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PhD programmes – University of Reading

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  • PhD programmes to suit you

    Find your PhD in Construction Management and Engineering

PhD programmes

Study within an internationally-renowned school for research in the built environment.

We have an established global reputation for our academic and applied research. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 83% of the University of Reading's research in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. As a research student with us, you will work with built environment academics from a range of different disciplines.

Our academic staff have extensive experience as advisors, consultants and visiting lecturers to commercial organisations, governments and universities across the world. Their valuable contacts, relationships, knowledge and experience is shared, wherever appropriate, with our students.

What we offer

Within Construction Management and Engineering we offer a PhD in Energy and Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Construction Management.

Current PhDs in Energy and Environmental Engineering cover a range of topics, including: thermal comfort, renewable technologies, electric vehicles, energy storage, energy systems and demand management. The scale of projects include users, technologies, systems, and networks across regional and national scales. The School offers students a wide range of disciplinary expertise to draw from, including: building physics, urban climate, energy economics and environmental engineering. The interdisciplinary composition of the staff offers opportunities to develop topics which link technical problems with design, policy and management issues. The School recognises that originality often comes from the combining of ideas, problems and approaches, associated with distinct disciplines. The breadth of expertise and research areas within the School of the Built Environment provides students and supervisors with a rich set of resources on which to draw.

Current PhDs in Construction Management cover a range of topics, including: construction competitiveness, innovation, project management, Health and Safety, procurement, BIM and sustainable construction. Research is conducted across a range of scales, spanning from the individual to the project, and from individual regions to international comparisons. Applicants work with their supervisors to develop original contributions drawing on the School's diverse disciplinary and theoretical expertise. Approaches currently used range from statistical analysis and modelling to rational choice theory, management and organizational theory, social practice theory, actor network theory and ethnography, amongst others.

We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over three years and part-time over four to six years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading or at a distance.


Throughout your studies you will have opportunities to communicate and receive feedback on your work and network with other researchers. This is done through our lunchtime seminar series and at the annual School PhD conference. In addition PhD students are encouraged to present their work externally, in conferences and workshops with funding from the School.


During your degree, we will provide you with training in research skills that aims to prepare you for your studies and future career.

While our PhD programmes are 100% research-based, the School offers intensive one-on-one training with two supervisors and two assessors. These sessions are complemented by a series of two day workshops to support students with basic skills. In addition, there are numerous opportunities to develop presentation abilities and teaching skills.

Our global community

Within the School of the Built Environment you will be part of a supportive and collaborative global community of students, staff, alumni and partners.

Over the last five years the School of the Built Environment has welcomed students from over 65 countries, and our community of staff is currently comprised of individuals from over 20 countries. We value the breadth of perspectives, wide range of expertise and international experience, which our diverse student and staff body brings to our learning community.



Our intensive research degrees aim to prepare our students for successful careers beyond graduation. Employers in the built environment sectors believe University of Reading graduates have an edge - that they have vision and ambition.

Our graduates are well-represented at the very top of the built environment profession, both in the UK and internationally. Many go on to work in, and lead, world-renowned research institutions and companies across a wide range of sectors relating to the built environment and beyond.

Our graduates have gone on to work within leading firms around the world, including:

 AECOM  Ministry of Planning (Saudi Arabia)
 Atkins  PricewaterhouseCoopers
 BuroHappold Engineering  Renewable Energy Systems Ltd
 Middle East Technical University  The University of Witswatersrand
 Ministry of National Defence (South Korea)  University of Technology Malaysia

Further information

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