School of Architecture

The School has seen Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates enter from every level of professional architectural experience – from recent graduates, to registered project architects, to established late career professionals. All have been motivated to pursue a sustained architectural research project, in a structured and supervised research environment, with access to outstanding support and advice. Specific reasons why a PhD or MPhil may be an attractive option for architectural graduates and professionals include:

Career change

A higher degree by research is the entry-level qualification for an academic career, in architecture as in other fields. A career change from architect to academic is one possible outcome of HDR study.

Solving problems relevant to the profession, and the world

A PhD or MPhil is not only abstract and scholarly – it can also set out to solve specific problems, and have practical applications and impacts in the wider world. Defining and solving a challenge for the architecture profession, or using architectural expertise to address a larger problem for society, can be a powerful motivator for HDR study.

Professional development

Undertaking an extended, structured program of research on an issue of relevance to architectural practice can be seen as a form of professional development: building expertise, specializing knowledge, and expanding disciplinary breadth on specific architectural questions.

Developing transferable skills

Higher degree study requires and develops high level skills in critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, and strategy. These skills are highly transferrable, and useful not only in a research context but for the practice of architecture and the successful management of an architectural business.

Pursuing curiosity

The majority of HDR projects in architecture in Australia begin as ‘curiosity driven’ ideas, derived by candidates themselves, in association with the interests of their advisor and School. The opportunity to pursue intellectual ideas for an extended period can be an enormously fulfilling experience.

Making good use of the down time

With the profession so profoundly affected by economic cycles, the university sector can offer excellent opportunities even when economic times are difficult. Coming through an economic slump with improved expertise, training, and specialization can be a sound business move as well as personally satisfying.