Applying for a Landscape PhD

Applying for a Landscape PhD

Initial contact to discuss potential research projects can be made either with the Director of Graduate Research, Dr Jan Woudstra or with the individual member of staff whose interests most clearly match your own.


Choosing a Topic

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

For general information about research degrees, visit the Graduate Research Office

Submitting Your Application

If you decide to make an application for a research degree, please apply directly online, and your details will be forwarded to the Department of Landscape for consideration. This is our preferred method of receiving applications, as it initiates a process whereby potential supervisors can comment on your proposal and the Department´s Director of Graduate Research can evaluate the appropriateness of your qualifications and experience, and the availability of staff to supervise your topic.

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
  • relevance of previous studies (e.g. 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.

What Happens Next?

Once we have received this information, we will usually be able to make a decision in 3-4 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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