The AA School’s PhD programme combines advanced research with a broader educational agenda, preparing graduates for practice in global academic and professional environments. Set up in the late 1970s the programme now operates as an autonomous, cross-disciplinary unit supported by all of the School’s postgraduate departments. Current doctoral research encompasses topics of architectural theory and history, architectural urbanism, emergent technologies and design, and sustainable environmental design. Along with the traditional format of the text-based dissertations, candidates can choose to incorporate design research as part of the formal argumentation and output of their PhD projects.
PhD studies at the AA are full-time for the entire duration. This starts with a preparatory period during which candidates acquire knowledge and skills while developing their research proposals. Approved research proposals are submitted for registration initiating the formal period of PhD study, which has a duration of approximately four calendar years. PhD candidates work under the guidance of two supervisors. Regular events include research seminars and presentations of research work both within the AA School and in outside events.
In the 2012/13 academic year 18 PhD candidates will be continuing into their second, third or final year and new candidates will join the programme for their first year. A new seminar of roundtable discussions with invited speakers will be held in Term 2. Several of this year’s second and third year PhD students will be active as teaching assistants within the school. External events include the coveted AA-CCA research award for a study period at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and participation in international conferences and publications. PhD students will also host the AA PhD Dialogues, an annual symposium of ongoing doctoral research.
Candidates for MPhil/PhD research degrees must already hold an appropriate post-professional Master's degree in their proposed area of MPhil/PhD research.