PhD Architecture is based within the Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG), and looks beyond technical design to the complex processes and practices that run through the development adaptation and the use of built environments.
We traverse the disciplinary boundaries of architecture and social sciences to open up new areas of architectural research, create new standards of architectural study, and craft new conceptual language to inform and influence architectural policy.
Sitting within the School of Environment, Education and Development allows us to benefit from synergies with Planning and Environmental Management, Geography, and a number of other disciplines.
Through the connections between these disciplines and practices, we have developed a distinctive expertise based on theoretical experimentation, methodological rigour, empirical attention, and a hands-on study of architectural practice, building technology and techniques of architectural representation and mapping. Our research themes include:
– architectural history and theory;
– networks of architectural expertise;
– social studies of architecture;
– the politics of urban infrastructures.
We have specialist and research-active staff who provide a rich and stimulating environment for everyone. Many staff are practicing, or have practised, as architects and have strong links with the architecture community in Manchester and beyond.
Although we welcome applications on any subject, we are particularly keen to receive research proposals on topics including:
– anthropology of architectural production;
– pragmatist turn in architecture;
– the mobility of architectural discourse;
– the politics of construction;
– transdisciplinarity in architecture;
– political economy of architecture.
Our research crosses disciplines to open up new areas of architectural research.
As a PhD candidate in the Manchester School of Architecture , you’ll also be part of the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between the disciplines of Architecture, Education, Geography, International Development and Planning and Environmental Management.
What unites us is a shared commitment to highlight and address the uneven relationships between societies, economies and the environment. We want to understand better the world in which we live, and to offer solutions to the problems within it.
We acknowledge that a complex and interconnected world presents many challenges for analysts, but researchers in SEED are pioneering new evidence, measures, concepts and theories in order to address these challenges in practice. SEED’s world-leading research is rooted in everyday life but international in relevance and scope, addressing social, economic and environmental concerns across the globe.
Our PhD and professional doctorate research community, grouped around a range of dynamic centres and themes, is central to the SEED research agenda across all of our disciplines. In order to further this agenda, we need fresh input and clear thinking from a fully engaged, curious, critical, socially aware PGR community.
We’re not here simply to ‘supervise’ – we seek to discover and co-produce new knowledge with students as our partners.
In joining SEED, you will become part of a talented, energetic, committed and supportive academic and postgraduate research community.
Teaching and learning
When you become a postgraduate researcher, you’ll join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.
You’ll be assigned to a specific research grouping that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes.
Our working environments are often spacious and open-plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School, and you will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus.
All of our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research.
You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project.
As a postgraduate researcher, you’ll have access to a large and diverse community of internationally recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development.
We provide additional financial support for a number of activities related to your PhD, including:
– presenting at international conferences;
– attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;
– conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas.
Your completed application should include:
– two references, one of which should be familiar with your academic work, on headed paper from the institution, signed, dated and stamped;
– a degree certificate and transcript for your bachelor’s and master’s degrees;
– a research proposal;
– evidence of your English language proficiency;
– a personal statement outlining your reasons for wishing to study on the programme, and the experience and skills you will bring;
– a detailed CV.
Admission to studying for a PhD or a Professional Doctorate is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics’ profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines.
Your supervisor will be an important part of your PhD programme. It’s a close relationship over more than years, through which you develop your ideas, skills, thinking and research. Your supervisor’s research interests should therefore closely align to yours.
If you aren’t applying for a specific project, you’ll need to find potential supervisors who will support your research. Details on recent publications, ongoing projects and particular research interests are all available on our academics’ profiles .
We strongly recommend that you approach academics who complement your research interests before you apply.
Most potential supervisors will be happy to provide pre-submission feedback on a well-developed draft proposal that closely matches their research expertise. For more guidance, see How to write a research proposal.
If you identify an academic who is interested in supervising your work, you may be able to receive advice and critical feedback that helps you to make your proposal stronger and more competitive. This is particularly beneficial if you are considering applying for funding. Please send your proposal to one potential supervisor at a time only, copying in firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not sure who would make the most suitable supervisor for your research, feel free to contact the email address above. Your draft proposal will then be passed on to suitable colleagues, if appropriate.
Alternatively, you could apply directly here. Your application will be given our full attention regardless of whether or not a potential supervisor is named.
How your application is considered
In reaching a decision on applications, we review a number of criteria, including:
– the availability of two appropriate supervisors;
– the relevance and strength of your research proposal;
– your academic standing and relevant professional experience.
When you submit an application, you will receive notification that it has been received. Our admissions team will contact you to let you know if we require any further information.
We aim to process all applications within six weeks and will contact you with our decision as soon as possible.