University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

As a postgraduate research student in the Department of Archaeology, you'll be part of a world-class research community, consistently ranked among the top in the UK for Archaeology.

The University of Reading is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality and research outputs in Archaeology (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of the latest REF 2021).

We pride ourselves on providing a stimulating and friendly environment for our active community of postgraduate students to pursue their research and professional development.

PhD conference

"Reading established the ideal setting for my research, having created a supportive and diverse environment that has made my PhD an informative and enjoyable experience."

Carolina Rangel de Lima – Doctoral Researcher

Doctoral research community

You will join a vibrant, supportive doctoral community within the Department of Archaeology, working alongside postdoctoral researchers and academic staff.

We are the only archaeology department in England to hold an Athena SWAN silver award, which recognises our focus on gender equality.

Athena SWAN promotes representation, progression and success for all. It focuses specifically on the advancement of women's careers across higher education in all academic fields. The charter also promotes and recognises work that supports trans staff and students.


Training is an intrinsic part of your development as a researcher. Throughout your PhD, you'll benefit from a programme of relevant postgraduate training and have access to specialist modules agreed between you and your supervisor/s, as well as a programme of transferable skills organised by the Doctoral and Researcher College.

"Doing my PhD at Reading has provided me with a wealth of opportunities outside my project to learn new skills and gain teaching experience in preparation for future roles."

Sara Wilson – PhD Researcher

Presenting your work

Over the course of your PhD, you'll have plenty of opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers, including:

  • presenting a seminar
  • speaking at conferences and workshops
  • visiting or hosting researchers from external organisations.

Our annual School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science PGR Conference, co-organised by archaeology postgraduate researchers, brings together researchers from a range of related disciplines. Here, you'll have the opportunity to present and discuss your research with your peers.

The Department of Archaeology holds a regular research seminar series attended by external speakers, and internal "work in progress" seminars. PhD students and staff also organise regular reading groups to discuss current papers.

There are also more informal opportunities to present your work, including our "Research Hour" – regular lunchtime seminars and workshops that bring our community together.

Research clusters

Our world-class research in archaeology is structured around three research clusters, providing an interdisciplinary environment for engagement within and across themes, projects and regional studies.

These research clusters focus on advancing social and scientific approaches to past communities and environments, as well as issues of fundamental significance – climate and environmental change, health and diet, social diversity and inclusivity, and cultural heritage.

They also provide you with opportunities to interact with academics, research staff, and other postgraduate research students.

Read more about our research

Supervisor and student discussing on a report

How we support you

You'll receive support from the Department as well as the Doctoral and Researcher College, which is the University of Reading's hub for all doctoral activity.
Student using a laptop outdoors

Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.
URE Museum

Our facilities

Learn about our extensive archaeology facilities, from purpose-built teaching laboratories to unique on-campus museums.
Athena SWAN Silver Award