Architecture and Planning

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.4 k / Year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:5535 Duration:36 months

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Liechtenstein with its highly advanced, globally networked and diversified economy, its spatial innovations and unsurpassed natural beauty is a wonderfully rich setting for doctoral programmes. The small but well connected university performs its research in areas that are not only relevant to Liechtenstein and the region, but also globally. Research projects are frequently carried out with other universities, government institutions, industry and corporate partners, adding to the excellent teaching and research conditions at the university.

Doctoral programmes at the University of Liechtenstein enable engagement in topics that are of special local and regional significance, and in those that carry great relevance in an international context. The structured degree programme is embedded in the university’s research focal points, and an abiding commitment to sustainable design, building, planning and development locally and globally. The programme is founded on the multidisciplinary discourse, involving highly qualified researchers, design professionals and industry leaders, which is the hallmark of the university. It is set in a very personal study and research environment, with close and frequent interaction between the doctoral students and their professors and supervisors.

Students from around the world with a passion for research embark on an exciting degree programme at our Graduate School. The close knit community provides ideal prerequisites for studying and researching in small groups. We look forward to accompanying you along your path towards obtaining a successful doctoral degree.
The Graduate School extends a warm welcome to its doctoral students and invites them on an exciting journey into the world of research at the University of Liechtenstein.

Educational objectives and academic degree

The doctoral degree programme in Architecture and Planning at the University of Liechtenstein is geared to international standards and criteria. We build our reputation on education through research – and on education in research. Our aim is to develop and promote emerging researchers as an extension of the Master’s degree, and at other stages of their careers. We provide research degree programmes in Architectural Design Theory, Sustainable Design and Sustainable Urban Design and Planning – uniquely integrated in the wider fields of studies the university engages in: International Financial Services, Entrepreneurship and Management and Information and Process Management. The Graduate School prepares the doctoral candidates for a later career in science or for a scientific activity with practical application. It serves as a basis for acquiring expertise in the areas of independent research, presentation and publication. Upon successful completion of the doctoral degree programme, the University of Liechtenstein grants the academic degree of :

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doktor / Doktorin der Wissenschaft (Dr. scient.)


The degree programme is organized into two sections. The first is structured into a set of curricular offerings. In this preparation phase, methodical and subject competencies are further expanded. The doctoral students prepare a preliminary study, or research plan, for their dissertation, to be presented in a colloquium. The preliminary study must be approved before continuing the programme.

The second section of the degree programme is the dissertation phase. Research is performed independently, and the results are presented in the form of a dissertation. Seminars or colloquia must be attended in relation to the dissertation. The dissertation is concluded with a disputation, or oral defence. The dissertation must be published before the academic degree may be conferred.


The contents of the degree programme are oriented to its objective. The programme can focus on the following subject areas :

  • Architectural Design Theory
  • Sustainable Design
  • Sustainable Urban Design and Planning

Modules of the preparation phase include Research Design, Scientific Writing, Theory of Sustainable Design and Planning as well as Research Methods. The doctoral advisor can also stipulate the attendance of additional modules. The preliminary study represents a research plan. The research question, methodology and method of execution are developed in this phase.
In the dissertation phase, two seminars ( e.g. Doctoral Consortium and Summer School ) are to be attended in the respective area of focus. The topic of the dissertation is oriented to the selected area of focus. It can be written as a monograph or as a cumulative dissertation thesis.


The doctoral degree programme leads to the world of research. Research means asking questions to which satisfying answers have not yet been found. With a relevant consecutive Master’s or comparable diploma degree from a PhD awarding university, you have satisfied the necessary prerequisites. Additionally, very good academic performance in your first and second degrees consisting of 300 ECTS credits or comparable academic performance are required as well as excellent English language competences (C1) in order to qualify.


Expenses for the degree programme stem not only from the cost of living, but must also be calculated for related infrastructure supplies (work place), for possible new equipment, software, literature and for incidental expenses (meetings, conferences).

Doctoral candidates are budding researchers pursuing a professional activity. The University of Liechtenstein and the chairs endeavour to ensure that the work performed by doctoral candidates is funded and an employment relationship ensues. The University of Liechtenstein budgets a limited number of positions for doctoral candidates. Under specific conditions it is also possible that candidates may take also a job outside the university to receive the necesarry income. Needless to say, doctoral candidates may always commence a doctoral programme if they have their own funding and if supervision is secured.

Professors offering a doctoral thesis can supply information regarding available positions and funding options.

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