University of Leeds

Image of Leeds

  • The University of Leeds has been named the UK's University of the Year for 2017 by the Times and Sunday Times newspapers
  • Leeds, a city of 700,000 people, is a vibrant city full of shopping, entertainment, and culture
  • Leeds has an international summer school that lasts four weeks long
  • The University of Leeds is ranked in the top ten universities for research in Britain

The KU Great Britain Direct Exchange Program (GBDX) is designed to stimulate and enrich the intellectual development of KU students through a direct experience in the British academic and cultural environment, promoting friendship with Great Britain and broadening international horizons. To realize this mission, KU has signed direct exchange agreements with ten universities in Great Britain, which allow KU students to study for a semester or year abroad at greatly reduced costs. In exchange, British students from these same universities will study for a semester or year at KU.

The University of Leeds is ranked in the top ten universities for research in Britain. Serving 30,500 students from 130 countries, the University is also Britain's second largest university.

Leeds is a city of 700,000 people located in the county of Yorkshire, in between the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District national parks, and less than 50 miles from Manchester, Sheffield and York. London is just over two hours away by train, while Edinburgh is three hours away in the opposite direction. The busy train station in Leeds has trains heading in all directions throughout the day, making your travel plans a snap. The Leeds/Bradford airport makes your international travel quick and easy too. It has recently been named the top city to visit in Britain both by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and the Good Britain Guide.

Academic Program


Students may earn up to 30 hours of KU credit for the year, or 15 credits each semester. Most disciplines are offered in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Business, Education and Health Fields. Students are encouraged to visit the University of Leeds website to determine if Leeds offers the selection of courses that will meet their graduation requirements.

Leeds courses and grades will be posted as KU equivalents on your KU transcript and grades will figure into your KU GPA. The relevant KU academic department will make the final decision regarding posting of credit and grades, and their application toward graduation.

Steps to select courses at Leeds (.pdf)

Leeds Course Catalog

Leeds Course Equivalencies

Due to enrollment restrictions, Journalism and Communication majors are advised to pursue other options in the United Kingdom, as the University of Leeds School of Media and Communication is unlikely to be able to offer specific courses to KU students. Recommended alternatives are the University of Stiring and Swansea University.


The Leeds International Summer School (LISS) is a four week program open to University of Kansas students. Students take a total of two classes, worth three KU credits each during the program. Students choose one class for the first two weeks, and a second class during the last two weeks. Several field trips and excursions are included in the program. Some of these trips will be connected to particular classes, while others will be for the entire LISS group outside of classes. The 2024 Leeds International Summer School will run from Saturday, June 29 to Saturday, July 27.

Classes offered for the 2024 LISS (June 29-July 27) include:

First Two Weeks:

Arts and Humanities

LISS1038 Essentials of the Music Business
LISS1023 Introduction to Special Effects in Filmmaking
LISS1056 Language and International Communication in the Digital Age
LISS1050 Reparations for Historical Injustices [KU's HIST 250]
Revolutions that Shaped Our World
LISS1002 The English Country House: A Social History [previous approval as KU's HIST 250]


LISS1058 An Introduction to Global Events Management
LISS1021 Management in Organisations: Theories, Techniques and Decision Making [previously approved as KU's MGMT 305]
LISS1057 Sports Business and Marketing [KU's MKTG 471 or HSES 486]

Engineering and Science

LISS1059 Bacterial Genomics: Combating the Rise of Antimicrobial Resistance [KU's BIOL 419]
LISS1031 Data Mining and Text Analytics
LISS1047 Fluid Dynamics in Theory and Practice
LISS1029 Natural Sciences: Global Challenges and Scientific Skills [previously approved as KU's ENVR 200]

Social Sciences

LISS1024 Conflict Analysis in International Politics: Causes, Negotiation and Resolution [KU's POLS 249]
LISS1048 Developing Leadership through Sport and the Outdoors [KU's HSES 300]
LISS1027 The Path to Justice: Criminal Law and Legal Skills
LISS1017 Wealth and Poverty: The Making of the Modern World [previously approved as KU's HIST 250]

Second Two Weeks:

Arts and Humanities

LISS1001 British Literature and the Brontës [KU's ENGL 309 or 334]
LISS1004 British Popular Music in the North of England [KU's HIST 250]
LISS1051 Intercultural Encounters: Skills and Concepts
LISS1046 Introduction to Colour
LISS1020 Introduction to Digital Photography
Miracles and Magic in Medieval England
LISS1035 Philosophy of Mind and Ethics: Dilemmas and Thought Experiments [previously approved as KU's PHIL 140, Goal 1.1 or 3AH]


LISS1341 Business and Cultural Awareness: Bridging the Gap [previously approved as KU's IBUS 300]
LISS1043 Ethics for Business and Society [KU's MGMT 405, Goal 5]

Engineering and Science

Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes: An Introduction
Computational Thinking: Unlocking the Power of Problem Solving
Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable World
LISS1036 Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Plants [KU's BIOL 418]

Social Sciences

LISS1026 Introduction to Psychology: Perception, Cognition and Emotion [KU's PSYC 104, Goal 3SS]

More details on theses courses can be found at Leeds International Summer School.

Students live in university residence halls or student apartments scattered throughout the northern half of Leeds. In most cases students will have a single room and will share a common kitchen and bath. Students will have meals provided, prepare their own meals, or purchase meals at reduced cost in the university cafeteria, depending on their choice of residence.

The fall semester at the University of Leeds will generally start at the end of September, with final exams finishing in mid-January. In some years the final exam period will finish just in time for the start of the KU spring semester, but some years the exams will extend through the first week of KU spring classes, making it impossible to study at Leeds for the fall semester in those years. Certain academic units at Leeds will let KU proctor Leeds exams at KU in January, making Leeds a fall-only possibility. Please check with KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement about the subjects you wish to study in a fall semester to see if this proctoring option will work for you. Natural Sciences and Engineering will generally not permit January exam proctoring at KU. 

The spring semester at the University of Leeds begins in late January with final exams concluding around the end of the first week of June.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to KU students who have achieved sophomore status by the beginning of the program and who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Sophomores may be limited to lower level courses at Leeds, depending on the number of credits already earned in a particular subject. Some of the academic departments at Leeds may have additional requirements, including pre-requisites, GPA,  and number of credit hours completed.