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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Architecture is no longer accepting new applications.

The Cambridge Department of Architecture has been ranked top by the Times Higher Educational Supplement in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework for research quality in a joint submission with Land Economy, one of four Cambridge University disciplines to have achieved first place in their respective Units of Assessment.

A doctoral degree at the Department of Architecture offers the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of a departmental member of staff.  Unless the candidate is part of a research group, the research is undertaken entirely by the candidate on their own, with regular supervision on progress with their supervisor.

The Department welcomes applications from postgraduates to undertake research towards a PhD in most areas, including Urban Studies, History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, Digital Media Design and Communication, Design, Technology and Natural Materials, Planning and Environment, but is unable to accept candidates for whom no supervisor is available.  The Department does not offer a taught PhD programme. Instead, it admits those applicants who meet the academic admissions criteria and whose research interests match those of an available member of the academic staff who is willing to act as the student's supervisor.

As well as the research and skills training programme and undergraduate teaching opportunities offered by the Department of Architecture, candidates have the opportunity to attend numerous training and personal development courses offered by the university.

The examination constitutes the oral examination of a thesis not exceeding 80,000 words for the PhD on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, candidates will have acquired excellent skills, experience and knowledge to undertake postdoctoral work (research and teaching) or another related profession.


To continue to read for the PhD following an appropriate Master's degree, students must achieve a pass in the MPhil by Research or an overall total score of at least 70% in the MPhil by Advanced Study course. Continuation is also subject to the approval of the research proposal, and the availability of an appropriate supervisor.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Architecture

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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