MPhil and PhD Opportunities

Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

Postgraduate Research in Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying.

Star Overview

Research overview

Civil engineers are at the forefront of developing sustainable societies and many find themselves dealing with important social and environmental issues. Our research reflects this multi-disciplinary activity by collaborating on joint projects with surveyors, architects, mathematicians, chemists and microbiologists across the globe. The School of Civil Engineering and Surveying has a broad range of research interests ranging from structural analysis through to sustainability appraisal. Much of this work directly addresses real world problems, and the school has been very successful in securing funding to support this work from a range of sources including research councils, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and industrial partners.

The School of Architecture’s researchers work in a wide range of projects in the areas of architecture, interior design, urban design and conservation. Our research is undertaken in collaboration with academic, charitable, community and commercial groups outside the University and many of our full-time academics have practised as architects and designers. This ensures that our research is up-to-date and reflects the current and future needs of the industry and the wider built environment sector.

Research groups

Environmental Technology and Management

The work of the Environmental Technology and Management Research Group is diverse and interdiciplinary. Our environmental technology researchers work in the areas of constructed wetlands, sustainable drainage, waste water processing and rain water harvesting. Our environmental management research projects span ecotourism, sustainability appraisal and coastal zone management.

Materials, Structures and Geotechnics

The Materials, Structures and Geotechnics Research Group actively researches advanced fibre composites in engineering structures. Our group consists of four distinct teams who undertake research into Advanced Composite Structures, Construction Materials Engineering, Safety and Security Engineering, and Geotechnical Stability and Testing. 

Construction Management and Surveying

The Construction Management and Surveying Research Group focuses on sustainable construction; the integration of technology in design and production; management structures, organizational frameworks and supply chains; and construction and property law. We conduct research into the Application of Computer Systems in Construction, the Contemporary Challenges of Sustainability and Regeneration, the Integration of Design and Construction Processes, and Construction and Property Cost, Value and Legal Issues.

Sustainable Urban and Architectural design, Low Carbon initiatives and Materials

This area focuses on the investigation of strategies leading to sustainable cities, from the macro to the individual project. his priority area has direct links with the University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN) and the Future Living Network.

Design and Practice

Focused on the relationship between academic research, knowledge transfer, teaching and the local communities, this priority area aims to develop design frameworks, methodologies and theories.

Theory, history and context

This priority area focuses on the construction of new historiographical discourses in architecture and urbanism, the values of social and cultural contexts and the elaboration of theoretical frameworks that inform design-based research.

New media, representation and the experience of space

This area focuses on how digital media, new interfaces and tools inform architectural, interior and urban design practices. Some interdisciplinary projects of this area explore the cross-over of architecture and neuroscience, as well as the relationship between body and space, considered through the frames of embodied practices, tacit knowledge and drawing and making.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

Self-funded PhD opportunities

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


For Architecture research areas, a minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.>

MPhil/PhD Fees*

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan

2018/19 entry

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*

Civil Engineering and Surveying:
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*


* Fees are subject to annual increase.

By Publication Fees*


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions


School of Architecture
School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Back To Top

Light bulb Research Areas


Our researchers are working and supervising in fields such as:

Sustainable Architecture:

  • Environmental design systems
  • Sustainable environments and dedsign

Architecture and Urban Design, Regeneration and related issues:

  • Urban planning
  • Urban histories and cultures
  • Architectural history and theory
  • Urban conservation and regeneration
  • Green Infrastructures
  • Sustainable urban design
  • Urban design history, theory and analysis
  • Coastal settlements
  • Landscape design

Interior Design Practice:

  • Representation theory and practice
  • Mapping the environment
  • Interior design theory and practice
  • Materials and application
  • Emodied methodologies and practice
  • The retail environment
  • Adaptive reuse of historic and existing buildings

Architecture Pedagogy and Theory:

  • Design pedagogy (studio culture)

Civil Engineering and Surveying

Our researchers are working and supervising in fields such as:

Environmental technology and management:

  • Wastewater and drainage
  • Transport planning
  • Sediment dynamics
  • Rain water harvesting

Materials, structures and geotechnics:

  • Advanced fibre composites in engineering structures
  • Concrete technology
  • Reuse of waste materials
  • Geotechnical stability and testing

Construction management and surveying:

  • IT and BIM in construction
  • Sustainability
  • Energy efficient buildings
  • Quantity surveying and construction law

Back To Top

Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

You will benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


Researchers will have access to a number of excellent facilities including a Material Laboratory, Structures and Hydraulics Laboratory, Concrete Laboratory, Environmental Science Laboratory and a Geotechnics Laboratory. We also have dedicated studios which contain computer and digital projection facilities. The schools also hosts a dedicated workshop for working with, wood, plastics and metalwork including specialist equipment.


Graduate School

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction, helping you to get the most from our facilities and be part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. 

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.


Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Back To Top

Similar courses to Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

Back To Top