Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Applying for your PhD

Research degree applications can be submitted at any time of year to start in any month. To apply for a place, please complete and submit the following:

  1. A completed research degrees Application Form
  2. Two academic references, at least one of which should be from someone who taught/supervised you during your most recent degree. The references should be on headed paper or on this template
  3. Scanned copies of certificates and transcripts from all of your previous degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  4. Either: your outline research proposal, which should be 3-4 pages long and include:
  • a statement of the problem or issue to be addressed
  • a short summary of other work/recent literature in the area
  • 2 or 3 specific research objectives
  • an outline of the proposed methodology
  • a brief summary of the timetable for the research.
  • Or: an indication of which suggested PhD topic interests you.

Note: PhD places are offered without funding.  Applicants who also wish to apply for anadvertised scholarship may need to complete a separate scholarship application form and submit this prior to the scholarship deadline. See the scholarship advertisement for details.

Applicants for a research degree should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent, preferably in a quantitative discipline. A Master's degree (not necessarily in transport) may be advantageous but is not essential. Candidates should have a clearly specified and achievable research goal. Candidates for the one year research degree normally already have some research experience.

If you come from a country where the first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language competence. Acceptable minimum qualifications for admission to a research degree at the University of Leeds include:

  • British Council IELTS band score 6.0 (with not less than 5.5 in any component).

The University of Leeds Language Centre provides an Academic English for Postgraduate Studies pre-sessional course which is designed to help international students develop the necessary language and academic study skills required for successful study postgraduate research. These courses  start  in September, January, April, July or August.  For further information, please see visit the Language Centre‚Äôs website or contact via email: langc(at)

For more detailed admissions information, please visit the University's Research Student Administration Office here. Application documents should be submitted via the on-line applications system.

If you have any queries regarding the admissions process or wish to discuss any matters before applying, please contact us.

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