A student working on a 3D architecture model

Portsmouth School of Architecture

Find out more about our teaching and research activities within our School of Architecture

At the School of Architecture, we approach architectural design as a practical, ethical and socially responsible process. We focus on architectural design, practice, history and theory, and explore developments in various areas, including sustainable and low carbon design.

Employability is built into our teaching. Students work on projects and with clients through our Project Office. This approach has led to 94% of our students being in work or further study within 15 months of graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2021/22).

We're committed to cross-disciplinary, outcome driven research with regional impact and global reach. Our research focuses on strategic thinking, sustainable design, and community engagement to answer some of the key challenges and matters of concern facing society. Our teaching and research activities inform each other to produce innovative projects and insightful students.

Gender equality commitment

We hold the Athena SWAN Bronze award for gender equality. We're committed to promoting equality of opportunity and career building for women, especially as architecture as a profession has historically struggled to achieve gender equality.


Our School teaches students the importance of context in design, in other words: where, when and how their designs will be created and used. Our students learn in an active, professional environment. Students learn by working on live projects with clients as part of their coursework through our Project Office. Our students graduate with the knowledge, skills and creative thinking needed to approach the challenges our cities and environments face.

Our strong design studio culture encourages students to experiment and test architectural boundaries in a relaxed, cooperative environment. Our postgraduate design studios offer our students a test-bed to develop and analyse design process theories. We regularly invite visiting specialists and professionals to offer new viewpoints, knowledge and support to our students on their projects, the design process, and career development.

Our students have many opportunities to travel and learn overseas. We've developed strong exchange programs and Erasmus opportunities and have close relationships with universities in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Slovenia.

Past students after completing their registration and gone on to run their own practices, such as Simon Astridge Architecture Workshop, DMWA and PCA. Our graduates have gone on to work for many different companies, including:

  • Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt
  • Make
  • Re-Format
  • Grimshaw
  • PAD Studio
  • Hawkins Brown
  • Design Engine
  • Architecture plb
  • Hampshire County Architects
  • Squire & Partners
  • Allies & Morrison
  • Penoyre & Prasad
  • Squire & Partners
  • Kier
  • Hampshire County Council Property Services
  • Karen Millen

Our teaching areas

Our courses blend the key knowledge our discipline expects with new approaches to socially-engaged, inclusive, user-first design, and technology. Many of our courses are accredited by several governing bodies, including the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Our MA Architecture: Building and Heritage Conservation pathway degree is accredited by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and follows the education guidelines of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), UNESCO and Council of Europe. We're also one of the first schools in the UK to offer Degree Apprenticeships in architecture.

To find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, visit our Architecture subject area page.


Our research explores the challenges facing increasingly crowded cities and resource hungry society — from how architecture can improve quality of life, to the social, cultural and environmental effects of architectural, interior and urban design practices.

We work collaboratively with the private and public sectors in Portsmouth on our cities research and we're active participants in our community.

We've received research funding from Portsmouth City Council, British Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Interreg, Technology Strategy Board, Solent Innovation and Growth Network, European Commission, and Arts Council England.

Areas of expertise

Explore the research work we're doing across our areas of expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism research.

Sustainable urbanism

We're exploring the models, technology and policies that can guide governments and planners to develop sustainable cities.
Sustainable housing at Priddy's Hard, Gosport
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Green infrastructures

We're planning cities that can be both liveable for humans, while not resulting in further decline to the planet's ecological vitality.
A view of Portsmouth from Catherine House looking towards Spinnaker Tower
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Digital design and new technologies

We're studying the integration of digital technology and new technologies in architectural planning, urban planning, and sustainability – and how they can impact future design processes.
3d printer model of a new building and city
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Environmental analysis and design

Through our research, we're re-thinking the way we build cities, to better react to environmental issues and challenges, such as climate change.
Skyscraper with plants growing up the facade, Sydney
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Architectural and urban history and theory

Our research in this area of expertise is bridging the gap between the technical and humanistic aspects of architectural and urban history and theory.
Whistlejacket 2017
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Design education

We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, student engagement, and learning theories.
Close-up design alphabet
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Historic environments and conservation

We're looking at how architecture, community and creative technologies can play a role in enhancing historic environments.
Whistlejacket 2017
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Interior design theory and practice

We're investigating how architects and designers might rethink the way they approach interior spaces, by exploring how buildings are used by people.
Retro Chair, Bike and Cabinet
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Our research groups

Much of our exceptional research takes place within the following cross-disciplinary research group – find out more below.

Architectural and Urban History and Theory Research Group

We're researching narratives of place and the construction of new historiographical and theoretical discourses in architecture, interiors, landscape and urbanism.

Cluster for Sustainable Cities

We're improving cities through sustainable urban development that meets today's social and environmental needs.

Recent project highlights

Explore our faculty

Explore the other Schools and Departments that make up our Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

School of Creative Technologies

Male student uses virtual reality
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School of Film, Media and Communication

Female student presenter in TV studio at University of Portsmouth
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School of Art, Design and Performance

Male student working with photography equipment
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Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

A student drawing a geometric design on a Wacom tablet screen
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Contact us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty office.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 5452

Email: cci-enquiries@port.ac.uk