Research course

Urban Planning and Real Estate

University of Glasgow · College of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Our research degree applicants will usually possess a good Master’s degree (or overseas equivalent), with a significant component in urban planning and real estate.

Your proposed research topic should be in an area in which supervision can be offered. You may find it helpful to search our staff research profiles.
Required documentation

Applicants should submit:
  • Transcripts/degree certificate
  • Two references
  • A one-page research proposal
  • CV
  • Name of potential Supervisor

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide a single page outline of the research subject proposed (approximately 1000 words). This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:
  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Months of entry


Course content

Urban Studies at Glasgow is widely recognised as a world-leading centre for innovative, interdisciplinary urban research with significant impact. The UK funding councils ranked us joint 1st in the UK, with 100% of our output assessed as internationally excellent or better (Research Assessment Framework (REF) 2014).

A PhD in Urban Planning and Real Estate Pathway (UPREP) provides students with an excellent grounding in social science research methods and theory and in the theoretical and policy debates around urban space, place and planning. Studying urban research within the setting of Glasgow allows for direct engagement with many of the most pressing urban problems of our time and with the types of solutions being developed to combat these. Our supervisory staff are engaged in internationally acclaimed research and evaluation related to key urban policy initiatives across Scotland and beyond.

Our expertise spans social, economic and physical change in cities, and we use multi-level approaches to understand the relationships between:

  • housing
  • labour markets
  • systems of governance
  • health
  • crime
  • education
  • real estate
  • planning
  • the environment.

If you study with us, you can learn from academics considered leaders in their fields and gain vital practical knowledge for shaping places, strengthening communities and improving policy making.

The UPREP is for students in predominately policy and practice-focused interdisciplinary study areas, and draws on architecture, geography, economics, political science and sociology, as well as professional knowledge in planning, property development, housing and urban policy (students may wish also to consider a Public Policy PhD).

A PhD in UPREP can be taken as a 1+3 programme in conjunction with the ESRC-recognised training programme, the MRes Urban Research or, for suitably pre-trained candidates, as a +3 programme.

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

Please see the English Language requirements if your first language is not English. Please also see the international page.

Fees and funding

Please see the postgraduate research scholarships.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details