Architecture and the Built Environment (MA by Research)

2021-22 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

1 October 2021

17 January 2022

25 April 2022

Duration

The maximum duration for a full-time MA by Research is 1 year (12 months) or part-time is 2 years (24 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 4 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For October 2021

02 July 2021

For January 2022

22 October 2021 International and Scholarship students

19 November 2021 Home students

For April 2022

28 January 2022 International and Scholarship students

25 February 2022 Home students

About the research degree

A Master's by Research (MA) allows you to undertake a one year (full-time) or two year (part-time) research degree. It contains little or no formal taught component. This type of study gives you the chance to explore a research topic over a shorter time than a more in-depth doctoral programme.

Research Master's students choose a specific project to work on and have a greater degree of independence in their work than is the case with a taught Master’s course.

You’ll be expected to work to an approved programme of work which you will develop in conjunction with your supervisor within the first few months of starting your studies. Whilst undertaking the research project you will also have the opportunity to develop your research skills by taking part in training courses and events.

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

At the end of the project you’ll write up your findings in the form of a short thesis of around 25,000 words, which will then be examined. We also accept applications for projects which are practice-orientated and which include portfolio submissions. These include practice submissions with written components. Youw ill receive guidance from your supervisory team as to the percentage equivalents between the practice and written elements of your research.

On successful completion, you will be awarded your degree and if you have enjoyed this taste of research you may then decide to apply for the full research doctoral degree (PhD).

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirements for enrolment on a MA by Research is an upper second honours degree (2:1) from a UK university or a qualification of an equivalent standard, in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Skills and knowledge required for designing within different cultures and societies play an important part of the architecture curriculum and practice. Cross-cultural architectural design addresses issues of globalisation in architectural education and practice when increasingly students study in overseas universities and architectural practices engage with works of overseas projects.

Furthermore, architectural students’ education in the university and their learning experience in architectural offices for placement are integrated part of a process for a student to become a registered architect. Studies need to explore how individual architecture students perceive and value their learning experience in universities and architectural offices and how students understand and integrate what they have learned in university and in practice.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The globalization and urbanization have brought significant changes to architecture and built environment in developing countries. Contemporary design and construction processes not only introduce new materials, technologies, and building regulations, but also lead to different systems of urban and architectural knowledge that focus on the sustainability-related design ideas, assessment techniques, and practical guidance that have a greater focus on energy issues in urban and rural environment.

On the social and cultural aspects of sustainable design, it is important to exploit opportunities to protect architectural heritage, in both urban and rural areas, that forms the collective cultural memory of a society, acting as a source of inspiration, creativity and enterprise for current and future generations. The architectural heritage in both urban and rural development can usefully inform our understanding of the contemporary (globalised) built environment.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

There has been a significant increase in infrastructure and large scale building projects across the world over the last few decades. Traditional measure of cost, time and quality have been applied to evaluate the success of such projects. However, such measures are only concerned with the immediate project outputs rather than considering the outcomes of such projects and more importantly the benefits that are delivered through built infrastructure.

This area of research will investigate the degree to which benefits are an integral part of the project-process and to what degree they are realised. PhD investigations are likely to look at longitudinal studies in specific sectors, such as healthcare (hospitals, clinics, etc.) housing, schools, road infrastructure, retail, entertainment, etc. as well as examine the degree to which benefits are designed-in in projects as well as those realised in-use.

Candidates will be engaging in a diverse and broad range of multidisciplinary literature and are likely to provide insights and make novelty contributions in transdisciplinary research

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

New Product Development (NPD) is still very poorly understood in Architecture, Engineering and Built Environment. Recent Developments through the RIBA and other professional bodies are making attempts to provide a holistic view of NPD and fail to capture the true value of efficient and effective NPD. Furthermore, there is a confusion of what are the constituent parts of NPD, how it is enacted in practice and how it can be improved.

This area of research will seek to highlight significant innovation in the area of NPD, evaluate existing practice and make novel contributions in theory and practice. The research is likely to involve multiple case studies and in particular examine aspects of collaboration for better NPD, enactment of process and its implementation for concurrency and overlapping activities, agile and lean NPD processes, etc.

The literature will cover multiple sectors and disciplines and is likely to focus on production, NPD, management science and Design.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The management of the design process has been a topic of study for over 40 years. The relationship between clients and designers, and the effectiveness of the briefing in determining requirements are main contributing factors for good design.

This project looks at better identifying issues around requirements capture and management in construction, investigating the role of technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) in supporting this process.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Lean Construction has been researched for over 25 years, however its adoption by small and medium enterprises, which comprise most of the design and construction companies, is still low. Similarly, major companies have been adopting building information modelling, however there are challenges for SMEs to adopt BIM. This research will investigate the issues and propose strategies for Lean and BIM adoption by small and medium enterprises.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The studio continues to be the crucial place for the production of ideas, the fabrication of work, and in some cases the shaping of its reception. Much of the most dynamic work today is generated by practitioners working across the disciplines of art, design and architecture by developing a new, contested, place of the transdisciplinary.

The key experimental methodology underpinning this project is that of participant/observation – enabling the prospective researcher to spend time in their chosen studio and take part in its daily activities, while also maintaining the degree of distance necessary to critically interpret both its activity and the researchers place in it.

Case studies include: Olafur Eliasson, Ai Wei Wei, and Konstantin Grcic

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The concept of design waste is elusive, and it is difficult in practice to identify which design activities are wasteful, and which design activities are important to generate better value through design solutions.

This project will seek to identify the concept of waste in design, discuss how it relates to design errors and develop a model aimed at helping designers eliminate wasteful activities during the design process.

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Many hospitals have developed over a number of years in a piecemeal fashion. This has resulted in complex environments made up of long and confusing corridor systems. Such settings challenge and frustrate those who visit them. The importance of wayfinding to building use, costs and safety and the growth in terms of theories, principles, guidelines, and methodologies over the years does not appear to have made an impact on wayfinding performance in complex hospitals. Thus, there remains a need to find more effective wayfinding solutions to the problems that continue to occur in complex hospitals

Funding

Please see our Research Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

You can apply by:

1) Proposing your own research topic. Explore the skills of our supervisors and/or Research Centres to see if we have the expertise to support your topic.

2) Applying for one of the research topics listed below or for a specific research area within the School.

Places are always subject to eligibility, a review of your proposal and supervisory capacity.

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria. It may be that you are interested in pursuing an aspect of one of these projects, so do please consider approaching the named academic to discuss your ideas in further detail.

You may also want to design a project of your own. We very much welcome applications in the following broad research areas:

  • Architectural Design
  • Architectural History and Theory
  • BIM
  • Conservation
  • Construction Project Management
  • Design Management
  • Disaster Resilience and Reconstruction
  • Healthcare in the Built Environment
  • Lean Construction
  • Modelling, Simulation and Serious games
  • Process and Performance Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sustainable Environmental Design and Energy Efficiency
  • Transdisciplinary research in architecture and the built environment
  • Urban Design

If you would like further guidance about undertaking postgraduate study within the School of Art, Design and Architecture, or to seek advice about writing a project proposal as part of your application, do please make contact with our postgraduate administration team for further information: sadapgradmin@hud.ac.uk

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

We provide a supportive and vibrant research environment for postgraduate researchers (PGRs). Researchers at all levels are encouraged to contribute and collaborate. The Graduate School ensures that postgraduate research is of the highest quality and equips you with the resources that you need to become a successful researcher.

We have an exciting and comprehensive Researcher Skills Development Programme available to all postgraduate researchers. This enables you to broaden your knowledge and access tools and skills which can significantly improve employability. The programme is also mapped onto Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF), allowing you to benefit from Vitae support as well as our own Programme.

We offer skills training through a programme designed to take advantage of technology platforms as well as face-to-face workshops and courses. The University has subscribed to Epigeum, a programme of on-line research training support designed and managed by staff at Imperial College London which will be accessed via Brightspace, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. We also subscribe to the University of East Anglia webinar series and The Good Doctorate video training series. We are part of the North West and Yorkshire PGR Training Group that allows PGRs to attend relevant training opportunities at other nearby universities.

Find out more about our research staff and centres: Centre for Cultural Ecologies in Art, Design and Architecture (CEADA) Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability (CUDAS) Innovative Design Centre (IDL) Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC)

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access its buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because for reasons outside the University’s control we can no longer support your research. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are agreed.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by the University’s Terms and Conditions and a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.