Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications Graduate School

Prospective Students

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Welcome to the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communication’ Graduate School webpages for prospective students. These pages provide you with all of the information and documentation that you will require if you are considering studying with us. We strongly recommend that you read each section carefully as they provide information relating to the type of research degrees available, entry requirements, how to apply, academic fees, and further information and links for International Students.

If you do have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate School Team.

In this section:

Research Degrees

School of Media and Communication

PhD

MPhil

MA by Research

School of Design

PhD

MPhil

MA by Research

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

PhD

Practice-led PhD

MPhil

MA by Research

School of Music

PhD

Practice-led PhD

MPhil

MA by Research

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

PhD

Practice-led PhD

MPhil

MA by Research

Entry Requirements

PhD candidates are normally required to have a good honours degree (First or Upper Second), and it is usually advantageous to have completed a Masters degree in a related subject area, or to have significant and relevant professional experience in place of a master’s qualification.

MPhil or MA by research candidates are normally required to have a good first degree in a related subject area. If you are proposing to undertake research that includes practice-led elements you will normally be able to demonstrate appropriate experience and proficiency in relevant areas of practice.

English Language Qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to take an English Language Qualification and achieve the following entry requirements;

IELTS: 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components

Media = 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
Design = 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
FAHACS = 6.5 Overall with no less than 7.0 in writing and no less than 6 in any other components
Music = 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
PCI = 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components

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 on a research degree programme. Courses start in September, January, April, July or August.

For further information, please see visit the Language Centre’s website or contact via e-mail: langc@leeds.ac.uk

Note that IELTS only recognise test results as valid for a period of up to 2 years after the date of the examination. If an applicant’s first language is not English but they have successfully completed a first degree within the last 2 years in one of a number of countries (where English is the first language, used as the medium of instruction throughout the education system), they will be regarded as having met the English language requirement.

Details are available via the University of Leeds website

How to Apply

You must first make an application through the University’s online application process.

The heart of your application will be your research proposal. This should normally include the following:

  • A clear statement of the proposed research topic.
  • An explanation and rationale of the importance and originality of the proposed topic. This may include a section on the gaps or limitations of any existing work in your proposed area.
  • A section indicating possible methodology and why this methodology might be the most appropriate for your topic.
  • An approximate timetable showing a realistic plan for the completion of your research and writing within three years.We will also require
  • a Curriculum Vitae (depending on which you school you are applying to)
  • two academic references
  • transcripts of your marks for your undergraduate degree and postgraduate (masters) degree

Please note application criteria will differ from school to school. For specific information on how to apply please visit the school website.

Before you submit an application, you should consider how your proposed research fits with the research interests of staff. In order for your application to be progressed you must identify potential supervisors on the application form. It is strongly recommended that you contact preferred supervisors before submitting an application and well in advance of scholarship deadlines (see Scholarships).

A list of the academic staff and their research interests can be found in the People section of each school website:

Please note that there is a separate process for applying for scholarships, please see Fees and Funding for further information.

Fees & Funding

Details of fees and funding for PhD study can be found via the main Leeds site:

For further details and scholarship application forms please visit the scholarships website:

To be considered for a scholarship in the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications you must have completed an application for PhD study and have received an official offer from the University, secured in advance of the scholarship deadline.

Any scholarship application which does not have an official offer included will be automatically rejected.

Exceptions to this are as follows:

  • Missing one reference/document
  • Interview has taken place/imminent within a week of the deadline for school recommendations to the Postgraduate Scholarship Office
  • Full supervisory team in place but missing documentation.

Exceptions can also be made with cold applications (no official offer, no contact with the school or supervisors prior to application) as follows:

  • Full application is received on the scholarship deadline, with no missing documentation

The application will go out to review but there must be a response from the school within 2 working days, this must include a decision and authorisation from the PGRT (Postgraduate Research Tutor) and the approved supervisory team.

It is also strongly recommended that you contact preferred supervisors before submitting an application and well in advance of scholarship deadlines. This helps the School identify potential scholarship candidates, recommending other funding opportunities that you may be eligible for. Supervisors will also be able to prepare school supporting statements that are well informed and tailored to each candidate and funding opportunity.

Please note that a scholarship application form will be required for each scholarship.

The following paperwork will be required:

Scholarship Application

  • Scholarship Application Form
  • Two Academic References
  • Transcripts and Certificates including grading system of your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • PhD Application form
  • Formal offer letter
  • IELTS certificate (where appropriate)

PhD Application

  • PhD Application form
  • Two Academic References
  • Transcripts and Certificates including grading system of your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • IELTS certificate (where appropriate)
  • CV
  • Research proposal

References must be submitted using the University template. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that references are provided within the deadline.

International Students

The International Student Office

The University has a diverse and multicultural student body, and a community of outstanding academics. To ensure that you have the best possible experience out of your time here at Leeds, we have excellent support and guidance services available to international students.

The International Student Office provides specialist support and advice on admissions, fees and funding, visas and immigration, preparing for Leeds with anything from accommodation to arranging schooling and childcare. The International Student Office also runs a programme of trips and social activities and helps students connect with the community outside the University.

For further information please see the International Student website.

The University of Leeds Language Centre

The Language Centre covers a full range of language training and preparation courses for prospective and current university students. This includes general English and academic English pre-sessional programmes throughout the year.

The pre-sessional programme is designed to help international students develop their English and academic study skills in preparation for courses or degree programmes at a British university.

For further information please see the Language Centre website.

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