School of Law

Postgraduate Admissions

School of Law
University of Leeds
Tel: 0113 343 5009

Apply online


Doctoral Training Centre

The University of Leeds is part of the ESRC accredited White Rose Doctoral Training Centre.


About the PhD

A PhD is the most internationally-recognised research qualification. Studying for a PhD allows you to become an expert in your chosen specialist area, and gain high quality research training that will equip you to undertake subsequent research projects. You carry out original research under the guidance of two supervisors and will produce an original thesis of approximately 100,000 words.


A PhD can be taken full-time or part-time.

  • Full-time: three years standard, four years maximum.
  • Part-time: five years standard, seven years maximum.


For the first twelve months, or eighteen months if part-time, you will be enrolled as a provisional PhD student. In this period, you develop a detailed research proposal and write a literature review. This work is then submitted to a panel of examiners who assess it and provide you with feedback and advice on the progress of your research.

This procedure is called 'upgrading' and is an important means of monitoring the progress of your work, assessing, amongst other matters, whether your proposal has enough weight to be accurately explored through a PhD research path.

After successfully upgrading, you will enrol as a full PhD student, complete your research and write a thesis of approximately 100,000 words. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded on the basis of this thesis, and your viva voce, where you present and discuss the rationale, methods and findings of your original study with an examining panel.

© Copyright Leeds 2018