Postgraduate Support and wellbeing
There is a wide range of support available to you during your time at the University, including counselling, disability services, help with cultural differences and much more.
All information is available on the University support and wellbeing website.
You can meet with the DPGRS in your school at any time during the year to discuss any academic or personal issues. You should be offered a meeting with them (without your supervisor) at least once a year by your Graduate School.
If you are not sure who can support you with the challenges you are facing, start with speaking to your Graduate School or supervisor. They will be able to point you in the right direction of what resources or further advice you might need.
It is important to take care of yourself, and plan time away from your research. PGRs are entitled to 26 days holiday each year (15.5 for PGRs studying part time) plus University closed days. Holiday requests should be made via GRAD.
Mental health support
The Student Counselling and Wellbeing service offer free and confidential support to students and PGRs. Available support includes face-to-face and online counselling, wellbeing, and mental health support, same day drop-in sessions, groups and workshops, meditation, self-help resources and more.
The service is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, all year-round excluding University closure periods such as bank holidays, Easter, Christmas and New Year.
You can also access Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) which provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.
Nightline is available 8pm – 8am any night of the week via instant messaging or phone line service.
Leeds University Union
LUU has a dedicated Help and Support team who provide independent, confidential, expert advice for free to all Leeds students including PGRs.
LUU offer a range of support, including:
Clubs, societies and social events such as organised trips to local attractions
Independent help with academic issues such as appeals and complaints
Budgeting advice and financial support
Mental health, relationship and addiction advice
Equality and Inclusion
The University of Leeds is committed to the principle of equality and is determined to treat all PGRs fairly and avoid all unlawful forms of discrimination on grounds of gender (including pregnancy, trans status or marital status), race (including colour, nationality, ethnic origin or national origin), sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, and age. If you have any concerns relating to an equality or diversity issue within your school or faculty, or if you would like to suggest any improvements, please contact your Graduate School.
The Equality and Inclusion Unit have resources around a number of areas including guidance to support Trans staff and students, students who are pregnant, students who have very young children, plus many more. Their policies and guidance can be accessed on their website.
If you become pregnant during, we encourage you to discuss your support needs at an early stage of the pregnancy. You may approach any member of staff with whom you feel comfortable. You can also review the information and advice in the University’s policy on support for pregnant students and students with very young children.
You may also wish to review the guidance on extensions and suspensions. More information is available on the Taking time out from your research page of the For Students website and the Children and Family page of the For Students website.
Periods of parental or adoption leave are normally managed under the suspension of studies process (and/or authorised absence). Periods of suspension for parental or adoption leave are not included towards the normal overall limit on suspensions/extensions over a candidature. Suspensions of studies are recorded in whole months, however you can start or return from a period of leave at any point in the month, by recording some of the period of leave under the authorised absence category, in addition to any period of suspension. You may also choose to take any period of annual leave immediately before or after a period of leave. If you are in receipt of a scholarship or other funding, please contact your Graduate School Office who can discuss possible parental leave pay arrangements with you.
PGRs who are parents or carers
We believe that being, or becoming, responsible for a child or dependent adult should not be a barrier to your research. The University is committed to being as flexible as possible, whilst, at the same time, making sure that any accommodations made for you will not compromise academic standards. Further information can be found in the policy on support for pregnant students and students with very young children, and the policy on support for students who are parents or carers.
More information can also be round on the Children and Family page of the For Students website.
Studying whilst also acting as a carer can be challenging. If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to manage your commitments please contact your Graduate School office who can advise you of the options available.
Support for disabled PGRs
The University of Leeds is committed to providing high-quality advice and support for PGRs who:
• are D/deaf or hearing impaired
• are blind or visually impaired
• have a physical disability, and/or mobility difficulties
• have a specific learning difficulty (for example, dyslexia or dyspraxia)
• have a neurodevelopmental condition (eg, AD(H)D)
• have a neurological condition (eg MS, epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome, stammer)
• are autistic
• have a mental health condition
• have a long-term medical condition (eg chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV)
• have a combination of these
If any of the above applies to you, the Disability Services team will be pleased to talk to you about the support that you need for your studies. For more information about disclosing your disability, funding, and support, please visit the Disabled PGRs website. Any disclosure you make will be treated with discretion and information will only be shared with your permission.
You can self-refer to Disability Services at any point. It is recommended to contact Disability Services several months before important events like transfer or viva to allow time for the support to be put in place. If your health/learning challenges change during your studies, please keep the Disability Services team up to date with your situation.
You are also very welcome to talk to your Graduate School directly about any adjustments or support that you might require. Contact your Graduate School to arrange a time to speak to someone.
The process for identifying and agreeing support and reasonable adjustments for the transfer viva and final oral examination is set out in the PGR Reasonable Adjustments document available from the Student Education Service (SES) website. It is important that the need for reasonable adjustments is identified well in advance of the transfer and viva process to allow due consideration to be given prior to assessment/examination. You should work in partnership with your Graduate School and Disability Services to identify when reasonable adjustments may be required for the transfer and viva processes, and what those reasonable adjustments might be. There is more information on the process on the Disabled PGRs page.
Prayer, contemplation and faith-based support
The University has a number of spaces on campus available for prayer and quiet contemplation, whether you practise a particular faith or not. If you practise a faith, you can be confident that you will be able to follow your beliefs in Leeds and find support and information related to your faith. You can also access support through the University Chaplaincy, whether you are a person of faith or not.
If you're in financial difficulty, you may be able to apply for financial support from the University to help with living expenses.
The Leeds Financial Assistance Fund is a University-funded scheme for students and postgraduate researchers who are facing genuine or unexpected financial difficulties and who do not have alternative sources of financial support. You can find more information about the Financial Assistance Fund on our For Students website.
The University's Security Service operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They offer crime prevention advice, patrol the campus, investigate crimes and respond to alarms and emergencies. In addition, if you feel you are witnessing someone in a mental health crisis, the Security team can provide you with advice and support, particularly if this occurs outside of standard office hours. You can contact Security on 0113 343 2222.
SafeZone is an app that everyone on campus can use, to give you extra peace of mind and is linked to the University’s Security team 24/7.
The app is free and easy to use. It has three main functions:
• For help with a physical or mental health incident, press the green First Aid button if you are unable to follow local procedure, and a member of the Security team will assist you.
• Press the blue ‘non-Urgent’ button to connected to Security in a non-emergency situation, for example, if you are locked out of a building.
• The red ‘Emergency’ button is for threatening situations when you are in immediate danger.
The app also has a check-in timer function. You can use this to share your location with the Security team if it would help you to feel more comfortable, for example if you are working alone in a building. Set the timer and if they don’t hear from you by the time it runs out, they’ll check in to see if you’re ok.
The check-in function has a drop-down menu with a notes section. You should include details of your location and your activity, as well as the details of who to contact in case of emergencies.
You can use the SafeZone app on the main University campus, the University sports facilities at Weetwood and Bodington.
Harassment, abuse or sexual assault
The University is committed to providing a safe environment for all students, PGRs and staff. You can anonymously report assault, hate crime or sexual assault through the online reporting system Report and Support. There are many ways you can seek support through the University or the local community. If the situation is an emergency, call 999 or contact Security on 0113 343 2222 if you are on campus.
Please go to the accommodation pages of the university website for more information on University residences, residence life at Leeds, and how to get in touch with the Accommodation team who can help you with any queries.
If you are experiencing any issues with your accommodation, whether that is University residences or privately rented houses/flats, you can contact the Leeds University Union help and advice team for advice.
International Student Advice and Support
If you need immigration advice or information on services available to the international student community (including events and activities), go to the International Student Advice and Support website or contact the Student Visa Advice Team.