Doctoral Programme in Architecture from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Type of programme
Ph. Degrees
between 02-09-2024 and 29-08-2025
Annual enrolment on the programme: 915€
Thesis deposit rights: €850
Thesis reading and defence rights: €1500
Application for the PhD title: €315
  • Home
  • Academic Doctoral Committee (CAD)
  • Research lines and team
  • General Information
  • Organisation and planning
  • Admissions procedure
  • Financial Information
  • Defended Theses
  • General regulations and links of interest

The aim of the Doctorate in Architecture is to train researchers and specialists capable of responding in their field to the problems existing in our society, promoting the generation of innovative knowledge at the service of society. 

To do this, students will acquire training that enables them to generate studies that deepen the knowledge of all dimensions that affect architecture at various levels, as well as the different dynamics of the human and technological systems in which they are involved.

The Doctorate in Architecture program offers a wide range of research lines. These include scales that study landscape and city management; innovative construction systems; content that works in composition, history and architectural heritage; and new subjects in sustainability, cooperation, citizen participation and public health.

This Doctoral Programme in turn aims to respond to currently existing theoretical and methodological challenges, to provide new knowledge that will improve the systems in which architecture is developed from a scientific and ethical perspective. Defending an architecture and an urbanism in which innovation can coexist with different cultures without exclusions, from a humanist perspective in which the sciences and the arts can coexist.

The incorporation of doctoral students into the different research groups is also an objective, in order to specialise and expand the specific contents of each line of research. The existence of specific committees external to the university, during the process of preparing the thesis, guarantees the quality of the research and increases the possibility of creating scientific networks around the thesis, of great help for the doctoral candidate.

The doctoral student of the program acquires a greater depth in the vision of any of the different scales and environments that he chooses from the architectural discipline such as the planning of the landscape and the city, the design of buildings, innovative construction systems, the contents that they work on composition, architectural history and heritage, and new subjects in sustainability and cooperation.

In all these lines, the doctoral student will be able to lead research projects and will specialize in content that will enrich their professional status.

Academic Doctoral Committee (CAD)

The Doctoral Academic Committee has the general objective of ensuring the quality of doctoral theses and the general education of all doctoral students.

In order to do this, they assess the Doctoral Activities Document (DAD) on an annual basis, as well as any progress doctoral students have made on their Research Plan. Similarly, the committee is responsible for the final approval of the doctoral thesis so that it can be defended before the examining board.

Doctoral Academic Committee for Architecture


Dr. Vicenç Sarrablo. Department of Architecture.



Dra. Marta Benages. Department of Architecture.

Dr. Josep Lluís i Guinovart. Department of Architecture 

Research lines and team

Subline 1

GRC Sustainable Urban Living

Coordinator:  Dra. Carmen Mendoza

Group members: DDra. Carmen Mendoza, Dr. Pere Vall, Dra. Marta Benages, Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri, Dr. Diego Navarro, Dr. Borja Ferrater, Dra. Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, Dra. Apen Ruiz Martinez, Sara Eltokhy, Ashley Howard.

  • Research subline: Sustainable recovery and displacement

Coordinator: Dra. Carmen Mendoza

This research line addresses the knowledge gap for city planners, policymakers and support agencies related to how to respond to the increasing link between disasters, migration and displacements at an urban scale.

  • Research subline: Community-based Urbanism

Coordinators: Dr. Pere Vall i Dra. Marta Benages

Using qualitative GIS and social cartography, this research line is oriented to community-based river management (citizen use and perception, citizen-based river groups, citizen science); characterization of environmental volunteering (significant life experiences, motivations, benefits and barriers); and, healthy aging and co-production of green environments

  • Research subline: Urban and regional resilience toward sustainability

Coordinator: Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri

This research line is framed around the exploration and implementation of the concept of resilience as a set of adaptive and transformative capacities enhancing self-sufficiency and sustainability.

Research and teaching team

Dra. Carmen Mendoza

Dr. Pere Vall

Dra. Marta Benages

Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri

Dr. Diego Navarro

Dr. Borja Ferrater

Invited researchers and collaborators

Dra. Kathrin Golda-Pongratz

Dra. Apen Ruiz Martinez

Ashley Glenn Howard

Sara Fikry Abdelshafy Eltokhy

Eloïse Deshayes

Timea Szőke

Subline 2

Technological Innovation in Industrial and Sustainable Building LAB (LITEIS)

Coordinator: Dr. Vicenç Sarrablo

Group members: Dr. Vicenç Sarrablo, Dr. Víctor Echarri, Dr. Juan Trias de Bes, Dr. Felipe Pich-Aguilera, Dr. Josep Lluís Guinovart, Dr. Jordi Roviras, Dr. Pedro Casariego, Dr. Oriol Carrasco, Dr. Íñigo Ugalde, Dr. Ricardo Gómez, Dra. Cinta Lluís, Dra. Alessandra Curreli, Teresa Batlle, Cristina García Castelao, Zuzana Prochazkova.

  • Research subline: Innovative construction systems with ceramic elements

Coordinator: Dr. Vicenç Sarrablo

In this line, those constructive systems for architectural envelopes that use ceramic products in an innovative way are investigated, both in brick or tile formats, as well as in large-format and small-thickness tiles and sheets.

  • Research subline: Heritage and factory mechanics. Structural understanding of historic buildings. Sacred heritage and its conditioning of space

Coordinator: Dr. Josep Lluís Guinovart

Deepening of the knowledge of the architectural heritage, from the Romanesque to the beginning of the 20th century, through the massive capture of data with the existing technology at our disposal. Also in this line of research, sacred heritage, its state of conservation, legislative requirements and modes of intervention in it are analyzed.

  • Research subline: Energy efficiency of buildings and environment

Coordinator: Dr. Víctor Echarri

The objective is to quantify the annual energy demand of buildings based on the constructive solutions of the envelopes, applied passive systems, advanced air conditioning systems, as well as the environmental impacts derived in all phases of the construction, use, reuse and demolition of buildings through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

  • Research subline: Structural Analysis and Design

Coordinator: Dr. Pedro Casariego

Research focuses on the analysis and design of structures in the field of architecture, project engineering and construction and provides structural support in product development in the field of industrial and environmental engineering.

  • Research subline: Architecture and health

Coordinator: Dr. Jordi Roviras

Analysis of the spaces we inhabit in terms of health and well-being and study of new products or construction systems that provide a clear healthy benefit to the user. The hygroscopic and hydrothermal capacity of materials, indoor air quality, toxic-free materials, acoustic quality and comfort, lighting and electroclimate, among others, are considered.

Research and teaching team

Dr. Vicenç Sarrablo

Dr. Víctor Echarri

Dr. Juan Trias de Bes

Dr. Felipe Pich-Aguilera

Dr. Josep Lluís Guinovart

Dr. Jordi Roviras

Dr. Pedro Casariego

Dr. Íñigo Ugalde

Dr. Oriol Carrasco

Dra. Cinta Lluís Teruel

Dr. Ricardo José Gómez Val

Invited researchers and collaborators

Cristina García Castelao

Teresa Batlle

Zuzana Prochazkova

Dra. Alessandra Curreli

Subline 3

Genetic Architectures (GENARQ)

Coordinator: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez

Members of the group: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez, Dr. Yomna K. Abdallah, Dr. Pablo Baquero, Dr. Magda Bosch, Dr. Dragos Brescan, Karl Chu, Dr. Josep Corcó, Dr. Dennis Dollens, Dr. Gabriel Fernández , Dr. Agustí Fontarnau, Dr. Marcelo Fraile, Dr. Daniela Frogheri, Dr. Effimia Giannopoulou, Dr. Marwan C. Halabi, Dr. Aref Maksoud, Dr. Abel Miró, Affonso Orciuoli, Dr. Lamila Simisic, Dr. Angad Warang , Ignasi Perez Arnal

  • Research subline 1: BioDigital Architecture (& Theory)

Coordinators: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez i Dr. Josep Corcó

Together with its corresponding Master in Biodigital Architecture, this line of research addresses the application of genetics to architecture in an interdisciplinary way from two points of view: the real, natural and biological, worked with geneticists, and the metaphorical, artificial and digital, that uses CAD-CAM and AI technologies. Biological and digital morphogenesis, digital organicism, emergence, metaphysics and computation, artificial intelligence, complexity, sustainability, are his keywords.

  • Research subline 2: Biological Architecture (& Digital)

Coordinators: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez i Dra. Yomna K. Abdallah

Introduction of biological techniques in architecture and design with digital tools to achieve a biodigital fusion, understanding the potential of bio-learning, bio-manufacturing and genetics. With this, the world's first genetic architecture laboratory was created in 2000, where genetics began to be applied to architecture and design (bioluminescent trees, biolamps, bioprinting, SEM research on structures, biomaterials, etc.).

  • Research subline 3: Digital Architecture (& Biology)

Coordinators: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez i Dr. Angad Warang

In a pioneering, international and interdisciplinary environment, widely demonstrated for more than two decades, since the year 2000, when the first digital architecture laboratory in Spain was set up, mention should be made specifically of architecture and computing research and teaching from concepts such as Intelligence Artificial (AI), Ambient Intelligence (AmI), Deep Learning (DL), Evolutionary Computation (EC), Logistic Regression (LR), Machine Learning (ML), Multi-Agent Systems (MAS), Shape Grammars (SG), among others.

  • Research subline 4: Architectural Composition (& Projects)

Coordinators: Dr. Alberto T. Estévez Dra. Judith Urbano

This line of research is the oldest at the UIC Barcelona, founded in 1998 by Professor of Architectural Composition Dr. Alberto T. Estévez, and includes possible research on architectural composition and architectural projects, theory and history of architecture and design.

Research and teaching team

Dr. Alberto T. Estévez

Dra. Yomna K. Abdallah

Dra. Magda Bosch

Dr. Josep Corcó

Dr. Gabriel Fernández

Dra. Judith Urbano

Invited researchers and collaborators

Dr. Dragos Brescan

Dr. Pablo Baquero

Karl Chu

Dr. Dennis Dollens

Dr. Agustí Fontarnau

Dr. Marcelo Fraile

Dra. Daniela Frogheri

Dra. Effimia Giannopoulou

Dr. Marwan C. Halabi

Dr. Aref Maksoud

Dr. Abel Miró

Affonso Orciuoli

Dra. Lamila Simisic

Dr. Angad Warang

Ignasi Pérez Arnal

General Information

Organisation and planning

Specific doctoral information

Doctorate in Architecture training


Compulsory / Year 1 - Seminar on the ethical criteria of scientific research, and other potential ethical issues related to the field of research, science, technology and professional practice

Compulsory / Year 2 - Course on databases, indicators and evaluation of scientific production 

Compulsory / Year 2 - Advanced course on Intellectual Property Protection and Technology Transfer 

Compulsory/ year 3 - Research seminars

Option / Year 3 - course-workshop for writing articles for specialised publications and dissemination 

Option/ Year 4 Writing workshop/course for research projects and application for funding. 

Specific Doctoral Committee (CED)

Before the end of the first year, the doctoral student must submit their Research Plan to a committee of experts outside the UIC, the specific doctoral committee (CED), for further approval by the DAC.

The aspects to be considered for the oral presentation and which will be evaluated are as follows:

  1. To demonstrate the scholarly objective of the research plan: current status, contribution of work in current period, relevance of the topic.
  2. Present the methodology and the proposed work plan to achieve the project's scholarly objective.
  3. Show that the project's proposed objectives can be reasonably achieved within the stipulated timeframe.
  4. Doctoral candidate’s communicative skills.
  5. The ability to provide a critical and reasoned response to the questions posed by the Committee.
  6. Present other relevant data during the current period of the research plan: incorporation of the doctoral candidate into a research team (if appropriate).

Development and approval  

  • The specific committee must evaluate the quality and feasibility of the Research Plan, and it may reject it if it does not seem appropriate.
  • Each member of the CED shall evaluate the aspects indicated in the template and, if desired, indicate the optional recommendations, mandatory modifications, or any other comments it may consider in relation to the evaluated research plan.
  • At the end, the president of the CED shall fill in the evaluation report

Assessment of your research plan:

  • PASS (project and presentation are correct)
  • PASS BUT WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT (CED recommends that the doctoral student make some changes that do not substantially affect the research plan, but can improve the thesis project)
  • PROJECT WITH compulsory MODIFICATIONS (the project must be reviewed, to incorporate the changes indicated by the CED that modify the research plan presented to a significant extent (objectives, methodology, capacity to carry out...) The doctoral candidate must submit the project again, in writing or in oral presentation to the CED, as directed.
  • FAIL (The doctoral candidate will be advised to submit a new project to the CED)

Admissions procedure

Entry profile and criteria for admission to a doctorate in Architecture

A) The recommended profile for doctoral students is as follows: 

  • To be in possession of a degree (bachelor’s or master’s degree) related to the scope of Architecture at all its conceptual and scalar levels, namely: Architecture, Urbanism, Engineering (which leads to a connection with the field of Construction and Structures), Design, Fine Arts, Art History (which leads to a connection with the field of History of Architecture), Philosophy (which leads to a connection with the field of Aesthetics), etc., or other related fields that include subjects related to Architecture research and the disciplines related to it. 
  • Previous experience in undertaking a research project. 
  • A vocation for the arts, techniques and/or research. 
  • Language level. 

b) Admission criteria, the Academic Doctoral Committee (DAC) shall select candidates based on the following weighting: 

  • Transcript, curriculum vitae, and previous research experience (40%) 
  • Disciplinary affinity with our lines of research (10%) (proposed research plan)
  • Personal Interview (20%) (Letter of Support)
  • Language level (20%): English at a minimum level of B1, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 
  • Letter of motivation for enrolling on the doctoral programme (10%)

Financial Information

General regulations and links of interest