Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • 1120
  • Full time or Part-time
  • Semester 1 (March) or Semester 2 (August)
  • 3 years minimum; 4 years maximum (full time)


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research degree that provides you with the opportunity to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in an area of built environment research. The focus of a PhD is to develop a student’s expert knowledge in a chosen field and enhance their skills in research, critical and creative thinking and problem solving.
The faculty encourages both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research within the domain of the built environment. Collaborative supervision across disciplines and faculties within the University may be arranged where appropriate.
You can find out more about our Faculty research areas by exploring our research pages or visiting individual staff profiles.
For information on the structure of the program, please refer to the UNSW Online Handbook.

Supervision and Academic Support

Highly qualified and experienced academics, representing a wide range of built environment disciplines, provide academic support and supervision to the faculty’s research students.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are considering applying for enrolment in a PhD, you need to contact prospective supervisors to determine in advance if they are in a position to supervise your research topic. It is recommended that you make initial contact via email. If you are local, you should then arrange a face-to-face meeting; if overseas, ideally arrange a SKYPE interview.
In order to assist commencing students in developing an appropriate research methodology, PhD candidates are required to undertake a course in their first session - BENV7020 Research Seminar.
UNSW Built Environment also provides other forms of support, including dedicated workspaces and related facilities for its research students. Regular seminars and workshops aimed at developing skills in academic research and writing are also provided. A close relationship is maintained with the UNSW Graduate Research School to address student needs on an ongoing basis.

Entry Requirements

As a general guide, the minimum requirement for admission to a PhD degree is an appropriate undergraduate degree with first or upper second class honours or a completed Masters by Research degree in a field represented within UNSW Built Environment faculty or another relevant discipline.
In exceptional cases an applicant who submits evidence of such other academic and professional qualifications, as may be approved by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee, may be permitted to enrol for the degree.
Students may be admitted to PhD candidature after one year’s full-time enrolment in a Masters by Research, if considered eligible and approved by the Faculty’s Higher Degree Research Committee.
For full admission, application and enrolment requirements see How to Apply.
Page Last Updated: 11 May 2015