Skip to main content

PhD programmes – University of Reading

Show access keys

    Study with world-leading researchers and join our thriving postgraduate community

PhD programmes

How should you go about expanding your knowledge and growing as a confident researcher? Finding the right institution is key. At Reading, 100% of our research impact is judged to be world-leading or internationally recognised (Research Excellence Framework 2014 - Classics). Our research community is renowned as a supportive and highly productive environment for researchers.

As a postgraduate doctoral researcher in the Department of Classics at Reading, you will be part of a stimulating research environment. You will benefit from our wide-ranging expertise and will become part of our thriving postgraduate community, which is firmly embedded in our research culture.

"I had a wholly positive and extremely enjoyable experience of studying for my PhD in the Department of Classics. I received outstanding supervision and found the Department more widely an immensely supportive place within which to work. The staff are dynamic and inspiring, and the research facilities are excellent. I would recommend Reading to anyone wanting to study for a PhD in Classics."

Lucy Fletcher

PhD in Classics graduate

An introduction to the department

The Classics Department at Reading has an excellent reputation for research. We are ranked 6th in the UK for research overall, 3rd in the UK for research output*, and 100% of our research impact has been recognised as world leading or internationally excellent.** Our Department is a great environment in which to further your own research.

Our academic staff are experts in their fields and are well-known internationally. They offer doctoral supervision across the full range of ancient history, Greek and Latin language and linguistics, literature, archaeology, epigraphy, art and culture. In addition to our strengths in established approaches to the ancient world, at Reading we have taken the lead in extending the boundaries of the subject and in developing new approaches.

Our particular areas of research strength include: Early Christian literature; Egypt from the Bronze Age to early Islam; Greek art and archaeology; Greek literature from the Archaic period to the Roman Empire; Latin language and literature; Papyrology, textual criticism, fragmentary texts and epigraphy; Political thought, including Plato; Religions of Greece, Rome and other parts of the ancient Mediterranean; Reception of antiquity; Roman history and archaeology.

* Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked By Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014 - Classics.
** Research Excellence Framework, 2014 - Classics.

What we offer

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 years and part-time over four to six years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading, or at a distance for students who live outside the UK.


The Department of Classics runs several conferences a year, attracting scholars from around the world, as well as our weekly research seminar programme with visiting speakers. We also hold joint seminars with other departments of the University such as Archaeology, History of Art and Philosophy. You may also have the opportunity to teach on undergraduate courses.


Our PhD students often go on to have academic careers, but also enter professions such as teaching, museum curating, and the civil service.

Visiting Fellowships

The Department of Classics welcomes applications from postdoctoral scholars who wish to hold British Academy, Leverhulme Trust or Newton International fellowships in the Department. We also welcome visiting scholars who wish to spend a period of time in the University and who have their own funding. For more information, contact Professor Ian Rutherford.


Find out more about YOUR PhD at Reading

Learn about the facilities and opportunities on offer at Reading.

We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top