research degrees

Begin an exciting research career here

At Leeds School of Arts, we do research that echoes around the world. Because we believe that universities should be places where ideas emerge. Our work influences policy, transforms communities, and considers how creativity and art can improve lives.

You'll be supported by experienced Academic Supervisors who are active in their fields, and have access to exceptional facilities. And you'll collaborate with people in a range of areas, from industry to government.

Doctoral Programmes in Leeds School of Arts

  1. Doctor of philosophy (PhD)

    Students investigate an historic or contemporary topic from within the creative arts over three years full-time or six years part-time, producing a written thesis of 80,000 words and defend their original findings via a viva voce. All students are supported by an expert supervisory team drawn from our staff.

  2. PhD in Creative Practice

    As above but this route is aimed specifically at arts practitioners. The written element of the thesis is reduced typically to around 15,000-25,000 words and students also submit a substantial portfolio of creative practice which constitutes an original contribution to their field. Areas covered include film, fine art, fashion, design, music, performance and dance.

  3. Professional Doctorate in Creative Arts (DCA)

    This programme is aimed at arts professionals who wish to draw on their own career to form the basis of a doctoral investigation. The first year includes taught sessions and covers the construction of a Literature / Contextual Review, Methodology, ethics, training, timeline and plan of work. Years two to four focus on the completion of either a practice portfolio supported by a 20,000-word written document or a 50,000-word written thesis alone.

    Explore this programme
  4. PhD by Existing Published Work

    This two-year programme is only available to existing colleagues at Leeds Beckett University. Candidates draw on a substantial body of existing academic or practice work already available in the public realm and submit with a written element of roughly 20,000 words which places their work in context and articulates the argument for an original contribution to their field.

In addition, we offer a further programme aimed specifically at candidates in the areas of Architecture, Landscape, Interior and Urban Design

  1. PhD Architecture, Landscape, Interior and Urban Design

    Discover more about how the world around you is built. This PhD gives you the chance to work in groups that deliver high-quality research across a number of areas. You'll conduct projects that advance knowledge in fields such as neighbourhood planning, architectural theory, and building performance.

    Explore this programme
Ready to take the next steps?

How to Apply

1. Discuss your research proposal

If you've decided on the best programme for you and you already have a idea for your research proposal, talk to one of our Academic Supervisors. They can tell you more about researching your area of interest and guide you in the next steps to apply to join Leeds Beckett University.

zig zag white lines on pink

2. Submit your application

When you've found a supervisor you're happy to work with, you can submit your application to The Graduate School. Visit our page on How to apply to get information about submitting and the application process. If you have any questions about your application you can contact The Graduate School team via email:

black and pink triangles
want to know more?

explore our research

Research at Leeds School of Arts is supported through LARC: the Leeds Arts Research Centre. LARC is co-directed by Professor Simon Morris and Professor Robert Shail. It sponsors a range of activities including conferences, symposiums, lectures, sabbaticals and exhibitions.

We also work closely with The School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing to develop research in the area of architecture, built environment and planning. Our research is organised through groups and clusters that focus on providing high-quality research activity and outputs across a range of disciplinary areas.

Study with us

the graduate school

Study for a research degree at Leeds Beckett and you'll join a thriving academic community in an inspiring and supportive environment.

other links
Clock tower at Leeds Town Hall
Image of a male student sat down