Architecture - Research

The Centre for Architecture and Construction Management addresses the issues of architectural and urban design 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.

The Centre values both traditional and practice-based research, particularly research-by-design, which it uses 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.

Architecture and construction is seen both as a lens and as a measure of the 'city', allowing action-based research to create new situations that can be analysed and compared with the existing, whilst traditional work creates more epistemic impact.

Entry requirements

Research Degrees (PhD/MPhil/MD/Professional Doctorates)

The normal minimum requirement for admission to a research degree programme is an Upper Second Class Honours Degree from a UK or ROI Higher Education Provider or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Specific entrance requirements for individual programmes are available via the online Course Finder and we recommend that you also visit School webpages and contact potential supervisors to discuss your proposed research.

Factors taken into consideration by School selectors will include an assessment of an applicant's academic background and research proposal (if applicable). Relevant publications, professional research experience or other achievements by the applicant may also be considered.

Further information is available on Higher Doctorates and PhD by Published Works.

English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English, evidence of an acceptable level of proficiency will be required. In addition, applicants who are non-EEA nationals must satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Further information is available on the UK Government website.

The evidence should be in the form of a Secure English Language Test (SELT), or another English language qualification acceptable to the University which examines all four elements of language learning – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS Academic and TOEFL internet based tests should be taken within the last two years. Further information is available here.

Details of the English language requirements for entry to each postgraduate taught and research programme can be found in the individual Course Finder pages.

If you have not yet obtained an acceptable English Language qualification at the required level before sending us your application, your formal offer for postgraduate admission will include an English language condition which you must satisfy before the start of your programme.

INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a wide range of English language courses designed specifically for international students.

International applicants

For more information please visit the international section of our website.

Applicants who require assistance with the application process should email the International Admissions team at


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/MD (or part-time equivalent).

Further enquiries

People teaching you
Professor Greg Keeffe
Planning,Arch&Civ Engineering

Application date

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University's website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Research areas

Research information

Associated Research

Technological innovation: the Centre has an outward reaching research portfolio working with business to develop innovative new technologies for designing, such as developing composite fabric and concrete panels which challenge the perception of concrete as masonry, and food producing facades that climatically control space as well as grow food crops. Design innovation: working as designers within real economic and social contexts, allows studies of material and space that connect social briefs within a research by design framework.

Within Urbanism, the Centre has close ties with the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning: and works with an inter-disciplinary focus on work to do with urban sustainability, heritage and place-based analysis.

Sustainability: particular emphasis in sustainability is given to developing urban resilience by adaptation through new insertions that create new, resilient futures based on differing energy scenarios.

Heritage: studies of Ireland's architectural past have helped contextualise a lost treasure of buildings. More modern architecture has also been documented and analysed, including arts centres and waterside developments.

Cultural context: the city as narrative has been researched through extensive work combining the oral histories of historic neighbourhoods with spatial studies urban morphology. Work on cinema and the city takes the narrative a step further into a real-time understanding of motion in the city.
Construction Management

Research undertaken ranges from construction law and finance to business strategy and risk/disaster management. Particular expertise has been developed in urban construction management, sustainable project management strategies, procurement methods, competence-based modeling, BIM and post-disaster reconstruction.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!