Detailed Offer Information
We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over 3-4 years and part-time over 4-6 years.
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 site and normally have a supervisor/mentor at their local site. 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 industrial partner. In these cases they may be followed by a supervisor from outside the university, and interact with a wider range of staff. Where industry is involved, students typically spend 4-week placements each year with the company.
The English Department is a welcoming place, with a Postgraduate Contact Group providing regular opportunity for research students to meet one another and engage in stimulating intellectual debate. Regular series of research seminars are organized by each of the Department's research centres.
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.
The University of Reading Library has an excellent library with (e.g. the Samuel Beckett Collection archive, the Children's Collection, an extensive archive of British printers' and publishers' papers). The Library also subscribes to Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online which give electronic access to all books printed in English before 1900. Major research resources, such as the British Library in London and the Bodleian Library at Oxford are also within easy reach.
Training is an intrinsic part of your development as a researcher.
We also provide archives and collections training for students accepted onto the Special Collections Programme.
You will be required to undertake courses on the Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP). Depending on the respective funder for your PhD, further training via attendance at advanced courses, meetings and workshops may also form part of your PhD programme.
The Graduate School's Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) offers a rich array of training sessions and workshops which 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.
A scheme specifically for international doctoral researchers who are lecturers in their home country.
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.
The Department encourages you to attend conferences and other events to widen your network of contacts.
Supervision is available in a wide variety of fields and students are encouraged to contribute to the research centres and clusters of excellence that distinguish the department, as well as to present their work at conferences and to publish in academic journals.
You will be assigned a supervisor within the Department of English Literature who will meet with you regularly to provide support. Additionally, you will be allocated a monitoring committee of two people who will meet with you 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 Department 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.
You will join a vibrant doctoral community within the Department of English Literature, working alongside postdoctoral researchers and academic staff.
In addition to offering training and support to doctoral researchers, the Graduate School co-ordinates a range of activities which bring students together from across the University. These include the annual Doctoral Research Conference, an event which 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 is regularly promoted through the Graduate School Bulletin and on the Graduate School homepage.
You can find out more about fees for University of Reading PhD programmes by clicking on the link below.
Sources of funding
About the DTP
The University of Reading is delighted to be part of the South, West and Wales Consortium (SWW DTP), in partnership with seven other universities (Aberystwyth, Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Southampton). This doctoral training partnership has been awarded £14.2 million funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) over the next five years to deliver postgraduate training and development.
The University-wide Graduate School was established in the Autumn of 2011. In celebration of our 5th Anniversary, we are delighted to announce ten PhD studentships available for October 2017 start.
University of Reading Regional PhD Bursaries
The University of Reading is delighted to announce a new scheme aimed at supporting local residents to achieve their highest academic potential, as well as enhancing their professional prospects. University of Reading Regional PhD Bursaries are designed to give candidates within the region the chance to study at Reading and benefit from the all-round training on offer to our doctoral researchers.
Information on potential funding for students from Commonwealth countries is also available from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Information on the University's studentships open to overseas applicants can be found on our Money Matters pages.
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.
The Academic English Programme (AEP) enables international and EU students at the University of Reading to develop their academic English skills.
There is an extensive range of courses, including critical writing, essay and dissertation writing, speaking, listening, pronunciation, academic grammar and vocabulary, and social English. You can also have individual tutorials.
All of the courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced academic English teachers, and class sizes are kept small (generally less than 16 students), so there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get personalised feedback.
You can find out more information on the Academic English Programme Website
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.
1. Check our entry requirements
To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need a Master's degree or equivalent, 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.
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 Research Opportunities
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Learn more about how we support you:
Things to do Now
- Apply online
- Find out more about our academic staff and their research interests
- Learn more about student life at Reading
- Find out about our research
Ms Melina Aston
Departmental Postgraduate Administrator
- +44 (0) 118 378 5798