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Exploit your expertise as an architect or engineer via a part-time, practice-led PhD

A flexible route that allows qualified architects or engineering professionals to study for a PhD while working part-time.

Join forces with Bath

This mutually beneficial scheme helps industry to develop its research base, and academia to access industry's expertise and innovation.

Whether you are an employee or employer, if your practice wants to develop new knowledge and exploit a track record of innovative practice, our course could be the answer. It offers individuals and businesses alike the chance to exploit expertise and add intellectual capital.

As part of our commitment to collaborative research in engineering and architecture, we would also like to hear from potential partners in industry who are interested in developing their staff with us.

Who should apply?

Intended for qualified practitioners in relevant fields, this course is for committed mid-career professionals who can draw on their work and experience in practice as part of studying for a PhD.

Designed to be part-time, it allows you to continue earning while completing a consolidated programme. You'll register for six years, part-time but can submit within four years if you meet the requirements. The course presumes 500 hours a year of intensive and focused doctoral study. You can request to extend or suspend your registration for up to a year if your circumstances change.

Why Bath?

Our PhD programme offers expert individual supervision as well as shared induction and training courses, and involves internationally leading figures in building design.

The Department is a leader in built environment research through the activities of its research centres and staff, with three principal research groups:

  • BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM)
  • Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA)
  • Engineering and Design of Environments (EDEn)

Research areas

Our current research areas include:

  • architectural management
  • BIM and collaborative technologies
  • building conservation and upgrading
  • climate change, sustainable development and environmental modelling
  • design for building resilience
  • design management and strategies
  • digital design
  • environmental impact of design and construction
  • healthcare design
  • low carbon and low energy building design
  • the use of radical, low-carbon building materials and technologies

Study can reflect a company’s or individual’s interests and expertise and, ideally, will encompass both. The University also offers the potential for collaborative research in computing, psychology, management and other disciplines.

How students benefit

Join a cohort of like-minded mid-career professionals carrying out applied research, and incorporating practice at the forefront of their disciplines.

As well as the chance to complete a course of doctoral study while maintaining your principal employment, you will gain:

  • the internationally recognised title of ‘Dr’, emblematic of excellence in research standards and the generation of new knowledge
  • demonstrable status as an expert in your field
  • a PhD, increasingly seen as a passport into the upper echelons of senior management
  • the opportunity to develop a career specialisation with commercial value

What's in it for practices

Your investment in the course is likely to pay dividends.

The company will gain:

  • enhanced intellectual capital
  • recognition through innovative practice
  • bespoke, evidence-based research into the benefits of your innovations
  • access to the research network of one of the UK’s leading research universities
  • invitations to present to final-year students, potentially leading to recruiting some of the UK's best graduates
  • four free places at all our departmental conferences and research events
  • a way of offering staff an opportunity that will also benefit the practice’s strategic development interests
  • recognition of its status as a research collaborator
  • advertising space in the Department’s foyer (we attract c10,000 visitors a year, many of them influential in architecture and engineering)
  • the appointment of a member of the practice as co-supervisor, where agreed

Your practice has to ensure that their employee can free up 500 hours a year for study linked to ongoing initiatives within the practice. As a first step, the practice and student should agree an area of research commitment that satisfies both parties' needs.

Both academia and practices increasingly rely on the quality of Bath's research, since the intellectual capital embodied in the staff of any firm or university is a key measure of competitive advantage.

Enabling a member of the team to take advantage of this route to a PhD is likely to enhance their status and success and, by association, the practice's.


Tuition fees for UK and EU students are set annually, and you may be eligible for a scholarship.


If you have any questions, please contact us in person or online