We present a non-hydrolytic sol-gel combustion method for synthesizing nanocomposites of PbO quantum dots on anatase TiO2 with a high surface area. XRD, electron microscopy, DRS, cathodoluminescence and BET were employed for structural, microstructural and optical characterization of the composites. The photocatalytic activity of TiO2 and PbO/TiO 2 was investigated and compared with Degussa P-25. The results indicate that the photocatalytic activity of quantum dot dispersed TiO 2 is higher than that of bare TiO2 and much higher than that of commercial Degussa P-25. The origin of enhanced photoreactivity of the synthesized material can be assigned to a synergetic effect of high surface area, higher number of active sites and an engineered band structure in the heterostructure. The mechanisms for photocatalytic activity are discussed based on production of photogenerated reactive species. The knowledge gained through this report open up ideal synthesis routes for designing advanced functional heterostructures with engineered band structure and has important implications in solar energy based applications.