architectural model of church

Postgraduate research degrees in architecture, interiors and urbanism

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in architecture, interiors and urbanism

If you want to take your expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.

Our research explores the latest methods, technology and ideas being used to build the smart cities of the future and preserve places from the past. We investigate the digital design tools being used to shape tomorrow's communities, explore the cultural and economic forces affecting our cities, and work to understand the cultural importance of some of our oldest buildings.

The voice of the community is often missing from the design phase of a building – we're looking at how interior spaces are designed by examining the way people use and interact with them. We're also investigating how architects and urban designers might draw, write, and re-think ways to represent interior spaces.

As a postgraduate researcher, you'll work alongside our existing researchers, many of whom are former and practising architects and designers. You can join our collaborations with academic, charitable, community and commercial groups, work on projects in areas such as architecture, interior design, urban design and conservation – play your own part in transforming our expertise into impact.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Architecture, Interiors & Urbanism PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Funded

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding 

What do my tuition fees cover?

If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.

Your tuition fees cover:

  • The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
  • Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
  • Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
  • A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
  • Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
  • Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 77% of our research is world leading and internationally excellent in REF 2021
  • Your graduation ceremony
  • Viva examination and administration costs
  • The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
  • Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
  • University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
  • Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
  • Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)

*Please note that some research programmes may co

How long will my research degree take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my degree cost?

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

International students  

  • Full-time: £16,200 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,100 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,596

Members of staff: £1,760 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 20221/23 please visit this page.

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*

International students  

  • Full-time: £17,200 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,600 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,596*

Members of staff: £1,850

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2023/24 please visit this page.

 

*This is the 2022/23 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2023/24 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2023.

 

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan (UK/EU students only).

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan (UK/EU students only).

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.  

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

As a postgraduate research student, you'll have a space to work as part of PhD community, have access to School and Faculty workshops, and be able to make use of the University's computer labs, and animation and VR facilities.

You can also become part of the School's Media Hub, participate in the School's Project Office activities, and become an Associate Member of the Faculty Research and Innovation groups that align with your subject area.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once your postgraduate research degree is complete, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification tells potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

After researching with us, our successful postgraduate research candidates have gone on to work in a variety of fields – including as research fellows, lecturers, environmental consultants, and urban consultants.

Apply

Apply for a research degree in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism by completing our online form.

February (2023 start)
 

April (2023 start)
 

October (2023 start)
 

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our 8 areas of expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism.

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Campus miscellaneous; June 2019
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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.

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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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