Welsh School of Architecture

MPhil and PhD research degrees

What we do

The research topics of postgraduate students at the School reflect the wide expertise of the staff and the varied research in which they are engaged. Many relate to the WSA's established reputation for research in all aspects of sustainability, in architectural history in diverse cultural contexts, and in design-led approaches to research. Research students are attached to one or other of the School's Research Groups, the Architectural Science Group (ASG), the Architectural History and Theory Group (AHTG), and the Design and Practice Research Group (DPRG). Doctoral or MPhil research often relates also to the work of one or more of the School's Research Centres.

A list of current and recent PhD and MPhil research students and their research projects is given here

Research students

Who we are

Candidates are guided through their research by experienced supervisors, normally one main supervisor and one second supervisor. Supervisors are appointed on the basis of appropriate knowledge of the candidate's chosen research area. As well as guiding the research, supervisors advise students on their training needs and career development. They will suggest suitable training events within the School or run by the University Graduate College. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact a suitable potential supervisor with their initial ideas for a research proposal in order to explore possibilities.

The expertise of individual research supervisors is summarised here.

Research supervisors

MPhil/PhD through design

The School has an established record of research using design as a method of investigation, and of research leading to design as an outcome or conclusion. It encourages applicants whose MPhil/PhD proposals are led in these ways by design.

How to apply

The School welcomes enquiries and applications from suitably qualified people wishing to conduct research in any of the broad fields outlined on our research pages.

Applicants should apply using the online application form available from the University:

More information

All MPhil and PhD applicants are requested to submit a research proposal with their application. For guidelines to writing a research proposal please use the following links:

PGR Applicant Proposal Guidance

PDF version (.pdf) Word file version (.doc)

It is essential to explain the topic or area of interest so that we can assess whether we have staff able to supervise the research study (see Research Supervisors). Each application is considered on individual merit. Applicants are encouraged to provide as much information and supporting documentation as possible about their academic record, relevant work experience and funding support. Applicants will be interviewed, usually by the prospective supervisor, using Skype where it is not possible to meet in person.

Applications can be made at any time of the year, and if successful, students may start their study on the 1st October, or 1st April.


Funding opportunities may be found here: www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/prospective/pg/funding/

PhD studentship: Plants & Architecture - Nature inspired design and biomaterials

A Sêr Cymru National Research Network funded PhD studentship is available at the Welsh School of Architecture.

The studentship covers tuition fees and provides a stipend at the RCUK rate (currently £13,863 for 2014/15).

Start date: 1st July 2015
Deadline: 29th May 2015

To apply: Please email a CV & Covering Letter to Katrina Lewis: lewisk2@cardiff.ac.uk.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit a standard application for Postgraduate Study via the Online Application Service.

Further details: http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/funding/R2504.html

Brazilian applicants: Science without Borders

Any PhD applicants from Brazil are eligible to apply for funding through the 'Science Without Borders' scheme.

Further details at these websites:

For more information, please contact our Research Executive Officer, Ms Katrina Lewis:
Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 6251
Email: LewisK2@cardiff.ac.uk

Modes of study

Candidates may study at the School for research degrees full-time or part-time. There is also the option of studying externally, i.e. away from the School. Full-time PhD candidates normally study for 3 years and part-time PhD candidates for 5 years. For the MPhil degree, full-time study is normally 1 year, while part-time study is generally over 2 years. The lengths of time cited above refer to the time spent in completing a planned programme of research. There is additional time allowed, within strict limits, for writing up the thesis.

Monitoring and examination

Throughout the study period, the candidate's progress is monitored at 6 monthly intervals in accordance with the University's procedure. This involves the student completing a self-assessment form and their supervisor, in consultation with the student, submitting a progress report. These are reviewed by the School's Research Committee. The Committee carries out a more detailed review of the progress of research students every 12 months, normally based on the submission by the student of a written piece of work. The candidate's work is eventually examined by an internal and an external examiner, on the basis of an oral examination as well as the written thesis.