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 involving deep investigations into cultural, historic and technological contexts both in Ireland and globally. Our practice-based PhDs (offered in association with the ADAPTr programme) and research-by-design activities promise new knowledge through not only the analysis of the existing, but also the documentation of new processes and situations created by new design thinking. In both, architecture is seen both as a lens and as a measure of urban, suburban and rural landscapes.

Subject Summary
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.

Course structure
An MPhil is awarded for original research in a topic chosen by the student. This programme may be undertaken on a part-time (4 year) basis. To complete with an MPhil qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of no more than 50,000 words.

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.

Entry requirements

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.


Mode of study / duration
This programme is intended for those in design practice and who would remain in practice for the duration of the MPhil while enrolled on part-time basis at Queen’s. Registration is on a part-time basis only, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of four years.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Many of our MPhil 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 MPhil level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on 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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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