Architecture PhD / MPhil

The Liverpool School of Architecture (LSA) is an internationally recognised centre for architectural and built environment research. The LSA performed excellently in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), being the highest ranked department submitted solely as a School of Architecture, a top six place for research intensity and a top ten place for grade point average (as shown in The Times Higher Education magazine).

Why study with us?

I chose the University of Liverpool for my PhD study because it was one of the highest-ranking universities for architectural research in the UK, and its Faculty members are very knowledgeable. The training gave me research skills and knowledge that I will use in future projects, and will benefit my academic career.

Dr Mai Khalfan - Architecture PhD student
  • 80%

    of our research publications rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' REF (2014).

  • 1st

    University School of Architecture in the UK to be accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

  • 3rd

    for research in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.

Overview

The Liverpool School of Architecture was established in 1894 and became the first University in the UK to award a RIBA accredited degree in Architecture. As one of the UK's premier centres for architectural research and education, we are proud of our long tradition and position in the world of Architecture, both nationally and internationally.

Research within the LSA is structured under the two overarching headings of History and Theory and Environment and Digital Architecture. History and Theory consists of two inter-related research groups that address the cultural and historical context of architecture and the visual arts. The Architectural and Urban History Group investigates historic and developing architecture in relation to cities and urban contexts, with an international perspective and a developing emphasis on heritage. 

The Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts  (CAVA) is a forum for collaborative research with cultural partners such as Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology. Environment and Digital Architecture consists of three research groups: Acoustics Research Unit (ARU), Digital Architecture Research Group (DARG) and Sustainable Environments Research Group (SERG)

ARU is internationally recognised for its research into airborne and structure-borne sound in the fields of engineering and building acoustics, psychoacoustics, human vibration (including vibrotactile stimuli), environmental noise, industrial acoustics (sonic cleaning) and the subjective evaluation of sound and vibration in the built environment. Excellent experimental and modelling resources are available in the ARU’s dedicated laboratory facilities.

DARG focuses on the use of emerging digital technologies in the design, construction and maintenance of the built envrionment as well as the impact of these technologies on education, creative processes, collaboration between different professions, virtual prototyping and production methods.  

SERG investigates sustainable built environments and the interactions between the performance of the built environment and the processes, complexities and uncertainties that can influence that performance, including the risks associated with adaptation and mitigation strategies for responding to future climates.

Research themes

Our research themes are:

  • Architectural History
  • Sustainable Architecture 
  • Portable Architecture
  • City in Film
  • Transnational Architecture
  • Engineering Acoustics
  • Digital Architecture.

Facilities

Our Postgraduate Research Centre provides personal work stations, dedicated work and study spaces and a comfortable, open plan space where our students can meet. Our computing facilities include a selection of the major CAAD environments.

There's also a well-equipped physical modelling workshop, equipment for digital video film and editing, and specialist science and engineering areas including sound transmission suites, an anechoic chamber, a lighting laboratory with artificial sky and computer laboratories.

All facilities are supported by our technicians.

Research groups

  • Acoustics Research Unit (ARU)
  • Digital Architecture Research Group (DARG)
  • Sustainable Environments Research Group (SERG)

Study options and fees


MPhil / PhD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,327* (2019) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,163.50* (2019) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

We welcome applications from within the EU and around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

View supervisors in this area

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects