The easiest way to apply is online. This will allow you to track you application at each stage of the process. Before you apply we suggest you take time to read the following application steps and check the admissions process and requirements for your particular research area.

Apply online now

If you are a current postgraduate researcher studying at another institution and need to use our facilities, you should contact the relevant graduate school, and complete this form

If you have any difficulties applying online please contact our research admissions team

International applicants

International applicants can use the services of our representatives overseas. Please see our information about immigration, and specific entry requirements including English language qualifications. Find out more about immigration requirements for all types of temporary study, and research visits.

Applying for a research degree is a simple five step process:

Step 1 — choose an existing research project or start your own

For information on the research degrees we offer visit our coursefinder. Please make sure that you are able to meet the requirements below before submitting your application: 

Start dates vary but your graduate school or faculty admissions office will be able to advise you on when you can start your research.

Start your own project

If you would like to start your own research project we recommend you are up to date with related literature and news so you are ready to discuss the direction you intend your research to take with potential supervisors. You need to identify the supervisors available to work with you. They must be experts in the topic you are interested in to ensure that your research is accurate and adding to current knowledge. You will then need to develop a research proposal for your application

Search for supervisors:

Step 2 – apply

Before you apply you should contact your graduate school and ask if they have any special application requirements. When applying, it is important that you state clearly the intended project or programme.

The supporting documents your school needs to process your application may vary but you must provide copies of your academic transcripts or certificates. 

You may also need copies of:

  • your CV
  • a research proposal
  • English translations of your academic transcripts
  • English language qualification certificates
  • visa and immigration documents

All documents should be in English or be accompanied by a certified translation into English. They can be sent via the online application or can be emailed to your school or faculty admissions office after you have submitted your application. Your email should include your student ID number (emailed to you on submission of your application), full name and your intended course of study.

Original or certified true copies will need to be supplied separately when you register in Leeds. Please do not send original documents at the application stage (if you are an international students you will require these documents in your student visa application process).

Disabled students

We are committed to providing high quality advice and support for disabled students. Our disability team offers advice and support to applicants during the admissions process as well as current students. 


You need to submit a minimum of two academic references in support of your application, please also check the requirements for your graduate school. The names and contact details of your referees should be entered in the referees section. 

Download a reference request form for your referees to complete and email to your chosen academic department. 

Research proposal 

Some faculties require a brief description of the general research area which you are interested or a specific research proposal. Be aware that the faculty may have deadlines for your proposal so be sure to ask before you apply. Your research proposal is submitted via the application form.

You may not need to provide a research proposal if your are applying for a pre-defined project studentship or a Doctoral Training centre programme, but please check when applying. 

After you've applied

If you have applied online you will be able to log in and track your application’s progress at any time. The school may contact you if they have any further entry requirements. For example, you may be invited for an interview.

If you would prefer not to apply online you can download an application form

Step 3 – find scholarships and sources of funding

There are many options available for you to secure the funding that you need to commence your research studies including scholarships and bursaries.

  • UK Research Councils: competition for these scholarships are competitive but they will fund the majority of your fees so it is well worth applying
  • University scholarships: we offer scholarships centrally and on faculty level to help fund your research
  • Alumni bursary: if you are a University of Leeds alumnus you could receive a 10% discount on tuition fees
  • Other sources of funding: there are databases with funding opportunities as well as charities to help support your research

Step 4 – accept your offer

If your application is successful you will be sent an offer letter which you will need to respond to. You can accept online using your web login ID and web login PIN. 

If you do accept your offer you will be agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined in your acceptance letter and you should only do so if you have secured funding for your studies.

Changing the start date

To request a new start date you should contact the school that you applied to. If they are happy to accommodate this change then a new formal offer letter will be issued with your revised start and end date. You will have to accept this new offer as outlined above.