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MPhil/PhD Architectural History & Theory

Overview

The Bartlett School of Architecture's MPhil/PhD Architectural History & Theory programme allows students to conduct an exhaustive piece of research into an area of their own selection and definition. Great importance is placed on the originality of information uncovered, the creativity of the interpretations made, and the rigour of the methodological procedures adopted.

Approximately 20-30 students from around the world are enrolled at any one time for MPhil/PhD research in this field. The range of research topics undertaken is broad, but most explore the history and theory of architecture and cities from c. 1800 to the present day, with an emphasis on the critical reading of these subjects from cultural, political and experiential viewpoints.

Programme objectives:

The Bartlett is a major centre for research of the Built Environment and was ranked first in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in Architecture and the Built Environment. The MPhil/PhD Architectural History & Theory programme draws on the expertise and experience of the Bartlett School of Architecture's team of architectural historians and theorists, who are recognised internationally for their contributions to the field. 

The programme itself is very dynamic with an active series of talks, seminars, and conferences which students are expected to attend. In keeping with UCL's multi-disciplinary ethos, connections between architectural research and other fields are encouraged, and there are active collaborations with the Departments of Anthropology, Fine Art and Geography, and UCL Urban Lab.

Contact details:

For queries concerning the programme, please contact:

For queries regarding the applications procedure, eligibility (including language proficiency), part-time and remote study, fees, timescale, obtaining referees, etc., please contact:

  • Dr Steve Ridge (Teaching & Learning Officer - Postgraduate Research)

Structure

Once accepted onto the programme, students are registered as MPhil candidates, but after one year are expected to upgrade to PhD status. Part-time students are expected to upgrade within two years. Full-time students are normally expected to complete their PhD within three to four years; part-time students, five to seven years. This may include either one year (for full-time students) or two years (for part-time students) Completing Research Status (CRS). With permission, some of this period may also be spent outside the UK.

The thesis submission (AD) combines a design project and a text of approximately 60,000 words, with a maximum of 100,000 words. There is scope under UCL regulations for flexibility in the formal presentation of theses as appropriate to the individual research project.

The research for H&T is normally presented as a 100,000-word text with illustrative material. However, there is scope under UCL regulations for flexibility in the formal presentation of theses as appropriate to the individual research project.

Events

The MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and Architectural History and Theory programmes jointly run a series of events which all students are expected to attend. They are:

Research Conversations:
Fortnightly work-in-progress seminars and reviews for new MPhil/PhD students. MPhil students also present more in-depth seminars to meet the criteria for upgrade to PhD status.

Research Projects: Annual PhD conference and exhibition with invited critics as respondents, organised by the Bartlett School of Architecture with the Slade School of Fine Art Critics have included:
•    Professor Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo
•    Professor Hugh Campbell, University College Dublin
•    Professor Steven Connor, Birkbeck College, University of London
•    Dr Maarten Dalbeke, University of Leiden
•    Professor Mark Dorrian, University of Newcastle
•    Professor Tony Dunne, Royal College of Art
•    Professor Penny Florence, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
•    Sean Griffiths, FAT
•    Dr Felipe Hernandez, University of Cambridge
•    Dr Lorens Holm, University of Dundee
•    Professor Rolf Hughes, Konstfack University College of the Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm
•    Dr Mark Morris, Cornell University
•    Dr Sharon Morris, UCL Slade School of Fine Art
•    Professor Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art School of Architecture
•    Professor Leon van Schaik, RMIT University

For previous conferences, please see here.

See here for publications connected with the PhD Research Projects conferences. Each book includes texts and visual material by research students following one of the two doctoral programmes at the Bartlett School of Architecture (MPhil/PhD Architectural Design or MPhil/PhD Architectural History and Theory) or the practice-related MPhil/PhD programme at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

All students have the option of auditing modules on the MA Architectural History course run by Dr Peg Rawes.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage from the variety of skills development courses run by the UCL Graduate School and the Language Centre. In particular, students are advised to follow the workshop, The Creative Thesis, run in conjunction with the Slade School of Fine Art, which is tailored to practice-led research.

Supervisors

The MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and the MPhil/PhD Architectural History programmes draw upon the full range of research expertise offered in the Bartlett School of Architecture. Each MPhil/PhD candidate has two doctoral supervisors. The principal supervisor is usually based in the Bartlett School of Architecture while the second supervisor is either from the Bartlett School of Architecture or another school within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment or UCL, depending upon the required research expertise.

Supervisors in the programme currently include:

Professor Peter Bishop
Application of urban design and urban planning theory; incremental urbanism; temporary uses and installations; role of conservation in distorting urban change; role of other stakeholders and political forces outside the design process in the construction of the built environment.
 
   
Dr Ben Campkin
Cities and urban culture, archaeology, art history, architectural history and geography, public engagement on cities and urbanisation, Sustainable Cities
 
   
Professor Mario Carpo Dr.Arch, PhD, HDR
History of architectural theory and history of cultural technologies, with focus on the early modern period (the Vitruvian tradition and the Italian Renaissance, from Alberti to Vignola) and on contemporary digital design theory (1990 to the present).
 
   
Dr Marjan Colletti
DiplIng DottArch MArch PhD ARB
Digital design and digital theory; experimental building and urban design; innovative CAD/CAM fabrication technologies; neo-baroque and exuberant synthetic and syncretic design techniques.
 
   
Professor Marcos Cruz
Innovative environments, utilization of bacteria and algae, computation, bio-technology and synthetic biology.
 
   
Professor Adrian Forty
Architecture and Language, Concrete and Culture
 
   
Professor Murray Fraser BSc Dip.Arch MSc PhD RIBA
Architectural design; design research; architectural history and theory; cultural studies; architecture and globalisation; cross-cultural influences; cultural identity; urbanism.
 
   
Professor Stephen Gage AA Dip RIBA
Time-based architecture; architecture that interacts with people and the external environment; architecture and performance.
 
   
Dr Sean Hanna
Reader in Space and Adaptive Architecture, Computation
 
   
Dr Penelope Haralambidou DipArch MArch PhD
Architectural drawing and making as research methods; art and architecture; Marcel Duchamp; architecture and allegory; theories of perception, memory, imagination and representation in design; visual technologies – historical and contemporary; experimental film and digital projection; exhibition design and curating; book architecture; stage design; and the design of public spaces.
 
   
Professor Christine Hawley AADipl RIBA FRSA
Definitions of non-physical boundaries; light and shadow in architecture; material contextualism; architectural presentation; social housing in Japan. View Christine's profile
 
   
Professor Jonathan Hill BA AADipl MSc PhD RIBA FRSA
Programme Director
Histories and theories of architectural authorship and design; the formation of the architect; architecture by users and non-architects. Histories and theories of architecture and landscape with regard to their relations with the environment, climate and weather since the eighteenth century.
 
   
Andy Hudson-Smith BSc MSc PhD FRSA
3DGIS, 3D City Models, Augmented Reality, Digital Architecture, Public Participation and Planning, Smart Cities, Smart Places, Internet of Things, Emotions and Digital Communications (EEG/Mood etc), Web Based Technologies, and Multi-User Environments. View Andy's profile
 
   
Dr Yeoryia Manolopoulou DipArch MArch PhD TEE(TCG)
Architectural design and criticism; the design and experience of buildings; temporal notions of space; public space and urban squares; chance as creative idea and experimental practice; architecture and art; children's imagination and learning environments; cross-disciplinary and project-led research in architecture where drawing, making and/or time-based media are used as iterative research tools.
 
   
Dr Barbara Penner MSc PhD
Tourism; American hotels, resorts, and commercial architecture; gender and space; domesticity; consumerism; bathrooms and infrastructure; inclusive urbanism; appropriate technology.
 
   
Dr Sophia Psarra
Architecture narrative and fiction, geometry of architecture and urban space; conceptual order, spatial morphology and spatial experience; the formation of spatial meaning in architecture and symbolic languages across different media; architectural theory; the morphology of cities in relation to processes of industrialisation, de-industrialisation and innovation; spatial design of complex buildings and its relation to society and organisations; computer modelling and visualisation.
 
   
Dr Peg Rawes BA MA PhD
Theories of materiality and technology in architecture and spatial arts practices; embodiment,  spatial subjectivities and aesthetics; histories and theories of geometry and spatiotemporality in early-modern European and Continental philosophy; social and political theories of ecology; wellbeing.
 
   
Professor Jane Rendell BA DipArch MSc PhD
Gender/feminist theory and architecture; art, architecture and urban interventions; critical spatial theory and practice; creative/critical subjectivity and positionality in writing or site-writing; psychoanalysis and space; public space, cultural identity and narrative.
 
   
Kerstin Sailer Dipl.-Ing PhD
Relationship between spatial configuration, organisational structure and social dynamics within complex buildings (offices, schools, laboratories, universities, hospitals, multifunctional buildings); Space usage patterns; Organisational theory, Organisational behaviours, Space Syntax, Social Network Analysis, Evidence-Based Design.
 
   
Professor Bob Sheil (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA ARB
Architecture and design through production, experimental design, prototyping, making, fabrication, craft, innovative technology, digital practice, digital manufacturing, assembly, materials, modelling, transgression from drawing to making, 3D scanning.
 
   
Professor Phil Steadman MA ScD
The geometry of architectural and urban form; classification of building types; fuel use in the building stock; land use, transport modelling and GIS in relation to urban sustainability; the history of perspective.
 


Other current doctoral supervisors include Dr Victor Buchli (UCL Anthroplogy), Professor Sir Peter Cook, Dr Julio Davila (Development Planning Unit), Professor Colin Fournier, Professor Ranulph Glanville, Dr Penelope Haralambidou, Dr Ruth Mandel, Jayne Parker (UCL Slade), Professor Neil Spiller and Professor Phil Tabor.

Students

The programme has an international student body with, on average, half of its students from overseas. A large number of students are funded by their home governments or by UCL, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) and other funding bodies such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or Fulbright.

Students have regularly been shortlisted for the RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, and Dr Marcos Cruz won in 2008 for his dissertation, The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture, supervised by Professor Sir Peter Cook and Professor Jonathan Hill.

Current Students

Panagiota Adilenidou

Andre Adonso

Wesley Aelbrecht

Ricardo Agarez

Marcela Araguez Escobar

Rachel Armstrong

Bihter Almac

Luísa Alpalhão

Tilo Amhoff

Nerea Amoros Elorduy

Kalliopi Amygdalou

Anna Andersen

Sabina Andron

Gregorio Astengo

Pinar Aykac

Alessandro Ayuso

Tal Bar

Jaime Bartolome

Richard Beckett

Ruth Bernatek

Katy Beinart

Ines Dantas Riberirp Bernard

Eva Branscome

Joanne Bristol

Giulio Brugnaro

David Buck

Rakan Budeiri

Matthew Butcher

Caue Capille

Armando Carcoca Fernandez

Niccolò Casas

Eray Cayli

Francesco Ceriani Sebredondi

Chin-Wei Chang

Frosso Charalambous

Abril Herrera Chavez

Mollie Claypool

James Craig

Sally Cummings

Ines Dantas

Catja De Haas

Bernadette Devilat

Killian Doherty

Sevcan Ercan

Pol Esposito

Daniyal Farhani

Pavlos Feraios

Judit Ferencz

Pavlos Fereos

Susan Fitzgerald

Stella Flatten

Pablo Gil-Cornaro

Stylianos Giamarelos

Ruairi Glynn

Evan Greenberg

Nadezda Gobova

Polly Gould

Isabel Gutierrez Sanchez

Mohamad Hafeda

Colin Hepreger

Bill Hodgson

Sander Holsgen

Popi Iacovou

Christiana Ioannou

Nahed Jawad

Nicholas Jewell

Kate Jordan

Irene Kelly

Dionysia Kypraiou

Nicholas Jewell

Jeong Hye Kim

Taeyoung Kim

Petros Koutsolampros

Hina Lad

Diego Laguia Martinez

Felipe Lanuza Rilling

Torsten Lange

Constance Lau

Kwang Guan Lee

Claudio Leoni

Tea Lim

Abgail Lockey

Thandiwe Loewenson

Suzanne Macleod

Jane Madsen

Keiran Mahon

Igor Marjanovic

Samar Maqusi

Matthew Mcdonald

Matteo Melioli

Carlo Menon

Mahsa Agha Ali Mesgar

Malca Mizrahi

Mahroof Mohammad

Thi Nguyen

Megan O'Shea

Dragan Pavlovic

Christos Papastergiou

Luke Pearson

Soledad Perez Martinez

Mariana Pestana

Matthew Poulter

Henri Praeger

Arthur Prior

Regner Ramos

Sophie Read

Felipe Lanuza Rilling

Sarah Rivière

David Roberts

Felix Robbins

Natalia Romik

Rense Royaards

Ozayr Saloojee

Alexandru Senciuc

Matthew Shaw

Maria Silva Alpahao

Pinai Sirikiatikul

Eva Sopeoglou

Camila Sotomayor

Ro Spankie

Davide Spina

Theo Spyropoulos

Dimitrie-Andrei Stefanscu

Ben Sweeting

Huda Tayob

Theodoros Themistoclecous

Amy Thomas

Claire Tunnacliffe

Quynh Vantu

Cindy Walters

Stefan White

Michael Wihart

Daniel Wilkinson

Henrietta Williams

Freya Wigzell

Danielle Willkens

Alex Zambelli

Seda Zirek

Fiona Zisch



Past Students

Adam-Theodoros Adamis - Liquidity in Architecture

Nadia Amoroso - The Exposed City and Its Images: A Theoretical Study of Mapping as it Relates to Visual Representation of the City from the Early 20th Century to Today

Ana Araujo - Patterning: Envisioning New Strategies for Architectural Design Based on the Textile-Inspired Procedures of Repeating, Scaling and Masking
Shortlisted, RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, 2009Katherine E. Bash - Spatial Poetries: Heuristics for Experimental Poiesis

Chadi Chamoun - Neorealist Director Architect: Critically Observing the Obvious

Nat Chard - Drawing Indeterminate Architecture, Indeterminate Drawings of Architecture

Emma Cheatle - Part-architecture:The Maison de Verre through the Large Glass, 2013

Marjan Colletti - Digital Poetics: An Enquiry into the Properties of 'Mimetic Intrafaces' and the 'Twoandahalf Dimensionality' of Computer-Aided Architectural Design

Marcos Cruz - The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture
Winner, RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, 2008

Sophie Handler - A Little Bit of TLC: Towards an Alternative Urban Practice of Elderly Care 

Penelope Haralambidou - The Blossoming of Perspective: An Investigation of Spatial Representation

Jonathan Hill - Creative Users, Illegal Architects

Teresa Hoskyns - The Empty Place: Democracy and Public Space

Ersi Ioannidou - The (Existenz-)Minimum Dwelling

Jan Kattein - The Architecture Chronicle: Diary of an Architectural Practice
Shortlisted, RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, 2010

Rosalie Kim - The Hyphenation of the Void: From Eastern Ecology to Western Architecture

Kristen Kreider - Toward a Material Poetics: Sign, Subject, Site
Shortlisted, RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, 2009

Kwang Guan Lee - Cast & Camera: An intimate engagement with making at Grymsdyke Farm, 2013

Lesley Lokko - Out of Africa. 'Race', Space, Place: An Investigation of Architectural Response-ability

Yeoryia Manolopoulou - Drawing On Chance: Indeterminacy, Perception, and Design
Shortlisted, RIBA Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, 2005

Juliet Sprake - Learning-through-Touring: A New Design Methodology for Situated Learning Derived Through Touring the Built Environment

Bradley Starkey - Post-Secular Architecture: The Spiritual in Models of Thought and Models of Architecture

Mette Ramsgard Thomsen - Discovering Mixed Realities: An Exploration of Digital Interfaces as a Site for a Space of the Event

William Tozer - A Theory of Making: Architecture and Art in the Practice of Adolf Loos

Victoria Watson - The Atmospheric Signifier: Miesian Form-Giving, Lefebvrian Space and Cotton Grid

Neil Wenman - A Space to House Nothing: Examining the Adoption of Architectural Terminology and Forms of Representation in Conceptual Art

Applying

Application procedures, fees, funding and scholarships

For information, please see the UCL Graduate Application and Entry page.

Programme-specific information follows below.

Funding

UCL Scholarships

UCL has several main funding options:

  • UCL GRS/ORS

    Deadline: Wednesday 6 January 2016

    UCL Graduate Research Scholarships aim to attract high-quality students to undertake research at UCL. Up to 17 UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) are available annually to prospective and current UCL research students from any country.

    The UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (UCL-ORS), aim to attract high-quality international students to UCL to undertake research. Approximately 40 UCL-ORS awards are available annually.

    For an application form and further information, please consult GRS and ORS

  • AHRC Awards/LAHP

    Deadline: Friday 29th January 2016

    The AHRC-funded London Arts & Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership (LAHP) will be awarding up to 80 studentships for postgraduate research students studying arts and humanities disciplines at King’s College London, School of Advanced Study or University College London in 2016-17. The studentships, which normally cover fees and maintenance allowance (stipend), are available to UK and EU students.

    The LAHP studentship competition will open for applications on 1st December 2015 and close on 29 January 2016.   The strong recommendation is that students wishing to apply for a LAHP studentship should submit their applications for a place to study on their chosen PhD programme by 15 January.
    Please see the LAHP webpage for further information.

  • BSA Staff PhD Award

    Deadline: Friday 16 January 2015

    We are happy to announce a new scholarship, BSA Staff PhD Award, aimed to Bartlett Architecture staff wishing to pursue PhD study. The award will cover the standard UCL postgraduate UK/EU rate fees for FT or PT study. Applicants must be employed by the Bartlett School of Architecture and in receipt of an offer of admission to, or currently registered at, a research degree programme in UCL, or another university.

    For more information and an application form please contact Siobhan Rodriguez

For currently enrolled students

The Bartlett Faculty has three schemes to help fund the various activities of the MPhil/PhD students and they should be the first port of call for financial requests to do with conference funding or research projects funding. They are the Bartlett Student Conference Fund, Bartlett Research Projects Fund, and Bartlett Doctoral Initiative Fund and have rolling deadlines.

In cases where conference or research project expenses are not fully covered by Faculty funds, students may apply for top-up or matched funds through the Architectural Research Fund, which has two rounds every year (November and February). In cases where a proposed student-led event or initiative is not eligible for Bartlett Faculty Doctoral funds, then students are eligible to apply to the ARF with their proposal in the February round. Information about the ARF is circulated at the start of each term. In the case of enquiries, please contact Mark Burgess.

The Bartlett-Canadian Centre for Architecture Collection Research Grant Programme

  • Since 2008, The Bartlett and the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) have had a research grant partnership that enables Bartlett MPhil/PhD Architectural Design or Architectural History & Theory students to conduct research at the CCA’s Library and Collections in Montreal, Canada, alongside doctoral students in architecture from many other institutions. For a list of previous recipients, please see here.

    This is a unique opportunity to conduct research at one of the world’s leading centres for the study of architecture. The CCA has an outstanding library collection, as well as a vast collection of architectural design documentation - conceptual studies, drawings, plans, models, prints, and master photographs, archives and oral histories of individual architects (including Cedric Price, Aldo Rossi, Gordon Matta-Clark and James Stirling). More detailed descriptions of the four areas of the CCA collections - the Library, Prints & Drawings, Photographs, and Archives - can be found here.

    In order to better promote its other aim of stimulating academic exchange between students, the CCA requires grant recipients participate in its Toolkit seminar, a week-long event in July of each year devoted to discussing current research practices and the growth of critical thinking in developing new areas of scholarship.

    Details of the CCA Grant will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Opportunities

As well as enabling students to graduate from the MPhil/PhD Architectural History and Theory with expertise in a particular area, the programme aims to provide knowledge of historical and critical techniques that can be of use in researching and writing about any architectural subject.

Graduates of the course have gone on to pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, from architectural and design practice to curatorial positions. Many also carry on in academe. Recent graduates have taken up posts at the following establishments:

• Chiang-Mai University

• Istanbul Technical University

• National University of Singapore

• UCL

• University of Brighton

• University of Cambridge

• University of Cape Town

• University of Indonesia

• University of Nottingham

• University of the West of England

• University of Westminster

• University of the Witwatersrand

• Waterloo University

The theses of graduates have been published as book chapters, refereed journal articles or as academic monographs. For example, see:

• Jennifer Beningfield, The Frightened Land (Routledge, 2006)

• Jonathan Noble, African Identity in Post-Apartheid Public Architecture: White Skin, Black Masks (Ashgate, 2011) 

• Kemas Ridwan Kurniawan, Postcolonial History of Architecture and Urbanism: Power and Space of Indonesian Tin Mining in Bangka Island (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2012).

Forthcoming publications include books based on Sandy McCreery's 'Turnpike Roads and the Spatial Culture of London, 1756-1830 (Yale University Press) and Yat Ming Loo's 'City of the Non-Descript: Post-Colonial Architecture and Urban Space in Kuala Lumpur' (Ashgate).