The PhD programme in Architectural History promotes a broad understanding of the methodological, theoretical, and historiographical aspects of the history of architecture, rooted in deep and rigorous engagement with research practices in the study of the built environment.
Supervision is available in a range of topics unrivalled amongst Architectural History PhD programmes in the UK, encompassing the history and theory of architecture across Europe, the Americas, and their contact zones from the late Middle Ages to the present day.
You will benefit from close links with specialist disciplines across Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) more generally. You will work directly with a postgraduate supervisor from the School, but will also have the opportunity to engage the full range of available staff and peer expertise in ECA and the University of Edinburgh as a whole.
Areas of Architectural History staff interest and possible thesis fields include late medieval architecture in Europe, architecture in Renaissance and Baroque-era Europe and its contact zones (1400-1800), the architecture of the Scottish Enlightenment, architecture in colonial Latin America, the architecture of the British Empire, 19th- and 20th-century architecture in Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe; as well as modernism in Britain. Permanent staff in allied disciplines additionally have expertise in medieval Islamic architecture and the architecture of Latin American modernism.
How you will study
Students are assigned two research supervisors, the second of which may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS) or elsewhere within the University - according to the expertise required. On occasion, students are assigned more than two supervisors, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.
The research culture is supported by seminar and public lecture programmes, and discussion groups, including the History of the Built Environment Research Group.
You will be required to take a course (or courses) in research training during your degree at the University. This may take the form of a semester-long course offered within ECA, consisting of workshops on research methodologies designed for students working in art, architecture, and allied disciplines. However, PhD candidates in Architectural History are encouraged to fulfil the requirement by taking courses in Methods of Architectural Research and Historiography. Alternatively, you may take a combination of the short postgraduate skills training courses offered by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), or any other research methods training suggested by your supervisor.
Before you apply
Please consult the profiles of academic staff for the PhD in Architectural History listed below. Before you apply, you should ensure that at least one member of staff maintains an active research programme that aligns with the themes of your project, and ideally its geography and chronology. You are strongly encouraged to make contact with the relevant individual(s) via email to explain your research interests and how you see them integrating with the research strengths of the prospective supervisor(s) prior to submitting your application. Please note that we only accept applications and review application materials submitted through the official EUCLID application portal.