Phd Programme Summary


To facilitate high quality PhD research and in doing so provide a platform for a new generation of multi-disciplinary thinkers and innovators capable of engineering a smart, low-energy future.


Students who are awarded an MRes will then be permitted to progress onto the first stage of PhD programme. For your PhD you will join one of the large research groups at either UCL or Loughborough University that are working on strategically important topics in the energy demand area.  There will be opportunities to collaborate with external partners and to align your research with larger multi-disciplinary consortium projects with which the groups are involved. This will offer an immediate audience for your research; improve the prospects for publishing and employment and give an added sense of purpose to your endeavours.

Our Research Themes

  • Technology and systems
  • Energy epidemiology
  • Urban scale energy demand
  • Building performance and process
  • Unintended consequences.

Transition from MRes to PhD

During the MRes year you will develop a suitable PhD research proposal with help from the Centre Directors and Academic Managers at UCL and Loughborough University. The research–focussed structure of the MRes will prepare you to take this step.

Supervision and mentoring

With guidance from the Centre Directors and Academic Managers you will identify suitable supervision arrangements which will depend on the nature of your research. You will be registered at the university of your first (principal) supervisor and you will have up to two second supervisors and any number of special advisors who are selected for the particular expertise they can bring to your project. 

Your principal or first supervisor, along with the Academic Manager, will act as a mentor with regard to wider welfare issues. The Centre Director will also undertake an annual review of progress with every student in the form of a one-to-one tutorial.

Over 80 potential supervisors have been identified across the two universities so the range of potential topics that can be supported is large. Being multi-disciplinary in nature, most projects will have supervisors from different disciplines.


You may also have the opportunity to spend time seconded to one of our partner universities overseas or external industrial partners. The potential added value of this placement to your research should be taken into consideration. It is an opportunity to access additional advanced facilities, to acquire new research skills, to get advice from, and form a closer working relationship with, leading international researchers. The placement will also  provide you with insights into different research and working environments and cultures.

Personal development and dissemination

During your PhD you will present your work at our Annual Colloquium and at conferences. Towards the end of the programme you will also be expected to give lectures, mentor newer students, and contribute to the academic life of the centre. Project research funds are available to allow attendance at conferences, workshops and summer schools both in the UK and overseas. As your research develops you will also be expected to speak at such events and to publish scientific papers.

Further learning opportunities

A programme of wider skills training will be developed between you and your supervision team. You may also be advised to attend other MSc modules or lectures in a non-assessed mode to support your research. As both Universities provide advanced language courses, students that already have some foreign language capability may be encouraged to strengthen their technical language skills. Both UCL and Loughborough University have many other generic skills training courses open to doctoral students.

Further information

Final assessment

Final assessment will be by thesis and viva.