Dual PhD

Find out what they key characteristics of collaborative dual awards are. 

Key Characteristics of Collaborative Dual Awards

  • A Dual Award is a research degree delivered jointly in collaboration with another university that not only has degree awarding powers but whose statutes permit dual collaborative research awards
  • A dual PhD leads to two separate PhD awards: one from Leeds University and the second from the university with which we have the collaborative arrangement
  • The Degree Certificate will indicate that this is a Dual PhD in collaboration with a second and named university
  • To obtain both PhD awards, the PGR must successfully complete the programme requirements and meet the learning outcomes for both research degrees from each institution
  • The standard period of study for a dual research degree award mirrors that for PhD programmes and does not extend beyond 4 years.
  • After consideration by the Faculty Graduate School Committee, a dual award must be recommended for approval by PGR Programmes and Quality Group a sub-committee and approved by Graduate Board before any arrangements can be put in place to deliver the programme. This includes the making of an offer of a place
  • If it is mandatory on the part of the collaborating partner to register the forthcoming collaborative arrangement so that this meets local requirements these details must be sought at an early stage and Leeds advised. No offers of a place will be made until any such requirements have been met
  • There will be a site visit to ensure the availability of appropriate facilities to undertake the research as required and for the duration of the research degree as well as a Due Diligence requirement
  • Any proposal taken forward must be both financially viable and sustainable not just in year 1 but in subsequent years. This will require discussions with both Faculty Finance and Faculty Marketing both of which will have to contribute to the rationale as to why the programme should be considered for outline planning approval
  • Discussions on the tuition fee for the programme should be held with International Office who can advise on fees, markets and any local requirements at the outline planning stage
  • A Collaborative Agreement will be drafted by the University’s Legal Advisor and must be signed by all parties before PGRs are made an offer of a place at Leeds.
  • A link Academic Tutor will be nominated for the programme to maintain academic oversight
  • The collaborative arrangement is added to the University’s Collaborative register


Characteristics of the Programme

Where a provider works in partnership with other organisations, it has in place effective arrangements to ensure that the academic experience is high-quality irrespective of where or how courses are delivered and who delivers them.(QAA core practice for partnerships, 2018)


General features

  • The PGR will spend time at both institutions but must spend 50% of their time at Leeds
  • The PGR cannot start on a standard PhD and then transfer their candidature to that of a Dual PhD. Changing programme in year 1 to a Dual PhD or joining a Dual PhD programme in year 2, year 3 or year 4 is not permitted The PGR must be registered on the Dual PhD from the beginning of their candidature.
  • If the programme involves a number of institutions (more than 2) the PGR must spend a minimum of 12 months at Leeds
  • The attendance requirements at Leeds are based on key milestones of induction, transfer, annual progress monitoring and examination
  • The location of the PGR each year is set down in an approved programme specification as part of the approvals process
  • All requirements for Transfer and the final thesis submission and examination will be approved as part of the approvals process and set down at the start of the candidature



  • Standard requirements for admissions are required and in addition for English language a band score of 6.5 in IELTS is required with no component below 6.0
  • Research projects will be agreed at the application stage in order that supervisory teams and resources are both agreed and in place at the start of the programme
  • Decisions on admissions will be made jointly by both institutions and approval must be given by both institutions before an offer of a place can be made
  • Discussions with the applicant during the application process must clarify and confirm the means by which supervisions will take place and that suitable facilities are in place to enable this to happen
  • Specific study, assessment and examination arrangements must also be discussed and confirmed during the application process to ensure that expectations are met
  • The PGR registers at both institutions and at Leeds for the duration of the programme



  • There will be joint supervisory team: a supervisor from Leeds University and a supervisor from the partner university
  • The Leeds supervisor will be the lead supervisor for PGRs registered at Leeds
  • At least 50% of the meetings should involve the whole supervisory team
  • Supervisions by Skype are permitted when the PGR is not resident at Leeds.
  • PGRs registered on a Dual PhD will use GRAD to log all notes of meetings and for progression milestones
  • The supervisor from each institution will monitor progress to ensure that all requirements from both institutions are met


Transfer and Progression Milestones and Thesis Submission and Viva

  • The PGR must meet the requirements for Transfer at Leeds and any equivalent process at the second institution must also be met to continue on both awards
  • The PGR must meet the requirements of both institutions with respect to the respective thesis submission and examination regulations. This will lead to two examinations following the rules and requirements of each university
  • The Thesis submission and viva for the Leeds degree will be in English
  • Whilst the Thesis is to be written in English this can include an abstract in a second language


Approval forms

For approval forms please contact Doctoral College Programmes




Version 1: February 2019