Skip to main content

School of the Built Environment


    The School has an excellent reputation for the quality of its research. 

    Students also benefit from being members of the Faculty’s Doctoral Training Programme which combines peer and tutor support with delivering the latest high-level training in all aspects of becoming a researcher.

    Doctoral Training Programme


    The School boasts an impressive list of funders and clients covering UK and EU government, research funding councils and industry. Links with universities worldwide provide exciting opportunities for collaborative research, exchanges and overseas study. Staff engage in a continuous stream of interdisciplinary cutting-edge research and scholarly activities designed to meet the current and anticipate future needs of the built environment. 


    Research students play a vital role in the school and are integrated into all aspects of academic life.

    Read more  


    When you apply for a place on our PhD programme, a research proposal must be submitted. 

    Read more    


    The University aims to help individuals realise their full potential across disciplines/ professions.

    Read more  

    Key areas of expertise and scholarship in the school form the following research groups: Joint Centre for Urban Design, Impact Assessment Unit, Spatial Planning, Urban Design Group, Real Estate and Land Policy Group and Construction Project Management Group.

    These comprise substantial research arms of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), which was founded in 2004, and forms the largest academic research institute in the UK dedicated to research on sustainable development in the built environment. This gives us the ability to quickly assemble transdisciplinary research teams to tackle the major challenges affecting the built environment - such as climate change, resilience, energy efficiency, resource scarcity, infrastructure, investment, and productivity.


    Joint Centre for Urban Design

    A leading and international centre of excellence in the design of urban places and space. Focusing on reflective practice, integrated with critical theory, we equip students to intervene effectively in the production of great places.

    Impact Assessment Unit

    The IAU brings together one of the largest teams of expertise in this field in the world. It's now an internationally recognised centre for excellence for research, knowledge exchange and all aspects of the environment.

    Spatial Planning

    The Spatial Planning Group brings together a wide range of intellectual and policy concerns within spatial planning and associated fields, both nationally and internationally.

    Urban Design

    The Urban Design Group is one of the largest UK providers of research expertise in urban design and conservation matters. Our research activity is of national and international standing.

    Real Estate and Land Policy

    A major international centre for research in areas such as sustainable real estate, international land and property markets, policy and sustainable urban development, building information modelling, construction and project management.

    Construction Project Management

    A primary focus is on application of intelligent knowledge-based decision support and knowledge creation and diffusion techniques in the industry.



    In the most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014, 97% of our research was judged to be internationally recognised and 100% of our research was assessed as having outstanding or very considerable impacts in terms of reach and significance.

    The School has links related to real estate and construction with over 80 universities in around 27 countries and works closely with both industry and practice.