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Life as a Leeds Physics and Astronomy research student

Life as a research student

To complete a postgraduate research programme, you’ll need to be dedicated and passionate about your area of study.

But it’ll be well worth it. Being a doctoral student is challenging, but incredibly rewarding.

What is a postgraduate research degree?

If you study for a research degree, you’ll carry out a programme of research under the supervision of a primary supervisor and one or more co-supervisors. 

A PhD is the most widely known research qualification, and it’s the most commonly studies research degree here at Leeds.

How long does it take to do a PhD?

To do a PhD, you’ll need to dedicate 3 years (up to a maximum of 4 years), during which you’ll be generating new knowledge and considering that new information in relation to existing information. 

You’ll have the chance to strengthen your research skills and knowledge, and develop a really wide range of qualities.

Whether you want to develop your career in industry or in academia, a PhD programme can help you to get where you want to be.

Choosing a research topic for your PhD programme

If you’ve already got a research area in mind, you can first explore our physics and astronomy research and potential supervisors to decide if your area of interest is a good fit with our work. 

If you find a match, simply contact the academic for that area to discuss your research idea in more detail.

If you don’t have a specific research area in mind, you could browse the PhD opportunities we’re currently offering, and see if you can find a PhD project that interests you.

Graduate school support for PhD students

As a PhD student, you’ll be able to benefit from skills training offered through our Faculty Graduate School.

The Graduate School provide courses and training to help develop your research, interpersonal and life skills. 

You’ll also have lots of opportunities to practice your new skills.

You’ll prepare regular reports which help to develop your scientific writing skills and you’ll receive feedback on these from your PhD supervisor and an internal assessor.

A report at the end of your first year forms the basis of the ‘transfer’ viva which simulates a PhD thesis exam and gives you with the chance to evaluate your progress on the road towards your PhD degree.

Supportive environment

You’ll be encouraged to take part in the life of the School of Physics and Astronomy and to contribute to the range of academic and social activities going on. 

Our students are as friendly and supportive as our academic team and will be an enormous source of support for you.