Research course

Built Environment

Open University · Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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Entry requirements

Masters degree (or equivalent) and evidence of capacity and enthusiasm for research.

Months of entry


Course content

Built Environment as a research theme is offered by an interdisciplinary group of researchers, with backgrounds encompassing architecture, engineering, social science, planning and design. We have a particular interest in environmental and social sustainability in the design and construction of the built environment. Most of us are members of the Design Group, and we work closely with other colleagues in the Design and Manufacturing groups to develop innovative, radical and workable solutions to the challenges facing the world today. Our research interests include, in the context of the built environment:

  • low embodied and operational energy/carbon buildings, renewable energy, energy retrofit
  • participatory design, co-design, community-led design, inclusive design, design interactions
  • design and innovation for sustainable urban environments, design ecologies, urban living labs, socio-technical transitions, ecoliteracy, adaptive architecture, the circular economy
  • smart urbanism, digital design in virtual learning spaces, generative computational design, BIM, LCA
  • heritage buildings and value, decision-making, social value, policy, gender and inclusivity
  • oversizing of buildings and building services, establishment of appropriate requirements

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Alice Moncaster