Architecture Studentships

Architecture PhD Studentships 2019-20 

A critical exploration of the use of Digital tools to aid construction quality.

The School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast offers a three-year Department for the Economy (DfE) funded PhD studentship (starting September 2019). The researcher will be based in the Elmwood building at Queen’s University Belfast under the supervision of Tara Brooks.

Quality issues have plagued the construction industry for decades from Ronan Point in 1968 to the Edinburgh Schools PFI scandal in 2016 and more recently the Grenfell Tower disaster. This project will explore whether these recurring problems stem from structural inequities in industry (Green, 2011; Farmer, 2016); from reliance on analogue technology in an increasingly digital world; from a combination of the two or from some other cause. Moving beyond BIM, it will critically assess how far the deployment and use of digital technologies in construction and the digitalisation of the industry can take construction towards improvements in building delivery.


Green, S.D., (2011) Making sense of construction improvement. John Wiley & Sons

Farmer, M. (2016) The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model: Modernise or die. London: Construction Leadership Council

Department of BEIS (2017) Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future. London: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Fleck, J. and Howells, J., (2001) Technology, the technology complex and the paradox of technological determinism. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 13(4), pp.523-531

The application process:

Applicants are invited to write a 500-word (maximum) research outline which gives details of:

Proposed Research Question(s) Aim and Objectives

The context for the research question(s) in terms of relevant literature and policy

Methodological approach and methods

Data analyses

This should be accompanied by a CV showing academic qualifications and experience.

Candidates may be called to an interview based on a short PowerPoint presentation and questions and answers.  Applicants should have (or be expected to obtain) at least an undergraduate degree at 2.1 or higher in a Construction Related discipline such as Civil / Structural Engineering, Architecture, or Construction Engineering and Management.  A related postgraduate qualification such as a Construction Project Management or BIM Project Management Master's degree is desirable. The closing date for applications is Monday 29 April 2019 at 4pm by email to Tara Brooks ( The studentship will start in September 2019.

The successful candidate will be funded through a DfE studentship (including (2018-19 rate) a stipend of £14,777 and Home/EU fees. The candidate must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years (with no restrictions). EU residents may be eligible for studentship covering fees-only.

For further details, or if you have any other enquiries, please email Tara Brooks:

Further details regarding eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) are available at the following link:

To apply, please complete an application form on the Queen’s University Postgraduate Applications Portal.


AHRC Northern Bridge studentships:

Suitably qualified applicants interested in applying with a project proposal orientated towards the humanities will be eligible for a Northern Bridge (AHRC) studentship. For further details of this competition, please visit the Northern Bridge website: Note that the deadline for applications is 5pm Wednesday 9 January 2019.

ESRC NINE DTP studentships:

Suitably qualified applicants interested in applying with a project proposal orientated towards the social sciences may be eligible for a NINE (ESRC DTP) studentship. Note that the deadline for applications is 4pm Friday 18 January 2019.

How to apply?

To apply for any of the opportunities outlined above, please complete an application form on the Queen’s University Postgraduate Applications Portal.

The School warmly welcomes all enquiries regarding PhD research in Architecture. PhD proposals can be developed in consultation with a potential supervisor based in the School; potential supervisors are listed below.

Further inquiries about funding opportunities should be directed to the School Postgraduate Admissions Officer.

Potential Supervisors in Architecture

Prof. Gary Boyd 

Dr Nuala Flood

Mr Alan Jones 

Dr Gul Kacmaz Erk

Prof Greg Keeffe

Dr Sarah Lappin

Dr Steve Larkin

Mr Tarla MacGabhann

Dr Agustina Martire

Mr Keith McAllister

Prof Michael McGarry

Mr Colm Moore 

Prof Ruth Morrow

Mrs Clare Mulholland

Miss Rachel O'Grady

Mr Niek Turner

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For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

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