Research course


University of Cambridge · Faculty of Architecture and History of Art

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Pass).

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

A 1st class or 2i honours (at least 67%/3.6/4.0 GPA or equivalent) undergraduate Bachelor's degree as well as a Masters degree (at least 70% or equivalent) in Architecture or a related discipline.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

A doctoral degree at the Department of Architecture offers the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of a departmental member of staff. Unless the candidate is part of a research group, the research is undertaken entirely by the candidate on their own, with regular supervisions on progress with their supervisor.

The Department welcomes applications from graduates to undertake research towards a PhD in most areas, including: History, Theory and Communication, as well as; Design, Technology and Environment, but is unable to accept candidates for whom no supervisor is available. Unlike, for example, many North American Universities, the Department does not offer a taught PhD programme. Instead, it admits those applicants who meet the academic admissions criteria and whose research interests match those of an available member of the academic staff who is willing to act as the student's supervisor.

As well as the research and skills training programme offered by the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, candidates have the opportunity to attend numerous courses, such as those related to the use of bibliographic resources and other databases, and specific computer skills.

The examination constitutes the oral examination of a thesis not exceeding 80,000 words for the PhD on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty.

The Martin Centre constitutes the research arm of the Department. It is one of the leading architectural research units in Britain, with over four decades of successful global research for government and industry. Research typically crosses traditional research boundaries: transportation and buildings, history and philosophy of architecture, digital media design and communication, risk assessment and mitigation in the built environment, and territorial conflict in divided cities. A rich environment of collaboration exists, with other Departments within the University, and with other institutions within the UK, Europe, the U.S, China, Africa and the Middle East.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, candidates will have acquired excellent skills, experience and knowledge to undertake post doctoral work (research and/or teaching) or another related profession outside the academy.

Department specialisms

Architectural History; Theory and Criticism; Historic Buildings and Conservation; Mathematical and Computer Modelling; Building Physics; Human Comfort and Health in Buildings; Green Issues; Risk Assessment.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
60 months

Course contact details

Marion Houston
01223 332598