The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK

MPhil and PhD studies

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MPhil and PhD are research degrees involving independent research within one of our three multidisciplinary research themes:

Engineering Geosciences & Geomechanics



The Department has a vibrant postgraduate research community, with currently around 70 research students.  We offer research training in a diverse, international setting and all of our PhD students have the support of two supervisors to guide them through their research.  Students receive credited training in complementary skills such as presentation, external engagement, writing and project-specific skills. Our research students have opportunities to attend specialist classes and training course across the University and the Department’s weekly research seminar series. 

Our world-class research portfolio includes leadership of international multi-institutional research consortia in close collaboration with end-users from industry and government.  The Department also supports a wide range of international research collaborations, including recent activity in: Malawi, Kenya, Swaziland, Thailand, Cuba, Brazil, United States and Canada. 

Some examples of national/international consortium projects led by the Department include:

  • GEO-INSTALL Modelling Installation Effects in Geotechnical Engineering, €1.28M, European Commission (EC)
  • AMGISS (Advanced Modelling of Ground Improvement on Soft Soils) , €0.35M, EC
  • BAND-D, Biogeochemical Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Disposal, £1.9M, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • SAFE Barriers – a Systems Approach For Engineered Barriers, £1.3M, UK EPSRC

Department Staff and their Achievements

Research in the Department is highly interdisciplinary and combines the expertise of civil engineers, environmental engineers, scientists, mathematicians, economists and social scientists. Some recent, highly prestigious, staff achievements include:

  • Professor Robert Kalin: Brownfield Briefing Award (2012) for research in Environmental forensic methods for the characterisation of coal tar contamination.
  • Professor Rebecca Lunn: Geological Society of London Aberconway Medal (2011) for distinction in the practice of geology with special reference to work in industry
  • Professor Zoe Shipton: Geological Society of London William Smith Fund (2010) for excellence in contributions to applied and economic aspects of geoscience
  • Dr Christine Switzer: Lord Ezra Award (2009) for innovation by the Combustion Engineering Association
  • Dr Charles Knapp: Best environmental science research paper (2009) in Environmental Science & Technology
  • Dr Stella Pytharouli: The Lampadarios Prize (2009) of the Academy of Athens.

Facilities Available

Laboratory Facilities:

The University has made a £6million investment in the Department’s research laboratories resulting in our new state-of-the-art labs which opened in June 2013.  Research students in the Department will be able to make full use of these excellent research facilities which include:

  • Geomechanics Laboratory
  • Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
  • Microbiology Laboratory
  • Structures Laboratory
  • Constitutive & Numerical Modelling of Geomaterials
  • Field Investigation Capabilities
  • Advanced Materials Research Laboratory

Other Facilities:

Each Postgraduate Research student also receives their own work area with an allocated desk and computer as well as storage space.  As part of the University's investment in the Department's estate, the Department offices (including Postgraduate Researcher space) will be moving to brand new office space in the James Weir Building in January/February 2014. 

Current Resarch Interests

A list of staff and their current research interests can be found at:

Research topics of current PhD students can be found at: 

Entry Requirements

Candidates with first or upper second class Honours degree (or international equivalent) in any discipline, who are able to formulate an innovative research proposal in consultation with their potential supervisors, are invited to apply the MPhil or PhD programmes. Previous research/industrial experience is not necessary, but advantageous.

How to Apply

If you are interested in the MPhil/PhD programme in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Strathclyde, we require:

  • An online application form;
  • Academic transcripts (translated into English where applicible);
  • Two references (NB: Students should obtain references prior to applying);
  • An updated CV, including research/industry experience, and details of publications by the applicant;
  • A brief synopsis (about one or two A4 pages) of a research proposal (with full references to relevant publications).  Your research proposal should clearly identify:
    - The research question
    - The relationship of the research question to other work in the field
    - The proposed methodology and fieldwork, and the likely availability of information to be required
    - An indicative timetable.

International Applicants also need to provide:

  • A scanned copy of their passport
  • A certificate of English language (IELTS or TOEFL preferred)
  • A copy of your funding letter (if available)

ALL required documentation should be uploaded to Pegasus with your application.

Further Information

Further information on our PhD and/or MPhil programmes can be obtained by emailing:

Oct 2014 entry to full-time MRes geoenvironmental engineering (Admission Code : CEMRGE)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2014 entry to full-time MRes integrated pollution prevention and control (Admission Code : CEMRPP)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2014 entry to full-time MPhil civil and environmental engineering (Admission Code : CEEMPH)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2014 entry to full-time PhD civil and environmental engineering (Admission Code : CEPHD1)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2014 entry to full-time MPhil civil and environmental engineering (Admission Code : CEEMP1)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Oct 2014 entry to full-time PhD civil and environmental engineering (Admission Code : CVIRQ1)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions from applicants to our Postgraduate Research Degrees.

Fully-funded PhD Studentships

For information on current vacancies, please visit our Fully-funded PhD Studentships page.


PhD Information Leaflet

Downloadable PhD Leaflet