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UoA 13 Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

As a world-leading centre of excellence for architecture and the built environment, our diverse research is 4th in the UK, with an overall GPA of 3.53.

We achieved the highest possible score for our research environment, 100% of which is considered conducive to producing research of world-leading quality. Additionally, 100% of our impact case studies and 93% of our outputs were assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We foster an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community. Reflective of this, we submitted 100% of our eligible staff to this Unit of Assessment.

Our results

Quality level 4 star % 3 star % 2 star % 1 star %Unclassified %
Outputs 43.749.
Impact 66.733.

Our research environment

The Welsh School of Architecture has historic research strengths in energy, environment and sustainability. However, its research base has diversified significantly since 2014. New Research and Scholarship Groups have been created, related to 6 main areas of specialism: Computational Methods in Architecture, Energy, Environment and People; Design Practice Materials and Making; Heritage and Conservation; History & Theory; Urbanism.

This diversification reflects wider growth across the school since 2014 in terms of student numbers, which have risen substantially since 2014-2015, and research-active staff numbers which have also increased.

Over the period, £17.3million of investment from Cardiff University to support our growth plans for growth has been secured. The vehicle for this was a business case entitled the ‘Well Informed Design and Education through Research in the Built Environment (WIDER-BE), approved by the University in 2017. The investment reflects the University’s recognition of the key role played by the School in producing research and innovation at Cardiff.

The primary focus of the investment has been the refurbishment of the Bute Building, a Grade II Listed building which has been the School’s home for the last 100 years. This has created larger, lighter and more flexible studio spaces. Workshop facilities have been expanded with an enlarged wood and metal workshop, and digital fabrication facilities encompassing the latest laser cutting, 3D printing and CNC (Computer Numeric Control) technologies, and a robotic arm, providing state-of-the-art facilities for practice-based research. There is a new Living Lab designed to enhance the visibility and impact of the School’s interdisciplinary research. Improved offices for staff and enhanced meeting spaces to help foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research have also been created.

Since REF 2014, we have sustained long-standing, high-impact programmes of research, winning 88 research awards which have provided a 23% growth in income.

Discover our research

Our Research and Scholarship Groups form an inclusive environment to generate knowledge, stimulate debate and create impact.

Pinpointing fuel poverty

Our researchers have developed a new tool which identifies households most in need of support to heat their homes.

infra-red view of building suggesting heat loss

Research at the Welsh School of Architecture

Explore the cutting edge research at the Welsh School of Architecture.

Solcer House


Our impact is achieved by in-house teamwork and collaborations with government, industry and NGOs.