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Studying at PhD level – University of Reading

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  • How our PhD programmes can work for you

Studying at PhD level

We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over three to four years and part-time over five to six years. 

Contents

Modes of study

Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading, as well as PhD by Distance.

PhD by Distance students spend the majority of their time at another location and normally have a supervisor/mentor at that location. There must be an academic rationale for this status to be granted and the University assesses each application on an individual basis.

Additionally, some of our PhD students are involved in interdisciplinary projects or projects with an external partner. In these cases they may be supported by a supervisor from outside the University, and interact with a wider range of staff. Where an external partner is involved, students typically spend four-week placements each year with the organisation.

Facilities

As a PhD student in the Art Department you will have access to the Fine Art workshops and facilities, such as AV studio, editing suites and sculpture workshop to give  a few examples.

As a postgraduate research student at Reading you will have access to the Graduate School. At the heart of this is Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated facility that provides space for doctoral researchers to work and network with others. Old Whiteknights House is a beautiful Victorian building that has been carefully modernised to provide a range of excellent resources and amenities. It also houses a number of support staff who deal exclusively with doctoral research matters and administration at Reading.  

As a postgraduate research student at Reading you will have access to the Graduate School. At the heart of this is Old Whiteknights House, a dedicated facility that provides space for doctoral researchers to work and network with others. Old Whiteknights House is a beautiful Victorian building that has been carefully modernised to provide a range of excellent resources and amenities. It also houses a number of support staff who deal exclusively with doctoral research matters and administration at Reading.

Training

The Graduate School's Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) offers a rich array of training sessions and workshops that have been especially designed to help you gain the additional skills that will enable you to carry out your research professionally and effectively. The RRDP is delivered primarily using the expertise of academic and specialist staff within the University and complements any subject-specific training that we provide. The RRDP includes training sessions on research methods, writing academic papers, getting published, public engagement and career planning.

In addition to the RRDP, doctoral researchers will also have the chance to access the following development opportunities:

  • Preparing to teach – A programme focused on the skills needed for teaching and learning activities.
  • Developing your potential as a leader – This leadership programme is jointly run with the triple accredited Henley Business School.
  • Academic English Programme – Supporting international students to develop their academic English skills with a range of classes and services.
  • PhD Plus – A scheme specifically for international doctoral researchers who are lecturers in their home country.

Presenting

Over the course of your PhD you will also be involved in opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers, present a seminar, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere.

We encourage you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts. To this end we will assist with arranging travel and accommodation.

Reading School of Art holds a regular PhD seminar series, which aims to give you the opportunity to practise speaking about your work at a friendly supportively critical , informal event. There are also opportunities to teach on undergraduate courses.

Dedicated Support Centre

You will be assigned two supervisors within the Reading School of Art who will normally meet with you on a regular basis as agreed between you and your supervisors and as appropriate to your project as well as your overall progress. Additionally, you will meet two people from the School once a year to ensure that you are on track with your studies and help you to resolve any issues you may have with progression or supervision.

The Director of Post Graduate Studies also has an open door approach to the PhD students should any matter arise at any point during your period of study in the School.  Reading School of Art can also provide special needs support, which you find out more about using the contact details on this page. You will have also have access to the Doctoral Research Office.

Located in the Graduate School, the Doctoral Research Office provides advice and support for current and prospective students. The Doctoral Research Office is a key point of contact for any doctoral researchers who have questions relating to registration, student status, immigration, studentships, University policy and procedures.

Doctoral research community

You will join a vibrant doctoral community within the Reading School of Art (the Department), working alongside other doctoral researchers and academic staff.  Many PhD students teach within the Department or offer seminars around their area of interest to the Undergraduate students.

In addition to offering training and support to doctoral researchers, the Graduate School co-ordinates a range of activities that bring students together from across the University. These include the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event that showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading. The conference features a number of competitions and presentations including the PhD researcher of the year award.

Another event that celebrates academic excellence is the Graduate School's annual public lecture – the Fairbrother Lecture – delivered by a current or recent postgraduate research student. This is a fantastic opportunity for a wider audience to hear about high quality doctoral research taking place at Reading.

The achievements and success of doctoral researchers are regularly promoted through the Graduate School Bulletin and on the Graduate School homepage.

Fees and Funding

You can find out more about fees for University of Reading PhD programmes by clicking on the link below.

Overseas students

Overseas students are, in general, responsible for finding suitable funding. Information on overseas scholarships can be obtained by emailing studentships@reading.ac.uk and from the British Council.

Information on potential funding for students from Commonwealth countries is also available from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Information on scholarships for students from India and other developing countries can be found on our Felix Scholarships page.

Information on the University's studentships open to overseas applicants can be found on our  Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.

See also: University International Research Studentships.

Alumni fee discounts

If you have already studied at the University of Reading you will get 10% off the fees of the first year of your postgraduate degree (up to a maximum of £1,000).

Apply for your alumni fee discount.

English language support

If English is not your first language, the University's International Study and Language Institute can help you develop your academic English skills and offers a range of courses and programmes to suit your specific needs.

English Writing and Language Practice programme

This six-week programme has been specifically designed for postgraduate researchers. It is supplemented by one-to-one advisory sessions, helping you to apply what you have learned to your thesis writing.

Academic English Programme

The Academic English Programme (AEP) features courses aimed at building your confidence in spoken language situations, developing your accuracy in the English language and improving your writing skills.

Life at Reading

The University of Reading offers the peace and tranquillity of an award-winning parkland campus, just a short bus ride from a vibrant town centre. Our thriving community is made up of students from around the world, and our range of clubs and societies offer many opportunities to meet like-minded people.

How to apply and entry requirements

1. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need an Bachelor's degree of at least 2.1 level (or equivalent), or a master's degree, in a subject related to your proposed PhD research topic.
If you are from outside of the UK, you will also need to demonstrate you have a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Graduate School website.Graduate School homepage

2. Select a topic

There are different routes for selecting a PhD research topic:

  • If you are interested in a broad area of research, advertised projects covering specific research topics can be found on our Postgraduate Research in Fine Art - Department of Art.
  • If you have a clear idea about a research project of your choice, you should first determine whether the project is suitable for study at PhD level. The project must also be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you; it should also address a perceived 'gap' in the literature and, most importantly, be of interest to you. You can receive feedback by contacting the department.

3. Identify a Supervisor

Please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing  g.kollectiv@reading.ac.uk or p.kollectiv@reading.ac.uk or calling +44 (0) 118 378 7599. You could also get in touch with the potential supervisor if you have someone specific in mind, but this should be in addition to contacting the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.

It is not essential to communicate directly with the Department before submitting your application, but many candidates find it helpful and we do advise it.

4. Make an application

Please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application programme. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees. Although you will be working with a specific department or supervisor, all PhD applications have to be made centrally.

We will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to the appropriate school or department.
Although most new students join the PhD programme in October, it is possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.

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