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 5-6 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.

PhD opportunities


As a postgraduate research student in the School of Law you will benefit from outstanding support and resources. You will play an active role in life within the School and be encouraged to attend a wide range of academic and social events throughout the year, including reading groups, informal lunches and career development opportunities.

You will also enjoy the exclusive use of excellent facilities, including the University's extensive main library, and study space is available within Foxhill House, the School of Law. A research allowance is provided each year to help support attendance at conferences and other research-related items.

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.


Training is an intrinsic part of your development as a researcher. In the first two years of your degree course, we require you follow a programme of relevant postgraduate lecture courses agreed between you and one or both of your supervisors.

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.

PhD Plus

A scheme specifically for international doctoral researchers who are lecturers in their home country.

Find out more about PhD Plus


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. To this end we assist with arranging travel and accommodation.

There are also opportunities to teach on undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


You will be assigned at least two supervisors, at least one of whom will be based within the School of Law. They will meet with you regularly, to provide support. Additionally, you will be allocated a monitoring committee of two academic staff members within the School of Law, who will meet you at least 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 School 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 School of Law, working alongside postdoctoral researchers and academic staff. PhD students within the School participate in a variety of discussion groups, work-in-progress seminars and research theme events, as well as the School's own Postgraduate Research Day.

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.

Tuition fees for new postgraduate research students

The School of Law has an excellent track record of assisting students in securing funding for their PhD study. Many of our postgraduate research students receive funding either from the University or from external bodies including UK research councils and the Modern Law Review. Listed below are the main sources of funding for a PhD in Law.

Sources of funding:

University International Research Studentships

SWW AHRC DTP Studentships

Felix Scholarships

Modern Law Review Scholarships

Leverhulme Doctoral Programme in Climate Justice

Anniversary PhD Scholarships 2017

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 one of the top 200 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2018) and benefit from the all-round training on offer to our doctoral researchers.

Find out more about University of Reading Regional PhD Bursaries.

Other sources of funding PhDs sponsored entirely by UK industry or research establishments are also often available. Early application is recommended.

Qualified UK graduates are usually eligible for full funding by the Research Councils, whilst other EU students are usually eligible for funding of fees only.

Information on other studentships available at the University can be obtained from our Money Matters pages.

See also Funding Opportunities for research students .

Overseas students

Overseas students are, in general, responsible for finding suitable funding. Information on overseas scholarships can be obtained by emailing and from the

British Council.

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.

See also University International Research Studentships.

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.

Our Campuses


Town Life and Transport Links

The Library

Clubs and Societies

Little Learners Nursery

The Little Owl Pre-School


1. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need a Master's degree (merit or above) 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. The School of Law organises an annual proposal writing workshop which supports the development of a research proposal and provides advice on funding. It usually takes place in the Autumn and is advertised on the web pages.

3. Identify a Supervisor

Please look at the School of Law's Research Pages and Staff List in the first instance, or you may contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing or calling +118 378 5410.

You are welcome to get in touch with the potential supervisor if you have someone specific in mind and it can be very helpful to do so before submitting your application, but this is not obligatory.

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 September, it is possible to start your studies in January.

Things to do now

Contact us

Elizabeth Wyeth
Postgraduate Research Administrator

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4165

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