The PhD in Architecture, based at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), is a strategic research collaboration between XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. Upon successful completion of your programme, you will receive a University of Liverpool-issued degree, which is recognised by China’s Ministry of Education.


Pursuing a full-time PhD typically involves three years of conducting research and one year of writing a thesis, supported by subject-specific and generic skills training and development. A full-time PhD student must submit a thesis within four years. A part-time PhD student must submit it in six years.

Why should I do my PhD in Architecture at XJTLU?

  • Our PhD programme equips you with a range of professional skills to help you maximise your future employability;
  • Our supervisors will guide you through one of the most intellectually satisfying experiences of your life;
  • With around two dozen current PhD candidates, the department boasts a highly active postgraduate research community from a broad range of architecture-related subjects;
  • You will receive supervision from respected academics at both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool;
  • PhD students have dedicated travel budgets for participating in international conferences;
  • You will have the chance to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for three to six months;
  • You will have opportunities to work as a teaching assistant and to develop academic skills crucial to your career; and
  • To enhance your academic development, you can take part in our dedicated training seminars on theory and research methodologies.

Research areas

XJTLU’s Design School welcomes proposals for its research-based PhD in Architecture programme. Potential candidates are invited to position their PhD research proposals on one or more of the programme’s areas of strength, which include:

  • architectural design and architectural studio education
  • architectural, environmental or construction technology
  • computer-aided architectural design
  • architectural history and built heritage studies
  • social and cultural study of the built environment

Additionally, the PhD in Architecture programme emphasises the opportunity to conduct transdisciplinary research on architecture in relation to other fields of enquiry.

Research environment and facilities

  • The department boasts a state-of-the-art modelling workshop with extensive additional manufacturing, metal and woodworking, ceramics, and robotics facilities.
  • Research students are provided fully equipped office spaces and personal workstations. Our computing facilities include most major computer-aided architectural design (CAAD) environments.

Potential supervisors

Design School

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Architecture and Design.


The scholarship application is open only to applicants applying for full-time doctoral programmes.

1) Apply for a scholarship for a funded PhD project:
One option is to apply for an existing PhD project that has received funds from the University or external funding bodies. The research topic and supervisory team for these projects have already been established.

There is no specific application deadline for a project, as it will remain open until the position is filled. The start date of a PhD programme is usually the first day of March, June, September, or December. You can visit the Postgraduate Research Scholarships Page for information about the specific PhD projects available or to contact potential supervisors to discuss funding opportunities.

2) Apply for a postgraduate research scholarship with your own project:
You can also apply for a scholarship with your own project. With this option, there will be two application rounds each academic year:

Go to Scholarships to find more information about how to apply for the scholarships.

Application Rounds Application deadline Release of results
First Round 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 October End of December
Second Round 17:00 CST(UTC+8), 15 April Early July
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