PhD plus

Self-funded or externally sponsored PhD candidates applying to the School of Physics and Astronomy may wish to apply to our PhD plus scheme. 

This scheme has a unique structure, and provides the opportunity to obtain additional training and skills development at the start of the programme to enhance your ability to perform scientific research. The first year consists of 50% training and taught elements, and 50% research. 

The Postgraduate Research Tutor and your PhD Supervisor will tailor a programme that matches your needs to perform the research project with expertise. You will register for 120 credits of taught modules and will also receive skills training as required (e.g. English language skills, time management, scientific writing). You will spend the remaining three years concentrating on your PhD research project, again supported by additional skills training where the need is identified. It is expected that you will submit your thesis within year four (48 months) if studying full time.

For this programme, the University of Leeds gives a maximum time limit of 60 months to submit a thesis (an overtime fee would apply). The normal start point of the programme is September, however, the expected start time will be evaluated for each candidate.

Entry requirements

Research degree candidates normally hold at least a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in a subject relevant to their proposed field of research. The standard minimum University English language requirement must be attained, i.e. IELTS 6.0 overall with not less than 5.5 in any skill area (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking).

Structure of a PhD Plus programme

Year one

A training plan is developed: 50% of your time is taught modules and skills training, 50% of your time is research. During this year you will attend research seminars, write a literature review on your top and begin to contribute to research group meetings. At the end of year one, we will evaluate your skills and research progress and review your training plan. 

Year two

Move to a 100% research PhD programme. Skills training and support is provided when appropriate. At the end of year two, we will evaluate your research and review your training and research plans. 

Years three and four

You'll continue your research while being provided with ongoing skills training and support when appropriate. You will write a thesis and submit it for viva assessment. Submissions must be within 60 months of the start date.  

Throughout your PhD, we will provide you with ongoing training and support in order to develop the necessary skills to become an independent researcher. You will be required to write scientific reports; visit national or international research centres; present at our postgraduate research symposium; publish articles; and present at conferences.