Professional Doctorate

Professional Doctorate students choose from the Masters in Architecture Programmes for the taught elements of the programme. The MA Urban Design is part of this option and offers a wide range of research possibilities in the fields of urban design and theory.

The Professional Doctorate in Architecture programme primarily aims to work on live projects in collaboration with local, national and international agencies, industry and practice through project based research, and is one of the first of its kind in the UK. It focuses on the notion of developing prototypes, with the potential of ranging in scale and scope from material and building components, through to the development of urban prototypes and design frameworks that are both innovative, original, rigorous and as such adding significant contribution to architectural knowledge and practice.

For Professional Doctorate in Architecture Programme Specification please visit:

Professional Doctorate in Architecture at UEL


The Architecture Programmes in the School of Architecture and the Visual Arts at the University of East London are recognised as among the leaders in the UK and have a particular reputation for innovation in teaching. The new Masters Programmes and structure have grown out of these existing strengths. The character of the UEL Architecture Programmes both undergraduate and postgraduate is recognisable in its ‘hands-on’ approach to architecture, working with the physical exploration of materials and the processes of site and context. As a counterpart to the preoccupation with the physical, the school also has a number of dedicated Computer Studios which explore more theoretical and virtual models of architecture.

The Masters in Architecture Programmes provide the platform towards a project based Professional Doctorates programme in Architecture, working on live projects. These new and enriched Masters in Architecture are designed as a forum for specialist research and debate within the Field, directed to design professionals primarily within the built environment, either in the public or private sector, or for those who wish to pursue a career in Higher Education nationally or internationally.

The new AVA building at Docklands, completed in June 2004, incorporates a wide range of workshops and studios – fashion production and manufacture, textile print, digital media, integrated Mac and PC labs, visual production suites, broadcasting and photographic studios, metal and wood workshops together with visual art, architecture and design studios, supported by lecture and seminar space, and a dedicated gallery for students, staff and visiting professionals.

The School of AVA is situated on the University of East London’s Docklands Campus, in the heart of one of Europe’s major centres for urban renewal, and is well serviced by transportation links to Central London, Europe and the rest of the world.

Professional Doctorate students will be expected to choose from the following Programmes for the taught elements of the programme.

MA Architecture: Urban Design

This new design intensive programme has grown out of the School’s longstanding preoccupation with urban and landscape intervention and regeneration both local and international. The programme is designed to develop tools for the urban designer, and through projects search for alternative solutions to complex urban contexts. The programme aims to work in collaboration with local and international agencies on live projects.

MSc Architecture: Computing & Design

The programme aims to provide students with advanced CAD skills and at the same time introduce ways of thinking about the role of the computer in architectural design beyond the current practice in offices. The programme uses CAD as an introduction and vehicle for design research, and is concerned with space and form and their determinants. Graduates have entered academia or practice as specialists, and set up new media and modelling businesses.

MA Architecture: Sustainability & Design

The programme explores a new area of intellectual enquiry. More and more environmental legislation is being passed by governments as a result of a major shift in attitude towards the environment, and the new ways in which we operate upon it. There is, therefore, as great a need at the start of the 21st century to consider the position of architecture as there was at the beginning of the 20th century. The programme addresses itself to new architectural issues and a range of responses, which will enable students to apply such thinking to their own practice. It is intended that the students will become fellow researchers rather than recipients of an established method and content.

MA Architecture: Interpretation & Theories

The programme is an introduction to a range of advanced studies in the history and theory of architecture. It is primarily concerned with the relationship of theories and ideologies to architectural practice, and develops this concern by engaging in depth with a series of fundamental issues in modern and current architecture. Central to its approach is an understanding of cultural thought, which can be seen to form the context of the development of architectural writing and architectural practice.

MA Landscape Architecture

This new programme is predicated upon understanding the best of current local and international landscape practice, while also emphasizing the development of intuition and processes to test and develop new forms of landscape practice. It welcomes students as fellow collaborators in a programme that seeks to develop new strands to contemporary landscape architecture that are innovative in approach to materials and the temporal possibilities at the core of landscape, and deal proactively with the complex environmental, social, and creative questions of the time. It expands material and contextual interests into the natural and urban environment and actively seeks to explore the possibilities inherent in the temporal design opportunities that landscape architecture encompasses. The programme is designed to develop intellectual and practical professional tools for landscape architects, and through project based studies search for new solutions to the increasing complexity of our urban landscapes, where the social, political and economic, as well as spatial pressures are most intense. The programme aims to work in collaboration with local and international agencies on live projects where possible.

Master of Architecture

The M.Arch programme seeks to re-establish the creative developments of the student. It does so through looking at methods of harnessing office practice techniques, to find poetic readings through an economy of means and consequently to nurture the student's experience from the very different environment of practice. The School's direction is experimental and founded in the materiality and making and testing of full size constructions. The programme offers engagement with broader issues of architecture that tends to get lost in the office environment. The M.Arch programme recruits recent graduates and qualified architects with a closeness to the building process. It is an opportunity to follow advanced architectural studies related more closely to practice than is the case elsewhere in the School.

The project-based work of the programme is taught on the atelier system, with guest critics and lecturers in support. The atelier form of teaching enables the development of skills and creativity, while knowledge is expanded through the 'need to know'. Work is discussed in the open forum of jury sessions; seminars and guest lecturers are introduced into the programme as necessary in the development of the work.

Admission Requirements

The programme is particularly designed for already qualified design professionals who wish to engage with practice based architectural research at doctorate level.

It welcomes applications from suitable candidates with a professional degree in Architecture and/or RIBA Part 2 exemption.

Applications are welcomed from the EU and overseas, in particular, lecturers from Higher Education Institutions wishing to increase their academic qualifications.

This programme has also been designed to attract professionals from public and private practice who are seeking to upgrade their academic qualifications, or who are looking for the opportunity to validate aspects of their professional remit, or to research and develop internationally relevant issues that they have encountered in professional practice.

Applicants who already hold a Masters qualification in a field relevant to the programme and who can demonstrate the generic and specialist research skills required may be exempted from the first year of the programme via the accreditation of experiential learning [AEL], subject to the approval of the Academic Board Research Committee. [ABRC]

Admission of students will be in accordance with the regulations of the UEL Professional Doctorate Framework. The granting of accreditation will be subject to Academic Board Research Committee Approval.

All applicants will be interviewed. Admissions decisions will involve at least two members of staff who have substantial experience and/or received training in the selection and admission of research degree candidates.

The ABRC will assure itself that balanced and independent admissions decisions have been made, supporting our admissions policy.

Programme Structure

The professional Doctorates programme is designed as 1+3 years programme.

The programme is available part time and full time and the typical duration is 45 months full time or 72 months part time. The Professional Doctorate students will in their first year[s] of study choose from the Masters in Architecture Programmes most relevant to their area of interest and expertise.

The students will undertake two 60 credit M level modules followed by a 60 credit thesis project which will be developed as basis of the Research Project application. These are to be submitted for approval and registration by ABRC. The research project can be drawn[digitally or by hand], filmed and/or constructed using any subject specialist research media appropriate to professional practice in architecture together with a text element normally of 40,000 words and not exceeding 60,000 words.

Registration of the research component can only take place following approval by the ABRC of the suitability of the candidate to undertake research, of the programme of research, of the supervision arrangements and of the research environment. These approvals require appropriate academic judgement to be brought to bear on the viability of each research proposal. For this purpose our University ensures that the ABRC is composed of persons who are or who have engaged in research and who have appropriate experience of successful research degree supervision.

No posts.
No posts.