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How to apply

1. Is a PhD at the University of Reading right for you?

Before applying for our PhD programme, please read our What to expect during your PhD guide.

2. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you will need a Bachelor's degree of at least a 2:1 (or equivalent), or a master's degree, 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 Doctoral and Researcher College website.

3. Select a topic

Please contact the Department before you select your topic and apply for a studentship, particularly if you are also applying for funding. We encourage you to contact us at least two months before the application deadline, usually in the early autumn.

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 be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you; it should also aim to develop new research directions or applications and, most importantly, be of interest to you. You can receive feedback by contacting the department.

It is strongly recommended that you read the general guidance on how to write a PhD proposal before submitting your application.

If you are interested in a broad area of research, advertised projects covering specific research topics can be found on our PhD opportunities page.

4. Identify a supervisor

Please contact the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing or calling +44 (0) 118 378 8132.

You could also get in touch with the potential supervisor if you have someone specific in mind, but this should be in addition to contacting the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.

It is not essential to communicate directly with the Department before submitting your application, but many candidates find it helpful.

5. 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.

Your application will be acknowledged by our central Admissions Team before being passed on to the Department of Archaeology.

Although most new students join the PhD programme in September, it is possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.