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Energy Research Institute

Research Degrees

Student conducting lab experiments


The School is a distinctive, multidisciplinary combination of materials and process engineering, undertaking research within the energy, particle science and engineering, and speciality-materials sectors. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the School was ranked number 3 in the UK for general engineering.

Our research is well funded, to the level of £7 million per annum, with funding from a variety of sources including UK Research Councils, the European Union, government agencies and industry. We place a strong emphasis on the transfer of knowledge to industry and technology transfer organisations. This takes the form of licences, spin-out activities, IP filings, consultancies, conference organisation and training through short courses.

Strongly interdisciplinary in nature, we have strong collaborative links with other schools within the University of Leeds, as well as with other academic institutes and industry around the world.

Research is carried out in three institutes and our Doctoral Training Centre in Low Carbon Technologies.

Our research excellence, high levels of funding and strong industrial connections ensures that we can invest in the best staff and research facilities. This means you will be supervised by world-renowned academics at the cutting edge of their discipline who will challenge, encourage and support you.

Download a research brochure.

Research Degrees

Our international reputation for research makes this an ideal place to pursue a research degree, whether as preparation for a research career in industry or as the start of an academic career.

We offer three types of research degree:

• Masters of Science by Research (MRes) - 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
• Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - 2 years full-time or 4 years part-time
• Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time

A PhD is the most internationally recognised research qualification, and is the most commonly pursued research degree as Leeds.

Postgraduates interested in applying for places on our research degree programmes should have familiarised themselves with the interests of our academic staff. You will need to let us know what areas of research you are interested in pursuing, and which academic supervisor's work seems most relevant to you. Supervisors are usually staff within the school however co-supervisors may be from another discipline, another institution or even industry depending on the project and funding source.

More information on studying for a PhD within the Faculty of Engineering (of which Energy and Resources Research Institute is a member) is available on the Faculty postgraduate research pages.

Once registered specific training needs will be identified and suitable courses recommended. During the later stages of your study you will be expected to give seminars and write papers for scientific journals and conferences.

Entry Requirements

We would normally expect applicants for postgraduate research to have achieved one of the following in a subject relevant to the proposed research:

- a first or good upper second class honours degree (or equivalent from an overseas University),
- a good performance in a Masters level course.

We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience and special circumstances in the consideration of applicants.

Where English is not your first language we will require evidence of your English language ability. Candidates will normally be expected to have obtained either the British Council IELTS with a score of 6.0 (with not less than 5.5 in Listening & Reading and 5.0 in Speaking & Writing skills) or paper based TOEFL with a score of 550 (with 4.0 on the Test of Written English TWE) or computer based TOEFL with a score of 220 (with an essay rating of 4.0).

You can get more information about acceptable English language qualifications from Research Student Administration.


You are classified as either a ‘UK/EU’ or ‘international’ student for the purpose of assessing tuition fees. International students will pay a higher fee than UK students as the fees for UK and EU students are subsidised by the UK government.

Fees for 2010/11
- UK/EU £3,466
- International £14,200

When to Pay

Fees must be paid in full before you can register as a postgraduate student, unless you will be paying for yourself. If you are self-supporting you can pay fees in two instalments, the first payable at registration. If you are supported by your government, employer, or other sponsor, you should provide a letter from them addressed to the University, confirming that the fees will be paid directly. Sponsors cannot pay by instalments. For further information visit the University's website.

How to Apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made on-line via the 'I want to apply' page on the Research Student Administration website.

Please complete the application form as fully as you can ensuring you complete the following sections:

- your expected source of funding
- grade(s) or degree classification(s) for your degree-level qualifications
- your proposed research area
- a brief one-paragraph summary of your research interests or proposed topic

We cannot normally consider your application without this information.

Please also ensure you upload or provide the following documents:

- copies of your degree certificate(s)
- transcripts of marks achieved in degree-level qualifications
- evidence of English language qualifications
- references if available (alternatively, the Faculty will contact your named academic referees directly)

If these documents are not available, please provide them at the earliest opportunity, as we cannot usually make an offer without them.

If possible, please include a CV (this will provide invaluable information as to work experience and publications) and a research proposal unless you are applying for a specific project studentship.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) and Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
Non EU/EEA nationals planning to undertake postgraduate study in the UK in certain science, engineering or technology disciplines need to acquire an ATAS certificate and a CAS before they can apply for a Visa, Entry Clearance (EC) or Extension of Stay (EoS). More information is available on the 'I want to apply' page on the Research Student Administration website.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.