The Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) offers a full-time and part-time research programme, leading to a PhD research degree. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research study in architecture, urbanism and related fields. The main objective is to combine contemporary advanced research with an educational agenda, preparing candidates to practise in a global academic and professional world.
A particular feature of the KSAP research degree programme is the wide spectrum of investigation and the possibility of undertaking research by design. PhD students have access to all University of Kent facilities and a weekly seminar designed for research students only. Each candidate is entitled to two supervisors.
In this talk, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin from the Kent School of Architecture and Planning examines new ways of writing and talking about buildings and asks if being a critical failure in architecture really matters.
Research at Kent School of Architecture and Planning achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.
Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture and Planning is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.
A minimum 2.1 honours degree, plus a Master’s degree or MArch in architecture or an appropriate subject, or equivalent track record and professional experience in architecture.
As part of your application you are required to provide a CV and a detailed research proposal which should include the following
If you have a preferred supervisor, please do state that in the application.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Architecture and Planning was ranked 8th for research intensity and 8th for research output in the UK.
An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 88% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international quality.
KSAP incorporates the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte), which focuses on research in architectural humanities and design, the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE), which promotes research in the field of sustainable architecture, and the new Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), which researches the use of digital technologies in architecture and the built environment.
The Centre provides a focus for research in architecture in the European context. Its emphasis is on the role and contribution of humanities to architecture and urban design in the context of urban and regional regeneration, nationally and internationally.
CREAte provides a platform for evening lectures by contemporary architects and scholars; hosting debates and events that are in the heart of architectural agenda of today.
The Centre builds upon its staff specialisms, interests and skills in the following areas: regional studies, contemporary architectural and urban theory and design, architectural history and theory (ranging from antiquity to contemporary European cities), sustainability, European topographies (landscape, urban, suburban and metropolitan) etc. Staff participate in the activities of AHRA – Architecture Humanities Research Association and are internationally published authors.
The Centre promotes research in the field of sustainable environment regionally, nationally and internationally.
Its research focus encompasses different aspects and scales of the sustainable built environment from the individual building to the urban block, promoting the wider environmental agenda and keeping the School at the forefront of research and development in the field. CASE also pursues research into the historical and cultural dimension of environmental design to foster links between the sciences, arts and humanities. There is a strong interest in understanding the environmental behaviour of historic buildings and the strategies originally deployed to manage the internal environment.
The Centre has already secured funding from various sources. This includes three EPSRC projects on climate change weather data for a sustainable built environment, sustainability of airport terminal buildings and design interventions in the public realm for affecting human behaviour, and two TSB-funded projects on Building Performance Evaluation. CASE is also involved with the recent EPSRC large-scale network on Digital Economy Communities and Culture.
The Centre is the newest research centre at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) in the application of digital technology in architecture. The focus of the Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC) will be the creative use of digital technologies to enhance design and fabrication possibilities for architecture and the built environment.
The centre will have three streams headed by members: 1) Generative design and computational creativity, 2) Digital fabrication and robotics and 3) Digital visualisation and mixed reality.
DARC will promote an innovative interdisciplinary research environment exploring intersections between architecture and digital technologies, to open up and expand the schools research agenda and funding possibilities. The new research centre will promote a fundamental shift in architecture and design thinking to develop design methods for the utilisation of computational technologies in architectural design, fabrication and assembly.
The centre is a new interdisciplinary direction for KSAP, founded on members' expertise and international research profiles to open up new avenues of research activity. The centre draws on university-wide contacts and expertise, and attracts additional expertise, knowledge and research in the field of digital architecture through existing and future collaborations, adding to its high quality research output, and looks to enhance the faculty's Digital Humanities theme, principally in the areas of Digital Creative Arts and Digital Heritage.
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Kent School of Architecture and Planning supervisors include: Professor Gerald Adler, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou, Dr Peter Bus, Dr Silvio Caputo, Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, Dr Richard Watkins, Dr Tim Ireland, Dr Manolo Guerci, Dr Nikolaos Karydis and Dr Giri Renganathan.
Staff are active in research and give papers at conferences nationally and internationally.
The School of Architecture and Planning studios include a dedicated computing suite with a range of environmental construction software, and a Digital Crit Space. There is a fully equipped architectural model-making workshop for constructing models and large-scale prototypes.
The School has excellent contacts with businesses and culture in the local area, including regional organisations such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Kent County Council and European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE). The Sustainable Communities Plan is particularly strong in south-east England, making the region the ideal place in which to debate innovative solutions to architectural issues.
Kent also has excellent links with schools of architecture in Lille, Istanbul, Rome, Venice, and in the USA, Virginia.
Academic study is complemented by a mentoring scheme organised in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and involving students in events with local practices.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Architectural Research Quarterly; The Architectural Review; Building and Environment; The Journal of Architecture; The World of Interiors; 'Journal of the Society of Antiquaries'; and 'Architectural History'.
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
Applications are considered throughout the year, though typically enrolment occurs in September or January.
You will need two academic references before your application can be considered. References must come directly from the referee, and should not be forwarded by the applicant themselves.
Please also submit a thorough and well-presented proposal.
Your research proposal will be forwarded to one of our two research centres: The Centre for research in European Architecture, which specialises in the history, theory and practice of architecture and urban design; or to CASE, the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment. We recommend taking a look at your proposed Centre’s website and showing, in your proposal, how your work will link with that of the Centre you choose. If you have proposed supervisor in mind, please state this in your application.
Your application must include a proposal of about 500 words that makes at least brief reference to a number of key points:
We welcome applications in the field of research through design, for example from practising architects, designers, and artists.
Best wishes and good luck with your application, The Director of Graduate Studies and the Postgraduate Admissions Team
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
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