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Postgraduate research – University of Reading

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  • The forefront of discovery

    Work with our research intensive team towards new discoveries

Postgraduate research

As a PhD student at Reading you will have the opportunity to join international leaders in many aspects of Biology, from biomedicine to paleoecology.

"I undertook my PhD because of an interest in butterflies. Being able to walk through the campus meadows or woodland during the summer, surrounded by hundreds of butterflies, helps to remind me why I'm actually doing my PhD and that hopefully I'll be making a positive difference to the future of some of these species."

- Matthew Greenwell, PhD student


Your supervisor will be a leading academic in their field who will provide regular guidance to help you develop your research skills. All students also have a supervisory group to provide additional support when required. There are first-class facilities for all aspects of our research and we have excellent links with industry and research centres throughout the world.

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Your PhD at Reading should be three years full-time study, although it is possible to complete your studies up to four years from the beginning of the programme. To help you achieve your PhD you will be supported by an expert supervisor, who will be supplemented by a larger supervisory committee. You will have the opportunity to assess progress through the following milestones:

 1. Six months: a literature review and report on any pilot experiments

2. 12-16 months: an upgrading report and viva, to confirm PhD registration

3. 24 months: a second-year presentation and review

4. 30 months: thesis plan

Initially, all students are registered for a PhD. After 12-16 months you will submit a progress report and, on the basis of this, the supervisory committee either issue a Confirmation of Registration for a PhD (between three and four years after starting) or recommend switching to an MPhil (between two and three years after starting). Throughout both this first year and the remainder of your PhD, you will receive extensive support from the Graduate School to help you get the most from your time at Reading.

Contact the School

For further information about studying a PhD, contact the School.


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