Although it is not a formal requirement, we encourage candidates to submit a research proposal unless they are applying for a pre-defined project studentship. The proposal does not necessarily commit you to a precise project, however it gives a good indication of your research interests and gives academic staff an opportunity to see a sample of your writing. Projects can be further negotiated during the admissions process.
We would recommend that a research proposal is structured broadly as follows
- A description of the research problem.
- An argument as to why that problem is important.
- A review of literature relevant to the research problem - this should provide a conceptual framework for the reader and demonstrate that the researcher is aware of the breadth and diversity of literature that relates to the research question.
- A description of the proposed research methodology.
- A description of how the research findings will be used and the potential impact/societal benefit of the research.
Please ensure that all content is properly attributed. We would suggest that the maximum length of a proposal is 4 sides of A4.
Up-to-date fees are shown on the University website. Click through the link to 'Postgraduate Fees and Finance' and, if you are an international student, the further link to 'Find out more about international fees'.
The main criteria for 'home' status is that you have normally been a resident in the EU for 3 years prior to the start of your degree, but not specifically for the purposes of education. There are, however, a number of additional regulations and you can find out more from UKCISA, The Council for International Student Affairs.
Estimated living expenses can be found on the University website.
You would normally need to apply separately for a scholarship, though in the case of studentships offered by the academic School to which you are applying (typically EPSRC Doctoral Training Grants, or awards tied to individual projects), you may be asked to simply state on the application form that you are interested in that particular studentship.
If you are not applying for a named scholarship or studentship from the University or the School, you will need to provide funding for your studies. We may make you an academic offer, but this would be subject to you obtaining your own funding.
It is not realistic to attempt to fund yourself by working through your research degree, and all research students are restricted to 250 hours paid work per year.
There is often a small amount of demonstrating or teaching assistant work available to research students, however this would not be sufficient to allow you to fund your studies.
You can start a research degree at any time of year. Start dates are always the first day of the month. If you are applying from overseas, we would advise you to leave sufficient time to make appropriate visas and travel arrangements.
You should receive a personal e-mail acknowledgement of your application within 2-3 working days. This will say whether there is further information or documentation outstanding, or whether the application has been circulated to relevant academic staff.
Once you have provided all the information required and the relevant documents, you should receive an formal response (either an academic offer, or a rejection) within 4 weeks, unless you are in an ongoing dialogue with a potential supervisor. If you do not, please e-mail us and we will follow up your application with staff.
Typically, your offer will be sent as an attachment by e-mail, with a hard copy following by post (airmail if you are overseas).
For most international students, the electronic copy is sufficient to start the visa process by applying for an ATAS certificate. If you need your offer to come by courier, for example if you have a local scholarship deadline, please advise us.
It is our policy to make academic offers to good quality candidates and where there is a good match in research area with a supervisor. In some circumstances, however, supervisors may wish to know there is a reasonable chance that a candidate can obtain funding before they will issue an offer. This is particularly the case when responding to candidates applying for scholarships at Leeds where there is no other funding indicated. It is important that you tell us what potential funding you have available so we can pass this information to potential supervisors.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and any other clearly stated criteria. Unless stated in the criteria for the specific scholarship, no account is taken of whether a candidate has access to other funds. You are more likely to receive an offer if you indicate possible funding.
Unlike research degrees in some countries, a PhD in the UK does not generally include a taught element. Students carry out their research under the guidance of an experienced academic supervisor or supervisory team. If appropriate a supervisor may recommend attendance on a specific taught course to learn more about a particular area, but this will not lead to an examination. The only exceptions are our Doctoral Training Centre in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and our Doctoral Training Centre in Low Carbon Technologies.