Doctoral studies at the AA combine advanced research with a broader educational agenda to prepare graduates for practice in global academic and professional environments. Current PhD research encompasses architectural theory and history, architectural urbanism, advanced architectural design, the city, emergent technologies and sustainable environmental design in architecture. History and theory research is directed by Mark Cousins and Marina Lathouri. Research on urban and housing issues, policy, strategic thinking and spatial design is directed by Jorge Fiori. Research in emergent technologies in architectural design, including active material systems and urban metabolic design is directed by Michael Weinstock and George Jeronimidis. Research on sustainable environmental design in architecture is led by Simos Yannas and Paula Cadima. ‘City- Architecture’, a collective design research agenda, is directed by Pier Vittorio Aureli and Maria Giudici.
Research groups organised under these streams come together in joint symposia and student-led events. Candidates with an architectural background may apply for the studio-based PhD in architectural design which allows them to combine writing with design research.
PhD studies at the AA are full-time for their entire duration. This starts with a preparatory period during which candidates attend selected courses and seminars while developing their research proposals. Approval of proposals initiates the formal period of PhD study, which has a maximum duration of four years. Typically, some 30 doctoral candidates are enrolled in the programme at any particular time, each guided by two supervisors, one of whom as Director of Studies. During their studies, PhD candidates are expected to produce work worthy of publication in journals and presentation in international conferences. Research travel bursaries are available to support the dissemination of excellent work.

Applications are welcome from graduates in architecture and related disciplines. Applicants should hold a Masters degree or equivalent qualification or professional experience in the area of their proposed research project. Applicants should be prepared to undertake an interview, in person or virtually. Visiting doctoral and post-doctoral scholars from other institutions may apply to join the AA PhD programme or one of the postgraduate Design Studios for study periods of three to six months. Enquiries should be addressed to the AA Admissions Office.

The AA is a Partner Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of the Open University (OU), UK. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.


  • AHRA PhD Student Symposium
    The 2019 AHRA PhD Student Symposium will take place this year 24-25 April at the University of Manchester, UK. According to the event’s website, the ‘AHRA Research Student Symposium 2019 takes as its starting point a broad and prolonged transition occurring in architectural research during the past decade. New and interdisciplinary approaches emerge as a […]
  • Alumni
    Earlier this year, AA PhD Alumni, Dr. Jingru Cheng was shortlisted in the ‘Cities & Community’ category for the RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2018 with her work  titled ‘Care and Rebellion: The Dissolved Household in Contemporary Rural China.’ A brief description of her work is available on the RIBA website. More information can be […]
  • Crosswise – 4 Conversations
    EVENT 3 FRIDAY 1st of JUNE 10.00-10.15 Introduction to the event by Alvaro 10.15 – 11.50  Dissolving Boundaries Tatjana Crossley, Elena Palacios, Sofia Krimizi The overarching theme of this panel is ‘boundaries’, looking at this through the lens of the psychological, the physical and the representational. Tatjana Crossley will be discussing the boundary of the […]
  • Crosswise – PhD Symposium
    EVENT 1 WEDNESDAY 30th OF MAY  Double Crossing  “This Thing Called Theory” Open Seminar Series 14:00 – 18:00 At the The Barrel Vault in The AA Organised by  AA PhD Programme & Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) This Thing Called Theory Stemming from the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) 2015 conference, the open seminar series […]
  • MA HCT & PhD History and Language Debate Series
    Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers Debate 3 Forays in Spacing: Nature, Technics, Trace Guest speaker: Georgios Tsagdis Friday 23 February | 4:00pm | HCT Room Half a century after the three-fold announcement of the logic of the trace in Derrida’s Of Grammatology, Voice and Phenomenon and Writing and Difference the constructive potential of deconstruction continues […]

PhD Projects