How to apply

Research proposals can cover any landscape-related topic. This page explains how to apply for a PhD in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Landscape students in the studio

Apply online

All applications for our PhD programme can be made through our online application system.

Apply now

Entry requirements

Academic qualification
We select research students based primarily on their academic ability. This is usually decided on the basis of academic performance to date. This means that you will need at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (or its equivalent) and will also need to have (or be doing) an MA at a university recognised by the admissions department.

English language
Students whose first language is not English must have passed the IELTS (minimum score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the written components).

Our New PGR Bridge Programme for International Applicants

Submitting your application

If you decide to make an application for a research degree, please apply directly online.

When you submit your application, please give special attention to section J, as we like to you to provide us with a particular range of information. The form asks you for details of:

  • previous relevant experience
  • the relevance of previous studies (eg, specific modules, projects or dissertations)
  • how these studies fit into your long-term plans.
  • why you wish to undertake these studies at Sheffield

In addition, please supply us with further information about your proposed research topic, including:

  • Title
  • Main aim
  • Up to four main research objectives and/or research questions
  • A brief summary of relevant literature setting your research in context (about 300-500 words)
  • An outline of your proposed methodology – even if you do not know this in detail, it is useful to explain whether it will involve field experiments, surveys, interviews, computer-aided design etc.
  • The anticipated outcomes of the research – what you hope to accomplish and why you consider it to be useful.

Applicants for the Doctorate by Design should also submit an electronic portfolio of creative works, which will be used to assess your visual and creative skills. This should be no more than 20 pages, in PDF format.

Choosing a Topic

Research proposals can cover any landscape-related topic. Proposals can be submitted independently, in which case (and if feasible) they will be discussed and developed with relevant staff.

Staff will usually also have a range of graduate research projects that fit directly with their ongoing research programmes, for which specific funding may be sought.

In many cases, staff may be interested in working with you in your general area of interest, but may not feel that your specific research proposal offers great scope for further development. In this case, we may negotiate a revised project that fits more closely with the current activity and research programmes of the department.

Contact us

Initial contact to discuss potential PhD research projects can be made either with the Director of Graduate Research, Dr Nicola Dempsey. If you are interested in applying to do a Doctorate by Design, please contact Dr David Buck. Or alternatively, you can get in touch with the individual member of staff whose interests most clearly match your own.

Academic staff contact details

What happens next?

Once we have received this information, we will usually be able to make a decision in three-to-four weeks. Please bear in mind that assessing a research proposal raises a number of complex considerations, and we will be unable to respond quickly or make a decision based on insufficient information.

We very much welcome your application, but we also want to make sure that your research will be successful and rewarding.

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