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. 

Your research will build on your knowledge of your subject, as well as the wider direction of research at the University. Over half of all submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework included work from PhD researchers.  

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.

A global reputation

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

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

We’re a member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities and are part of the Worldwide Universities Network which comprises 23 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents. We are in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021 and in the UK top 10 for research power (a measure of quality and volume).

Read more about our research and innovation

Collaborative working

We bring together wide-ranging expertise to tackle large and complex global challenges. Many of our departments and schools collaborate through research centres and clusters.

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.

The University works closely with a range of partners, including:

  • industry and business to develop commercial solutions
  • charities and the health sector to increase understanding of health challenges
  • government agencies and non-governmental organisations to provide expertise and influence policy
  • academic colleagues nationally and internationally to achieve more together

Research community

When you come to Leeds, you'll join a large and diverse research community. You will meet like-minded people, passionate about research, across the entire University. There are opportunities to attend University-wide seminars and events where you can network and discuss your work.

Our Doctoral College supports you throughout your postgraduate research journey, bringing together all the support services and opportunities to enhance your research, your development, and your overall experience. 

The faculty graduate schools within the Doctoral College also support you and provide opportunities for you to interact across schools and departments through conferences, seminars and social events. Graduate schools have postgraduate research tutors who act as a key contact for you on everything from registration to examination.


The supervisor relationship is a key factor in your 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.