As a postgraduate research student in the Department of Philosophy at Reading, you will be part of a thriving and welcoming community. You will work alongside internationally renowned academics in our respected research department.


The Department of Philosophy at the University of Reading offers intensive research-training degrees, complemented by rigorous supervision, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our culture encourages students and staff to learn from each other in a co-operative environment.

Our academics are active researchers whose current interests inform our PhD programmes. The Department's main areas of research are moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of language, metaphysics, philosophy of science, and Wittgenstein. The Department is able to offer supervision in most areas of philosophy, including our staff's particular specialities.

The Department works with many research centres including Reading Ethics and Political Philosophy REAPP, Pervasive Context and the Centre for Cognition Research.


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 or working away.


Throughout your studies you will have opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers. Thursday is 'PhD day' which provides prime opportunities for you to present your work through the Graduate Research Seminar, the Graduate Class and the Graduate Reading Group. We also run a vibrant weekly visiting speaker programme that hosts renowned philosophers from around the world. The annual one-day Ratio Conference welcomes invited speakers on a different theme each year.


During your degree, we will provide you with training in research skills that will fully prepare you for a future career in the field of philosophy or beyond. Our training programme is delivered through departmental training sessions covering a variety of topics.

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 intensive research-training degrees prepare many of our students for careers as professional philosophers. Our Philosophy PhD alumni have been appointed to permanent academic posts at Edinburgh, York, Liverpool, Manchester Met, Leeds, Keele, Birmingham, Oxford, Reading, Birkbeck, Heythrop, Kent, Southampton, Oxford Brookes, and many universities abroad including Stockholm, La Trobe, Wollongong and Zhongshan University amongst others.

Some of our PhD students also choose to enter other professions, including law, business, and teaching in secondary schools.

We take pride in our placement record, and the Department as a whole offers students every assistance in their future career, whether towards the end of their studies or afterwards.


We are part of the Centre for Cognition Research (CCR) at Reading. This initiative aims to promote excellence in research concerning the understanding of human intelligence, through encouraging cross-disciplinary research collaborations. Our postgraduate students' research of relevant interdisciplinary issues are an integral part of the Centre.

Centre website


Our staff are able to supervise students in nearly all areas of philosophy, but many of our staff have particular specialities:

Meet the Team

Postgraduate Student Profiles




Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Dr James Andow

Postgraduate Director of Admissions
Professor Brad Hooker

Postgraduate Research

Catherine O'Hare
+44 (0) 118 378 5799

Current Students

Please use RISIS.

Head of Department

Prof RM de Gaynesford

Head of Humanities

Prof. Karla Pollmann

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