Digital Design and Communities in Architecture and the Built Environment

Digital Design and Communities in Architecture and the Built Environment
An established and inter-disciplinary programme of research into the field of design visualisation in the built environment. This topic explores the digitisation of our constituent professions and industries, and the manner in which digital tools can aid collaboration and participation.
Start Date
MRes | MPhil | PhD
Start Date
February and October

We welcome proposal submissions from students to undertake research in the following indicative areas, although other areas will be considered:

  • Digital Architecture - Dr Amar Bennadji
  • Digital Architecture – Professor Richard Laing
  • Built heritage studies and the role of digital technology in recording and presentation – Professor Richard Laing
  • Design Management: processes, and digital application – Dr Tahar Kouider
  • Design Thinking: The Use of Computational Visual Techniques and Representations as an Aid to New Emergent Ideas - Dr Huda Salman
  • Design Technology: Full visual Interaction with Conceptual Design Options Using Affordable (Virtual Reality) Technology - Dr Huda Salman
  • Design Process: BIM Adoption and Implementation in Developing Countries - Dr Huda Salman
  • Design Innovation: Innovative materials and technologies for increased efficiencies in design - Dr Huda Salman
  • Design Thinking: The Impact of Visualisation Medium on the Early Stages of the Architectural Design Process - Dr Huda Salman
  • Decision Making: GIS implications as a visual data management tool - Dr Huda Salman
  • On-Line collaborative Environment for the Built Environment: Teaching employability skills through simulation games - Dr Huda Salman

We are also interested in the following broad research opportunities: 

  • Urban Design
  • Avant-garde Design
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Computerised modelling and visualisation
  • IT in conceptual design
  • User engagement in design

Normal entry requirements are a first or upper second class honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom, or from an overseas University, or degree equivalent qualification, subject to the approval of Robert Gordon University. Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. 

Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. Applicants will normally register for an MSc/PhD or MRes/PhD with transfer to PhD dependent on satisfactory progress. However, applicants who already possess a Master’s degree which includes a significant research component could be registered directly for a PhD, subject to a satisfactory research proposal, and clear evidence of research expertise. 

English Language

Any applicant whose first language or language of previous University-level instruction is not English must normally demonstrate competence in English. This should be a score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.

For Academic Year 2018/2019

UK/EU Students


  • £4,260 per academic year


  • £2,556 per academic year

International Students


  • £13,920 per academic year


  • £8,352 per academic year

UK/EU Students


  • £4,327 per academic year


  • £2,600 per academic year

International Students 


  • £14,330 per academic year


  • £8,598 per academic year

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:



Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.



Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.



You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:



Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award. 

Student Finance


All applications should be made via the University's online application for research students.

Our Research degrees usually start in February and October each year. There is no official deadline for you to submit your application, though we recommend you submit it as early as possible in order to ensure we can help you join us at your preferred time.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:
  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)

For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English, applications must include:

  • Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
  • Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement.


For more information on your proposal and application:

Dr Huda Salman Research Coordinator

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