Researching with us

Image representing a PGR student presenting their findings.

Undertaking a research degree is both enormously challenging and rewarding, so it's important for you to choose a research topic you're passionate about. As the School of Psychology is within the wider Faculty of Medicine and Health you'll study for your research degree as part of the Faculty Graduate School.

To complete your PhD, you'll need to dedicate at least three years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent). During this time, you'll be developing new knowledge and insights while also considering that information in terms of the wider body of existing literature. Not only will it provide you with the opportunity to strengthen your research skills and knowledge, it will help you develop a much wider range of skills.

If you want to follow a path into business and industry or pursue a career in academia, a PhD from Leeds can help you.

What is a research degree?

You are expected to carry out a programme of research in a particular area under the supervision of a primary supervisor and one or more co-supervisors.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Find out more on PhDs with this helpful video.  

Choosing your research topic

If you have a research area in mind, you can first explore our research opportunities and supervisor profiles to see if your research topic fits in with any of the research we're currently undertaking. If there’s a match, please contact the academic for that area to discuss your research topic in more detail.

What a typical full-time PhD looks like

Year 1

When you apply, you will be assigned a supervisor who will provide guidance and support throughout your PhD. Your supervisor will be an expert in their field and will become your most important contact. They will be on hand to help you from day one - agreeing a research project that is original and feasible and advising you on all aspects of the research and thesis preparation.

Before (or soon after) you register at the University, we'll get in touch and help prepare you for your induction process. This will include attending a couple of workshops to prepare you for your time in Leeds. The 'Welcome to the University for Research Students' and ‘Starting Your Research Degree’ workshops are where you'll be able to explore further what's involved in getting a PhD and the training and development opportunities available to support you.

Within one month of starting your degree, you'll be required to complete a training plan with your supervisor. This plan will be tailored to reflect the demands of your current project and future employment.

At the end of your first year (second year for part-time students), you'll be assessed through a transfer report and an oral examination. Successful completion enables progression into the remaining years.

Years 2 and above

You'll be expected to consolidate the work undertaken so far and deepen your understanding of your chosen research area. You'll also have opportunities to attend and present at conferences and research events to further your understanding while also helping you build contacts for the future.

These events are a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues and peers, not only from across the University but also from the wider academic community at national and international events. You'll have opportunities to hear about the latest research happening in your specialism and to present and share you own research findings.

At the end of each year, a short evaluation takes place through the submission of an annual review progress report and a review meeting with an independent member of staff. Throughout your time at Leeds, you will have access to a wide range of skills training and professional development. This will help you complete your research effectively and to keep you at the leading edge of developments in learning and teaching, innovation, enterprise and knowledge transfer to help you succeed in your future employment.

Exceptional facilities

As part of the School of Psychology, you'll also have access to an array of specialist research and study facilities. These allow you to gain experience using the latest methods in research, while also building an important grounding in the latest techniques and apparatus within research and practice.

Alongside your subject specific facilities, all full-time researchers are provided with a laptop and access to our newly refurbished postgraduate hot-desking room. Additionally, in your final year you'll be allocated a desk in a smaller shared office (typically with 3-4 other postgraduate students) to help you finish your research.

You’ll benefit from the University’s extensive IT facilities including:

  • free wi-fi across campus
  • free downloadable Office Professional Plus
  • subject-specialist software

You’ll also be able to access appropriate laboratory facilities for your research. A rolling investment programme ensures the school has state-of-the-art, high-quality equipment and laboratories.

As a postgraduate researcher, you’ll maintain a Postgraduate Development Record (PDR) – an important and useful tool in managing your research degree.

This University-wide web-based application will allow you to manage your training plan, upload files and reports, track your own milestones, request and record supervisory meetings, record training and view any feedback you may have received. This is an easy way for you to keep on top of your work while reflecting on what you’ve already achieved.