PhD in Architecture (Practice-based)

  • All East Midlands, EnglandAll East Midlands, England


PhD in Architecture (Practice-based)

One of four Royal Academy of Engineering designated Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering is home to a thriving community of over 60 academic staff, 40 technical and clerical support staff and over 240 active researchers that include fellows, associates, assistants, engineers and doctoral students.

Our practice-based Architecture PhD programme is tailored for practitioner architects wishing to explore an original research topic while remaining in practice. Unlike some practice-related PhD models, our programme does not involve the submission of an extended piece of self-reflective commentary by an architect on their previous built work and designs. Instead of this passive approach, we take an active one, which involves:

  • an architect creating new, research-led work while in practice
  • critical reflection and analysis of this in written and practical form
  • presentation and defence of this work via the ‘design critiques’ typical of architectural pedagogy and practice.This approach reflects the close alignment of theory and practice in LU-ARC, Loughborough’s new.

This approach reflects the close alignment of theory and practice in LU-ARC, Loughborough’s new architecture division and also reflects changes in RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) expectations, whereby practices are encouraged to build upon their design intuitions with original research that facilitates evidence-based design approaches.

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Entry Requirements

You will need to be a qualified practitioner architect with a minimum of three years of practice experience. Applications will proceed via submission of an outline of the topic and methodology, a digital portfolio of design work, as well an interview.

As the PhD will be situated in practice, several formal commitments will be required from the practice concerned. These include:

  • a commitment to allow the candidate to work on their research for a minimum of 500 hours per annum
  • a commitment to release the candidate for regular tutorials and crits
  • safeguards on the IP (Intellectual Property) of the resulting research if that research is done in collaboration with others in the practice.

You will also need to formally agree with the School on any extra financial contributions that might be required to deliver on the PhD, for example, materials required for manufacture or access to specialist laboratories or computation, and these will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the topic.


This programme is self-funded.

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