Institution / Queens University Belfast
City scape

Architecture - Research

Programme Overview
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

Entry Requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:

•Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
•Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Entrance 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.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. 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.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


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).

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Professor Greg Keeffe
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Tel: 9097 4214
WWW: http://


Special Features

•A research by design methodology allows architects to develop research utilising their professional skills.

•The international perspective of the Centre allows research to be extended beyond Northern Ireland.

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 Strengths

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 modelling, BIM and post-disaster reconstruction.

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.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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