Max Brookman-Byrne (School of Law) was our 2017 PhD Researcher of the Year. Listen to Max talk about his doctoral research into the international law implications of the use of armed drones and his experience of undertaking a PhD at Reading.

As a postgraduate research student in the School of Law at Reading, you will be part of a large and vibrant community. You will work alongside an enthusiastic staff and research study body and have the opportunity to play an active role in the life of the School.


The School of Law at the University of Reading was identified as one of the UK's top 10 research-intensive Law Schools by the Government's Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, reflecting the volume and concentration of internationally-excellent research conducted across the whole of the School (Times Higher Education Supplement, 01/01/2015). To complement the School's dynamic and thriving research culture, we welcome high quality applicants from all over the world to pursue research degrees.

World-leading research

In addition, we are ranked 25th out of 67 law schools for research power, with 100% of our work being adjudged to be of international or world-leading quality. Find out more on our research pages.

We have active collaborations with other departments within the University, notably with Politics and International Relations and Henley Business School, and with external institutions and bodies such as the NHS, Law Commission for England and Wales, Parliamentary Select Committee and other advisory bodies.

PhD opportunities


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 or working away.


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, and speak at conferences and workshops.


During your PhD study, you will benefit from a programme of relevant postgraduate courses which will be agreed between you and your supervisor/s as well as a programme of transferable skills organised by the Graduate School. The School of Law offers a tailored Research Methods course for all first year PhD students.

The Graduate School

All postgraduate research students automatically become members of the University-wide Graduate School. The Graduate School provides training, professional development, study space, advice and administrative support in a dedicated building for the postgraduate research community at Reading.


Our PhD students go on to work in academia as postdoctoral researchers, and academics but are equally equipped for employment outside of academia, for example with government, non-governmental and international agencies, as Consultants or other professional activities.

PhD programmes: Detailed Offer Information

'Being a PhD student at the Reading Law School means you will be nurtured for who you are and challenged to become the best you can be!'

Liz-Marie Welman, 2nd year PhD student and GTA


Our research is organised into six main themes and areas, each of which reflects the longstanding strengths and interests of members of the School. Many researchers have homes in more than one theme, but they provide a framework for collaborations, for the organisation of events, and for the support of critical engagement:

Global Law at Reading : The home of public international law, EU law and human rights law at Reading

Justice, Rights and Legal Theory : How does the law define and balance the interests of different individuals and groups?

Family, Gender & Sexuality : Scholars in this research group work on a range of projects around gender and law, sexuality and law, feminist legal studies and family law, across a range of jurisdictions

Public Policy : In what ways can the law change and improve the ways that social institutions work?

Legal History : How does the past shape the laws that govern us in the present?

Property, Transactions & Markets : Our research incorporates all transactions regardless of the identity of the parties or the nature or type of the transaction as well as markets that are subject to regulation.

Meet the Team

Postgraduate Student Profiles

'University of Reading, Law School, provides fantastic academic support and puts the interests of the students first. The friendliness of the environment really surprises me. The atmosphere within the institution is alive and humane while fulfilling academic requirements. Reading, for me, means a total personal advancement and not merely vocational.'

Hoshman Ismail, 1st year PhD student


Researcher development programme

Graduate School homepage

How To Apply

The School of Law Proposal Writing Workshop

Our postgraduate taught offer

PhD programmes: Detailed Offer Information

Things to do now

Contact us

Elizabeth Wyeth
Postgraduate Research Administrator

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4165

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Proposal Writing Workshop for Prospective Law PhD Applicants

See here for further details

Reading PGR Winner!

We are delighted to announce that Max Brookman-Byrne was awarded Reading Doctoral Researcher of the Year Prize at this year's Doctoral Conference.

The School of Law is very proud of his achievement.


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