Faculty of Engineering & Design


Duration: 3 years full-time

Start date: October

Application deadline: International: June 30
Home/EU: 31 August

Entry requirements:
First or good second class honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject.

Language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each of the four components).

Find out more

For further details please visit our dCarb pages or email Professor David Coley.

PhD delivered by the Centre for Doctoral Training in Decarbonisation of the Built Environment

The EPSRC-endorsed Centre for Doctoral Training in Decarbonisation of the Built Environment (dCarb) has been launched to address the need to decarbonise society following the UK's stated aim to make an 80 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050. The built environment is the largest single emitter of CO2 and will need to be near fully decarbonised by this date. To help meet this target, fundamental concepts of low-carbon technologies will form the foundation of research carried out in the Centre.

dCarb offers an innovative three-year doctoral programme that is funded by the University and industry. Students undertaking a PhD with dCarb will study as part of a cohort of around ten other students from backgrounds in architecture, science and engineering.  They will carry out game-changing research into zero and low-carbon building technologies, covering a range of topics including:

  • materials and structures
  • building physics
  • construction management processes
  • control and digital systems
  • social science
  • resilience and climate change
  • architecture
  • policy
  • economics.

Why study with us?

dCarb will be situated within the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering and, from 2015, will be housed in a brand new state-of-the-art building currently under construction. Our world-class facilities provide students with a vibrant, multidisciplinary research and training environment.

Our students will be supported and directed by supervisors within the Department and will have the opportunity to collaborate with industrial partners on challenging projects. They will carry out research that will bridge the gap between academic research and industrial and societal needs in order to help meet the UK's target to cut carbon emissions.

The Department has an excellent reputation for employability, and has strong links with local, national and international employers. We also have links with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) through the BRE Centre of Innovative Construction Materials.

Our applicants

The PhD programme is an integral part of the Department. Successful applicants are welcomed as junior academic colleagues rather than students, and are expected to play a full and professional role in contributing to the Department’s objective of international academic excellence.

We seek applications from outstanding individuals from anywhere in the world who are strongly committed to and potentially capable of high-quality academic research in the area of low-carbon technologies.

The PhD programme combines taught research training and applied research practice. Candidates will then join the Department as a member of dCarb.


Candidates are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject, which must then be written up as a substantial thesis.

Viva exam

The final stage of the PhD programme is the oral or viva voce examination, in which students are required to defend the thesis to a Board of Examiners.

We welcome applications from graduates of architecture, science and engineering disciplines who already have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree and have a strong interest in low-carbon technologies.

International Students

See the International students website for details of entry requirements based on qualifications from your country.

All non-native speakers of English are required to have passed English language tests as follows:

  • Either IELTS: a score of at least 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all four parts (Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing)
  • Or PTE Academic (69 minimum and no less than 62 in any component)

If you need to develop your English language skills, the University’s Academic Skills Centre offers a number of courses.


Our main studentships are subject to the EPSRC student eligibility guidelines but we can sometimes find funding for excellent students who do not meet those criteria.

All applicants are subject to the University of Bath's standard entry requirements.


Fully-funded EPSRC CDT studentships cover Home/EU fees and provide an annual stipend.

Application process

Candidates should apply through the University's central application system by choosing Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering and selecting PhD programme in either Architecture or Civil Engineering (full time).

The full step-by-step instructions on the application process can be found on our how to apply page.

Interested candidates can email Professor David Coley to discuss the PhD before applying.