Dr James Thompson

Lecturer in Teaching and Learning


Dr James Thompson is an early career researcher in the area of tertiary built enviroments education. He joined the MSD's Built Environments Learning and Teaching group (BEL+T) in 2019 after previously serving as Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth (UK) where he led the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industry's Pedagogical Research Group. James holds a PhD in the Built Environment from the University of Washington (USA), as well as a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota (USA).

His recent book is titled Narratives of Architectural Education: From Student to Architect (Routledge, 2019). This work, based on a multi-year case study of recent graduates, explores the ways in which aspiring architects construct their occupational identities through an interpretation of their educational experiences, sense of self, and sense of belonging. This perspective, which foregrounds how individuals traverse the university landscape while making sense of their professional world and positioning themselves within it, expands and reframes our understanding of professional education. Understanding the holistic, interconnected, and narrative-based nature of the university student experience and their transition into practice provides evidence for reallocating institutional and pedagogical priorities.

James is guest editor for an upcoming issue of Charrette journal, from the Association of Architectural Educators, which focuses on student agency and student voice in architectural education. He is also a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Featured projects



Research directions

Architectural and Urban Past Design and Creative Research

See all staff profiles