School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Postgraduate Research

Research Programmes

Postgraduate Research

These pages will tell you more about studying for a PhD in the School and how to apply.

We welcome applications from prospective students who wish to study for a PhD with us, either through the traditional route or via creative practice. You will benefit from a dynamic research culture in a School whose research has been recognised as world leading in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Whilst here you will be assigned two supervisors to provide support and advice throughout your study. One supervisor will always be from within the School, sometimes the second supervisor will be from another discipline. This approach encourages cross-disciplinary research and ensures you receive research supervision from experts in their field, wherever they work within the University.

The School has links with three Research Council funded Doctoral Training Centres and is embedded within the wider Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. As part of your studies you will join other research students across the Faculty in the Faculty Research Training Programme.

For more details about studying for a PhD please visit the University’s degrees explained pages. 

Funded Research Training

We work with three funded research training programmes which offer PhD studentships. Opportunities are advertised on our website when available.

Northern Ireland North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP)

The Northern Ireland North East Doctoral Training Partnership  (Nine DTP)  is an exciting collaborative enterprise between seven Universities across Northern Ireland and the North East of England. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, with support from the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI), providing outstanding students with fantastic opportunities to conduct their Doctoral studies and develop core research skills in an exciting and creative environment.

Each year, they award in excess of 50 studentships to exceptional social scientists across seven partner Universities, providing funding to support Doctoral studies on three year (PhD), three-and-a-half year (PhD with Research Methods) or four year (Masters and PhD) programmes. 

Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics at Newcastle University will train a minimum of 55 doctoral students (five annual intakes of at least 11 students) in the design, deployment and evaluation of community-driven digital technologies and services.

The CDT in Digital Civics is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It is a unique partnership between:

  • Newcastle University
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • Northumberland County Council
  • a range of local, national and global industry and third sector partners 

The CDT aims to deliver applied research training for doctoral researchers and includes a programme of intensive training and research, and internships and placements at some of the world’s leading charities (including the Royal Town Planning Institute), companies and universities.


Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership

The Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP) is a joint venture between Durham University, Queen’s University, Belfast and Newcastle University.

NBDTP is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) national network of accredited doctoral training centres. It offers students a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research. There are opportunities to work alongside leading arts and humanities researchers, and conduct training and research in collaboration with an architecture theory, history and practice related topics.


We have a large and diverse population of postgraduate research students and there are strong links between postgraduate research and the activities of research centres and staff.

Postgraduate research students coming to the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape can expect:

  • an allocated space (for full time students) with networked pc in a research studio
  • a conference budget which you can apply for to attend UK and international conferences
  • a research seminar series where school staff, external visitors and researchers present their work
  • a public lecture series, showcasing high profile practitioners, writers and researchers within the built environment field
  • postgraduate research events where postgraduate students present their research to academics and peers
  • enrolment on the Faculty Research Training Programme to support and guide you in the initial stages of your research
  • contact with other researchers and academics working in their field through one of our two research centres
  • a student run research journal, Forum, produced to demonstrate the breadth of research in the School and raise awareness of the diverse postgraduate research culture
  • your own kitchen and dedicated informal space, the Green Room

Postgraduate Research Mini-Conference

The Postgraduate Research (PGR) mini conference offers the opportunity to all PhD students in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape to present their research work and exchange ideas. This annual event is organised by the School to encourage postgraduate students from all the various disciplines in the School to interact and communicate their research to each other and to the wider audience, including academic staff. The participants benefit from the feedback on their work and presentation skills.


Student Theses

These abstracts from students who have completed their research degree will give you some insight into the areas of study undertaken in the School and the variety of the student cohort.

While every effort has been made in producing this information it is possible that some names may have been omitted/included in error. Please contact with any amendments.

How to apply

Your research proposal is the most important part of your application to study.

It should identify key questions that the research will seek to answer, and give some indication of the sorts of methods that might be used. If your application is successful you will develop your initial research proposal in discussion with your allocated supervisors, and acceptance depends on the availability of suitable supervisors.

Although there are no precise guidelines on how to write your proposal for a PhD, the following suggested structure should give you an idea of what we expect to find in a well-made outline. There are no limitations on the length of your proposal, although we would recommend that you keep it between 1,000 and 3,000 words.

You may also find it beneficial to read more about research conducted within the School, our academic staff and examples of completed theses before submitting an application.

Title of proposed research topic

This should have both a short, succinct main title, and a longer more descriptive subtitle.


Outline the issue/problem/question under investigation indicating its significance and how it originated (why it arose). You should be trying to persuade the reader that your project is interesting and useful. Say how, if your research is successful, it might contribute to knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Literature review

You ought to say something about the existing literature in the area of your proposed study showing what they say that is of relevance, and why it is not sufficient. This review need not be detailed, but it should indicate you are aware of the intellectual background of your project.

Why Newcastle University?

Outline any academics or research groups at Newcastle University that you feel are relevant to your research.

Research design

You must explain what sort of research methods or approaches you are proposing to employ, and why. You should indicate that you have thought carefully about the right technique to employ to investigate the issues you are concerned with. Briefly outline the data you need and the sources you will use indicating whether the data comes from published sources or field work.

Further training

Summarise your experience in using the techniques required and identify any areas where you think that you would benefit from further training.


Set out a rough estimate of how much time you propose to allocate to each stage of your research work, i.e., full literature review; research method training; data collection; data analysis; writing up.

Further information and applications

Further information and links to funding and online application forms can be found on the postgraduate applications web pages. If you need to discuss your application contact the postgraduate research secretary, Marian Kyte.