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How to apply for the PhD in Architecture

Course requirements:

Candidates accepted for this course will have a 1st class or a high 2i honours degree and, a Masters degree with 70% overall (or equivalent) in Architecture or a related discipline.

The University requires all applicants to demonstrate competence in the English language at a very high level before they begin their proposed course of study - adherence to this requirement is strict. You must be able to demonstrate that you are able to communicate in English at a level and in an idiom suitable to the subject. You will, therefore, need to provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum requirements for competence in English. For further information see Graduate Admissions Office.

How to Make an Application for the PhD in Architecture

If you do meet the course requirements, you are recommended to consult the list of our established University Teaching Officers (UTOs) and their research interests (see below for links to information about each of our UTOs). If one of our UTOs has relevant research interests to your own, please email them directly with a short research proposal of about 300 words, an example of your writing and a CV to determine whether they are potentially available to work with you as a supervisor before you make a formal application. See:

Dr James Campbell - history of building construction, history of library design

Dr Yeonsook Heo - Building performance modelling and simulation, performance-based building design, risk-conscious decision analysis

Dr Felipe Hernández - architectural and urban design, participatory design, social urbanism, history and theory

Dr Ying Jin – city planning, urban design, and urban modelling

Professor François Penz - the history of the relationship between Cinema and Architecture

Dr Wendy Pullan - Director, Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, Architecture and urbanism of the Middle East, Socio-politics of architecture and cities

Michael Ramage – designing and building structural masonry spans using traditional techniques and new materials

Professor Charles (Alan) Short - passive and hybrid resilient, low-energy design strategies for new-builds and interventions in non-domestic buildings in different climates

Dr Emily So - casualty estimation in earthquake loss modelling, risk in the built environment

Mary Ann Steane - light quality and the design of the visual environment, environmental issues

Professor Koen Steemers – architectural and urban implications of environmental issues ranging from energy use to human comfort

Dr Max Sternberg– architecture & philosophy, socio-politics of architecture, urban conflict, architectural history

Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank - sustainable building policies, thermal retrofit, energy use behaviour, aesthetics of sustainable architecture

You are recommended to only make a formal application via the University’s Graduate Admissions Office, once an established UTO has confirmed that they would be interested to consider a formal application.  Please note that an offer of admission to the University is subject to final approval by the University's Graduate Admissions Office.  Do not assume that you will be made an offer on the grounds that your prospective supervisor has suggested you make a formal application – this just represents the first stage of admission administration.

All applications must be made via the Applicant Portal available on the Graduate Admissions Office website. It is important that you read through the information available on the Graduate Admissions Office website before submitting your application. If you are already a current graduate student at Cambridge you will be referred to as a ‘Continuer’ on the Graduate Admissions Office website.

You will need to arrange for the following documents to be submitted with your application:

  • Academic Reference(s) 
  • A Personal Reference will be required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship
  • Transcript
  • Evidence of Competence in English if English is not your first language
  • Sample of Work - this could be a journal publication or a chapter from your undergraduate dissertation
  • Research Proposal of 1000 - 1500 words should consist of a topic and a hypothesis, a literature review, a statement on method, and key references

Application Deadlines

The PhD in Architecture commences in October each year and applications for the course can be made from the preceding September. All applications must be made via the Applicant Portal available on the Graduate Admissions Office website. It is important that you read through the information available on the Graduate Admissions Office website before submitting your application.

The final deadline for applicants seeking funding is 4 January 2017, but earlier deadlines will apply (for example if you are an overseas applicant from outside of the EU). Even if you are not seeking funding, we strongly recommend that you submit your application by 6 January, as no applications will be accepted once this competitive and popular programme is full.

If places are still available on programmes beyond this deadline; self-funded applicants will continue to be considered until the final deadline of 31 May 2017.  No applications will be considered after this deadline.

Course Fees

Information relating to the fee for this course is available from the Graduate Admissions Office.   

Funding

If you are seeking funding for your course via one of the University’s main funding competitions, there are specific deadlines and eligibility criteria for each competition. Please check the Funding Section of the Graduate Admissions Office website for information and application deadlines.  

Applicants classified as 'Home' or 'EU' for fees purposes and wish to research an AHRC approved research subject are eligible to be considered for an AHRC DTP studentship. Applicants wishing to be considered for these awards need to check the appropriate box on the Application Form.  Applicants will also need to ensure that they you make their application by the funding competition deadline for Home/EU students. See the University’s AHRC DTP funding website for more information.

Please note that you will also need to complete and save an AHRC application form as a pdf and upload it via the Applicant Portal once you have submitted your application.

After your Application is Submitted

When the application reaches the Department, it will be considered by the Department’s Graduate Admissions Team. Applicants may be invited for an interview in Cambridge, or, via Skype if it is not possible to travel to Cambridge.  The Faculty’s Degree Committee will then consider the application and make a recommendation to the Graduate Admissions Office as to whether an offer of a place on the course should be made, and if so, with what academic conditions.

Please be aware that this process may take several months.  You can check the status of your application at any time via your Applicant Portal.

Full information about making your application, fees and funding opportunities is provided on the Graduate Admissions Office website pages.

For further information on graduate admission to the Department of Architecture contact: Grad.enquiries@aha.cam.ac.uk

At a Glance

Course length and dates:

3 years full-time/5 years part-time, October start.

Examination:

A dissertation of not more than 80,000 words. 

Academic requirement:

A 1st class or a high 2i honours degree and, a Masters degree with 70% overall (or equivalent) in Architecture or a related discipline.

English language requirement:

See Graduate Admissions Office

Applications accepted from:

The preceding September.

Application Deadlines:

The final deadline for applicants seeking funding is 4 January 2017, but earlier deadlines will apply (for example if you are an overseas applicant from outside of the EU). Even if you are not seeking funding, we strongly recommend that you submit your application by 4 January, as no applications will be accepted once this competitive and popular programme is full.

If places are still available on programmes beyond this deadline; self-funded applicants will continue to be considered until the final deadline of 31 May 2017.  No applications will be considered after this deadline.

Course Fees:

Information relating to the fee for this course is available from the Graduate Admissions Office.  

Funding:

If you are seeking funding for your course via one of the University’s main funding competitions, there are specific deadlines and eligibility criteria for each competition.  Please check the Funding Section of the Graduate Admissions Office website for information and application deadlines.