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. 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 been awarded the Queen's Anniversary prize twice. It's 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 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.

Working with experts

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.

Our research tackles the big issues affecting today’s world. Imagine chemotherapy treatment with fewer side effects, self-repairing cities, and easing global water scarcity.

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 NGOs to provide expertise and influence policy
  • academic colleagues nationally and internationally to achieve more together

Research community

When you come to Leeds, you will join a large and diverse research community who are tackling global challenges. 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.

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

The Doctoral College aims to support you and celebrate your achievements. We run regular drop-in and training sessions, and organise seminars and other events. Attend one of our informal Research Nights sessions, where you can meet your fellow-researchers, learn about other developing research, and maybe even be a speaker yourself.

As a PhD researcher you could share your research at our annual Leeds Doctoral College showcase.It celebrates the significant contribution that our researchers make to the research profile and academic life of the University. It also enhances your skills of presenting, writing and communicating research to a non-specialist audience.

Our graduate schools, based within faculties, will also 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.

Externally funded research opportunities

Doctoral Training Partnerships and 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. If you're an international candidate, contact the relevant department to find out if you're eligible.