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Architecture, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #80 (QS) , | , | ,
The Department of Architecture at KU Leuven is responsible for research in the broad field of architecture, ie. the built environment created by people. Design plays a vital role in this. From theory and history to structural engineering and construction; from heritage preservation to urban planning, regional planning and landscaping we have only one goal in mind: excellence.


The Department of Architecture at KU Leuven offers a PhD degree in Engineering Science or a PhD degree in Architecture. 

We have five research domains in our research.

  • Constructing Architecture & Materialisation
  • Culture, Criticism & Narrative
  • Design-Driven Research
  • Design Practices & Emerging Technologies
  • Urbanity, Territories & Engagement

While most PhD candidates start a doctorate out of passion for or personal affinity with a certain topic or idea, there are also more career-oriented incentives. In the first place, pursuing doctoral research makes you an expert in a certain field through the breath or depth of your knowledge in a certain area. 

This gives you an invaluable advantage in the multi-disciplinary environment that architecture is increasingly becoming. In the same time, you acquire skills that are precious for the architectural profession such as project and self-management, leadership, team work, and communicative abilities. These skills are only growing in importance now that the built environment is subject to mechanisms of an increasingly globalizing scale.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date A student can apply at any time for this programme, there is no deadline.
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
    • Duration description

      A full-time PhD is aimed at completion within 4 years. Under certain conditions, a part-time PhD is possible. If the PhD research is in collaboration with industry or an international partner a blended mode is possible.

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The PhD programme in Architecture is co-ordinated by the Arenberg Doctoral School. We offer a versatile programme that addresses both academic expertise and personal skills. Under the guidance of a supervisor, each PhD researcher pursues a doctoral curriculum tailored to his or her research interests and professional goals. 

Each PhD researcher has access to excellent research facilities and a variety of services for students and staff. In addition to academic, research-related coursework such as seminars, workshops, summer schools, all doctoral curricula include professional skills training such as effective communication, entrepreneurial skills and leadership. 

Each PhD researcher can consult his/her personal PhD file, offering an overview of the status of the training components and milestones  to be fulfilled throughout the entire course of the PhD.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

  • Applicants need to have obtained a relevant master degree with excellent grades. We are looking for highly motivated researchers with good English proficiency.

Tuition Fee

  • First registration and year of defense: +/- 475 euro
  • Intermediate years with all facilities - free

Living costs

  • Leuven, Belgium

    810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs
  • Brussels, Belgium

    885 - 1310 EUR/month
    Living Costs
  • Gent, Belgium

    754 - 1210 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Vacant PhD positions with funding are announced on the website: Research scholarship or salary amounts are generally speaking quite good compared to other European PhD positions.

Financing opportunities are mentioned on this website: or on this website:

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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