Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Admissions Contact 


School of Sociology and Social Policy
Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 8056

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How to Apply

To Apply

The majority of research students begin their studies in October at the start of the academic year. We accept applications at any time of the year, but it is best to apply before the summer vacation begins in mid-June if you wish to commence study in October.

Applications should be submitted much earlier if you intend to apply for funding as scholarship applications usually have specific deadlines.

We make our decision on the basis of the research proposal, the potential fit between your topic and our expertise, supervisors' interest in being involved, referees' reports, degree results, School resources and, wherever possible, an interview.

You should set out a draft outline of your proposed research, arranged under the following six headings.

  • Title/Topic
  • Research questions and focus
  • Background to the proposal
  • Research methods to be used
  • Timetable
  • Short bibliography

The length of the complete outline should be no more than two pages of A4 size, in single-spaced type. Remember that a 'research proposal' is likely to be a key feature of any application you make for financial support.

If you are interested in a PhD in the School and would like to discuss your proposal with our Postgraduate Research Tutors please contact Yasmin Hussain          (y.hussain@leeds.ac.uk)

We need a set of supporting documents with your application.

  • Two references
  • A copy of your degree certificate, or equivalent.
  • A transcript of your degree results
  • A copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results, if applicable.
  • A research proposal.

Apply online

The online application site gives instructions on how to scan and upload these with your application, or they can be posted directly to the School.


The names and contact details of your referees should be entered in the referees section. A reference request form is available for you to download from the online application website to forward to your referees for their completion. The reference request forms should be returned by the referees directly to the school for an online application.

We need at least two academic references for a research degree application to make a decision and it is in your own interests to ensure that your referees are able and willing to return the form promptly to us, particularly if you have applied late in the year. At least one reference must be from the academic institution which you are currently attending, or have most recently attended.

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