and practice-based research, particularly research-by-design, which we use to make new knowledge through not only the analysis of the existing, but also the documentation of new processes and situations created by new design thinking.
A PhD is awarded for original research in a topic chosen by the student. This programme may be undertaken on a part-time (6 year) basis. To complete with a PhD qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of no more than 80,000 words. Research students are appointed a primary and secondary supervisor who will guide them through their research, supported by an independent panel reviewing students' progress.
This independent research is complemented by postgraduate skills training organised by Queen's Graduate School, and other internal and external training courses organised through your supervisor.
If you meet the Entry Requirements, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research question needs to engage with the research interests of one of our staff.
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and a minimum of 5.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, is required. *Taken within the last 2 yrs. International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs. If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
How to apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.
Please review the eligibility criteria on the webpages. If you believe that you meet these criteria then follow the steps below:
Select ONE potential supervisor from our list of Academic Staff (https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/NBE/OurPeople/AcademicandResearchStaff/) and send an email containing:
a brief CV (1-2 pages maximum)
a concise statement that you are interested in studying for an MPhil, stating when you would start, and how you would plan to fund the research
a brief statement of the research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated
Our academic staff welcome approaches from prospective students; staff can liaise with applicants to develop a research proposal of mutual interest. The potential supervisor should get back to you within a couple of weeks. They may invite you to meet with them or they may invite you to apply formally.
If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Catherine Boone (email: email@example.com) who will be happy to help.
This programme may be undertaken on a part-time (6 year) basis.
Post Course Info
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in educational practice, the public sector or within NGO's. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability. For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk. Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.