10 good reasons to choose Reading for your PhD

1. World-class research

The Hopkins Building hosts state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for life sciencesThe University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of research-led global universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, 2013. Much of our world class research is focused on important global issues that affect us as a society, both now and in the future, such as health, food, environment and sustainability. This is supported by research into enabling science and technologies, business, arts, humanities and social sciences.

2. Excellent research facilities

The Hopkins Building is one of the University's top class facilitiesAt Reading, you will benefit from some of the highest standard research facilities. Our £400m investment programme over the past decade has helped to create outstanding facilities for students and we continue to invest in new buildings and amenities to support our research, including our Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, Chemical Analysis Facility, Centre for Advanced Microscopy, and our Design Innovation Research.

The University also hosts the Museum of English Rural Life and many specialist collections, including the world renowned . Our library contains over a million volumes, complemented with access to a wide range of electronic resources, and we have a number of 24-hour computer laboratories.

3. A wide range of funding opportunities

A graduate student works on a project in the School of Systems EngineeringThe University invests over £8 million each year in postgraduate research studentships and bursaries. Around 150 entry awards are available to high-quality doctoral candidates per year, in all subject areas. These opportunities are funded from a wide variety of sources including: University of Reading, UK Research Councils, industry and charities. We also have an on-campus job shop to help you find part-time employment, if needed, to support you during your studies.

4. More supervisors and PhD topics than ever before

There is a wide range of support available to doctoral researchers throughout your time at ReadingThe University has recently invested in the appointment of 50 new academic posts, allowing us to offer a wider range of postgraduate research opportunities than ever before. Whatever your area, you can expect to receive first class supervision from leading international researchers and practitioners with expertise and interest in your chosen field, and experience of working with a diverse range of research students on various research projects. Collaborative supervision across School boundaries is actively encouraged.

5. A proven track-record in supporting doctoral candidates through to completion

The wide range of funding opportunities enable doctoral candidates from all backgrounds to study at ReadingThe strong support that we provide is reflected in the successful progression of our research students. The University is ranked very highly within the UK in terms of its doctoral submission and completion rates for both Home and Overseas students.

In addition, our postgraduate researchers publish a large number of books, chapters, journal articles, and conference proceedings, during the course of their studies.

6. A thriving community of doctoral researchers

Old Whiteknights House houses the graduate school and provides a central space for doctoral candidates to work

Through the Graduate School, you will join a vibrant and diverse community of over a thousand postgraduate researchers coming from a broad range of discipline areas and across 100 different countries. The Graduate School offers a range of facilities, funding opportunities, and social and networking events to complement activities taking place in academic Schools and Departments to provide you with a rich, stimulating and supportive research environment.

7. Professional and personal skills training to help you with your PhD and to equip you for the future

In addition to support with your research, Reading offers personal and professional development to help you succeed in your chosen pathThe Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) offers a wide range of training sessions, development workshops and activities designed to help you to gain the skills you will need to carry out your research professionally and effectively, and to be successful in your ongoing career.

The programme offers flexibility and tailoring to meet your individual needs. Additional development opportunities include: 

  • a high quality leadership programme, delivered in collaboration with our triple accredited Henley Business School;
  • a bespoke teaching and learning support programme; and
  • the facility to study another language, free of charge, via our Institution Wide Language Programme.

8. More research programmes and modes of learning to suit your needs 

Reading will help you to develop a range of skills, in addition to those realted to your research, boosting your employabilityWe recognise that our research students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with differing constraints, career intentions, and needs. We therefore offer a range of research programmes and modes of study to help you to select the one that best suits your needs.

In addition to studying for a PhD in Reading on either a full-time or part-time basis, we support students who need to ‘work away’ at another location for some or much of their time. Our Partnership Doctorate Programme, which is aimed at overseas academics, is just one example of this. We also offer Practice-based Doctorates and Professional Doctorates in a range of subject areas.

9. Enhanced career prospects

Full-time, part-time, on campus or off - there are a range of ways you can complete postgraduate study at ReadingA research degree from the University of Reading will certainly enhance your career prospects. The Graduate School works closely with the University’s Careers Centre to provide you with the training and development opportunities (including contributing to undergraduate teaching or carrying out a work-based placement) to help to prepare you for future employment, whatever career path you wish to take. Around 50% of our PhD graduates remain in academia on graduating, with others moving on to a range of careers; for example, in the health sector, broader education sector, business and finance, engineering and computing, creative industries and government. Many have gone on to be appointed to very senior positions in their organisations.

10. An award-winning Campus in a great location

The University of Reading's parkland campus is beautiful, award-winning and only 30 minutes from central LondonThe University of Reading campus has been acknowledged as one of the best open spaces in the country. Our Halls of Residence at the University of Reading are situated on, or near to, the main campus site, and offer over 4,000 student rooms. Halls vary in style and size so you can choose between a wide range of study, domestic, and social facilities. We also have an on-site day care nursery to support those with young families.

Our excellent campus facilities include an on-site day care nursery to support those with young families and some of the best equipped sports facilities of any UK university.

Reading is only a 25 minute train journey away from central London and also benefits from excellent transport links to Oxford, Heathrow, Gatwick, and many other major towns and cities across the UK. 

International students

Web pages

If you're thinking of applying for a PhD at Reading, then we recommend that you also take a look at the University's web pages for international students. Here you'll be able to watch a film that features a number of international PhD students talking about their experience of studying for a research degree at Reading.  Much of the filming was done in the Graduate School so you will also get a sense of what it is like here.

Free course on writing in English for university study

As part of a series of free online courses, the University has launched 'A beginners' guide to writing in English for university study', which is aimed at students whose first language is not English and who wish to study in an English-speaking country. Featuring expert teachers from our International Study and Language Institute, this course is completely free to take and is a great introduction to academic writing for international students.

Reading Alumni - Discounted fees

Are you currently studying at Reading for your Undergraduate or Master's degree? Or are you an alumnus of the University?

If so, you may be eligible for an Alumni Discount on tuition fees for your doctoral study. Find out more on the Alumni Discount information sheet (PDF - 165KB).

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