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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 master's degree or equivalent.

If English is not your first language, you will also need an IELTS score of 7.5, or above, with at least 6.0 in each of the four sub-sections, or equivalent.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Doctoral and Researcher College website.

3. Select a topic

You should first determine whether your proposed 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 address a perceived "gap" in our knowledge and, most importantly, be of interest to you.

If you do not have a chosen topic, we encourage you to get in touch to discuss your ideas further with a member of staff in the Department of Classics.

4. Identify a supervisor

To study at the University of Reading, your proposed PhD should relate to the research interests of a member of staff in the Department of Classics.

You should consult the list of academic staff to help you identify a possible supervisor, and make contact with that person via email. If you need any advice, please contact Professor Timothy Duff, the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research, by emailing

5. Make an application

Once you have identified a research area of interest with a potential supervisor, please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application portal. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees.

Research proposals should be one to two A4 pages long and relate to an area of expertise in the Department. We encourage you to read the Doctoral and Researcher College's guidance on how to write a research proposal.

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.

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