University of Reading Partnership Doctorates

A route to a University of Reading PhD for those working overseas

Do you want to study for a Reading PhD while working in your own country?

If you are an academic or other high level member of staff working in an overseas University or associated bodies, you can benefit from our Partnership Doctorate programme, which is designed to give you access to academic supervision and facilities at Reading whilst still living and working primarily in your current University.

Who the scheme is designed for:

This scheme is particularly suited to overseas universities and associated bodies that are committed to upskilling their academic staff to doctoral (PhD) level.

Globe in blueSpecific benefits of the programme include:

  • An internationally recognised PhD from a UK University ranked amongst the top 1% of Universities in the world
  • Individually tailored research training programme, delivered online and at Reading
  • High quality research supervision from our leading scholars, with support from a locally based supervisor or mentor 
  • Access to state of the art facilities and resources, if required
  • Becoming a member of our Graduate School and our extended family of doctoral researchers
  • Access to lively social media and networking groups
  • Reduced fee rates (see section below)

How to apply for a Partnership Doctorate

  • Institutions or individual applicants should submit a partnership doctorate enquiry form, which should be returned to the Doctoral Research Office (
  • We will put you in touch with a potential supervisor, who will then discuss the research topic/proposal via email. Supervisory arrangements (including time to be spent in Reading, regularity of contact, supervisory visits to your home University, etc.) will also be agreed. Please note that candidates normally spend at least three months at the University of Reading over the course of the registration period.
  • Once a research topic and supervisory arrangements have been agreed, you will need to submit a formal online application for admission. The process and links to the application portal are set out in our How To Apply page.
  • Your application will then be processed by the University.

English requirements/training: Please note that combined offers including pre-sessional English language training can be considered.


The level of fees charged for supervision reflects the amount of supervisory expertise and use of facilities at the University that will be available to students on this programme.

During substantial periods when students are working away from the University, the fee rate is 50% of the standard tuition fee (either full-time or part-time as applicable).

If a candidate is present in the University for large blocks of time (normally three months or more) then the full standard fee rate will be applied for those periods.

  • Example: an applicant spending 1 year based at Reading and 2 years based within their own institution will be liable for the ‘working away’ tuition fee for 2/3 of their programme and the standard fee for 1/3 of their programme.

There will also be a separate charge for making supervisory visits to the candidate’s home institution that will be negotiated on an individual basis.

Further institution-based fee reduction

As well as the fee reduction mentioned above, we are also willing to consider a further reduction according to the number of candidates enrolled from the same institution. If there are between five and nine candidates starting in the same year on the Partnership Doctorate scheme from the same institution, a further 10% reduction in the fee can be considered. If there are 10 or more candidates, this would increase to a 15% reduction. This fee reduction applies to all years of study.

Note for Schools/Departments at Reading

Whilst supervisory arrangements pertaining to individual students do need to be set out and agreed, please note that - as Partnership Doctorate students receive a University of Reading award - it is not necessary for an inter-institutional agreement to be put in place between Reading and the University / associated body at which the applicant is based (although such an agreement may already be in place).

Further information

If you require further information about the Partnership Doctorate Scheme, please contact: Chris Robson, Head of Postgraduate Research Support and Development

You can also download our Partnership Doctorate Scheme Brochure (PDF - 6,918 KB) relating to the scheme or our specific brochure covering the Malaysia Partnership Doctorate Scheme (PDF - 2,562 KB).

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