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PhD opportunities

The School of the Built Environment offers a comprehensive range of research programmes which give the opportunity for researchers worldwide to realise their ambition and to achieve higher qualifications via research. At the forefront of built environment research, the School of the Built Environment is recognised for its friendly and professional environment. We offer outstanding research opportunities, both via distance learning and by attendance (part-time or full-time). Each of our postgraduate students is assigned a supervisor from the university who is active in the same area of research, a co-supervisor or a local advisor, and a personal tutor who will offer support and guidance when needed. Our programmes are further enriched by comprehensive in-house training support, which addresses researchers' needs during all stages of their research. We also provide English language support to international students.  

The School of the Built Environment continued its leading position in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Ranking list of the world's top 50 universities in Architecture/ Built Environment discipline. The prestigious international university rankings organisation QS placed the School 46th in the World and 6th in the UK*. The School has also been leading the research agenda in the built environment for more than 20 years, continuously rated top in the national Research Assessment Exercises. We have one of the largest global cohorts of PhD students and many of our graduates are already making a difference in industry and also in academia, by holding leadership positions in organisations and academic institutions across the world.

*QS world ranking, 2016

Who is it for?

Masters research degree programmes are advanced study programmes for graduates (or equivalent) who aspire to positions of professional leadership and responsibility in the field of built environment, or to develop a career in built environment research.

Programme structure

Postgraduates will be trained in research by experienced supervisors. The research training will include practical and theoretical activities focused on a specific research topic agreed by the student and the supervisor.

Training will cover:

  • Critical and analytical skills
  • Presentation and writing skills
  • Research programme planning

Assessment

Progress is judged through the completion of the learning agreement, a self-evaluation report and final thesis submission. Full-time students may be allowed to undertake part of their work outside the University of Salford.

Duration

Normally 1-2 years full-time/part-time depending on individual qualifications and study needs.

Applying

For details on entry requirement and fees, please see our page on applying for postgraduate research degrees.

Who is it for?

PhD students who want to study at the Salford campus, however, it is also possible to complete a PhD on a split-site basis. This mode of study is for PhD students who want to study at the University of Salford and in another country. Students are permitted to undertake part of the study programme at an external institution; however, students are expected to spend the equivalent of at least one third of their agreed study period at Salford. In addition to a supervisor at Salford, a local advisor who must be based in an academic institution, local to the candidate’s country of residence will be appointed.

Programme structure

There are 5 elements to a PhD

  • Research Proposal - Normally submitted at the time of application.
  • Literature Review - Builds up the knowledge in the subject-area of research. Students should search all relevant literature in their research field using available facilities.
  • Research - This aims to satisfy the research objectives by following a clear, detailed and rigorous research methodology. Students will be self-dependent and should develop in depth skills in the subject-area.
  • Analysis - Develops the student's ability to test or validate the research results through quantitative and / or qualitative analyses, approved by the supervisory team.
  • Writing up - Students complete their proposed final thesis and prepare for the final examination at the University of Salford. Students are required to work out a detailed plan for delivering the various individual chapters of the thesis to their supervisory team.

Assessment

Progress is judged through the completion of a learning agreement, annual self-evaluation report, two intermediate assessments and final thesis submission and viva.

Duration

  • 3 years (plus 1 year completion) full-time / split-site
  • 5 years (plus 2 years completion) part-time

Applying

For details on entry requirements, fees, and other support and advice please see our page on applying for postgraduate research degrees.

Who is it for?

This programme is suitable for candidates who are working in academia or industry, or who simply cannot commit to a full-time study at the Salford campus. The online programme is suitable for overseas and home students that are based outside the Manchester area.

Programme structure

This programme is delivered online and is backed up by tutor support. All candidates are allocated a supervisor and a local advisor who will be based in an academic institution, local to the candidate’s country of residence.

Students are able to download research materials, interact with tutors and fellow students, submit work and receive feedback. A breakdown of the programme structure is as follows:

  • Research Proposal (max. 3 months) - Provides the basis for the research to be conducted in the remainder of the programme.  
  • Literature Review (max. 8 months) - Building up the knowledge in the chosen subject-area of research. Students should search all relevant literature in their research field using the facilities provided by their local centres, the University of Salford's Library services and web facilities.  
  • Research Methodology (max. 12 months)- Completing research objectives by following a rigorous research methodology. Implementing empirical research techniques as appropriate. Students will work independently and should develop in depth skills on conducting research in the subject area.  
  • Analysis (max. 3 months) - Testing / validating the research results through quantitative and / or qualitative analyses approved by the supervisor and local adviser.  
  • Writing up (max. 6 months) - Completing the proposed final thesis and preparing for the final exam at the University of Salford. Students are required to work out a detailed plan for delivering the various individual chapters of the thesis to their supervisors/local adviser.  

Assessment

Attendance at the University of Salford is compulsory only for interim assessment, internal evaluation and the final oral examination. There is no additional mandatory requirement to attend the University of Salford.

Duration

3 years (plus 1 year completion)

Dates

You may apply at anytime during the year. The programme has 3 intakes each year: January, April and October.

Apply now

Make sure that you have electronic copies of all supporting documentation, such as transcripts, English language tests and research proposals.

You will be prompted to attach these during the online application process.

You can check out research subject pages for lists of PhD subject areas.

For details on entry requirements, fees, and other support and advice please see our page on applying for postgraduate research degrees.

Why study a professional doctorate?

  • An achievable route for busy professionals to achieve a doctorate
  • Studied part-time with others from similar professional backgrounds
  • Reduces your study time by drawing on existing expertise
  • Distance learning, supplemented by occasional Saturday workshops

About the programme

The programme provides an accessible route for experienced property and construction professionals to gain a doctorate in a subject related to their professional expertise. It provides an induction into doctoral level research in a friendly and supportive environment where candidates study with others from similar professional backgrounds. The programme provides a logical step-by-step approach to achieving a doctorate which allows candidates to make maximum use of existing knowledge, and thereby to reduce study time. Distance learning study is supplemented by occasional workshop sessions in the university’s Media City building, making the programme suitable for professionals based throughout the UK, the Republic of Ireland or Continental Europe.

Awards

On registration you will join other members of your cohort in a single doctorate in the built environment’ programme. Successful completion of the programme entitles you to receive the Doctor of the Built Environment (DBEnv) award.

At the time of submitting your thesis you may instead elect to receive one of two alternative discipline-specific doctoral awards. Depending on the subject of your thesis you may choose to be awarded either the Doctor of Real Estate (DRealEst), or the Doctor of Construction Management (DConstMgt).

Programme structure

For full details of the modules studied, assessment details, entry requirements and more, visit the Professional Doctorate course page.

Duration

Five years part-time

Applying

For details on entry requirements, fees, and other support and advice please see our page on applying for postgraduate research degrees.