You will join a community of postgraduates engaged in world-class research across a range of disciplines. As a postgraduate researcher you are a fundamental part of our vibrant research culture. 

Postgraduate research is an integral part of the University. The research you undertake will not only build on your knowledge of your subject but the wider direction of research at the University: over half of all submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework included work from PhD researchers.   

A PhD can be the start of an academic career, or a way of developing your skills and expertise, providing a gateway to higher level roles in industry. Whatever your motivation it will be a journey which will stimulate your passion for your subject and push you to reach your potential. You will be encouraged, challenged and supported throughout your time here, and the relationships you will create will continue as you progress through your career.

The University of Leeds is one of the largest research-intensive universities in the UK, offering a range of research degrees from Masters to PhDs (full-time or split-site), as well as Professional Doctorates.

Our talented postgraduate researchers are making a significant contribution to global issues, working on projects that are changing the world around us.

You can keep up to date on research at the University of Leeds by reading our Impact magazine and signing up for our newsletter.

We have been awarded the Queen's Anniversary prize, the country's highest accolade for an academic institution, twice.

We’re a member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities and are part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) which comprises 22 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents. We are in the top 100 universities for academic reputation in the QS World University Rankings 2018 and in the UK top 10 for research power (a measure of quality and volume).

Find out more about research at Leeds

Academic expertise

The supervisor relationship is a key factor when choosing a research degree. Our academics strive for excellence and are actively engaged in world-class research. Many also have widespread practical experience in consultancy and act as advisors to prominent national and international organisations.

As a postgraduate researcher you will usually be assigned at least two academic supervisors with relevant specialist subject knowledge. One will be your main supervisor and the others will be co-supervisors. They will provide support and encouragement, challenge your ideas, offer advice on training and development, review your progress and provide guidance and feedback on your work.

Supervisors draw on their own experience to guide your work, give encouragement and advise you on the direction of your research. They will be with you from the development of your research plan, through the creation of your thesis to preparing you for the viva – the final stage of your PhD.


As a postgraduate researcher at Leeds you will have your own dedicated work space within your faculty. You will research and work in a department with researchers, academics and support staff.

You’ll have access to outstanding facilities and services, including one of the largest academic libraries in the UK. We also have an impressive range of facilities to support our research and access to facilities within the N8 research partnership.

Interdisciplinary research

We have a strong interdisciplinary ethos with many departments and schools collaborating in a number of research centres and clusters. These act as forums for the generation and development of ideas and support collaborative research.

Our graduate schools, based within faculties, will support you and provide you with opportunities to interact across schools and departments through conferences, seminars and social events. Graduate schools also have postgraduate research tutors who will act as a key contact for you on everything from registration to examination.

We are part of the White Rose University Consortium; a strategic partnership between three of the UK's leading research universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York

Research community

When you come to Leeds, you will join a large and diverse research community who are tackling economic, environmental and societal challenges facing the world. You will meet like-minded people who are passionate for research across the entire University. There are opportunities to attend University wide seminars and events where you can network and discuss your work.

Every year there is a postgraduate research conference for PhD researchers to share their research. The conference celebrates the significant contribution that our researchers make to the research profile and academic life of the University.  Participating in the conference competitions gives you the opportunity to share your research with the wider research community and get valuable feedback. It also enhances your skills of presenting, writing, preparation of posters and, above all, communicating research to a non-specialist audience.

Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) bring together diverse areas of expertise, offering funded PhD opportunities alongside intensive researcher and professional skills training for UK and EU candidates (international candidates are advised to contact the relevant department for further information on their eligibility).

Read more about CDTs