Architectural Design (Social Science) - PhD

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
PhD Architectural Design (Social Science) 
Duration
Usually completed over a period of 3 years
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) and / or a masters at merit level or above in a relevant subject
IELTS
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in each element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October, December, February, April, or June
School/department
Faculty of Engineering
PhD
Other requirements
None

Research overview

This programme provides candidates an opportunity to develop an architectural thesis using design as a key component of the methodology exploring an approved topic of their own selection and definition. Whilst the design-based component of the project may be drawn, modelled, filmed, built, etc, candidates will be required to incorporate this research as an integral component of an accompanying written thesis.

Good architecture embraces a holistic approach to design and as a consequence the environmental strategies embodied within buildings present considerable challenges. They need to reconcile the often conflicting considerations of climate, building function and user expectation, while at the same time being mindful of energy related carbon emissions. Projects in environmental design typically reflect the integrated nature of these strategies and explore areas such as natural ventilation, passive heating and cooling, solar protection, fabric thermal storage, daylight and solar strategies and architectural acoustics. These are intrinsically linked to the tectonics of architecture and considerable potential exists to explore the opportunities offered where these overlaps occur, eg the environmental performance of facades, natural ventilation of high rise buildings, etc.

Urban design is concerned with the city as a field of analysis and intervention. Research in urban design explores the complex relationship between spatial and design issues and social and economic urban processes. PhD topics are defined in conjunction with supervisors and can cover many different aspects of urban design, such as: History and Theory of Urban Design; Public Realm; Sustainable Cities; Urban Conservation & Revitalisation; Innovation Environments and Waterfront Regeneration.

This course requires a 2:1 or international equivalent and/or a masters at merit level or above in a relevant subject, and an IELTS level 6.0 (5.5 in each element). It is usually completed over a period of around three years.

 

Facilities

This PhD is based within the Faculty of Engineering. There has been a continuous investment in the buildings and facilities. The computing facilities (complete with the software you will need), building technology laboratories and technical workshop, digital fabrication suite and model making workshop will provide you with additional tools for investigative analysis.

The Marmont Centre for Renewable Energy contains research laboratories that are equipped with a variety of technologies including photovoltaic panels, solar collectors, light pipes, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps. The laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for research into passive cooling, heat recovery, solar/wind/ground energy systems, absorption technology, heat pump systems, ventilation systems, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

The Sustainable Research Building (SRB) is designed to serve as an exemplar building, demonstrating state-of-the-art techniques for environmentally responsible, sustainable construction. The building provides laboratory, office and seminar accommodation and the spaces have been configured to support a number of different heating, cooling and ventilation strategies. Integrated technologies include photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal collectors, wind turbines, combined heat and power systems, light pipes, self cleaning windows and rainwater collection systems.

The Millennium Ecohouse is an environmentally-friendly two-storey four-bedroom house, funding and constructed by David Wilson Homes. The building is integrated with PV, solar thermal collectors, a wind turbine, combined heat and power, light pipes, ground source heat reclaim, and a rainwater collection system. It allows more detailed studies under real operating conditions with user feedback. The building was completed in 2000 but research into the performance of the sustainable technologies integrated into the building has been carried out since 2001.

The Creative Energy Homes Project is a showcase of innovative, state-of-the-art energy efficient homes of the future. Six homes constructed on the University Park campus will be designed to various degrees of innovation and flexibility to allow the testing of different aspects of modern methods of construction. The project aims to stimulate sustainable design ideas and promote new ways of providing affordable, environmentally sustainable housing that are innovative in their design. Several international companies including EOn, BASF and Tarmac have provided funding for the project.

The Environmental Education Centre (EEC) - design studio - is a complex of three single-storey wings and a two-storey block with a courtyard in the centre. The design of the EEC addresses practical issues including sustainability, low maintenance and low energy. The roof is integrated with 18 kWp PV.

The workshop facilities include a model-making facility and a digital fabrication suite with 3D router, 3D printer and laser cutter.

 

Research support

Support for Postgraduate Research students is coordinated through the Faculty Research Office. Each PhD student will have a main academic supervisor and at least one additional supervisor. Regular formal supervision meetings, usually once a month, will take place with one or both of your supervisors. We also provide academic postgraduate advisors and student PGR reps who are available if you have a query about procedures relating to research study, are concerned about your progress or the facilities available.

All PhD students are enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering Training Programme, this is a structured programme of training drawing on formal external frameworks such as Joint Skills Statement, the Research Development Framework (RDF) and the Research Council guidance. The Engineering and Science Research Council (EPSRC) has recognised our Faculty programme as a sector leading standard of postgraduate research development and training.
 

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

Engineering supervisors, including their research interests and contact details, can be found on our find a PhD supervisor page.

Details of research supervisors at the University can also be found on our research A to Z.

 

Funding

UK/EU Students

Details on faculty funding opportunities, how to apply and deadlines can be found on the Faculty of Engineering website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

 
 

Careers

The faculty has excellent links with industry and will ensure you develop transferable skills that will be of benefit in a variety of careers. You will also have access  to the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Programme. Recent graduates have gone on to work for ARC Energy, Escola Superior Gallaecia, Nottingham Trent University, Sokoto Energy Research Centre, Thermacore Europe, The University of Nottingham and URS.

Students within the faculty have gone onto be production managers and directors, IT and telecommunications professionals, business, research and administrative professionals, science, engineering and production technicians, natural and social science professionals, teaching and educational professionals, as well as various other engineering roles.*

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16.

Visit our research group pages for more information on the research taking place:

Architecture, Energy and Environmental Research Group
Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham has been named as the best university in the UK for graduate employment, by the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.  

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 94.2% of postgraduates in the faculty who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,959 with the highest being £100,000.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

 
 
 

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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